Monday, April 30, 2012

Life on a silver platter

I have a friend who read something a few weeks ago from a blogger that said something along the lines of no one told her once she lost the weight that her personality wouldn't change and her life wouldn't be better.  My friend noted that she didn't necessarily agree with that statement and her life since hitting her goal weight was indeed better.

I think I can see both sides of that coin.  At my heaviest, I was actually relatively happy and thought "I'm happy in every aspect of my life except my weight and who am I to complain about my life when I'm just fat?"  I also felt like if I could just lose the weight, my life would somehow be perfect.  That isn't to say I thought that once I got to goal weight that I would suddenly be invited to fabulous parties, people would naturally gravitate toward me and life would be simple because after all, isn't life just ducky for all thin people?  Clothes naturally fit, heads turn when they walk by like there is a permanent catwalk soundtrack to their lives or at minimum 'Moves Like Jagger' plays as they strut their fabulous, well-toned ass down the street.  They suddenly always have the money to have a Coach bag (or designer bag of choice), lunch at chic restaurants, the latest phone, perfectly manicured whatever's and vacation in villas in exotic locations.  That is how thin people live everyday life right?  But then you start to lose weight and people who once ignored you begin to treat you better (salespeople, servers, etc) and you begin to wonder if maybe that's true.

But as the newness of that journey wears off and you transform in other people's eyes from either the person trying to lose weight to the person who lost the weight, you tiptoe into 'normal' territory.  You get used to people being nice at stores and putting that guard down that you'd built up for so long then you realize that the foundation of your new life is not going to be built for you.  Just as life is not handed to you on a silver platter when you were fat, it's certainly not going to be handed to you when you're healthy just because you're healthy.  It takes saving for that fancy bag that coordinates with that dream outfit you can now fit into because of hard work.  It takes putting yourself out there in circles of people who share the same interests as you to make new friends, they're not going to flock to your door because the weight is off.  It takes being willing to go somewhere or do something new to have a vacation that when you update your social media o' preference with the highlights that makes other people say "wow, I could/would never do that but it's cool you did!"  It's having the courage to change the things about your life that need a little polishing or a complete overhaul and doing it in a way that makes sure you grow with your spouse/partner to embrace this new life that you create together.  Life awaits...and it looks pretty friggin' awesome.

What have you done/will you do to make your healthy life different than it used to be at your lowest point?


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By the way, a special thanks to Evelyn at My Turn for Us for nominating me for a Versatile Blogger award.  I've got a ton of stuff I have to do the next few days so I don't have time to fulfill all of the requirements for the nomination but please stop by and say hello to her!  I'm honored!

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29 comments:

  1. The only thing I expected to be different, post-weight loss, was my confidence level. I was a pretty happy person when I was heavier, but I held myself back from doing some things because of my size. Not anymore!

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  2. I guess I haven't really thought about it. I was once a "skinny" person and now I'm not. Other that that my life didn't really change much so I don't expect it to change much on the way back down either. I guess for me I just want to be healthy again.

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    1. Healthy is good. :) It's probably different coming from the perspective of someone who didn't grow up heavy but for those of us who have always been overweight, we can only imagine the ways things could change.

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  3. Well, I have a lot of those "when I lose weight, I'll...". I was listening to my son playing "soccer" with a friend of ours a couple of days ago, and I yearned so much to play with him. I started saying "When I lose weight, I'll...", but I decided THEN and THERE that there WILL be NO more "When...I'll" statements. I'm going to just do everything I can do physically. So, though I'm going to try to be fearless and do whatever I want now, I'm hoping that it carries over to my soon to be thinner self life.

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    1. That's awesome! Your son won't remember what weight you were when you started playing soccer or being active with him in general, he'll just remember that you were. That's what memories are made of!

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  4. Lately I've been applying my "small changes" plan (used to lose weight) to other aspects of my life. I'm horrible (meaning lazy as sin) when it comes to household chores. Household chores have become my new "fat" (if you will--not to say I'm at goal weight, mind you). So to change my "fat" household chore habits to "healthy", I'm trying to make one little change every week/month in hopes of it sticking so I can build to the point I have changed all the "bad" habits (just like with weight loss!).

    Right now I'm floundering like crazy with my chores habit changes but I know I didn't come around to healthy/weight changes overnight so I need to give the chore changes the same respect, giving them the time they need to take root.

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    1. Sounds like a great plan. Take those baby steps and your home will shine...then you can come work on mine! HA!

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    2. Peter Walsh wrote a book called "Does that Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?" that links life clutter and body clutter (fat). Interesting to see someone who has lost the weight who is now looking to apply the same principles they used to lose weight to their house chores/clutter.

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  5. GREAT blog! I guess I never expected my life to get better in "those" ways, but life with my kids is SOOO much better. I was the one sitting on the couch or in a chair outside while they played and ran around with my husband. NOW, I'm taking bike rides, and going on hikes with all of them!

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    1. That's wonderful! They will definitely remember those times when mom wasn't watching from the sidelines but in the game!

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  6. Well the last time I lost weight and was down my lowest, the one thing I wasn't really prepared for was the attention from the male species. My whole life I've been the fat friend that's been safe to flirt with and hit on. I was safe because everybody knows it's just a joke, right? Well when I was smaller, wives and friends weren't so keen when their husbands would flirt with me, and neither was my husband. The funniest part about it, is that some of them were serious, but I never took it as serious. Even at my smallest, my self esteem was so nil that I just assumed everything was a joke. So yes, doors did open and people did gravitate, but I had no idea what to do with it or about it. I was totally unprepared.

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing that! I think that is definitely something that has been in the back of my mind. Like how weird it would feel to have someone look at me or the Mr like a buffet o' lust. I think for me, it could be a slight boost in ego in which the Mr would benefit later if you get my drift and I think for him if the girl did it in front of me, she'd better have running shoes on! HA!

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  7. GREAT blog! It's been such a frickin' PROCESS for me!! Here's what I've learned: it's about how I project myself, my attitude...that determines how I am in the world, no matter what the number on the scale. When I lost 55+ pounds I most certainly did have a lot more confidence. I held my head higher, looked people in the eye more, smiled more and so on. BUT! Deep down inside, I was still scared...I was petrified that I'd gain the weight back. Not to mention the fact that I actually never did reach my goal weight. And then what I was afraid of, happened. I regained half the weight I'd lost and was plunged back into despair, anger, frustration, and self-loathing. It was then that I decided to see if I could "love myself" to health. To see what comes first: the attitude or the weight loss? Turns out, it IS indeed the attitude and while I can't say that it's been this perfect ride since then, it certainly has been different than the first time around...I really do make an effort to live my life from an all-embracing, all-accepting place and it makes all the difference in the world. No matter what I weigh, when I am truly operating from a place of confidence and self-love, others respond accordingly. :-)

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    1. Attitude is everything! Great job on learning to love you first at any weight!

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  8. The hubs and I have fallen into a bad rut lately and have gained back a few of the pounds that we lost which really sucks! It has definitely bashed my spirit :( Luckily, we both recognized the problem and are taking steps to do something about it. We have decided that we are no longer going to work out together during the week. It's not because we don't like doing it, but because it will just be better for us in the long run and won't give us an opportunity to talk each other out of going to the gym. I am not a morning person (AT ALL) but I have found that if I don't get up and exercise in the morning or afternoon then, no matter if I've told myself all day that I am going to do it, I have lost all motivation by the time the hubs gets home from work. B/c of a back injury, I only work part-time so usually have at least an hr or two after work to sit on the couch and rest my back while waiting for him to get home. So, today marks the first day of our new routine! I'm about to work out right now and will be done with my part by the time he gets home.

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    1. Sure it would be great if you could continue working out together but good for you guys for working out what would work best for you and to realize that what was working for one wasn't working for the other. Congrats on getting back on plan!

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  9. Awesome post and so true. When I got down to my lowest weight (125 lbs.), all those same insecurities I had were still there. (Oh, and here's a shocker--I also wasn't able to suddenly eat whatever I wanted once I reached my goal weight either! Because if I was, I wouldn't be trying to lose weight again now!) I think a lot of people put things on hold until they lose weight, but it's not some magical transformation that happens when you get there--you still have to work on those internal issues!

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    1. Thanks for sharing that Kiersten! I think people tend to look at weight loss as having a beginning and an end. (End being "goal weight") Unfortunately it doesn't work that way. It's beginning and as I told the Mr "welcome to the rest of your life" before workouts. I have some seriously mentally scary things coming up on vacay but I know I have to do them because I've been putting them off too long. Soon I will get to the point where weight limits won't be an issue and watch out world when I get there!

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  10. I think this is very interesting. I like my life, and I don't expect it to change much after I have lost weight and start maintaining, except I think I will feel better about myself.

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    1. Absolutely! You will go from hiking queen to hiking GODDESS!

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  11. Thought-provoking!

    As someone who was overweight from childhood, I did think life would be easier if I could just be skinny. Now that I'm skinny, I think life IS easier. I'm not sure I can pinpoint this, besides the obvious reasons, like I'm more confident now, and I don't feel like a cow compared to other people, etc.

    But as I was reading this, the one thing I kept thinking was this: now I feel like I'm part of a club that I didn't understand before. In fact, I didn't even know this club existed. It's probably similar to how people feel when they have a kid and can relate to their friends with kids, or when a newlywed has stories to share with their other married friends. But even that’s not quite it, because it's not a club; it's just what was normal for most people as they were growing up. (Especially people from my generation; I know there are a lot more kids these days that struggle with weight, and that might actually even make it easier for them. They don't stick out as the only fat kid in class.)

    Here's a prime example. I refused to miss my senior prom. So I asked a friend to go as my date. He agreed. We went and had a great time. But I missed out on dress shopping. They didn't have plus-sized prom dresses then. My best friend got to try on every cute dress, and I had to lie about why I couldn't shop with her, red-faced and embarrassed, knowing she could read it on my face that I couldn't fit into the dresses she could fit into. Yes, it’s just shopping. But it was an integral part of the prom event that I didn’t get to experience.

    I was the fat girl who refused to admit she was the fat girl. Instead I made excuses for things that seemed like no big deal, but they were a big deal. I only recently realized that actually, heels are not really uncomfortable. They are SUPER uncomfortable when they're supporting 250 pounds. But when they're supporting 150 pounds? Not bad at all, really. Time of the month bloat? I didn't understand that. I was perpetually bloated.

    I know the list can go on and on. I'm enjoying learning the ins and outs of being part of the "normal" club. The nuances are minor, but they exist!

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    1. I can't wait to be part of that club! The lowest I ever maintained was 220 and I would just love to see 1-whatever. I'm sorry you had to go through that with prom. Being plus sized in high school sucked. For most of it I was always the "pretty, funny, fat friend" to dudes who was cool enough to hang out with but not thin enough to date. Luckily the Mr came along my senior year in high school and the rest is history.

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  12. I was fat as a kid and grew up in the era of Britney Spears and her hipster jeans and midriff tops. It was torture seeing my cute, thin little friends wear that stuff while I was stuck shopping for clothes normally worn by women in their 40's, or - probably worse - wearing what they wore but bursting out of it. Now that I can actually share clothes with a lot of my friends I feel like I'm part of what they had, and I think the only thing that has changed is gaining that the sense of belonging, of self-confidence, which impacts pretty much every single aspect of my life. I can do anything I put my mind to now where before I would write things off without even trying, and I think the world now believes that I can do it, too.

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    1. Oh my, I do remember when women of all body types were trying to pull off Britney's look. I'm so glad you're able share clothes with your friends and feel that camaraderie. I'm sure that is a wonderful feeling!

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  13. Ever since I was a kid I have always thought that being thin just made life easier in general. Of course I was aware of certain exceptions to that in the case of some of the kids who got picked on despite being thin and were maybe just a bit nerdy or awkward.

    I see both sides of it now because I still have a good 90 or so pounds to lose yet but I can also enjoy some of the aspects of at least being closer to normal and I do feel more confident about myself which translates to having a better attitude and results in a better outlook and thus, a better day to day existence. But I'm not living the beer commercial just yet if you know what I mean.

    I love our lives though now. Before I was just depressed a lot more than I even realized and not just because of the weight. We have so much more available to us now and it wll only get better. I am so ready for the future regardless of how many more friends we have or anything like that. Just because I know we are no longer boxed in.

    On another note I want to take this opportunity to say that 18 years ago today I proposed to the Mrs and I have never regretted it!

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    1. Yes, no beer commercial for us but I'd like to think eventually we'll be living aspects of our lives like a good romantic sitcom that people like to watch. I can't wait to get the next 50 lbs off so a lot of the weight restrictions on things we want to do will no longer be an obstacle anymore.

      Best question you ever asked!

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  14. A day late here . . . I know that I have been unsuccessful with weight loss in the past because I expected too much of my current life to change. This time has been different; the weight isn't moving as quickly as I'd like but I'm healthier and my life is more balanced. My life IS changing; what's different is that I recognize that it's another part of the journey and not the destination.

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  15. I'm late too forgive me, I'm on vacation but this blog really touched a nerve in me. Like you I thought my life was pretty good before, I was happy except and that is a BIG except...for the weight.

    The sole reason I lost weight was to get healthier but I gained so much more along the way. You know all the stuff that gets better as you drop the weight but it all came as a surprise to me. I had been morbidly obese for 30 years and had totally forgotten the joys of being normal.

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