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I’ll Take It December 17, 2013

Posted by J. in Genius.
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Today, I had a feeling come over me that I’ve never felt before.

I’ve mentioned how so far I haven’t felt like these lifestyle changes are permanent, or that this is the time I’m really, actually,  honest-to-God going to lose all the weight and keep it off. It’s been more than I can contemplate. In my own defense, I have no success to build on. I’ve never done it, so it’s not like I know I can do it. I’ve already lost more at this moment than I ever have before, come further than in the past, and I’m in uncharted waters. I don’t know what the next year, or two, or five will hold for me. There’s no way I can know.

And all along, over the past 13 months, this has all felt both unattainable, and very tentative. And lately…hoo boy. Mean Jen has been hammering at me. Every day, for what feels like hours. I’ve felt low, like giving up, and at the same time feeling trapped. Let’s face it: if I fail this time, I’m going to do it very publicly. Even if I want to quit, the thought of having to admit it here, for my friends to see me get fat again, isn’t something I can face, so I grit my teeth and keep going.

Today, I was getting dressed for the bus stop. It was 10 below zero, and I gotta tell you, I’m fucking freezing to death. No lie. I’ve lived here my whole life and this winter has hit me like a ton of very cold bricks. I have lost 120 pounds of insulation, and apparently my body won’t really thermoregulate well until my weight stabilizes, so as i continue to lose, I can count on being cold.

Joy.

So I pulled my LL Bean long red union suit on over the t-shirt I slept in, and pulled my new jeans on over them. I haven’t worn jeans in many, many years because I’d reached a level of fat where there was no way they were ever going to fit properly, and stretch pants are so much more comfortable. But now I’m in a 20 petite, and they fit over my long underwear. Which felt pretty cool. And all at once I felt that this wasn’t temporary. Only the size I’m in right now.

I didn’t have much time to consider, or even enjoy the feeling because I had to get the kids to the bus, but when I got back, I thought about it for awhile. It was the first time I really felt like I was going to lose this weight. It was a small, kind of quiet knowledge, but the feeling of “this is going to happen” was there. Like there’s no stopping it. No room for discussion of any sort. Just a certainty.

And somehow I knew that I wasn’t going back, either.

I made a promise when I started that as I lost the weight, I’d get rid of my fat clothes. If I don’t have them, I can’t gain it back. I can’t keep them and prepare myself to fail. So I’ve been passing them on as I go along, replacing my wardrobe as necessary. Today, for no reason at all, I went through all my clothes again and tried stuff on, and this time as I filled a garbage bag with things that are too big and will never fit again, it felt good. I didn’t get that usual feeling of “What if I need them again? I liked this shirt, I can’t ever replace it once it’s gone.” I knew I’d get better shirts. Smaller shirts. I will NEVER need the big ones again.

I took a few pictures of me in things I’d worn in the past. I was told I could keep one thing from when I was at my heaviest just to pull out to see how far I’ve come. I picked my “good shirt.” It was my go-to when I wanted to look good. It was the most flattering top I owned. And this is how it looked a couple of months before I started my diet.

At my 25th High School Reunion

At my 25th High School Reunion

You’ll have to pardon the bad mirror selfie, but this is how it fits now.

Fucking crazy, man.

Fucking crazy, man.

It’s at least 3 sizes too big at this point. My pajama pants that I bought at the beginning of the summer to take on my trip literally fall off my hips now. My compression running tights don’t really compress anymore. My 2X workout shirts are too big to be comfortable or practical to wear to the gym.

For weeks, all I’ve been able to see is how far I have to go. Every time I look at my body, I see what’s left, not what’s gone. I mean, I know I look better. But better isn’t necessarily the same as good, and I was having a hard time.

Part of that is because I haven’t been able to run. I’ve started the Couch to 5K program twice now. The first time I quit because it was killing my knee. I don’t want to need a replacement at 44, so I went back to walking. Lost some more weight and decided to give it another go. This time, while walking, I pulled a damned glute, so my ass and hip were killing me. I couldn’t even walk, I had to switch to the Arc trainer instead.

It felt like defeat, and Mean Jen wouldn’t let it alone. I know, because I’ve been reminded by my sister, that there’s never been an athlete alive that trained for something that didn’t have to deal with an injury. And that’s what I’m doing, so some setbacks are bound to happen.

But I also know that I got hurt, and it took a long time to heal, because I’m carrying too much weight for my muscles and joints to handle. Doesn’t matter how much I’ve lost, or how many inches, what matters is that I’m too fat to run.

I felt like I did when I first started at the gym. Fat. Slow. Like I didn’t belong there. And having to stay on the Arc because it’s low impact was the worst. I wanted to cry. I couldn’t see the progress, or the fitness level I’ve achieved, only that I was stuck babying my joints because I was so very, very fat. Not with the runners, the real athletes. With the people who can’t run.

Logically, I know the Arc is hard work. I know I have some pretty rockin’ stamina on it. But not having that choice bothered me. Still does. Not being able to do a lot of the exercises I’d like to because my body can’t support my weight is hard. All I see is how far I have to go, not how far I’ve come. And for weeks now, Mean Jen hasn’t let me see all the parts of where I am.

I don’t know what happened, or what changed, but I looked in the mirror today and saw a huge change. The difference between who I was and who I am is astounding. I looked at myself in the mirror for a long time, and was able to point out the things I really love to see.

The curve of my hip is smooth, it no longer bulges.

My waist is small and my tits are holding their own.

I have collar bones, and a jawline, and bicep definition.

I look at least 10 years younger.

And I thought of the things that go with it, beyond what I can see.

I can run up a flight of stairs without being winded.

Walking to the bus stop is no problem. Except for the freezing to death part.

There are tons of things I can do now that I couldn’t when I was fat.

That’s actually a joke between my sister and me. I said something one day and she said, “Remember when you were fat?” She wasn’t being snarky, or funny, or mean. She meant it. I thought it was hilarious because let’s face it: I’m still really fat. But I don’t think like a fat person anywhere near as often anymore. I think like a healthy person most of the time. I take for granted being able to do the things I avoided at my heaviest. When I was fat.

Today, I felt that. I’ve been feeling all along that it’s a process. What I could feel was changes, and they’ve been hard. It’s been painful. I’ve cried. I haven’t enjoyed seeing the scale go down, or seeing smaller numbers on the tape measure or clothing tags, or any other non-scale victories for a couple of months. It’s been a hard, long, dry, awful stretch.

Today, it clicked. I’ve had that feeling and I can feel it again. I will feel it again. There’s a calm, quiet, serene knowledge that I will get there. It will happen when it happens. And right now, I look good. Yes, better than I did. And not as good as I’m going to look. But right now, in the moment, I can smile at the reflection in the mirror.

I’ll take it.

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Comments»

1. Bunny - December 18, 2013

Jesus god, there will be nothing left to you by the time I get home in the spring! Chin up, tits out, because your attitude will see you to the end of whatever your goal may be, because you’ve already won. By the way, Bunny can’t run more then 200 feet, but she don’t give a rats ass. Xox

2. tashagurl - December 19, 2013

You go, Poops!!! Color me inspired!!!

3. mobile tracker - August 16, 2015

It’s hard to come by educated people on this topic, but you sound like
you know what you’re talking about! Thanks


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