I wrote this after losing almost 100 pounds. I couldn't believe the physical changes in my body and health! Aside from the scale, I observed the following:
- I used to have to hold my breath to bend over and tie my shoes. I
even avoided shoes that had to be tied, for this reason.
Now, I don't even think twice about bending over, and it certainly doesn't make me lose my breath. I can't remember ever having this problem. I have had the roblem of not being able to have my leg directly in front for my to tie it because thigh and stomach were too big, but breathing? not the problem.
- I used to sit down very slowly into a chair, for fear of breaking
it. I exceeded the weight limit of most lawn chairs.
I used to have a nice leather couch, and one day when I sat down too hard, I heard the wood break. Now, I know that if I break a chair, it wasn't MY fault--it was a faulty chair!Well, I do it out of principal. I've seen someone skinnier than I break furniture by direct-butt-plopping them repeatedly.
- I used to feel very shameful buying candy or junk food because of
what people would think.
Now, I feel just as entitled as everyone else to buy junk, and I don't feel like people are staring at me thinking how fat I am.Yeah, when I want to have some dark chocolate, I feel guilty.
- I used to have a large open gap in my bath towel when I wrapped it
around me--it just wouldn't go all the way around.
Now, I can wrap it around me and overlap it with comfort.Not since before puberty has that been any other way for me, so I didn't know it happened for adults. I always assumed there were different sizes of towels and we didn't get full bath size. Sex is TOTALLY different... in a good way!When I dropped 50, sex was not different. It was just as vigorous and bendy as before.
- I never used to be able to curl my legs up underneath me, or sit
Indian-style or cross-legged.
Now, I can do all of that with ease. I even sat Indian-style on my chair at the movie theater!I can't fold up in chair like you see the cute girls in movies doing as they're being pensive about something, but I never lost my ability to cross my legs. It took me a while to figure out why I had bruises just inside of each of my knees... I discovered it was because my knees can actually TOUCH each other now! When I sleep on my side, the bones press together and that's how I got the bruises.My knees touch, perhaps my ankles will bruise when I've lost more weight?
- I used to have to take breaks while blow-drying my hair, because
my arms got sore from holding them up for more than a minute or two at a
Now, I can blow-dry my whole head and never feel achy.I rarely blow dry my hair, for 2 reasons, my hair is over 2 feet long and thick, so ys my arms get tired because it takes longer than most people, and 2, I don't feel the need to damage my hair like that. I can paint my toenails now!I used to not be able to bend over long enough to paint them. Always been able to paint my toenails [just dont because the paint refuses to come off and then the nail discolors from not getting light] I can take off my wedding rings now!They were stuck on my finger for more than 5 years. My rings have never been stuck o my fingers longer than a couple of days due to swelling. When I go shopping, I don't automatically look for the largest size clothes and see if there is something I like. I look for clothes I LIKE first, then I look to see if it's in my size.When puberty hit my physiology changed and I gained weight like mad. Before I became very overweight, my breasts came in, and large. I've always needed to have the xl. I don't feel horrified when I see pictures of myself.In the past, I HATED getting my picture taken, and now I kind of like it.I mostly hate taking pictures because the way I feel and the way I look are so incredibly different. It horrifies me to look at what others see and know its not what i feel or how I want to look. I want my looks to reflect how I feel inside.
- I used to snore and have sleep apnea,
and now I sleep quietly and soundly :)I only snore when I'm overtired. I'm not sure if you can have apnea if you sleep on your stomach.
- When I went to the doctor, they used to have to get out a
larger-size blood pressure cuff to fit around my arm.
Now, I can use the regular cuff just fine. I don't believe they've ever needed a different cuff size for me.
- I used to be hot all the time... even when everyone else was freezing.
Now, I'm always cold.I know I used to get warm more quickly than others, but when I started working out that kind of went away.
- In group photos, I always used to stand in the back, trying to hide behind everyone.
Now, I enjoy being in front.Somewhat because I'm overweight, somewhat because I'm not big on being center of attention.
- I received a gift certificate for a massage two Christmases ago. I
waited almost until it expired t use it, because I was embarrassed.
Finally, I went to use it, and the spa robe wouldn't fit around me. I
Now, I KNOW I could fit into the robe.I've never let my weight stop me from getting a massage. The robe thing might've been a problem, but I also wouldn't have been troubled if the walk wasn't far to the massage When I go for walks, I love to see my shadow now--I can actually see nice curves in the right places.I've always like looking at my shadow, and shadows in general. I'm sure seeing a curvy body will make me happy when it happens.
- I used to avoid hugging people because I didn't want them to feel my fat.
Now, I enjoy hugging people.Actually I just disliked hugging. I got over it because I was being introduced to too many people who couldnt comprehend the idea of not liking hugs and would hug me all the time.
- I used to get winded just walking around my house.
Now, I run three times a week, anywhere from 2-5 miles.My house is one story and not large. I've never had this problem. My friends house has 2 flights that I frequently went up and down, that winded me, because they're the only stairs I deal with anymore [and at the time I hadn't been exercising for a few months]
- I once drank corn syrup right out of the bottle because I had such
a strong sweet craving and we didn't have anything sweet in the
Now, I can eat just about anything without added sugar (or sweetener). My sweet tooth is very sensitive now :)I think I did that once with baker's chocolate. I then found out it isnt sweet. I don't go for sweets like I used to
- I used to sweat just SITTING, and it was horribly embarrassing.
Now, I love that I get super sweaty on my runs (and that I don't sweat unless I'm exercising).the only time this has been relevant to me as an overweight person is during the summer, especially if I'm indoors with no air moving. When I hold up a pair of jeans, I think, "There is NO WAY I can fit into those! They're so small!" But then I try them on, and they FIT.When I reached size 16 last year, I felt this way somewhat. Nowadays I have the opposite problem, I look at pants and think I can fit in them, and it turns out they're a size or 2 too small. I'm really hoping that at some point, 16s will once again start being too big. When my older son Noah was learning to ride a two-wheeler, I sat in a lawn chair and my sister ran along side the bike, because I couldn't do that. When it was my younger son Eli's turn to learn, I ran up and down the street with his bike over and over again. It was ME that taught him!One faire season, the child I babysit was watched mostly from a chair, I couldn't keep up with her. A year later, I could keep up with her much more easily. I asked the man working at a liquor store if he sold any other beer that was under 70 calories per bottle. He looked at me and said, "You don't need to worry about calories!" This meant a lot to me because he didn't KNOW about my weight loss. He only talked to me for a moment and assumed I was a thin person.
- I used to worry about sharing a hotel room with other people,
because I snored so loudly. Now, I don't snore at all and I'm more than happy to share a room.Because Im large and need lots of room in a bed.
- I never thought that FEET could be fat, but they, too, went down a whole size. My feet achieved their largest size before I put on any significant weight in my early teens, but after losing 50 lbs they went down a whole size. Curious.
Some girls have told me to stop losing, because I'll be TOO skinny... you know that means they only view me as competition! ;)
- I've developed a whole new set of taste buds...
I used to hate fish, and now it's part of my regular menu.I think certain foods are "too sweet" now. I love garbanzo beans! And OATMEAL. My goodness, I could eat oats for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Having to go on the cholesterol diet a few years ago really forced me to learn how to eat differently, learn to season without fattening. I grew up with half the things the diet required so it was never a huge transition, but I learned how much more satisfying it was.
- I used to head straight for the Women's section of department stores.
Now, I can shop Misses or even Juniors.Yep, and try to find clothes appropriate to my age range since most of it seems to be geared towards women about 10-15 years older than I.
- I used to wake up feeling sore and achy.
Now, I feel refreshed when I wake up. Only when I've been working out very hard.
- I used to plan my day around binges--thinking about what I would
binge on later.
Now, I plan my days around my runs--I make sure to get in 3 runs a week, whenever I can.Can't say that I have, more like hoping I can resist something I want to eat, and end up eating lots, over the whole day.
- I used to get embarrassed and try to hide when I would see an old friend while out and about.
Now, I stop to chat with them.Sometimes. I've been overweight since middle school so I'm more embarrassed that I haven't lost the weight as a 'grown-up' more than anything else. Especially since MY sister had lost the weight by now when she was my age. [sibling competition? you bet your ass!]
- I never used to eat breakfast.
Now, breakfast is my FAVORITE meal of the day (oatmeal!)This was true before I decided to fix my crappy sleep habits. I started getting up at a regular time, going to bed at a regular time, eating breakfast and taking vitamins. All those benefits people told me I would have from doing that? never happened. When walking the half-marathon at my heaviest, I thought that everyone would look at me and say to him/herself, "Well, if SHE can do it, I certainly can!" At the 2010 half-marathon, I was passing up people that were MUCH thinner than me.I really want to walk a half marathon. I used to worry that I was an embarrassment to my family, because they are all thin. Now, I fit right in for the family pictures and I look like I belong.Yes and no. 8 years ago my sister who was heavy like me started losing weight and 3 years later looked good, and now looks fabulous [being near naked to get in my wedding gown while next to her a mirror was depressing as all hell] while I've been struggling for about 4 years, with serious effort for 2 1/2. My mom got gastric bypass 2 years ago and consequently dropped alot of weight and looked wonderful, and my dads weight yo-yos, but my extended family on my mom's side have always had good health so I always feel an embarrassment to them.
- I used to avoid social situations because of how fat I was and how
embarrassing it was for people to see me like that.
Now, I love to wear a cute outfit and spend time with friends.
- I used to think my husband was a liar when he told me I was pretty.
Now, I believe him.I want to believe him so badly. I'm not embarrassed to talk about how much I love certain foods anymore, even if it's a junk food.As a fat person, I thought it would be humiliating to say "I love cookies!" Now, I feel like it's okay to say that I love chocolate so much I would marry it if I could.
- When I was fat, Iused to wonder if every ache or pain in my chest
was a heart attack.
Now, I know that the odds are very unlikely that I'd be having a heart attack.My cardiologist says my heart is great, but my tachycardia scared the shit out of my and the arm pains have never been explained, but I'm going to keep exercising and trying to loose weight. My husband and I can lie next to each other on the couch now.I cant wait for that day, but I also want a deep counch where we could nap, with an animal cuddled up too [or kid] When my husband and I take a shower together now, we can trade places without bumping up against the walls of the shower.We don't really shower together, so I can't comment My underwear doesn't look like a slipcover for an over-sized arm chair anymore. I can buy cute undies!I acutally decided to start wearing the granny panties to support the apron and pull it in and hope for cute undies when I'm skinnier. when you can see 'cute' undies cutting your fat through loose jeans, it's just wrong.
- I used to shower 2 or more times a day in the summer because I was
worried that the sweating would make me smell bad.
Just one shower is definitely enough now :)I shower more now than when I was heavier. On the whole, I believe Americans shower too much. I shower twice a week, because any more and my hair dries out, and any less and my hair turns to strings. It's less noticeable when I don't exercise 5 days a week. Oh, and I feel decadent and wasteful showering twice a week and try not to be wasteful.
- I used to feel invisible when at a store--nobody would really pay
any attention to me.
Now, as shallow as it is to say it's because of my weight, people look and smile and offer to help me.I really don't care if that changes, most salespeople make me feel like I'm being assaulted. If I'm cold at a friend's house, I can ask to borrow a sweatshirt.In the past, I used to pretend I was comfortable just because I knew her shirt would never fit me. Didn't really have this problem, I usually asked for a blanket of grabbed a jacket from my car.
don'thave to take pictures at certain angles to get rid of my double chin... I simply don't have a double chin now!It's more of a jowl, and its a family trait. it will get smaller, but it will always be there and unflattering. I feel worthy of saying, "I'm hungry" or "I'm starved!"When I was fat, it would have been almost like a joke to admit to being hungry at 253 pounds. My husband can wrap his arms around me far enough to touch his elbows.the fiancee is tall and has always been able to touch elbows.
- I never used to drink water.
Now, I drink an entire quart first thing in the morning, and I get an additional quart or two throughout the day.before 2 1/2 yrs ago, I disdained water. couldn't stand it. then I started drinking tea by the gallon [brewed tea] because I had read about the benefits of green tea in weight loss and I had always been partial to tea. Since I was drinking far less diet soda, tea and water started tasting really great. Sadly, I still have phases of way too much soda. Sometimes I really just want the bubbles. I've set goals that I never would have thought possible when I was 253 pounds... like run a 5k, 10k, 15k, even a half-marathon. I truly believe that I can do those now.I have some new fitness goals. I'm excited about them. more on them later
- I've come to terms with the fact that I CAN'T "be like everyone else" when it comes to eating and drinking what I want, when I want. I'll have to do my own thing for the rest of my life, but I'm actually okay with that.
- I've really started to recognize signs of physical hunger (the not-so-obvious-as-my-tummy-growling kind of signs)--headache, empty feeling, crabbiness, weakness. I've learned that my stomach doesn't growl until long after I first get hungry.
- I truly ENJOY eating the foods I eat. I don't eat anything I don't
In fact, I haven't eaten a single salad throughout my entire 99+ pound weight loss!And! I will try things I havent tried before [like kale, hear I should try it] to see if I can add it to the things I like to eat that are great for me I can fit my whole self into ONE LEG of jeans I wore just 10 months ago.I don't know that I will ever be that skinny, I have no intention of being on the lower end of acceptable weight for my height [because my frame counts too, and I shouldn't be that skinny] The closer you get to your goal weight, the faster the clothes sizes drop.Look forward to that I've actually been hit on by men since losing the weight. That never happened when I was fat.I get hit on by fat lovers and fat fetishists all the time, usually older men, and it creeps me out.
- Knitting is one of my passions, but I never wanted to make
garments that I would wear--it takes a heck of a lot of yarn and a lot
Now that I can knit a size small or medium, knitting sweaters is definitely an option for me! And I did--I've made two sweaters so far.Knitting, crocheting, and sewing. Numerous people have told me that I inspire them. That just blows my mind! I've never been "the success story" before.If I only inspire my beloved, that's ok with me.
- I used to have horrible insomnia, and I would toss and turn all
Now, I sleep soundly (provided my kids actually let me!)Only when I'm stressed or it's the summer time. Ive had heat exhaustion a couple of times and it really messes with your tolerance for heat.
- I've saved a LOT of money from eating at home.
We used to eat out and order in very often, but now we never do.I truly enjoy home cooked food much more than restaurant food, and it's so much healthier. I do love to cook, and teaching my fiancee to cook. Not all the recipees are healthier though ;) When I went to see the gynecologist for my annual pap smear, I asked her about a lump I felt just under my breast. She informed that it was my rib! lolMaybe one year I wont feel embarrassed to have someone poking around down there because of my thick thighs my stomach lopping over, and hoping that it isnt somehow smelly down there. I would love to think I had a lump in my boob that's really just a rib. I can see my knee bones now. Before, it was just a big round joint, and now it's angular. I can see the bones in my hands and feet, too.Somewhat in my feet. I actually FEEL feminine now. When I was 253 pounds,I felt like a sexless blob. I try not to think about it too much, because I start myself in a horrible spiral of depression trying to understand how my fiancee thinks I'm attractive and not repulsive. Feeling feminine gives me the desire to style my hair, wear make-up, and wear cute clothes.I try to dress up and what not to not give up on my self completely. Hell, I even wear cute pajamas now!No more of my husband's t-shirts. I like wearing my fiancees shirts to sleep in. I'm sure I'd get a kick out of wearing cute pjs too.
- I make everything accommodate MY lifestyle now--if I'm going to a party and I don't think the food fits in with my plan, I simply don't eat it (I eat in advance). I don't let anyone make me feel guilty for doing what's best for ME.
My blood pressure is now 90/60! I've never had HIGH blood pressure,but it was about 120/80. I really hope regular exercise will bring this down. My resting heart rate is 50... it used to be 75.this too. Im hyper aware of my pulse rate I can wear cheap jewelry now--the cute necklaces, rings, and bracelets actually fit.
- My hands used to go completely numb sometimes, especially when I
That hasn't happened at all since I've lost the weight.It's happening now only because of soft tissue damage in my shoulders. Be warned, never overdo it at the gym!
- I don't feel self-conscious about what is in my grocery cart anymore... because 95% of what I buy is healthy food!
I feel really good about cooking dinner for my kids, because I know they are eating healthy. I make one meal for the whole family, I don't do a "diet" meal for myself and a "regular" meal for my family.The fiancee has been more than happy to switch to my diet.
- I enjoy food even MORE now--sweet foods taste sweeter, spicy foods taste spicier, creamy foods taste creamier, etc. It's like I have brand new taste buds that are super sensitive (in a good way!)
- I used to get excited to go to events like weddings and parties because of the food. Now, I rarely even eat at the events, and instead I enjoy spending time with people.
I rarely get cravings for any particular food anymore. And if I do, it's for something completely random (like an english muffin, or a really crisp apple, or oatmeal).I get cravings for very random, specific food pairings, some unhealthy, some healthy. I used to worry about getting sweat spots under my arms, and I would have to choose a shirt that wouldn't show the spots.Now, I only sweat while exercising. Ive never had a problem with sweating
- I used to not be able to fit into certain chairs, or it was a very
tight squeeze (chairs with arms).
Now, I usually have room on either side of me to spare.
- I used to love wearing oversized clothes in order to hide my body.
Now, I only wear fitted clothes and I get rid of all clothes that are even a little bit big.I wear some over sized, some fitted, but none tight, because they ride up and make me look like I dont know how to dress myself, and I know people in my life who do that. Momma taught me right.
- I choose what to eat based on whether it's really worth the
the beginning of my journey, eating a 100 calorie pack of cookies was no big deal, because I could eat a lot more calories. Now that I can eat a much smaller amount of calories, the 100 cal pack of cookies is a HORRIBLE deal. I would never waste 100 calories on something so small and not-tasty! I successfully gave up white flour for Lent. If you had told me just a year ago that I would do that, I would have laughed in your face.I enjoy whole grains a lot now! Once in a while, I have a dream that I binge like I used to, and it makes me feel horrible. When I wake up, I'm SO RELIEVED that it was just a dream! When I buy clothes, I can only plan on wearing it a couple of times before it's too big... so I shop at thrift stores and look for clearance items.I live in a mostly Latino town, most of my thrift shops are filled with clothes too tiny for me because the girls started families and around here [no offense intended] it's not a priority to loose weight after having babies. The department stores aimed at the anglo crowd are aimed at the upper middle class that live in the foot hills that are perpetually skinny and so the stores don't carry plus sizes. [no joke, the target near me no longer has a plus size section, just a maternity section] My bowels are very "regular" now... and that's all I'm going to say about that ;)Still have issues with that sadly I've lost 4 inches in my neck... my NECK!Strangely, my neck has never gained weight. My BMI category went from "morbidly obese" to "obese" to "overweight"... and now less than 10 pounds from being "normal".Even when I had lost 50 lbs, I was still morbidly obese. I was so waiting for the day when I was only obese. My thighs used to get chaffed from rubbing together. Now, they barely brush together when I walk.My thighs only chafe if I don't wear pants or shorts. I have a habit of wearing shorts under skirts, especially since it now helps prevent chaffing [as a kid it allowed me to play on the playground on chapel days]. The flipside is I tend to destroy pants by rubbing through thigh area.
- I used to be too self-conscious to wear shorts. I would suffer all
summer long in jeans.
As soon as the temp went up this year, I bought about 10 pairs of shorts.My calves got a lot slimmer but they still look so damn awkward in shorts. I went from a 24W down to a size 8 in just 10 months.in 10 months I went from a 20/22W to a 16R/18W. Currently, I am 18/20W. When I gained back, a good deal of it went to my stmach and hips.
- I used to look at old pictures of me when I was thinner, and wish
to look like that again. Or anywhere even close to that!
However, now I am THINNER than I was in those pictures! It's a very strange feeling.Even some pictures where I'm still overweight, but not nearly as bad, make me wish to be 'that thin' again. I walked a half marathon at 253 pounds, and one year later, at 165 pounds. It was a MILLION times easier and SO MUCH MORE FUN the latter time.
- My alcohol tolerance is much lower, now. I used to be able to drink a 6-pack of beer and not feel a thing. Now, my limit is 1-2 drinks before I start to feel like it's too much.
You know how when you get to a certain age, and someone asks how old you are, you have to stop and think for a minute? Well, I do the same thing with my weight. A lot of times, I still start off by saying, "Two--I mean, ONE hundred fifty-three pounds". It's going to take a while to get used to it. I actually enjoy drinking my coffee black and unsweetened now. I used to put about 1/4 cup of creamer in ONE cup of coffee! And not to even mention the amount of sugar...Because of the tachycardia, I dont drink coffee anymore. I really feel it was a trigger. and strangely, I binge on it. I don't need sugar in it, but I do need milk or creamer. My treadmill is no longer a dust collector. I actually use it when I can't get outside to run.I would love to have a treadmill or elliptical machine. Especially since my dog is dumb and walking/sprinting with her is difficult and not nearly as productive as I'd like. I used to "hoard" my WW points/calories for late in the day. I was always worried that if I use them now, I'll be STARVING later. Now, however, I use them when I'm hungry and in turn, I'm rarely hungry later in the day after using my calories. Also, I always used to think I had to save my "dessert" for a bedtime snack. Now, I eat my daily dessert whenever I feel like having something sweet!I try to have bigger breakfasts and then eat accordingly the rest of the day. I had started eating too little because I was so worried about going over my calories if I ate too much 'right now' I've gotten more adventurous since losing the weight. Trying new things, going out more, meeting new people. When I sit down, my stomach doesn't rest on top of my thighs anymore. I really can't wait to find out what that's like
I think you can see a reoccurring theme in all of this is I don't seem to be troubled by alot of the things that 'fat' people 'cant' do. I don't feel fat, I know it. There's a huge difference in that.
[list from Runs For Cookies]
So, to share some goals I made when I got back into exercising a few weeks ago:
I want to be able to run a 12-minute mile, for 3 miles total
I want to be able to do 20 push ups
I want to be able to hold a one-minute plank again
Not worry about fitting into the wedding dress we bought
I know that seems like a short list, but to me, that's all I need right now to work on.
Hope you all have a great new year!