Well, as updates go, I'm still losing and doing well. As of today I'm down to 154.2. My doctor had set the initial goal for me of 150 which I privately knew I wanted to be at 125 but at the time that seemed so unreachable. Now, I think it may not only be doable, but this may be one of the first times in my life that I have set a long term goal, stuck with it...and then reached it. Yes, I know, I still have some more weight to lose but I've come so far...I just don't see any stopping at this point.
I was trying to think about what to post this month, rather than the same ol' same ol'. I always try to post on something that I've learned or experienced, some new goal I've reached....I've tried to stay positive because I really feel like staying positive throughout this difficult journey is one of the things that has helped keep me on target. However, I do want to share some of the changing of the tides (so to speak) in the levels of support that I have received from others around me. Now, not to bash these people, because I really don't think the things that they say are meant to be hurtful or harmful, but when people are losing weight, I just don't think others really understand how impactful their words can be.
When I started losing weight, I got mostly positive feedback. You know, everyone is a cheerleader at that point. They are all happy that you've made the decision to make a change. What really made me happy was as the weight loss really started to show, I started to have other women come to me that struggled with their weight and ask me what I was doing. I have had some really great conversations with these women and even started a few new friendships out of this bonding over our struggles. I loved sharing my story that I was once embarrassed about if that meant it could help motivate someone else to make some healthier changes.
Now.....the reactions started changing, I'd say when I hit about the 65 to 70 pound loss range. The conversations always start with some compliment and then "how much weight have you lost??" Now when it was just 30 pounds or so, the response was usually "that's great!" or something like that. Now that the numbers have increased...I do still get the supportive "that's great!" but there's also an "oh my gosh!!" with an additional look over of my body....and then the dreaded question that has now been added....."well, how much MORE do you want to lose?" OR just the closing comment of "well, I hope you aren't planning on losing too much more" or "don't lose too much weight" or " wow, you don't look tired or anything..alot of people that lose that much weight look so tired!" or "did you have weight loss surgery??"...the list goes on and on.....
I think the one that offends me the most is " just don't lose too much weight". I really would like to ask them. Do you have any idea how hard it is to lose this amount of weight in the first place and then maintain it? Do you think I actually want to lose TOO MUCH weight?? It's hard enough just to try to hit an ideal weight, much less being under weight. And for the record...I'm 5'3 and small framed (a double curse if you ask me), the weight chart says I should be 104 to 141 pounds to be in a healthy weight range, so technically I'm still overweight. When I've explained that point to people and that I used to weigh 125 just 15 years ago, they remind me I'm no longer in my 20s.....Well that is true but just because I'm older does that mean I'm supposed to throw up my hands and give up and say its ok to be overweight from here on out?? That's what I WAS doing and I wasn't happy or healthy. And maybe I will find that I'll plateau and have a difficult time getting to the 120s.....but it hasn't happened yet so why are other women so determined to tell me I can't or shouldn't do it? Its funny how it seems to start out where people want you to do a good job....just not too good of a job with the weight loss thing. Am I eating enough? Well, lets see...I eat every 2-3 hours and I guarantee the chicken and rice I just ate was healthier than the bag of Cheetos you just ate. Do I exercise? I get up at 4:00 am before the rest of the family wakes up because it is the only time that I have to myself in the day
...I do 1 hour of cardio 5 days a week...plus light weights, plus pilates/yoga when I can, oh yeah, I have 3 year old so we play outside/inside 24/7 in between those hours of exercise. If feel like I'm being questioned to see if I'm starving myself because I certainly couldn't have lost all this weight a healthy and natural way...no...that is unheard of!!
One of my good friends that started this journey with me had a heart to heart with me about her losing weight. She started off very strong and was actually losing much quicker than I was. She stalled in her weight loss a few months ago and has never really been able to lose much more and that's really where I began to really pick up on mine. But that's also where I was really able to get my work outs going (I had a fractured foot, and couldn't work out before that because my blood pressure was so dangerously high). After I had vented about some of the negative things people were saying, she admitted that she was happy for me but she was also struggling with being jealous of my success. I admitted I had noticed some of that which is why I no longer mentioned how much I had lost...in fact we really didn't even talk about it anymore unless someone else brought it up. It was one of the those uncomfortable conversations that you sometimes have to have between friends where she thought I was actually passive agressively complaining about her. I'm glad we were able to clear the air but it still makes me feel bad....there's nothing I can do about her frustrations and she is working really hard...
Anyway, what I have learned in the past couple of months is that gaining weight can be a lonely and isolating process but losing weight can also have the same effect at times. Now I'm not saying that I would want to gain it all back because of this!!! No way! But other peoples' reactions can be hurtful. I did have one insightful person say something that I believe to be a bit profound and I am holding onto this. She said....Don't let other people's level of uncomfortableness with YOUR personal success influence your experiences in this journey.
She then advised me to keep my numbers private. It's no ones business but mine. So that's what I'm now doing. Of course I'm still telling a few that are close to me. But when others ask, I simply respond..."alot" and smile.
Okay, venting session over. I feel better