After having lost over 125 lbs., (on Weight Watchers) I am still struggling to see the “new” me at times. I think one of the reasons why I struggle with this is that my body is still “shaped” the same as before just now smaller. I still see my abdomen as a large round protrusion. I might be sitting here typing in a pair of size 6 Levi’s but I still see the size 20W abdomen/belly. I still see the roll on my upper stomach. I still see what I used to see.
The mind/body disconnection one encounters in weight loss is both frustrating and discouraging! I have read that this is a major factor in people regaining their weight as they never really see themselves as thinner and so they feel it is hopeless and stop trying to eat and live a healthy lifestyle. I can believe that. “Feeling fat” and “seeing fat” are head trips that our mind sends us on. Why do I say this? Because when I was morbidly obese, I didn’t see myself in that way at all. I saw a woman with sexy curves, not fat rolls. IF our mind can help us not face the reality when we were obese, it stands to reason that our mind will not allow us to see the new thinner, healthier self either!
There is a strange battle going on inside my head. One second I can see myself in a mirror and think, “wow I look really thin” and the next minute look down and think “my stomach is huge!” Such contrasting thoughts. The goal is to see “reality” on a consistent basis and put those “fat” thoughts as rare occurrences. I do think I have turned a corner in my journey to greater health as I feel I am seeing more “thin” than “fat” now. There is a thin line that is walked minute by minute but overall the tide has turned to thinner healthier self-images.
I am not a patient person by nature and this has tested my patience beyond words! I look at my reflection in the mirror and start thinking “I bet surgery would take care of most of the ‘negative’ I am seeing. ” I think that for a second and come back to reality and think, give it time! Give time and your body an opportunity to “heal” and “repair” itself. While I know my skin will never be that perfect smooth taut skin seen in magazines and on 20 somethings at a Florida beach, it will get better. Time does heal all wounds. Time heals wounds not permanent scars. My mind is wounded, my body is scarred.
I admire the women and men who can look at their stretch marks, sagging arms, wrinkling skin and are proud of where they are now versus where they used to be. I am having to learn that these things are badges of honor not time’s curses. This is the “ugly” side of weight loss that most do not want to talk about or even acknowledge that it exists. The body’s aftermath of weight loss. I should say “extreme” weight loss as I am referring not to losing 5-20 extra pounds, but over one hundred pounds of extra weight. I would love to see health insurance companies view this as a covered expense for those who have lost extreme amounts of weight. Perhaps if burn centers would reach out to weight loss companies/centers for skin donors for surgeries this would help too. Two lives could be changed forever through skin donations.
It is Friday the 13th. A lucky Friday the 13th! I am alive and feeling energetic and healthy! Two years ago, I had just begun my quest for greater health and not even started exercising or walking and was down about 15 pounds. A year ago, I was exercising/walking on a daily basis and getting closer to my goal weight. with 98 pounds gone! And three years in, I am down about 27 pounds more than I was a year ago. Yes the weight loss side is basically closing out; but the mental changes and physical changes are still happening! I am pushing to be able to soon say that I have lost half my body weight. THAT is a HUGE accomplishment!
I am trying to be more patient with my body and accept that some things are the way they are and learn how to be happy with the things I cannot change. Isn’t that what life is about; acceptance and happiness?