While, as a commenter recently noted, I am not a “TMI blogger,” I have occasionally blogged about some of my, er, weight issues over the last few months here at The Frisky. Back at the end of May, I wrote a post about how I was fatter than I’d ever been in my life. I asked for your help in getting started exercising, and you gave me some great tips. By early July, I was able to buy my first pair of skinny jeans. By the end of July, I figured I’d lost about 10 pounds. Now I think I’ve lost a total of about 20 pounds since I started. (I don’t have a scale, so I’m estimating.) After the jump, here’s what I learned. 1. Forget The Scale. I have a general idea of how much I weighed when I began this process because I went to the doctor and practically fell over when they weighed me. I’m not a small girl. I’m a big girl. I’m 6’1″, and I’d probably have done well if I’d become the basketball player my father would have wanted. I’ve rarely been “skinny” in my life. That’s just not how I’m built. But I have been pretty low in the digits a couple times in my life. I think not having a scale at home helped. I’m not sure I can say exactly why, but I think it had to do with the fact that it forced me to relate to my body, not a number.
2. Just Move Something. This sounds simple and obvious, but in a way it really wasn’t. By the time I’d gotten to my maximum weight, which I’d reached in part because I had kidney stones and spent a couple months lying on a sofa, the idea of moving at all seemed total overwhelming and impossible. I can still remember how wretched it felt to even go for those early exercise walks. I was stiff, in pain, and brimming with self-loathing. The responses I got from readers were really helpful, and I think made the truth subconsciously clear: It didn’t matter what I did, as long as I wasn’t prone on a piece of furniture.
3. Don’t Be Impatient. Easier said than done, but if I’d known from the get-go that it was going to take me two months just to lose the first 10 pounds, I would have gotten in a snit. I wanted to lose the first 10 pounds in 30 days. Well, that’s a nice goal, but it’s not reality. And if you’d told me back then that it was going to take me five months to lose 20, I would have given up. But that’s how long it took. In the end, time didn’t matter. What mattered was that I did it.
4. Forget Complicated Plans. To each her own, so maybe having a complex diet and exercise regime works for you. Lord knows it didn’t for me. I would say I lost weight by “exercising more and eating better.” Wow. How … novel. I mean, who would’ve thought? For me, it wasn’t about Atkins, PX90, or whatever else. It was about a slow commitment to getting out of the house and stuffing less fattening foods into my word hole. I think making it more complicated than that can make you feel overwhelmed. I cut back on carbs and pumped up my intake of fruits and vegs. I walked and did yoga. That’s about it.
5. Your Body Will Change You. I think the biggest thing for me is how my body has changed. I feel better, and my body looks different. It’s also a little strange. I have scapulae I hadn’t seen in a while. I sat on the curb the other day, and I could feel my butt bones. I dropped from a size 14 to a size 9, but it’s more about how my body looks than how my clothes fit. I feel more confident, and it’s easier to buy clothes. At the same time, where did my rear end go? I would like it back, please.
6. Enough With The Self-Hate. If you like your weight, no matter what that weight is, GREAT. More power to you. I didn’t like how I felt at the weight I was, and that’s why I lost it. What I wish I could take back isn’t the weight that I gained that necessitated weight loss, but I wish I could go back in time and stop the endless internal self-bashing that I imposed on myself when I felt I weighed more than I should. That crap was like shackles that held me down and kept me from moving forward. I regret that when I weighed more, I liked myself less.
7. What Else Helped. During this time, I also relocated and changed my life. That I did so may or may not be related to the weight loss. I think they were all part of a bigger something. Unfortunately, part of how I lost the second 10 pounds was due to stress: the stress of moving, the stress of changing my life, the stress of starting over. Do. Not. Recommend. I’m probably more likely to gain that weight back because I lost it under duress. Still, I’ve got something that’s starting to look like a new life, and I can actually see daylight between my thighs, and about those two things, you won’t hear my complaining.