How I Feel After Losing 50 Pounds
I’ve been fairly quiet about the life changes I’ve made in my diet around the internet. Every once and a while I’ll post to my Instagram stories about it or mention it here on my blog. It feels inauthentic to leave this large part of my life out of the blog and off of my social media on purpose, and it also feels redundant to skitter around it with introductions and explanations every time I talk about it.
Here’s the facts of it: I changed my diet and started going back to the gym around November 1st of 2017. I’ve been eating low carb and focusing mostly on cardio, as I can’t afford a “nice” gym with real trainers and I’m afraid to start lifting weights and doing it wrong and hurting myself. I’ve stumbled up and down, had months stuck at the same weight, and been good and bad at keeping up with healthy habits. My starting weight was 255 and right now I’m hovering around 205 as of August 2018. This blog post is a snapshot in time as I’m halfway to my goal weight.
To start: Right now, I am very thankful for what I’ve accomplished. I spent 3 months absolutely stuck at 235 and I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere, and to look back and recall that exhausted girl feels like shedding a real and metaphorical skin.
When I first hit 50 pounds lost (i’ve actually gone up and down and hovered around it a couple of times now. Weight loss is not linear for me, and that’s a secret I wish someone would have told me earlier.) Sam filled a trash can with water and weighed it out to 50 pounds and made me pick it up to see what 50 pounds actually felt like. I don’t feel like it’s exciting or any kind of new content to say “it was heavy and I was surprised I had been carrying that much weight around with me for so long” but, well, that was what it felt like. Especially because when it comes to the day to day of weight loss I barely notice a difference in myself when I look in the mirror. I think I look drastically different in pictures and as someone who cares a lot about clothes and how I look in clothes I noticed a huge difference in the way my clothes fit, but when I look in the mirror I see the same girl. I wouldn’t consider this to be what the kids are calling “body dysmorphia” I just think I’m kind of a dumb bitch and I don’t notice things with my blind ass eyeballs. Through the process of living together and cooking low carb, Sam has also lost 25 pounds and I think he looks exactly the same as when we met only with a much longer warrior’s wolf tail hairdo.
I actually think my inability to see a change in my body was the reason it took so long to realize I was getting to be chunky. If you’ve read my story with sewing and body image, you’ll know I always thought I was low key chunky growing up because I was a foot taller than all of my other friends and less of size 00 and more of a size 8 to 10. So when I became more of a size 14 to 16 in college due to a fun cocktail of bipolar disorder, meds, and bad decisions, I really didn’t notice. My clothes didn’t fit anymore sure, but I was pretty sure I still looked *basically* the same. Sure, my parents tried to fat intervention me every time I came home from college and when I saw a photo of myself I was unhappy with the chunk factor happening there, but I didn’t *really* need to put effort into losing weight because when I looked in the mirror I looked like I thought I would look.
It’s weird how losing weight mirror’s getting fat in the way that it happens so slowly and subtly that you never anything happening. The difference with losing weight (for me, at least) is that every day is spent thinking about food critically instead of gluttonously. I like to think of this less as restriction and more as redirection. I used to think all day about food in a kind of fantasy, using taste and bloated fullness to mask my discomfort with my life and myself. Now instead of ravenously thinking about burritos, I think critically about where my next meal is coming from and how it can help me instead of hurting me.
Before I started eating differently I was sick to my stomach all the time. I had constant painful stomach aches and to be tasteful about it- my bowel movements were literally never normal. I'm not saying cutting carbs will cure your cancer and grow your crops, but once you start putting gas in the car instead of just grabbing handfuls of dirt and throwing it into the tank it actually starts working correctly. My skin has improved drastically, apart from my skin picking which has definitely gotten worse. I think I'm leaning a little harder into my other neuroses since giving up emotional eating: my skin picking is really bad and I'm drinking A LOT of iced coffee and diet coke which makes me more neurotic. I don't talk about my anxious ticks a lot on this blog and I try to photoshop my scars on my back out which is where I do the most damage with the skin picking, but if your interested in hearing more about that journey I'd be happy to talk about it.
It's easy to write this post and boil it down to: I lost 1/5 of my body weight and I feel gr8!!! But the truth of it is for the past few weeks I've been struggling. When Sam and I were moving we gave up on cooking for 2 or so weeks while our kitchen was packed up and I pushed the diet restrictions aside for the sake of ease. A few months before that I had to let going to the gym fall to the side because it no longer fit in between my 2 jobs. We've been living in our new apartment for a little over a month and we still haven't gotten the hang of preparing food so I've been half on the low carb horse for about 2 months. I'm feeling discouraged by our habits but the important part of it is that I can see the problems in my life and actively change them to better myself.
I'm stepping away from my current position at Rochester Brainery into a much smaller time commitment in order to better take care of myself and my partner. I'll be able to go back to the gym and not rely on Sam to cook dinner 5/7 nights a week. I'm excited by these changes and know that sometimes self-care is taking a tough love look at your life and making the hard decisions that will make you feel better long term.
I'd love to hear feedback on this post. If you hate it, find it triggering, or think this is all nonsense, please let me know with *kind* words. If you love it and are interested in the topic I'd love to hear that too. Mostly I'd like to hear about your strategies for long-term self-care and how you take care of your body.