Sunday, 10 July 2011

At a Crossroad...

Dropped off for a couple of days.  I'm still doing okay.  But I'm deep in thought.

I worked at the Gym job on Saturday morning and lots of ladies that I don't usually get to see in my afternoon shifts came in and commented on how great I looked and how much weight I'd lost since the last time they had seen me.  They were all astounded to hear that I still wanted to lose 25 more.  In their eyes, I looked great and was a healthy weight.  I'm not talking just one or two women.  I'm talking about 5 or 6 completely different conversations that all seemed to go the same way...

Of course it got me thinking.  Do I need to keep losing?  I have achieved all but two of my goals for weight loss. 

The first being that I wanted to be wearing a "medium" size top.  I didn't ever want to have to say, "I'm a large..." anything ever again.  I know LOTS of women at healthy weights (in my eyes) that wear a large t-shirt.  But in my head, it's called a large because that's what it is and I just didn't want to be "large" anymore.

The second being that I wanted to be considered at a healthy weight for my age and height according to the charts in the doctor's offices.  For me, that is a range between 140-160lbs.  My goal was to end up right in the middle of that range at 150lbs, giving me a bit of leeway when it came to fluctuations. 

I know that this journey should not necessarily be about the number on the scale.  I know there are many, many more factors that contribute to overall health than that.  But, I'm trying to decide how it should be judged for me.  Should I keep striving for that specific number on the scale? 

I'm certainly feeling burnt out lately when it comes to the weight loss struggle.  After making the promise not to binge for 7 days, it was all I could think about.  Cat always tells me to be be kind to myself, and I wasn't.  I was beating myself up over the urges I was having to eat.  I was saying mean things to myself, thinking mean things when I looked in the mirror.  I was trying to convince myself that I wasn't good enough for yet another reason.  I was telling myself that I would be a failure if I didn't follow through with what I said.

Always in my life I've had a hard time deciding when to be satisfied and when to push for more.  It is an on-going life lesson for me that I am very slow to learn.  I am the type of person who strives for perfection, I hate the phrase "it's good enough."  And I very seldom choose to accept less than what I originally set out for.

So I'm thinking right now.  I'm deciding to stay neutral on the topic of my weight at this point.  After almost 2 years of fighting myself at every meal, and of giving myself convincing pep-talks about goals and hopes whenever a craving strikes, I am exhausted.  I am going to continue following my Weight Watchers program simply to ensure I do not gain weight, but I think I'm going to ask not to see my weight results for awhile.  I am not going to monitor every point (or calorie) that I eat so very closely.  I am going to track, like I always have, but I'm not going to obsess over it any more.  I'm going to remain active and see if I can build more muscle and hopefully tone some of the excess skin I have.

I spoke to my mom (who is active and at a healthy weight) about my thoughts and she said she thinks I look great and pointed out that I have a lots of extra skin- which obviously contributes to the number on the scale.  And, if/when I have surgery to remove the excess skin, it's possible that I may lose 10-12 lbs of flesh.  But, with the number that is on the scale right now, that would still put me at about 166 lbs- which is still technically considered "over-weight" by the doctor's chart.  My BMI is 27.9 (which is overweight) and my body fat % was 32.7 in May (which by some is still considered obese.)  All these measurements say I still need to lose weight.  But many of the people I know seem to feel differently...

Part of the problem I'm having is seeing beyond that skin.  For some reason, when I look in the mirror, my brain tells me that that skin is fat.  My reflection is the same as when I was fat, just deflated.  But what I'm realizing now, is that if that skin were fat, I would weight A LOT more than I do.  I can see muscle under the skin.  I can see bones.  So I know that I have come a long way from where I started.  I need to spend some time trying to see the shape my body is in beneath the skin...but it's very difficult for me to see past it right now.  (Sorry, I'm just not brave enough to post a picture of the stomach side of my body.LOL)

I know that all the things I don't like about my body are because of that skin.  I had originally said that I would wait until I was 30 to have the skin removal surgery, because that's when "they" say your skin stops producing the elastic that allows your skin to retain it's shape.  Another reason I was going to wait was that if I decided to have a baby, I wouldn't want to end up with a whole new layer of excess skin.  But I'm 26 right now, and it's really difficult for me to imagine working this hard to lose the weight, and still not be able to see the real results for 4 more years.

Am I being vain?  Am I looking for excuses to quit?  Should I ignore what my friends and family are saying and continue to steam roll towards my original measurement oriented goal?  What do you all think?  I'm sure some of you have been at this impass, this crossroads...  Please weigh in... 

8 comments:

  1. The hardest part of this entire journey is patience.

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  2. Cole
    I just read this post and am feeling so much for you right now
    I don't have time to "properly" comment
    BUT I HAD to tell you that
    you are
    amazing
    beautiful
    and so worth it!!!!
    Whatever "it" is, it's yours!!!
    Sending you much love and understanding

    PS I think being neutral and sticking to the WW program is the perfect gift you can give to yourself....
    and honey your are NOT vain!!!

    love and light sweet lady
    love and light

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  3. one more thought....
    remember friend there is a season for everything...maybe this is the season of rest and maintaining.....

    love and light
    ((hugs))

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  4. Listen to your body. Listen to your mother. I am of the same thinking as you about the BMI and healthy weight. There is nothing keeping you from getting there...later. Give yourself a little time to stabilize your weight and rest your mind. I like your plan of continuing with the journaling and the exercise, and not obsessing with the scale. Just do it for a couple of months and see how it goes. Hugs.

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  5. Absolutley nothing wrong with maintaining for a month and then reevaluating!!! Youre doing awesome!!

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  6. We can always re-evaluate our goals based on new information. You will need to have the skin removed because it has stretched out; you cannot tone it up. You can certainly go at a slower pace or just maintain for a time. Relax. Enjoy life now. Just don't throw structure out the window. Talk to someone at WW who is on maintenance and ask them about the pitfalls and the things to be careful about. We just have to realize that we are never going to be able to eat absent mindedly or recklessly. We will always have to be aware of what we are doing and why we are doing it.

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  7. This post is incredible, you have come so far. Who would have known that after losing ALL that weight and being so successful there would still be so much soul searching and planning to be done? Do what you feel is right for you. Maintenance is a whole different animal from what I've heard - maybe focusing on that for a while then as a way to shift gears and find your new center would be good. You are amazing!

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  8. I just found your blog and I think this post is great. I have lost 84 pounds and I look in the mirror and see all the hanging skin which, especially on my arms looks worse than before. It's really hard to get used to this new body. I think taking the focus from the scale for a short time is ok as long as your healthy active lifestyle continues. I look forward to hearing more from you!

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