Everybody knows at least one nonfat girl that obsesses about the tiniest flab, lone thigh dimple, or those pesky 0.48 pounds she needs to lose. For most, if not all of you, this is downright infuriating. When I was heavier, I never had big dreams of being thin because the possibility seemed so far out of reach. My dream was to be not morbidly obese. I dreamt of being in onederland, even if it meant weighing 199.9 pounds. I would go around saying that I’ll “always be a little chubby and there’s nothing I can do about that.”
In these past 78 weeks of my journey (by the way, I need to find a new word to describe this process because the word “journey” makes me cringe almost as much as “diet” does) my dreams have been ever evolving. This has been a huge reason for the success I’ve had so far – setting small, easily attainable goals and plowing through them on the way to my final destination.
If, 78 weeks ago, at 283 pounds, I set a singular goal of losing 156 pounds, I would more than likely still be at least 283 pounds today. Even Weight Watchers encourages you to set a small goal at first, like losing 5% to start. Losing the first 15 pounds let me know that I was on my way. When I hit onederland I was on top of the world. After hitting the one hundred pounds lost mark, I felt like I won the lottery. And with each new decade I entered, I beamed with pride as if I had reached lifetime.
But then something weird started happening. Often times when I mention I still have 20 pounds to lose, people will say “no way, you look great!” Of course casual friends and acquaintances aren’t going to say “yeah you’re totally still overweight so better keep hoofin’ on that treadmill,” but I took it as a compliment anyway. However, my closer and painfully honest friends and family have asked me on several occasions, “don’t you think you’ve already lost enough weight?” One even told me straight up to stop because I’m too skinny now. Okay, back the truck up. Let me just say that I’m definitely not skinny, much less too skinny; my family is just used to seeing a much…rounder version of me.
If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you can’t escape my mirror self-portraits. When I see these photos of myself, I know I don’t look fat, but it felt like the opposite rule applied to me: somehow, pictures subtracted ten pounds. Or it was just clever angle trickery. Surely I was still the fat girl I’ve always been in real life. I began to worry that I would never be happy with how I looked, and that I would turn into that aforementioned image-obsessed friend everyone has.
This week I achieved an extremely unexpected NSV: I purchased, squeezed into, buttoned, and zipped a pair of size four jeans. My not-even-a-month-old size sixes were starting to get loose around the waist and a little bit around my hips and thighs, which is normal when you break in clothes, but I was too curious to see if I could pull off a size four. Granted, they are jeggings, and perhaps Express employs vanity sizing, but they fit perfectly well, so I’ll take it. It is finally starting to hit me that I am sorta small, both horizontally and vertically, standing at juuust barely over 5’0″ (barefoot; I rarely leave the house in shoes less than 3″ high).
If it ever feels like I am going to turn into that weight-obsessed friend, I swear I won’t. I know I’m not that fat anymore, but I’m also very good at choosing the right clothes for my body. Whether I look like it or not, I’m still overweight, and still have a long road ahead of me. It may not be much longer until I reach my goal weight, but as anyone who is already there will tell you: maintenance might be even harder. Weight loss is just as much a mental and emotional process as it is a physical one.
Back in July, I did a hydrostatic body fat test and logged 30.2% body fat. This is a lot, but far less than the nearly 50% that I started out with. Next Saturday I’m going in for another test, and I am so anxious to see how far I’ve come in just over 15 weeks. I’m only about 13 pounds lighter, so I’m not anticipating a huge difference, but I hope that I am at least on the right track. I can’t stress the importance of knowing your body fat percentage enough, whether you’re 20 pounds or 200 pounds overweight. Get thee to the water tank (or bod pod), now!
Oh yeah, I almost forgot, it’s weigh day! Seminar and NYC vacation weight be gone.
Okay, this entry seriously took me more than four hours to write.