Showing posts with label Body Image. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Body Image. Show all posts

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Will I ever be happy with my weight?

Firstly, the weigh-in. I last reported I was at 76 kg (167.55 lb) but the next day I was back to 77.8 kg (171.52 lb) where I stayed all week! I was that frustrated I returned to Alternate Day Fasting three days this week yet the weight didn't budge. I remained 77.8 kg all week long. Until this morning. Now I'm 75.7 kg (166.89 lb) and coming off a fast day I'm almost afraid to eat today. It's so frustrating when everything that's worked before doesn't seem to work anymore. So many women talk about that same thing happening once they are in their 50s. I'm starting to think my body just wants to stay in the 165 lbs range and I'm never getting back to my low weight of 158 just before my trip home, much less my goal of 150. My husband thinks I should stop obsessing over reaching my goal and just be happy where I am. He's not alone.

At my Halloween Party this year, at least three people said I was skinny now. I often hear I look great or so thin now and shouldn't worry about losing more weight. I am so not thin. I've talked about this before -- part of me thinks people are used to fat being normal, so because I am no longer morbidly obese and look more like most average people, I am fine and can stop now. But still I struggle and am frustrated because I have not reached my goal. My goal is 150 pounds, which is still overweight for me (I'm just under 5'4") but it's the goal I originally set for myself and I feel like if I give up before I get there, I've failed at yet another weight-loss effort. And truth be told, I'm not happy at this weight.

In saying that -- I recall a post from two years ago where I talked about where my struggles with weight first began. Back in high school I weighed about 165 pounds and I was never happy with that, thus starting a life-long battle with weight, and sending me skyrocketing into morbid obesity.

Now in my 50s I find myself frustrated because I've maintained a weight fluctuating between about 160-170 pounds for eight months now. I said two years ago that I was determined to succeed this time and I knew I wouldn't quit. That's why I keep obsessing about reaching my goal. But am I just reverting to that same high school girl who wasn't happy with herself and her weight at 165 pounds? Should I just be happy that I've lost as much as I have, that I'm no longer morbidly obese, and that I seem to be able to maintain at this weight?  I really struggle with wanting to find some balance between being happy with myself and who I am, and being someone who can achieve her goals. And if I'm happy at this weight, will I relax my efforts to continue losing and possibly regain? Is my whole life going to be about what I weight and what I eat from now on? When is enough enough?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Learning to Grieve

So the next chapter of "A Life Complete" by Sallirae Henderson deals with Learning to Grieve. This chapter resonated with me on a few levels. Firstly, she discussed grieving the loss of the familiar. I went through that when I first moved to Australia, and the first couple years were difficult for me. In all the big ways, life here isn't all that different than it was in America. I still have a home, a car, a job, friends and family, etc. But in a thousand small ways it's really different and there was an adjustment period. I missed finding my favourite products in the stores, or celebrating holidays they don't have here. Christmas is in summer, my birthday is now in winter, we drive on the left, and in some ways I even had to learn a new language. Australian English really can be quite unique, with a whole new set of slang words and expressions! There are so many little differences that initially I went through a bit of mourning for the familiar.  I've been here ten years and for the most part I've adjusted fine. I've learned to substitute or do without some things, and for other things there are now import shops and/or online shopping.

Nowadays what I miss most is people with whom I spent my youth and years of shared memories and traditions. I have friends here, but no one who has known me all my life -- no one who remembers all the crazy things we did when we were young. I can share stories with people, but it's not the same as having lived through it with me. I imagine that's kind of what it's like when you get older and most of your friends and family have passed before you. I stay in touch with people from home via phone when I can, but most are not online so that's all I can do, really. I definitely grieve for those I can no longer call, having lost both parents and all grandparents.

Next she discusses how we might grieve our lost youth. We may feel bad about ourselves as we age due to all the advertisements on TV, radio, billboards and magazines featuring products to make us look younger and sexier, with 24-hour 800 numbers so you can buy their products right now (suggesting you don't want to spend another minute succumbing to the effects of age). "How can we feel good about our ageing selves when we're made to feel we must nip in the bud immediately?" The models in those ads seem younger every year and it can be hard to relate.  Suffering from PCOS brings enough symptoms that make me feel unfeminine, so adding loose skin and an ageing appearance as I lose weight can really do a number on my self esteem if I let it. I try not to - I don't spend a lot of time focusing on the negative things, but neither do I feel happy and positive with what I see in the mirror most days. It's not how I expected to feel having lost nearly 100 pounds, so I truly wish I had done it sooner.

Sallirae says that periods of 'time out' to allow the processing of small losses may be necessary, or it may take a year or longer to recover from a major loss of the loved and familiar. Allowing ourselves this time to grieve may save us from the awful devastation of having it all crash down on us in our last years. I do try to find ways to stay in a good headspace most days and I don't really want to spend time grieving a youth I can never revisit. I continue to focus on facing fears, trying new things, and learning new skills to keep my mind sharp (I'm learning to write code). Hopefully I'll start singing again as that's always brought me joy. I've got strong spiritual beliefs. I meditate, but not as often as I'd like - I would like to find time to do more of that, as it helps me find peace within myself.

As far as friends and family, I am planning a trip home to the States next year. By then I should be at a healthy weight and hopefully far enough into maintenance that the familiar foods from home aren't a major temptation. There are a few people I can't wait to see again, as I haven't been home since 2006. And if I've reached my goal and am looking and feeling my best, that would be nice.

How about you? Those of you who are at or approaching middle age, do you find yourself missing who you once were or things you once did that maybe you don't or can't do anymore? If you got to your goal weight later in life, did you find it wasn't all you hoped it would be? What things do you grieve?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Weigh-in, body image and Leigh's delicious Ratatouille!

Weigh-in stats first. I am 93.0 kg this morning (205.03 lb) and that is a loss of .4 kg (.88 lb) from last week. [Total loss to date 37.3kg or 82.23 lb.] I'll take it, though truthfully I had hoped for a bigger drop. Hubby reminds me that's almost a pound and that I tend to alternate smaller and bigger drops week to week now. Yeah I guess.

I would probably be happier about it if I were happy with my body shape right now. Yes, it's nice to hear compliments from friends and co-workers, and I'm delighted to have bought a couple of new outfits in size 16 now that, while slightly snug they do fit comfortably. I am shrinking so I buy the smallest size I can fit into now. I should be thrilled but truthfully I'm in a bit of a funk.

I want to put up new pictures soon, but when I take them I only see the fat remaining, not how far I've come. If I lay in bed and put my legs straight up in the air I am amazed how thin, sleek and shapely they look now. But standing up normally I only see the loose skin starting to gather on the inner thighs. Laying on my side I have an amazing curve shape, with a lovely dip from hip to waist that hubby loves to wrap his arms around ... but the fat that's left decides to gather in front and remind me that I have far to go yet and even once I'm at goal the belly region will never be pretty.

Getting such a large amount of weight off is much more important than any loose skin issues I may have, and I know that. Most of the time I feel fabulous about my accomplishments to date. But when I look at my body in the mirror or take photographs, I still don't like what I see. I'm not someone with body hatred issues, I'm secure in who I am these days and have a healthy amount of self-love, it's not about that. It just can be hard to see what others see. Hard to see how far I've come instead of how far I have to go. So sometimes ... just sometimes ... I get in a bit of a funk. So that's where I am today.

Last week's running intervals were three and five minutes, and I never thought I could do five but I did. That did give me a hell of a confidence boost, I must say. But what do I have to look forward to next week? Monday will be all five minute intervals ... three of them with three minutes walking in between. So far I have repeated each new level three times before advancing but not this time. Believe it or not Wednesday I'll be expected to run eight minutes! Then Friday ... 20! Seriously?! I mean I knew that I couldn't do three minutes, but then I did. Then I was sure I would not be able to do five minutes, but I did. And now I am equally certain I am not ready for eight, much less twenty! I'm tempted to stretch this week into three weeks by doing each level three days instead of one, but a runner friend advised me to try it rather than talk myself out of it. We'll see. It just sounds impossible right now.

Last night we made Leigh's fabulous Chicken Ratatouille and hubby and I both loved it! We had a choko (chayote squash) on hand so I substituted that for one of the zucchini, and used Lebanese eggplants in place of the regular eggplant. We really enjoyed this - in fact the only thing I would change is to cut the chicken into bite size pieces rather than leave the breasts whole. We had a couple of smaller pieces that I threw in and they seemed to absorb the flavours better so we'll try that next time. It was definitely delicious.

That's it for today, we're off to shop for a new electric wok and then groceries. Have a great weekend.