I thought losing weight was supposed to make life easier. I’ve lost 13 lbs since I started this blog post and I am feeling great. But, I’m finding it even more difficult to get dressed in the morning. Nothing seems to fit right, feel good or look great anymore.
Sometimes I look in the mirror and think I look a lot worse than I did before. I have had to actively engage my mind in these moments to stop body-shaming itself and be reminded that, even though I may not feel it at the moment, I am thinner than I was a few months ago.
Back in 2008-09 I lost a bunch of weight. But, I didn’t really realize how well I had done and how fit/healthy I was. No one really acknowledged it. People were telling my husband all the time how much weight he had lost and how good he was looking. But, no one really said anything to me. And so, the reality of what I had accomplished never really set-in.
Fast-forward 5 years and I am looking at pictures of that time and find myself saying: “Holy crap! I looked amazing back then. Look how thin I was!”
But, I never really realized it at the time. In my mind I was still a huge, fat, frumpy, monster. I would be embarrassed when I saw pictures of myself BACK THEN because I thought I looked disgusting. 50 lbs heavier and I am extremely camera-shy. I reserve the right to “approve” all photos of me before my husband dare post them on Facebook. Yet, when I was 50 lbs lighter I still felt this way about myself. Something was definitely wrong with my thinking. This was a huge revelation to me. I didn’t realize how great I looked. Despite all the work I had put in and the obvious results, I didn’t see it.
Years later, as I looked at those pictures, getting slightly angry at myself for how hard I was on myself back then, I was determined to never let that happen again and I made 2 promises to myself:
- I would get back to that weight.
- I would make sure I realized it.
Perhaps that’s part of why I write this blog. I refuse to allow myself to do the hard work and not give myself due credit. I do not want to lose 5, 10, 20, 30, etc. lbs and yet still feel like crap because I haven’t realized how much I have accomplished and the fact that I do look better.
So, when I have weeks like I’ve been having when I try on different shirts, pants, skirts, fail to find anything that looks good and feels comfortable, and my mind automatically goes to that negative place of: ‘oh, your so fat. Look at that- it’s disgusting…’ and all the rest of the negativity and personal body-shaming that has existed in my head for most of my life, I have to stop myself.
You are doing great.
You have made huge lifestyle changes.
You are beautiful.
You are losing weight and feeling great.
You are making a difference.
Despite how it looks and feels at the moment, it is better than it was.
You will make and have already made great progress.
Keep it up.
So, despite the fact that my pants and underwear fall down making me uncomfortable and I have lost weight in one area which seems to have just made it pop-out in another area, I remind myself that I am heading in the right direction.
My body is going to look and feel differently throughout this process.
The most important thing is to love it where it is, encourage myself that we are on the right track, understand that there will be adjustments, remind myself of my progress, keep my chin up and try to approach things with grace and patience.