Whatever Wednesday: Owning my obesity


Way back in late 2010, the last week of December, to be exact, I decided to weigh myself. I hadn’t been on a scale in months. Too busy running a house with three kids 6 and under. I didn’t have the time. I liked being an ostrich. If I didn’t think about it, it didn’t matter, right?

Wrong.

My feet killed me. I mean, really killed me. Sharp shooting pains in my arches. My knees were giving out. I could hardly stand up once I sat down. My legs were weak. My arms were weak. Walking was a chore. I’d get out of breath just going from the living room to the kitchen. Shopping at Wal-mart exhausted me. I couldn’t play with my kids. A blob on the couch. This was not living. Sidelined in my own life instead of a participating. Life is not meant to be lived like this.

So I got on the scale.

On the Wii. Which, as those of you who have Wii know, can be harsh. Not only does your Mii suddenly put on a Sumo Wrestler fat suit, the computerized voice shrieks for the whole world to hear that you’re “OBESE.”

Sighs.

Obese. Me. Yup.

I’m 5’8. I weighed in at 281lbs that day. I cried. 19 pounds away from 300 pounds. Wow. In my head, I 300 pounds was the number I would never reach. Yet here I was. Staring the bad boy down. So disgustingly close.

No wonder my feet were sore by noon. No wonder my knees were constantly giving out. No wonder my back killed me. No wonder I couldn’t play with my kids. I was OBESE.

This had to change. No more excuses. Time for action.

I started slowly with Wii. I did guided work outs via the Trainer in Yoga. I did Choose your own workouts too. Signed up for My Fitness Pal and tracked my calories. Stopped eating crap. Drank more water. Moved on from Wii to real world hiking at a local botanical garden. I tweeted about my progress. Shared on Facebook too. So many friends encouraged me. I found @bookieboo on Twitter. Started using the #mamavation hashtag occasionally and found even more support.

I could play tag with my kids in the front yard and keep up with them. I walked the neighborhood with them – 1.5 miles up and down some mildly hilly terrain. While pushing  a double stroller. I went from not able to push that stroller up a hill to looking forward to the burn I would feel in my thighs. I bitch-talked myself up and down some nasty hills in my in-law’s neighborhood. I KNEW I could do it. And felt so proud of myself when I did.

Eight months after that horrific weigh-in, I’ve lost a little over 50 pounds.

Earlier this summer, I was hiking 3 miles every day. 1.5 if it was really humid and hot because let’s face it – there’s exercising and then there’s insanity. I’m not quite insane. These days, I’m hooked on an exercise bike. I’m up to 8miles in 30 minutes. I’m a hot sweaty stinky mess when I’m done and I love it. If you had told me I’d be this into exercise a year ago, I probably would have laughed at you.

Exercising and eating right have become a habit. People notice I’m healthier and looking better. They ask me how I’m doing it – expecting me to answer with some sort of fad or get thin quick scam. I’m not into those. I’m into lifestyle changes. Yes, it takes time. But it’s a lasting change. I’m less likely to put the weight back on given that my habits have changed. There’s literally no change in cost to me – no diet pills, no gym membership, no fad foods. Everyone loses weight differently and yes, some people need the structure of a program. Turns out I just needed the motivation of staring down 300 pounds to run in the other direction.

Technically, I’m still obese if you go by the numbers. My BMI is 35. It WAS 42.7.

I don’t feel obese. I can run up and down 14 steps without getting winded. AFTER going for 30 minutes on the exercise bike. I don’t cling to the railing of the stair case for fear I’ll collapse. My thighs are slowly developing muscle definition. I don’t crave (alot of) fatty foods. I haven’t had soda in.. well…. it’s been a long damn time. I’m not capable of pigging out anymore because I get full quickly these days. Water and I are best pals.

I still want to lose 80lbs for a total of 130lbs lost. So yes, I have a long way to go but I’m taking it day by day and as long as I continue to feel healthier and see changes in my body for the better, the numbers really don’t matter. I don’t use My Fitness Pal anymore. My diet has changed so much I’m capable of keeping my calories where they need to be without really thinking about it. I don’t deny myself an indulgence here and there. I just work out harder or eat lighter the rest of the day if I know I’m going to indulge.

Losing the weight has also improved my mood and outlook on life. It’s shown me I can do anything if I just decide to push through the barriers. You can too. There’s fight deep inside you even if you don’t feel it right now. It’s there, just dying to get out and push you forward. Let it escape and motivate you through the hard times. You’ll be glad you did… trust me.

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10 thoughts on “Whatever Wednesday: Owning my obesity

  1. Great post Lauren, I agree that losing the weight changes our moods. I am amazed at how different my outlook is now. I still have a way to go but my attitude is great. I feel better than I have in years. AND sleep like a baby!
    You are doing great! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Pingback: Link Shares – Aug 5 « 52 Weeks, 52 Pounds

  3. I’m so proud of you–for posting this and for being so motivated! Motivation is a HUGE struggle for me & so many people I know. (Though it’s probably partly because I am so sleep deprived.) I could never work out the way you are. Huge pat on the back and bravo to you, Lauren. You’re such an amazing woman in many ways.

    I’m shamelessly plugging my BFF’s blog now because I think you might like it & her. She is on a weight-loss journey to lose over 100 pounds and she’s doing great. The feedback she has received on her blog I know she finds extremely motivational and encouraging. I am so proud of her for starting her blog so that others may be inspired. Her site: http://thirtythreeandcounting.com/

    • Thank you! You’re right… weight IS difficult for women to talk about – there are two things one is never supposed to ask a woman: her age and her weight. We’re so carefully guarded about both. I don’t see the point anymore. There used to be a time when i wouldn’t discuss my weight so publicly but I realized that, just as with my advocacy with PPD, the more I talk about it, the more power I steal from the stigma surrounding the discussion of weight for women. We should all own our weight regardless of where it stands. If we don’t own it, it owns us, and we allow others to own us through it. Not me. Not anymore. My weight is my own. Not someone else’s!

  4. This is very encouraging, I’ve been doing this here and there trying to get my obese Mii down and it’s been a struggle. I’ve stopped working so hard cause I got distracted, but my feet have noticed. Thx because this is almost my same situation.

  5. Wow, you have done amazing! Well done. It is so hard to get moving but once you do things just feel better. I know that exercise was one thing that really helped with my depression.

    I am so proud of how hard you have worked. Finding time for yourself and putting yourself first is something that so many moms struggle with . . . myself included.

    • “It is so hard to get moving but once you do things just feel better.” Amen. I struggled mostly because I’m proportionate so I never really “looked” like I weighed as much as I did – which made it even harder to swallow. Even now no one believes I weigh as much as I do. I don’t obsess about the numbers anymore and it’s nice to be focused more on how I feel than what I weigh or how many calories I’m eating each day. To me, that’s really the sign of success… I shun tying my success with weight loss into numbers. It’s too easy to become obsessed with them!

      Thank you so much for the encouragement. It’s exactly this which has helped to keep me motivated along with the desire to NEVER stare down 300lbs again! :-)

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