A Perfect Version of Myself

Losing Weight is Hard

Who Do You Think I Am? May 30, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tara @ 10:25 pm

Self image is a really funny thing.  When I at my largest, I would often catch a glimpse of myself in a full-length mirror (usually while walking through a mall or other public venue, I would never have bought a full-length mirror when I weighed over 300 lbs) and be…surprised.  I mean, I knew I was big.  I knew I was fat.  But the thought that always crossed my mind when I saw myself was “do I really look like that?!”.

I did.  That’s what I looked like.  I didn’t feel that big in my head.  I guess that’s one of the ways a person becomes as big as I did – it’s hard to internalize your weight.  The only way to really get a grasp on how you actually look and move about is to film yourself.  That’s why it was always so horrifying to see video footage of myself.  I was recently reminded of this when I saw a home movie my uncle made from a few Christmases ago.  I couldn’t believe my hands and wrists had no separation;  I noticed this while I was gesturing on camera.  I couldn’t believe the way my whole body MOVED when I was that big.  But the worst part was my face.  I guess I’m so used to seeing how people look on camera who are thin (movie or tv stars) that I figured the faces I make were funny and quirky.  Instead, they were distorted by my fat and they just emphasized the number of chins I had and how my cheeks squeezed my eyes into slits.

This is all a round about way of saying that since I’ve lost weight, I have no idea how I’m perceived.  When I walk around, I don’t know what people think when they look at me.  Do they think I’m fat?  Do they think I’m thin?  Are they checking out how big my boobs are or are they focusing in on the way my thighs (still) rub together?  Do they notice how my stomach sticks out and how my muffin top seems to be the place where shirts go to cling?

I spent so many years unaware of what my body actually looked like, and that hasn’t changed since my weight dropped.  If anything, it’s gotten worse.  I say this because I ran into a friend today who I think is pretty average sized.  I mentioned my recent clothing shopping where I’d bought a skirt in a size 8 and she mentioned that she wears a size 10.  This flabbergasted me!  I look at her and then I think about how I feel I look and I feel like I look so much bigger than her.  (Does that make sense?)

This whole thing is very confusing.  I think I almost liked it better when I was unaware of my body.  At least when I was dismissing the physical part of me, I wasn’t so distracted by it.


Soul Meets Body May 26, 2010

Filed under: Weight Loss Updates — Tara @ 9:57 pm

I’m down the 1.4 lbs I gained last week, which is awesome.  I’m feeling better, mentally.  I don’t like to play the PMS card, but honestly I know it was a contributing factor to the emotional breakdown I experienced.  I just know it was.  It’s like my brain stops functioning and my emotions grab control of me during the week before my period.  All you men out there don’t know how lucky you are not to experience this.

A couple of things to touch upon on the interwebs – I sent in a picture for Jack’s WIDTH project and he posted it.  I’m touched to be included with such illustrious bloggers!  I really love this whole idea – that bloggers can break down exactly why they’re doing this.  Why we’re fighting to get our lives back.  I like to read through them when I need a morale boost or when I feel like I can’t do it anymore (because yes, those thoughts still cross my mind almost 18 months into this).

The next issue is with the fantastic and wonderful Bitch Cakes.  She wrote a whole post about activity and I encourage you to read it, if for nothing else than to read the line “You can’t buy confidence, you can only earn it”.  Amen sister. 

Exercise and fitness has given me that.  I think I could have taken this weight off through diet alone – I’m a big believer in weight loss depending more on what you put in your mouth than what you do with your butt – however I would not be as confident in myself and the way I look without exercise.

When I’m walking around, sure I could focus on how my stomach still sticks out more than I would like, or how I still have this giant pannus that seems to be the same size it was when I weighed 300 lbs.  I could focus on my bat wings or my cellulite.  But I don’t.  Instead, I feel the flex of the muscles in my thighs (or quads if you want to get technical) or the stretch in my calves when I walk.  I focus on the tightness of my rear end (squats and lunges are your friends!) and the long lean look of my forearms.  I focus on how easy it is for me to walk, climb, run, skip, jump, squat, reach and bend.  All of this was achieved through my dedication to fitness and I thank myself for putting in the effort necessary to reap these rewards. 

Often I thank myself by “gifting” myself with more activities!  I’ve started hiking again after years of sabbatical (and by sabbatical, I mean of course watching tv and laying on my couch) and I’m learning how to play golf among other things.

I’m very much at home in my body these days and I owe that to exercise.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to make my lunch so I can go to spin class for 6 am tomorrow – I’ll just reread this post at 5 am to remind myself how much I love to move my body!


It’s Gonna Be Alright May 24, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tara @ 9:02 pm

It’s the first long weekend of the summer here in Canada and the weather (except for Saturday) could not have been nicer.  I just thought I’d throw that out there because I didn’t used to love summer.  I used to hate it.  It’s a lot harder to enjoy the summer when you’re wearing twelve layers of clothing in an attempt to cover your fat up.  Guess what?  People still know you’re fat, but now you’re hot and sweaty too!  Bonus!

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how I feel regarding maintenance and I’ve mostly calmed down.  I can live like this for the rest of my life.  I’ve been living this way for almost 18 months now and they’ve been the best 18 months of my life, so I guess that speaks for itself, right?

Here’s the real issue that I’ve been dealing with:  I thought things would be different.  This is stupid, because whenever I read that people have lost a ton of weight and their problems didn’t go away, which was depressing for them, I was always kinda weirded out.  I mean, you’re just smaller.  It’s not like you got a fairy godmother out of your lost pounds (although, frankly, it would be cool to build a person out of the fat and stuff you lose when you lose weight, wouldn’t it?  You could even give them all the personality traits you shed as your weight trends downwards.  That would be a miserable-ass person by the way).

What I really mean is that I thought…I don’t know.  It’s so hard to put into words.  I just figured I would have it together by the time I hit my goal weight.  Hitting that goal, being the size I want to be, those are tangible mile markers in a person’s life, you know?  But as real as they are, those mile markers have always been (and for many people, they always will be) something mythical and off in the distance.  It’s like when you were in school and you put off writing that report until the last-minute.  You knew the deadline was coming, but it’s easy to put things off until it’s the night before your project is due and your mom is driving you around to find a store that sells bristol board at 8 pm.  I was putting off buying the bristol board until I was “done” to some degree and now I can see the deadline and it made me panic for a few minutes (or weeks).

I realized that I don’t have my life together in the way I figured I would need to in order to be done.

I think that I figured my life would have to look a certain way, I’d have to be a certain person, in order to also be successful at weight loss.  I was obviously wrong because, well.  Here I am.  I’m a success at weight loss – regardless if I ever lose another pound or not, I’ve been very successful at taking weight off.  I hope that I can be just as successful at keeping the weight off, but that’s something I’m just going to have to approach on a day-to-day basis.  I’m up for the challenge, I just had to remember that.  I had to remember that I am capable of doing anything I set my mind to and that being determined and willing to do the work counts for more than most people realize.

This post is a big giant mess – to steal a quote from the seminal film ‘The Princess Bride, “let me explain.  No, there is too much.  Let me sum up” – I’m good.  I wasn’t in the best head space but I think I’m figuring it out.  I have the rest of my life to get my world in order, it’ll happen.  I’m good.


If I Ever Feel Better May 19, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tara @ 9:27 pm

I’m (not surprisingly) up this week by 1.4 lbs. 

I am ok with that. 

It’s the week of the month where I tend to weigh heavier, plus I had some indulgences at the bar this weekend.  Yes, it was light beer, but that doesn’t really make a huge difference when you drink six or seven of them.  I had a blast though – either guys have gotten more aggressive or I am looking much better (duh, I wonder which one it is) because I haven’t gotten hit on as much in my entire life COMBINED as I did on Saturday night.  It was a nice stroke for my ego even if it didn’t mean much – guys will just keep hitting till some girl lets one land at places like that.

I don’t want to discuss if I let one land or not.  That would be embarrassing.

Moving right along, I’ve had a tough couple of days this week already.  I’m still trying to deal with my maintenance freak out and I think I’ve gotten a better picture of why I’m so scared.  I’ll get into it during my weekend post a bit further – I don’t love to discuss things until I’ve figured out exactly what my position is on it and I’m not quite there yet.  I know that it seems silly and a bit…rude to freak out about something that’s such a positive thing.

I know that when I was just starting out, if I had read a blog where the author pitched a hissy fit over hitting their goal weight my thoughts would have gone something like this: “oh, boo hoo.  Your wallet’s too small for your fifties and your diamond shoes are too tight?  Poor thing“.  Etcetera, etcetera.  But I try really hard to be honest about where I am and what I’m doing on this blog.  I’m sure I can’t be the only person losing weight to have ever experienced this and I’m sure I won’t be the last.  It’s good to put how I’m feeling out there – it helps me to blurt it out and hopefully someone will read it and not feel like such a freak if they have these feelings.


The Frayed Ends of Sanity May 17, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tara @ 8:23 pm

I’m missing yoga right now.  I got home about half an hour ago and realized that I had a choice to make: yoga or dinner.  Food wins every time.  I’m going to a 6 am spin class tomorrow to make up for it, and I’ll catch yoga on Wednesday.  But, this unexpected scheduling change allowed me to write the post I meant to get to over the weekend!  Bonus!

First, the blogger get together on Saturday was fun.  You can see some pics over here.  I’m way in the back on the right hand side of the group pic. 

The only thing is that I think I was at the wrong end of the table.  Not that the girls near me weren’t nice (they were) or fantastic (they were).  The problem is that the conversation veered into the very thing I’ve been struggling with for the past couple weeks: maintenance.  You see, the girls I was sitting closest to are both now lifetime members at Weight Watchers.  They’ve hit their goals (congratulations especially to Allie, she hit goal last week) and are now focusing on KEEPING the weight off, rather than actively trying to lose it.

I’m terrified of this phase.

I know how to lose weight.  I’ve basically made losing weight my hobby for the last year and a half.  I enjoy pushing myself towards a goal and I like seeing my progress.

There is none of that in weight maintenance.  You are a success when nothing happens.

I don’t know how to do that.  I’ve never done that.  In the past, my weight only had one direction: up.  Now it goes down.  How the heck do you keep it the same?

Supposedly Weight Watchers will teach me how to do this – that’s the word I got from my fellow bloggers this weekend, but I’m still really scared.  I’ve tried all my tricks to talk myself out of this fear, reminding myself that I only have to get through one day at a time, remembering that time passes so quickly and before I know it I’ll be doing it without thinking.  Nothing is working.

I wrote an email to my best friend where I described the choking panic that sets in whenever I start to think about maintenance but I don’t think I was able to convey just how freaked out I was.  I have spent so long and worked so hard to get this weight off, the last thing I want to do is have to take any of it off for a second time.  I like my life like this!  I like how awesome I feel!  If I gain this weight back, I know that all of the progress I’ve made in other aspects of my life (getting happy, feeling more confident etc) will disappear with every pound that creeps back on. 

I have been so scared and down about how scared I am that I think I’ve been self-sabotaging.  I think that’s the reason I am feeling hungry all the time.  It’s psychological hunger, me trying to push what I’m feeling down with food.  Not good.  I’ve been trying to work this out, but it’s hard.  Everything has just seemed really hard lately, and I am certain that this is due to my mental flip-outs regarding maintaining my weight.

What’s worse is that I don’t have to think about this yet.  I still have weight to lose, some people would say that I have the hardest weight yet to lose, but I’m still panicking.  I tell myself to not think beyond the end of the day or week, but it’s not working.

If anyone has any advice, I’d love to hear it.


Quick and To the Pointless May 13, 2010

Filed under: Weight Loss Updates — Tara @ 10:46 pm

I have no time for a proper update – but I am down 3 lbs this week.  I’m still banking on this rate of loss coming to a screeching halt, especially considering the weekend I have planned.

Saturday I’m going to a meetup of a bunch of Toronto-area weight loss bloggers – graciously organized by Kerry.  We’re meeting for lunch at a vegetarian restaurant that I’ve never tried before and I’m super excited (also, strangely nervous!) to meet some people who’s blogs I read and enjoy.  Then, that night, I’m attending the 30th birthday party of a girl I went to elementary school with.  Really it’s just an excuse for copious amounts of alcohol to be consumed. 

I’m going through some stuff right now in regards to my weight loss – I’ll get into it more in my post on Sunday – and I’m feeling a bit down.  To cheer myself up, I’m going to do some housekeeping on the blog this weekend, starting with my blogroll.  I’m removing dead or old links and adding some new ones.  If you are not on my blogroll, but want to be, leave a comment on this post and I’ll add you.

Later gators!  Have a good week!


Life May 9, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tara @ 10:15 am

You know how there’s no crying in baseball?  Well, there’s no cheating in dieting.

I’m going to reveal a pet peeve to you – one that I stumble upon on a lot of weight loss blogs out there.

I hate when I hear people say that they did or did not “cheat” on their diet.  It drives me mental.

Part of the problem is that I don’t really consider myself to be on a diet, and in my deluded world, neither are any of my blog friends.  When I talk about dieting, I always refer to it as A THING.  A THING is where you don’t eat anything you enjoy, you munch on celery sticks instead of real food, you eat cottage cheese in misery and you plan for the day when you’re not going to have to do A THING anymore.

I’m not doing that.

Sure, I don’t eat everything I’d like whenever I’d like to eat them, but I do eat delicious foods that satisfy and fill me.  I love celery, but never in the place of real food and cottage cheese has never passed these lips.

What’s the last one again?  Oh yeah.  This is also forever.  I’m going to be eating like this, healthfully and mindfully, for the rest of my life.  There’s never going to be a time when this is not my reality.  Sometimes when I fight the urge to binge on something, and I’m starting to feel like I’m on A THING, I remind myself that I can eat like this for the rest of my life.  That I’m satisfied, physically, with everything I’m eating.  The dissatisfaction I feel at that moment is mental.  And food is not really what I’m craving, hunger is not really what I’m feeling.  I’m looking for satiety that will not come with any amount of food.

I think all these things and they help me fight off the urge to binge.  I usually win.  Sometimes I lose, but those instances are outweighed by the victories.  I triumph more than I fail.

So when I choose to eat something that I didn’t plan for, or I indulge in a special treat, it’s can’t be called cheating.  I have begun to plan for a special treat every Saturday.  I take the treat out of my weekly 35 extra points (for those of you following WW, you know what I mean) and I enjoy the heck out of it.  This week I had a slice of raspberry swirl loaf from Starbucks.  I ate it slowly, savouring it with a cup of coffee and when I was finished, I crumpled up the bag and moved on with my day.

It was simply eating a food I don’t eat very often.  You can’t cheat on life.