I am fabulous by virtue of being blessed with an over abundance of IQ, Self Confidence and Divaliscious to spare. At 125lbs I had “it”. At 225lbs, I had it too. At 325lbs, I had a helluva a lot of it, but I still had it.
What I didn’t have was the emotional and psychological strength to put “it” on anymore.
I sacrificed the pretty.
OH, don’t get me wrong, the pretty is not about weight for me. Never was. At 125lbs, I was still a short stack with a large rack, broad shoulders and wide hips and NO ONE was mistaking me for a Victoria Secret model. But I didn’t give a shit what people thought of me either. Never did. I always did exactly what I wanted to do and no one obliged me otherwise. I modeled, I played basketball, I also went on dates and by gum, I even got laid.
In 2000, I married my best friend. I was pretty and fabulous, and putting on weight at an alarmingly rapid and out of control pace. I had the chubs when we met, but by 2009 I had put on an entire human being in weight. Not a baby human being but a full grown human being.
My weight had more than doubled.
I knew that my clothes had gotten larger. I went from a comfortable loose large to a 4XL and sometimes 5XL.
I was still fabulous though.
Still rockin the sexy so it didn’t matter right?
Running circles around life, working three jobs, did it really matter that I couldn’t put my own socks on? If I couldn’t get help, I just went sock-less, no big deal. Socks are highly overrated.
At the beginning of 2009 I went out with my sisters. A sister day. Matching tattoos, dinner, dessert and a movie. We documented the entire day. ON FILM.
The camera caught what the mirror had somehow missed.
I didn’t look like myself. I didn’t recognize the woman in the pictures with my sisters. I looked into these empty eyes with no life in them. And fat that I had never been embarrassed of, fat that never stood in my way, was now a fat that I suddenly couldn’t stand to look at.
What had happened to me? REAL ME? Where the hell did I go?
Besides the very obvious fact that I had buried my treasure deep inside FAT KNOX. This was not an eating problem. This was not an exercising problem. This was a mental health problem.
This first thing I did was throw out my anti-depressants.
The medication did not make me happy, they made me complacent. They made me okay with the bad stuff instead of dealing with the bad stuff. They let me create walls and walls and walls and walls of FAT to protect myself from the problem. They let me NOT DEAL WITH THE REAL ISSUE.
The real issue being that I was not actually depressed.
I did not actually need anti-depressants.
What I actually needed, was to not be married.
That is something I could not recognize or acknowledge while on “happy pills”.
Everything has been small steps that have led to a much larger purpose and step one was to take account of my situation and do something about it.
Step One: Throw meds in trash. (Husband not happy with this decision.)
Step Two: Cut back on work and make fun time for myself. (Husband even more not happy, he did anywhere from 5 to 15 hours of work outside the home per week, I did a minimum of 65 hours. My extra jobs paid for his extra-curricular fun. Less money and less fun for him, more money and more fun for me. THAT’S NOT FAIR!!!!)
Step Three: Lose weight!!!
Okay, so step three took quite a bit of work to figure out.
Tried the diet programs and hit walls like it was going out of style.
Tried the gym.
I ended up hurting myself. Not just physically either. How can a person who has never had to lose more than 20lbs ever in their entire life, a person who has always weighed less than the amount of weight I have to LOSE to still be bigger than her when I am at my ideal weight, know?? How can she possibly know what I need in order to do this safely, slowly and with dignity. HOW???
Well she fucking can’t. Period. End of story. End of discussion. She can’t know. She doesn’t know. She will never know.
Just because I am not a quitter, I went to my family doctor. I cried. Explaining that nothing was working and that I couldn’t go back on meds but I had to lose weight or I was going to die.
Step Three: Thank Goodness for Simple Practical Common Sense
Break up my grocery list into three to four visits per week.
Never keep more than two to three days of food at a time. Force myself to make several trips.
Shop in a really big store.
Walk the outside perimeter of the store once completely before I put anything in my cart.
Once I begin to put stuff in my cart, only buy items from the outside perimeter.
DO NOT BUY FOOD FROM UP AND DOWN AISLES.
Do not count pounds or calories or worry about portions for the first month.
REPEAT: DO NOT WEIGH, MEASURE OR COUNT IN THE FIRST MONTH.
Just let it happen. Let it become habit. Let the little changes become part of a new life.
Step Four: It’s a new life. IT’S A NEW LIFE. (So we are clear, Husband VERY UNHAPPY WITH ME, I am not allowed to be fabulous, or pretty, or thin. My job is to be ugly and hard working so that I am too busy and unattractive to be stolen. Not to mention having less money for him. Did I mention less money for him??)
Not a gimmick, not a diet and certainly not a few fucking pounds.
A brand new life.
That doesn’t happen overnight. It doesn’t happen in just a few months. The permanent weight-loss for me, was not rapid at all. It was slow and only one to two pounds at a time.
Good question. Glad you asked.
Because anything you can’t sustain as part of your life style will not be permanent.
Diet shakes, prepackaged food, supplements, pills, 127 hours on a treadmill a week. If you stop. It stops working, if it ever really worked at all.
Losing weight permanently for me was slow, and it happened when I made small, practical, sustainable changes to my life. Changes I can live with in the real world of weddings, birthdays and CHRISTMAS EATING MONTH.
Changes that don’t rapidly undo themselves and make me feel like 300lbs of shit and like a failure because Betsy Sue only had to lose 20 and I had to lose 200 and it worked for her and not for me.
Step Five: Cheesecake is not my enemy.
One slice of cheesecake does not make me fat. An entire cheesecake all at once makes me fat.
So take a few months, take a year to enjoy that whole cheesecake. Take as long as I need. There is no shortage of cheesecake in North America. There is no need to rush a whole cheesecake.
Step Six: People who can eat a whole cheesecake and do not get fat are not my enemy.
Having different health issues and different metabolisms does not make anyone better than me, but it sure as shootin doesn’t make them vacuous and/or soulless. Naturally tall and thin beauties who could pass for Victoria Secret Models are not bad people just because they are “magazine cover” attractive.
This was never a personal hurtle for me, but I really feel like it’s an essential part of why my self esteem is as healthy as it is, it is why I can rock what I rock without having to compare myself to others. For me, keeping things Blissentric, keeping it about me, my health and my vision of what my best me should be, helps to keep on task and not get discouraged.
Step Seven: Up The Ante on a regular basis.
After month one, when I noticed changes in how I felt and a significantly looser fit to my clothing I went back to the Doctor and did a weigh in. That’s when I measured in at 325lb. What I started at I don’t know for sure, but it was more.
After month one, I threw away clothes that were loose and wore clothing that was a tight and slightly too small fit. I refused to own a home scale and resolved to ‘doctor’s office only’ weigh ins when my clothing changed size. I increased exercise. I decided on dancing. Belly-dancing. It’s fun. It’s creative. It’s something I can do at home if I suddenly can’t afford the classes. It’s something I can do while I clean up and fold laundry. The exercise is flexible and bends around my lifestyle. At first it was structured classes and costumes and RECITAL!!!!!
Do I even need to tell you this went over like a lead balloon with my husband.
I was vain…. OKAY if wanting to be pleasing to my own eye is vain, so be it. NEXT
I was an ego maniac who always wanted to be the centre of attention….. Because I am a diva and a rockstar who can’t help it if everyone gives her attention. NEXT
I was obviously having an affair…… ABSOLUTELY, with myself and my new life and with being HAPPY again. NEXT
He didn’t want to be married anymore, he never really loved me anyway, he just wanted to be taken care of, oh, and by the way, I was not the kind of woman you marry, I was a girl you have sex with and throw away……. Happy Birthday to Me. NEXT
Step Eight: Being Single after 40 is a good thing if you have a head-start on getting the pretty back.
Emotional Abuse and Psychological Manipulation were at the core of my issues with weight gain. Which is why diets and exercise changes were not ever going to work without professional help and getting support systems in place to deal with the reality of WHY I had lost myself under the avalanche of adipose.
For myself, it was crucial to get to the heart of WHY I was fat and WHY I wanted to lose weight.
If there is anything I can share to my fellow chicklets in chub, ask yourself why. Losing weight is NOT a one size fits all solution. Every individual needs to get to the core of why they are overweight.
Not thick, not juicy, not curvy.
We are talking about the overweight that is unhealthy. Health is the only reason WHY anyone should undertake to lose weight that is in excess of 30lbs. Losing 30lbs to me is vanity weight. That’s the weight you lose to have bikini body, or to get down a dress size or two.
When I started, I needed to lose approximately 200lbs to be at my “ideal” weight for my height and stature.
That’s a small hockey player.
I needed to lose an entire small hockey player. Not a jockey. Not a female gymnast. But a petite male hockey player.
No matter how pretty I am (and I am at any size), for me, that was unhealthy. I could see it in my eyes when I saw my pictures. I could see myself dying in my eyes. That’s not healthy. I could see it in my eyes, my hair, my skin. My entire body was in distress.
I wasn’t built to carry that much weight. To rock a little juicy chub…. hellz yes. But not that much juicy and a lot less chub.
Some people can. They can rock that chub and drop it like it’s hawt. If they are happy and healthy and feel beautiful, not you nor I have any fucking business telling them to lose weight.
It’s about personal health. Physical, emotional and psychological health. AND NO OTHER REASON.
Once I knew why, and had put a little professional help in my mental diet, along with the lifestyle changes I had lost 137lbs by the end of 2011. That’s very slow. But it worked.
Well… remember those “sustainable changes”???
Step Nine: FOR GOODNESS SAKES WOMEN DON’T LET HIM COME BACK!!!!!!
Yuup…. The first 220lbs was the easiest. I helped him pack at the end of 2009 when he wanted to be happy and have a real life. When I let him move back in 2012, he brought his 220lbs with him and an extra 40lb for me.
I sent his 220lb packing after 6 months and from 2013 to today, I have re-lost that 40lb.
Step Ten: Set backs happen. FORGIVE and move on.
I am human. I have my share of the stupids like everyone else. I have my moments of doubt, pain and weakness.
But SO WHAT. I am still farther ahead than I was 6 years ago. I am physically stronger, emotionally stronger and psychologically MUCH stronger.
And, I am rocking the pretty like a champ.
I can see me again in my pictures. I can see my happy in my eyes again.
The rest of the 200lbs….. it’s going to take some time and that’s okay.
Because I am going to get there without drugs, without surgery, without a fad diet or an exercise craze. It will happen slowly by living my life in a way that makes me both healthy AND happy.