Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wednesday Workout Update - Deep Thoughts Edition

I was all set to come here and write a quick post on the workouts (walking, swimming and yoga tomorrow) I've done since I returned home but yesterday I made a comment on Helen's post that got me thinking.  And then I got mad.  And then I did what helps me to see things clearly when I'm upset - I wrote.  And now I'm sharing it with you.

In her post, Helen wrote of her frustration at not fitting into last summer's bermuda shorts.  My comment was "I hear you on the clothes. And I wanna just slap myself."  Until I wrote those words, I honestly didn't think I was that mad at myself for putting on some pounds.  But I am, and here's why:

I truly did not appreciate how good I looked last summer.  Don't get me wrong - I was thrilled with fitting into the size 6 bermuda shorts, but did I focus on that?  No - I couldn't stop seeing my extra belly flab.  I'm sure this stems from always having in the back of my mind that I still weighed a lot for my height - my lowest low was 146 pounds, but obviously a lot was muscle, because that is the only way I could have fit into such small sizes.  WHY didn't I appreciate my body then?  I'll tell you why...decades of dieting. 

Never being done. 

Never hitting "goal" - whatever that was. 

Never having the inner strength to say "I like how I look and feel now" - never quite standing up for myself. 

I am so mad.  I just want to go back and say "You dope!  Enjoy what you've achieved!" and I know that I'm not showing self-love, but so what.  Sometimes I need a reality check.  And my reality is that I was obese for 20 years.  The very fact that I was able to lose so much weight was a freaking miracle.  And the fact that I couldn't let myself be done at 146 pounds - that I couldn't accept that I was at a healthy size for ME - oh, I am angry.

My mother is happiest with herself when she weighs in the low 120's.
My best friend is happiest with herself when she weighs in the low 130's.
I should have been happy with myself when I weighed in the mid 140's.

Three people, all about the same height.  All different body types.  All active, healthy people.  All who look freaking amazing at those weights.  And one who is dealing with 20/20 hindsight.

 Me, last summer, at my lowest weight, wearing the size 6 bermudas that don't fit at the moment.  Not seeing the belly flab that I couldn't stop focusing on, either.  Big, big sigh.

33 comments:

  1. First don't be too hard on yourself Shelley.

    I'm sure this insight will help you look different at yourself and be happy with how you look.

    But I can understand your thoughts about yourself too, I have them too. Seems like we are afraid to admit to ourselves that we look good, we are to negative about ourselves.

    Whenever I get a compliment of someone about how I look or that I look good with the weight I lost I always say something negative about myself in answer to that. F.e. about the weight loss I don't say "thank you" but "I'm not there yet". I'm learning to take a compliment for what it is and am getting better at it.

    And here's one for you and I don't want a 'but' ....

    You look great, you've come a long way and you did it all by yourself, there are enough people who can't do what you did. You're a warm, sweet, loving and caring woman and blogger friend and I wouldn't miss you anymore!

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  2. You know, we all are like this, but don't beat yourself up over it. Know that you're strong and in many ways an inspiration to people like me who are trying.. you're awesome!

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  3. This is a process and you are getting there both in body and in mind. We are like beaten up souls when it comes to body image....then you had it in your hand and weren't able to appreciate it.
    By the way, you look great now! Don't let this slip from your hands.

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  4. Shelly,

    I understand completely what you are saying, however, don't minimize the fear and worry you had with your Mom in the past few months. Stress eating and just plain "eating good food" with your Mom is what happened. You are such a smart lady that I am sure you can see that, acknowledge it and move on. I just finished one year of breast cancer treatment. I am doing great but the ups/downs of last year and taking Tamoxifen has put weight on me. I KNOW that and I am going to work hard to get it off but I won't beat myself up over it because I am a breast cancer survivor! You know what to do and I bet you will do it. That happy, positive and "can do" attitude will take you to great places, Shelly.

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  5. I am so proud of you Shelley!!! I've followed your blog for some time now and it's the only "weight loss" blog I continue to follow. You keep it real!! I need to lose 15 pounds, and I can't do it. At one point I was working out 5 days a week and nothing, very discouraging. But your words, your "fights" with yourself keep me motivated. Your transformation has been amazing and you should be very very proud of yourself!

    P.S. A size 6?! I haven't been in a size 6 since 9th grade. Give yourself a pat on the back because the number doesn't matter, your healthier and more fit!

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  6. Each time I've lost the weight, I never could accept the fact that I was no longer fat. My legs have always been big, my hips always wide. In a size 8 I would want to look better, thinner. Lose more weight. Looking back, every time the weight was put back on, I remember those days of being a size 8....and being unsatified. Why I put the weight back on was really because I wasn't satified with every win...I wanted more. So, I set myself up for disappointment. And gaining the weight back was the biggest disappointment of all. I could accept gaining weight because I already had the mindset of not being satified. This time around....I'm in my 50's and the weight doesn't come off as easy as it did before. So each pound gone is an "ahhh" moment for me. I will be satified with each pound on the scale are gone. Being satified both mentally and physically will be what keeps me on track. (I HOPE!!!!)

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  7. Shelley,

    First time posting but I wanted to say--what a great post. When I first went from obese to normal weight I too was obessed with my dress size and the number on the scale. This time around I don't care about the numbers. I know I feel good at 150-165 and I don't care what dress size that equates.

    You do look beautiful; in ALL of your pictures.

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  8. The perception has to change after the weight has changed. Your perception of yourself has been off for a long, long time. Now's the time that you start looking at your head and your thinking instead of your body. You've got it! I know you do.

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  9. Oh, you know I understand your frustration and anger at yourself. All too well, my friend!

    But it is GREAT that you are seeing this now, instead of like me after every last freaking ounce has come back. It's a reality check we all need, and more than that, it's a reality check that can spur us on to take positive action to overcome it.

    Moving from dieting to maintenance, learning to see yourself for who you really are now and not as the "fat person" you always identified yourself as, is actually HARDER than losing the weight. Stay vigilant, learn from yourself, and don't ignore reality checks like this.

    And I really want to be you when I grow up. Just so you know. :)

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  10. I lost 55lbs pounds last year and gained half of it back in a matter of 6 months...believe me, I want to slap myself on a daily basis. I think the key is train our hearts and minds to say "you are worth it" and just make it a priority to do what what needs to be done to keep yourself healthy and happy. And to accept whatever comes along the journey. Shit happens. It's how you deal with it that matters!

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  11. This post is going to resonate with a lot of people.

    First off it's great that you are realizing and acknowledging all this before you have gained back all the weight. That's such a big thing.

    Secondly, I think I need to thank you (once again) because as I read this I realized that my own ups and downs over the years have been caused by the same thing. Never appreciating where I was - always finding fault... the pot belly, the thighs, double chin - oh I could go on and on. Never being good enough for me.

    Big Ah-Ha moment going on here.

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  12. Shelley, you are AMAZING. You have lost so much weight! Getting over the mindset of dieting, of losing, of negative self talk is hard, and it takes time. I know you're frustrated with your injury right now & having put on some pounds, but you're still making healthy choices and you're adapting your workouts.

    Negative self talk is such poison- I hate when I let it get to me, even though on the inside I'm screaming "I look fabulous" to try to drown it out. It's hard to not compare yourself to others, or even to yourself at a lower weight, but you should be SO proud of what you have accomplished. You look gorgeous. :)

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  13. Hang in there girl!
    My 40 year old self wants to run back 20 years and tell my 20 year old self to appreciate what she's got!

    I'm trying to like my 40 year old body, so when I'm 60 I don't wish I could run back and remind my 40 year old self how good she's got it!

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  14. I think at times we all feel like it is not good enough..."just 5 more pounds." But I think it is important to appreciate ourselves in the moment...take time...and then decide if we want to/can go more!

    Don't be too hard on yourself. I think you still look great!

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  15. First of all, big cyber hug. I hear your disappointment and even anger. The wonderful aspect is that you are in touch with your body enough to catch yourself now and refocus. Having lived years as a yo-yo'er, I know how easy it is seemingly to have suddenly regained and then just give in again. This public post shows you just won't do that! Do not blame or shame but move forward and realize how many folks are here supporting you.
    Jan

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  16. we can be our own worst enemy!! Your going to pick your self apart and your going to get mad about it once in a awhile... let that be your motivation!!!.. Besides look at your knock out super toned legs!!!

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  17. I have to agree with Fran - don't beat yourself up too bad - I mean, this is a whole new world for you and it will take time to figure out what weight works for you, and how you can maintain it.

    Sadly, I don't think any of us will be "done." Every day I have to make conscious decisions of whether I exercise and eat right - and the more of those days I string together, the more confident I feel I am living a lifestyle and not a diet.

    Sending big hugs your way Shelley!

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  18. Sometimes anger is a good driving force to get us back in the right mindset. That being said, don't beat yourself up too much about it (as others have said) because the past is gone. *poof* All you can change is now and tomorrow. That's what's in your control. Make it happen. :)

    By the way, you still look gorgeous, lady! Even though you're not happy where you are today, think about how far you've come! The Shelley of a couple of years ago would have been so happy to be where you are today.

    Keep those shorts. You'll be in them again soon.

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  19. Yes, I totally agree! I have gained back ten pounds out of 70 and am now taking it back off. But I have had to really talk to myself... that I am not a failure, that I have accomplished a lot, etc. I also remember all the times when I lost a lot of weight, gained a little back, and if I could only just have stayed THERE! But no, I went on to gain it all back.

    You don't seem to be on the road to gaining it all back, because you are maintaining this blog and being very honest with your adoring public. Your lifestyle has completely changed, has it not? You are a total success, and we all celebrate you!

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  20. Hi Shelley!

    I totally feel your pain. I am also 5'1" and I've hovered around 145 since 2008 (after losing 50+ pounds) -- and I obsessed with that stupid number on the scale for way too long. Not any more. Each day is a blessing and I'm just focusing on living & loving life in my less than perfect but pretty darn good body! :) May I recommend a book that has helped me a lot? It's called "Life Is A Verb" by Patti Digh

    Hugs,
    Michele (also a "Shelly" to my family)

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  21. Wow this is a huge theme today in the blog world. Have you seen Jacks post? Good stuff. I feel like weight loss is a lot like buying an old house. It will never be done but it can look really good along the way. You look great and you are great so don't forget it :)

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  22. I know how you feel. I just finished my meds this week and will start focusing on a more strict training schedule so that I can fit back into my clothes. Will send positive energy your way.

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  23. You may not be happy with where you are, but I can tell you through my eyes, I see a COMPLETE success story!! You are quick to acknowledge that you want to lose those lbs, and you WILL. Look how far you've come! I know its easy for us to say "don't be too hard of yourself" but "don't be too hard on yourself". Celebrate your success and celebrate YOU - a woman I see as a "complete package" - beautiful on the inside and the outside! Take care Shelley!!!!!

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  24. Wow, you definitely struck a nerve! I recently found myself arguing with people when they complimented me on how good I look ... I know I've regained 20 of the 45 I lost and I don't "see" anything beyond that fact. I try to remind myself of how much healthier and stronger I am today, but it's a struggle not to buy into the negative. Thanks for this post.

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  25. Shelly,
    I have been following you for a long time...I think I remember those pictures. I didn't notice the belly fat then and wouldn't have if it hadn't been for this post. Enjoy is the lesson for the day.
    Keep up the good work

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  26. Lot's of hugs Shelley.

    It's 90 here today in the Chicago land area and I pulled my shorts out of the closet. This is summer #3 with this size. Am I meant to be this weight forever? Gosh I hope not. Very frustrating. I'm more active now than when I was in my 20's well workout active. I had a physical job that kept me moving all day long so keeping weight off was easy back then. Now not so much :O

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  27. It is hard. I put on a little bit of weight since last summer and there is the annoyance factor at how slow it comes off after coming on in what seems like 2 days.

    I feel some of the anger, too, and fear. What if this is the slippery slope back up to 250?

    We really are never satisfied. You think when you get to goal that everything is shiny and pretty, and yet we all find "flaws" that we didn't expect.

    You have a good head on your shoulders, Shelley. Whether you stay at the current weight or relose, never forget that.

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  28. I think learning to be happy with myself and figuring out what my goals are is very hard for me also. I keep hoping that once I get there I'll know I'm done. I guess that's why I'm trying to judge it based on non scale and non size measurements. like being able to do the things I want. Realizing how you feel right now is so important to keeping the weight off. We're all learning and you have helped me so much. And we all have to realize that this is a lifestyle. Even with the gain, you are living the right lifestyle. You should be proud of that for sure.

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  29. Ooh, I get it Shelley! I can get so mad at myself - why wasn't I satisfied at a particular weight or size? Gah!!

    I have been in one of those places for a while now - the shorts that can fit on but are so tight it would be obscene to wear them? I want to rip them up into tiny shreds...for about 5 minutes.

    That's when I think back to all the times I've been much heavier than what I am now and would have given my eye-teeth to be THIS weight/size. It's usually enough to slap me back into reality.

    Your shorts WILL fit again, and when they do, you'll have a whole new appreciation for being that size/weight.

    Do you still have any of your old fat clothes? If so, go put on some old bottoms...and dance around in them!

    I like to picture my old fatter self slapping me NOW.

    Debbie xo

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  30. I found you from a link on Dawnes blog.

    Hind sight is always 20/20 isn't it? I have had the same experience as you. No matter how small I get I always find fault with myself!

    So much of this is a mind issue, what we think, what we tell ourselves, what we believe, what we choose to see in the mirror!

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  31. OMG, Shelley. I could have written this post! So similar to what I'm dealing with. I'm 5'10", and was downright HOT in a size 12. Everyone told me not to lose any more weight... but I coudln't leave well enough alone, and got all stressed over it, and lost focus. Now I'm back in a 14, and my little cute shorts from last summer are not cute anymore. They used to showcase my long, lean legs. Now, they just look way too short. UGH!!! But, although I haven't been blogging much lately, due to guilt, I suppose... I'm still in the gym 3-4 days a week, on my "evil escalator", and determined to be wearing those 12's comfortably by the end of June!! The past is the past... we have to start today to change the future!! I'm right there with ya, Honey!

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  32. I TOTALLY relate. There is that picture in my dad's house of me at that lower weight last year. And I want it back, and I want to be happy and content at that weight. Here's my big question: once we get back to that weight, CAN we be achieve that contentedness??

    I hope so.

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  33. Due to Blogger having issues shortly after this post was published, several comments disappeared. Luckily they are sent to my email, so I'm reposting them.

    BabyWeightMyFatAss has left a new comment on your post "Wednesday Workout Update - Deep Thoughts Edition":

    Lot's of hugs Shelley.

    It's 90 here today in the Chicago land area and I pulled my shorts out of the closet. This is summer #3 with this size. Am I meant to be this weight forever? Gosh I hope not. Very frustrating. I'm more active now than when I was in my 20's well workout active. I had a physical job that kept me moving all day long so keeping weight off was easy back then. Now not so much :O
    **********
    Lori has left a new comment on your post "Wednesday Workout Update - Deep Thoughts Edition":

    It is hard. I put on a little bit of weight since last summer and there is the annoyance factor at how slow it comes off after coming on in what seems like 2 days.

    I feel some of the anger, too, and fear. What if this is the slippery slope back up to 250?

    We really are never satisfied. You think when you get to goal that everything is shiny and pretty, and yet we all find "flaws" that we didn't expect.

    You have a good head on your shoulders, Shelley. Whether you stay at the current weight or relose, never forget that.
    **********
    Tami has left a new comment on your post "Wednesday Workout Update - Deep Thoughts Edition":

    I found you from a link on Dawnes blog.

    Hind sight is always 20/20 isn't it? I have had the same experience as you. No matter how small I get I always find fault with myself!

    So much of this is a mind issue, what we think, what we tell ourselves, what we believe, what we choose to see in the mirror!
    **********
    MaryB. has left a new comment on your post "Wednesday Workout Update - Deep Thoughts Edition":

    OMG, Shelley. I could have written this post! So similar to what I'm dealing with. I'm 5'10", and was downright HOT in a size 12. Everyone told me not to lose any more weight... but I coudln't leave well enough alone, and got all stressed over it, and lost focus. Now I'm back in a 14, and my little cute shorts from last summer are not cute anymore. They used to showcase my long, lean legs. Now, they just look way too short. UGH!!! But, although I haven't been blogging much lately, due to guilt, I suppose... I'm still in the gym 3-4 days a week, on my "evil escalator", and determined to be wearing those 12's comfortably by the end of June!! The past is the past... we have to start today to change the future!! I'm right there with ya, Honey!
    **********
    debby has left a new comment on your post "Wednesday Workout Update - Deep Thoughts Edition":

    I TOTALLY relate. There is that picture in my dad's house of me at that lower weight last year. And I want it back, and I want to be happy and content at that weight. Here's my big question: once we get back to that weight, CAN we be achieve that contentedness??

    I hope so.

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