Dysmorphia

I feel like I have it, but not the way people typically have body dysmorphia. When I see myself in the mirror or look down at my wrists, my calves, my thighs on the couch, I feel like I don’t look that bad. Then I see a full-length glimpse through a mirror or photograph and I’m suddenly shocked at just how fat I look. It’s like I literally don’t recognize this obese woman staring at me.

I used to play this horrible game with my husband out in public. I would spy a woman that I thought was reasonably bigger than myself, and then slyly ask him who was bigger. At dinner, at the waterpark, etc. I stopped asking around the fifth time he had a difficult time answering, while I looked at a woman that I thought was easily wearing a size 26 swimsuit. (And yes, I realize both what a horrible thing I was doing to these other women just going about their daily business, as well as the terrible position I put my husband in.)

I don’t know why I’m so caught up in the way I look. I guess as a society we all are, and I will say I admire the women that wear their “fat-kinis” (God, how I despise that term) proudly, because I even sometimes used to catch myself thinking, “hmmm…not sure she should be wearing that”. But damn if she shouldn’t! Just because I’m uncomfortable with the cellulite on my thighs and prefer to wear swimsuits with skirts on them doesn’t mean other women should feel like they have to cover up. More times than not now, when I see women in bikinis on the beach or at the pool, especially overweight women or women my age, I am only thinking about how they ROCK.

In any case, I’m in a funk this week. All my success of last week flew out the window with the stresses of school, work, marriage, and parenting this week. I’m trying to fight it, and to tell myself I’m not a lost cause, but it’s hard. I’ve always been one to eat my feelings, and this week is no different. My youngest son likes to cry and whine constantly while I’m trying to chop fruits and veggies for the next day’s lunches, or cook breakfast, so this week I’ve been off my prep and meal plan game. Dinner at home has been successful, but breakfast has NOT, and lunch has been hit or miss.

Tonight I have a date with my older son. I’m going to gorge on movie popcorn, watch Wonder Woman, and leave all of this *crap* behind, and start fresh again tomorrow. The weekends are never perfect, but at least I will get some exercise in through swimming and yard work, so there’s hope yet. I’m going to try not to let it defeat me.

Weight Watchers…New and Improved?

Welcome! Whatever brought you here, I’m glad you found me. I hope you check my “About” page to learn a little more…until then, here goes:

This ain’t my first rodeo. I’m almost 38 years old, and if you look in my closet, you will find everything from size 12-24. Actually, I take that back. The size 12’s I probably gave away long ago, and the size 24’s I had to actually return to LB because they stretched so much I couldn’t keep them up…talk about a roller coaster of emotions between the dressing room visit and the return visit. I’m sure the smug LB manager probably wanted to smack me when I failed at holding in my glee that they were too big.

So, 14-22. I’m tall enough that a size 14 is actually a pretty comfortable, verging on Smokin’ Hot version of me. At a size 14, I weigh around 175lbs, and my BMI is just barely into the “overweight” category (if you believe in that). I’m comfortable enough in my own skin to wear a bikini at a size 14, and my weight (at least 10 years ago) balances into a nice hourglass/pear with a proportionately small waist. At the weight I stepped on the scale a week ago, however, I felt like a misshapen, heavy-all-over, unattractive blob. There are some women who can “love themselves” and be just fine rocking a bikini at 300 lbs. I give them props, but I am not one of them. I feel like my ankles are as swollen as the day I gave birth, I have trouble getting up from the ground (and I used to love sitting on the ground), and climbing the stairs to my office is something I try to avoid doing more than once a day. I’ll even admit that I have had pizza and Panera delivered to my office to avoid having to leave, more than once.

I’ve suspected for a long time that I have a food addiction, and I am pretty sure that sugar/carbs are the culprit. My breakfast beverage of choice has long been a sickly sweet iced mocha, the larger the better, and light on the ice. Up until a couple of weeks ago, my favorite thing to have with that was Biscuitville’s Spicy Chicken and Honey biscuit with egg and cheese added. I’m a secret eater, too. The dollar tree became my favorite stop on the way home from work. You can buy a small Dr. Pepper and an entirely too-large bag of Salt n Vinegar Utz for $2 and change. This is a disgusting habit. And the first one I’m trying to break.

In the past 6 weeks, I feel like I’ve hit a breaking point. I lost 15 pounds at the beginning of this year, and recently put all of them PLUS 6 more back on, in a very short period of time. I feel awful. I’m in pain from stiff joints in the morning, I can barely walk without getting out of breath, and everything I do takes more effort. Even my family can see the effects in my irritability and how quickly I get overwhelmed and stressed out. I think the weight affects this more than anything.

It’s been years since I did weight watchers, but I didn’t really know where else to begin (since “doing it on my own” clearly wasn’t working anymore, and I don’t trust myself to stick to a drastic cleanse/workout program), so last Monday, I signed up for a 3 month deal and weighed in at 302.8. I could say that this was the lowest point of my health in my adult life, but I felt an almost immediate sense of relief. I’m taking charge! I’m not letting food dictate my life.

My immediate first impression is that it’s a LOT like the My Fitness Pal tracking app, but I’m not the one stressing over my macros and all that jazz. Weight Watchers has done the work for me*, so when I’m putting in what I eat, WW is taking into account the extra sugars and carbs, weighing them against the protein and fiber content, and spitting back out my “points” value. It’s for sure easier to track than early 2000’s Weight Watchers, and with fruits and veggies being ZERO points, I am more motivated to pack cherries and carrots for my daily snacks.

I’m not going to lie, ANY diet is work. I’m making better food choices, but I’m spending a TON of time shopping (because veggies/fruit stay fresh less time), prepping, and packing my meals. And though it may feel more expensive to buy tons of fresh food, I had great luck shopping manager’s special cuts of meat, and I’m not buying lunch out more than once a week, so I think it’s pretty close to balancing out. I’m just paying with my time instead.

So here’s where I’m at: week 1. I used all of my daily points and went 20 points in the hole by the end of the week (I can attribute most of that to alcohol). But I lost 6 pounds. I’m back under 300, and back to where I was on January 1, 2017. By all accounts, a win. And enough to make me pack lunch and drink water again today. And to skip the glass of wine I planned on having tonight.

 

 

*I am not advocating or selling Weight Watchers at all. I was not paid for this, and it’s too early in my own journey to tell anyone that this is what they should do. I just want to share what brought me here, and what I’m doing to change.