54 lbs, and the goal coming closer
Saturday, October 20, 2018
So the last entry was about a month ago, at 50 lbs, and now I've hit 54 lbs lost. For me, that's lightning-speed weight loss, compared to the old days. It means I'm finding medications that work for me, so my circulation and organs are working more efficiently. Because to be honest, I'm doing probably half the exercise than I was before when I couldn't lose anything. But that's the way it goes. I am just too tired now, and too busy, to do a lot. When I work out, I am trying to add weights now, because I really need definition and my exercise time needs to count for more, on less time. But muscle mass is very difficult to put on with this disease.
And so now, I need to figure out where I'm headed. My goal weight was initially set at 11 lbs from now. But I can see that that was based on the body I used to have, before I got sick. It's disheartening to realize that if I can't start putting on muscle like I used to have when I was healthy, I will have to set a new, lower goal to not look chubby, and to look good in the clothes I want to wear. Even though my BMI is currently at 23.0, which is within what is supposed to be an acceptable range, a lot of fat has accumulated around my stomach, hips, thighs, and upper arms, that didn't used to be there. So I still look flabby.
Also, it's funny to me that all the weight seems to come right off my breasts before anywhere else. So for periods of time where I am in between sizes like now, it makes me feel very awkward and out of balance that the clothes are looser in the chest and around my waist, but then tighter around my lower stomach, hips, and thighs. And that despite using weights, my arms still look fat! Argh. But that seems to be the sign that more weight loss is coming, because I then lose it around the other areas after.
I almost can't believe I've lost this much. Like, I knew I was fat. But I think it didn't sink in that I was really THAT fat, that I could lose 54 whole lbs and still have like 20lbs of excess fat on my body! That kind of boggles my mind. I think this is what holds fat people back sometimes, when their stomach is totally empty and they feel weak and listless and have exercised a lot, and you think - well, how could I possibly be fat if I'm starving?? It takes such a long time for the body to catch up. And if you're hypothyroid or have other medical problems, you need help. I can gain the weight in just days, and then it takes months to take off. So when there is a lot, it takes years.
I don't want to make decisions right now about numbers. But instead of losing 11 lbs, it might mean that I need to lose more like 20 or so. Which seems soooooo far away! I really don't want to go under a BMI of 19 though, because that is where I personally end up back in anorexia territory, and I never want to be there ever ever again!
I don't have the ability to get any labs done to be sure, but I really hope all this hard work will reward me with better health and a better prognosis for the future. I really don't want a heart attack, stroke, diabetes, or cancer... and my hope is that the lessened weight will make those a bit less likely, and also make diagnosis and treatment of any additional disease I acquire much faster and more effective, without complications. I also know that if you get too thin, it goes right the other way, making you too weak and unable to handle even lighter issues like a bad cold that can quickly develop to pneumonia. So I want to stay in that sweet spot, where I can physically do whatever I want to do, and my body has the best chance of fighting off illness. And of course, eating quality things and not just counting calories is a big part of that. Fitness trainers do a huge disservice when they say "Calories in, calories out." The body does not respond at all the same way to plastic chemical junk, the way it does to real foods. The chemical properties are totally different, and thus the amount that you feel satisfied or dissatisfied after eating changes dramatically.
When I was a kid, people loved all that "fat free" nonsense. Highly processed foods, usually with added sugar, that tasted like nothing and left you feeling empty. They all had added synthetic vitamins in them, but the body didn't seem to absorb them the same way. It was great for my developing anorexia. I would count calories obsessively, and torture myself by always eating way less than my body needed to think properly and do anything useful. And I could still tell myself I was being "healthy." And the smaller I got, the more everybody around me praised me - until I continued the exact same behaviors and got a body a little bonier than they liked. I see now how much it messed me up, and prevented me from knowing what "hungry" and "full" are actually supposed to feel like. I was raised to be afraid of anything whole, with too many carbs, or any fat. So I was always weak and dizzy, and the lack of fat in my diet actually caused depression. I finally figured out in my 20s that a little bit of natural fats, and more complex carbs, actually made me feel way better, made my brain work better, and made my body so much more athletic.
I had the strangest experience this week. I managed to get out of the house to go to the store, in the middle of the daytime which never happens. At one point I looked up, and everybody in the store was bigger than me. Like, some by 2 or 3 times my size! When did that happen? The last time I was in a store in the daytime when everybody is there, I was always the biggest or 2nd biggest person! Maybe it was just a coincidence, that I was there at a time when a bunch of larger people were shopping. But that was new, to be smaller than somebody. There were a few people there smaller than me, but they were mostly kids. I used to wonder what I would feel about overweight people if I ever got thinner again. It turns out, I mostly felt kind of sorry for them, like I wanted to help them, give them support. Because while some people carry the weight well, most of the people I saw were much larger than their frame could easily support, and they looked uncomfortable. One woman was very morbidly obese, and it is hot out, and I just thought how difficult it looked like her day was, that that must make her really tired. It was hard to walk, or carry things. And I remember how much pain and discomfort the heat causes when you're fat, with skin rubbing skin and heat rashes and welts. And trying not to look fat and sweaty, when you are fat and sweaty. Not wanting other people to see you that way, wanting them to know you have a brain in there and a personality and actual talents.
I also am starting to see some people act weird around me, referencing me as being attractive and kind of distancing themselves, like we're different in some way. I really don't want to be that chick, the person people feel terrible and insecure around. At some point in the future, I want to be like, "Look, I lost 70 lbs. I get it." It's more than 30, it's not as much as 300 - but I still understand the general idea. One person is not better or worse than another, not more or less important. We are all just people, trying to find our way in a very confusing and complicated world.
Hopefully, this experience of gaining and then losing all this weight, will make me more able to relate to and understand and feel close to others - not distance me from them. Although I do feel kind of jealous of healthy people who can just get up and move whenever they want to, or eat healthy things without it making them really sick, I also do understand that everybody has challenges in their life they have to deal with. And for women, a lot of people telling them that their own needs are not as important as everybody else's. Like every other hardship, I hope this whole body struggle is only making me more compassionate as a human being. So for that, I am grateful.