On Fatness and Rewards

My name is Lisa, and I’m a fat girl. I could say I’m overweight, I’m curvy, I’m still losing baby weight (my youngest is about to turn 2), or I could just say I’m a fat girl. Frankly, admitting the problem (that I eat too much, and have packed on the pounds the last 15 years) is very cathartic to me (remember – I’ve 12-stepped before). Soon I might be contacting you each individually and discussing my transgressions . . . Saying, “I’m a fat girl” fills me with the motivation to change that to “I’m a fit girl.” Now, before you get juiced up, I’m not judging anyone else who is fat. That’s your body, your business. I just needed to make a change for me, in my own life, and since this blog is quite self-centeredly devoted to me and my interests, I’m going to blog about my fatness today.

I’ve been overweight since I was 14 years old. It’s escalated with each child I’ve had (three by caesarean), and all very hefty babies themselves. As I’m nearing 40 (really, really “nearing 40”), I find it harder to get it off, and easier to put it on. Add in a sedentary job where I work at my computer hours on end, and the time finally came for a life change. I’m not on a diet. Don’t ask me for dieting tips – I have none. Want to talk weight-loss tips or radical lifestyle adjustments? I’m your gal. I’ve lost 60+ pounds and many, many inches from various parts of my body (admittedly, too many from the boobs, I state with great reluctance). It has taken an incredible amount of work to get there (I’m at 10 months now, in this “lifestyle adjustment”). However, it’s so rewarding!

Rewards

  • I can finally fit in non-plus size clothes. I have a closet full of lovely clothes I can fit in again, and am about 3 months away from fitting into clothes I’ve stored for 10 years (yes, that’s vanity, and I’m okay with it). I can fit into what I wore to my wedding, and next month, I think I should be able to fit into what I wore when hubby and I first met (a lovely little white sundress – I don’t care if it will be too cold to wear it – I’ll be wearing it around the house with a sweater when I fit in it!). 🙂 Reward: Feeling pretty, and girly, and attractive (instead of draping myself in sweats and battling insecurities).
  • I desire healthy eating, *even* when I’m fixing crap food that my husband loves/craves (this is probably as much a psychological reward as a physiological one). I really no longer crave sweets. Reward: fewer energy spikes and nasty sugar let-downs. I love vegetables, and am trying ones I’ve never eaten before. Reward: whole new food options available to me!
  • Most days, I can go without a nap (I get about 5 ½-6 hours sleep a night), even when the two babies are going down for one. Some days, when I’m up at 4:45 in the morning and know I’ll be up until 10 p.m., I slip in a half-hour restie-poo, but I’m not dragging through the day. Reward: more energy, more time in my day.
  • I can get through an hour workout (or more – increasingly, more) – sweaty, but gratified and feeling good afterwards. I remember when I first started, emailing my coach because I felt like I was going to vomit throughout my workout (she explained the whole lactic acid thing to me). Reward: muscle definition, natural endorphins, and as Elle says “happy people don’t kill their husbands”. Not that I would want to kill my husband. He’s amazing. But the positivity from exercising is really awesome, too.
  • I’m running my first 5K this weekend. Okay, I’m running and walking, but my goal is to run more than walk, and I feel confident I can achieve that goal. I have to buy new shoes – not for vanity, but because I’ve worn out my current tennis shoes. Reward: I can measure improvement in my health – not just on the scale, not just on the inches, but in my stamina and stability and my heart rate! Here’s a pic of my poor ratty Nikes, just for kicks.

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I feel that since I can tackle this weight gain, and WIN, I really can tackle any obstacle that comes my way (lookout PhD). When I’m out in public, and I see the incredible problem we have with obesity, I think that I don’t want to be a statistic – I don’t want to have a shorter life expectancy, or problems with chronic health issues. I don’t want to die before I see my daughters marry – or better yet, see them elope, but happily settled with a partner, I mean . . . This is a BIG reward. Maybe the biggest. Self-assuredness. I know, I know . . . those who’ve known me for years might argue that’s never really been a weakness, and relative to many, that may be true. Still, feeling you can accomplish the task set in front of you is a good thing.

These are all incredible rewards to me. I haven’t even needed to do my other “goal rewards” I’d originally intended (like a pedicure when I lost 20 lbs, or a night out on the town, etc). These are just naturally occurring, free rewards that I value simply because I can see the way the hard work is paying off. Kind of like when I’m enjoying an immaculate house that smells good after I deep clean for 6 hours. THAT kind of gratification. It really IS better than a bar of chocolate.

My next blog is going to tackle the goals. 🙂 Goals and rewards should go hand in hand, but I have to revamp my goals since I keep reaching them! Sweet problem to have, I tell you . . .

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