Monday, December 14, 2009

Weighty Matters

I think I've mentioned on here before that I've lost a lot of weight.  Just about 190lbs to be specific.  I did it through gastric bypass almost two years ago.  Just as a visual (and because it's a kick in the pants for me to look at the difference) here's my before and after pictures.


Weight and weight loss is a funny thing though.  I was a fat baby who grew into a chubby kid.  One of my nicknames as a baby, according to my parents, was Pooh Bear, because my belly was as big as his.  My mom still says you could have bounced me down the street.   In school, I was always the fat kid.  Having red hair and freckles didn't help any, but it was my weight that was the defining factor.  It didn't get any better as I got older, the insults just got more inventive as kids vocabularies grew.

And home wasn't a refuge.  My mother would always comment on how big my butt looked, or how unflattering my clothes were, or any other myriad of things.  But she never bothered to teach me how to eat healthily.  It wasn't that many years ago that I found out that pizza isn't a healthy food.  Seriously.  And she had her own food issues.  When I was very young she weighed well over 300lbs herself, but lost most of it by the time I was 8 or so.  I remember though, her starving herself, and periods of vomiting that would indicate some sort of bulimia, or other eating disorder. 

Anyway... skipping ahead a decade or two... after I had the kids I found myself too big to play with them, too fat to take care of the house, and knowing that although I was fundamentally healthy then, I wouldn't be for long if I didn't do something soon.  So, the bypass.  And it's worked.  I can run up and down stairs, I can jump on the trampoline with the kids, I can clean all day long (although I don't... I could if I wanted to!).  And I'd be lying if I didn't say that the way I look isn't part of it.  I look normal.  I don't stand out in a crowd.  But in my head, I'm still not normal.

I still feel like the fat kid.  The girl walking down the street listening to the calls of "whale" and "hey fat girl! you better walk some more!"  And I struggle with food all the damn time.  I tell myself almost every day that I'm not going to screw up, that I'm going to stick to the things I should be eating, and avoid all the crap I know I shouldn't be.  And almost every day I fail.  And then I berate myself and call myself all the same names... after all, obviously everyone was right, right?  If I can't even stay away from the cookies after having my intestines rerouted, risking gaining the weight back after everything I went through to lose it, I am nothing but a fat pig, right?  I know better than that.  I really do.  But that's the track that plays in my head.

I don't know if I'm ever going to look in the mirror and like what I see.  But I'd really like to sit in my head and be comfortable there.  It's something I'm working on. 


Anonymous said...

That is so awesome Jennifer. You look great!!

SuperMel said...

You look fabulous! Maintaining weight loss is not one decision, but a million little decisions throughout the day. I'm battling the "just one cookie" demon. Hang in there during this time of year.

P.S. I sent an email to you to send the Flavio Olivera handbag from Free Friday, but got no answer. Email me when you get a chance...mel5516 at hotmail

Jeanette said...

You look awesome! I hate that you are so hard on yourself, you have obviously been working hard, and doing a great job of it. Instead of thinking how right those namecallers were, you need to take the opposite approach and think.. "If only they could see me now! I sure showed them!"

I could just hug you. Keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

You look amazing! Please don't be so hard on yourself. ((Hugs))

Sarah (Rhubarb) said...

It's going to take a long time for your head to catch up with your body. Think of some ways to answer back, to reassure yourself that normal means backsliding sometimes. Over a period of months, years, the gradual change will happen and you'll be the person in your head you've always wanted to be. Just give it time. We're on your side. I've been there.

Dawn said...

You look wonderful! Congratulations on all your hard work. I've lost about a 100 lbs as well, though slowly since it's all about diet for me (except right now at Christmas, I need to bake). I know that I need to look at old pictures of myself to realize just how far I've come. Looking in the mirror doesn't work as well.

Again, you look amazing and thank you for sharing that with us.

Melanie said...

Wow, I think you look beautiful!! What an amazing transformation.

Anonymous said...

It is hard to let go of those old messages...I grew up with a mom who really valued the number on the scale and it stinks. Still to this day she will comment on my appearance and I know she is sizing me up. It always makes me uncomfortable even if she says I look good, I know she's really saying I look skinny.

You have done a great job. Take it one day at a time and remember how far you've come when those old thoughts come up.

hannah said...

god that self talk, it just doesnt go away, does it. I feel like it's something we've programmed ourselves to hear after all those years of letting our weight define us. xoxo, hannah. ps you look fantastic. I am happy for you and in awe of all of the hard work that it takes not only to get where you are, but to continue to make those good choices daily, even among the eff-ups.


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