My sister-in-law, Lunargoat, recently wrote a post about being big. In it, she asked if being fat was anything like being an alcoholic. Basically, do you still consider yourself fat after you've lost the weight (much like an alcoholic is still considered an alcoholic after she stops drinking)? I thought this was a good enough question to mention on here. It really made me think.
Those of you who've known me for a while also know that I've lost some weight in the past few years. For those of you who don't know me, let me go over my history.
In high school I was simply the pudgy kid. I wouldn't call myself fat, but I also wouldn't say I was happy with my weight. I was larger than the majority of my classmates, but only by a little. I suppose if you're looking at BMI I'd be considered overweight but not obese (see picture to the left. I'm on the right).
As it does for most people, all that changed in college. I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I'd gone to school in a warmer climate. Would I have been more active? Would I have lost weight instead of gaining? Who knows? The fact of the matter is that I didn't lose weight. I did gain weight...a lot of it (well, more than your freshmen 15 anyway). I knew I was gaining weight because my close were tighter (some not fitting at all), but I refused to really acknowledge it. I didn't have a scale, so I could tell myself my clothes had just shrunk in the wash. I'll never forget the day I did look at a scale and saw the number 2 as the first digit. I was over 200 pounds?! I couldn't believe it. Things had to change, but I had no idea what to do.
It would take 2.5 more years before weight really started to come off. One summer (I was always happiest during the summers) I got off my over-sized butt and started heading toward the gym. I knew I wouldn't do it in the evenings because I was tired and didn't want too many people seeing me sweat, so I went at 5:00 am. One blogger I know calls this the vampire exercise routine. Combine that with a college-student diet (the one where you can't afford food) and the weight just kind of melted away. I'm not quite at my goal weight, but I am holding steady at a healthy weight (between 150 and 160 depending on the week). Yes, I could do more to lose weight.
I need to start exercising again, and my diet could be a little better. However, that's not the point of this blog. The main point in this blog is to discuss how I view myself. Mentally, I know I'm at a healthy weight, and plenty of friends have told me how great I look. Heck, I've even had a few guys pay some extra attention to me on the street (something Hans just hates). The thing is, I don't see myself that way. Whenever I look in the mirror, I don't see the new figure I have or the added muscle. Sure, I did at first, but now all I see is all the weight I have left to lose. I see dimply thighs or flabby arms. I find this ironic, because I still laugh when I see job descriptions that say you must be able to lift 50 lbs. Fifty is easy! I do that every day with Cody!
Now I wonder, will I ever see myself as thin or strong or attractive? Maybe even once I hit my goal weight I'll just whine about how I still don't look great. You know, the weight is right, but ears are fat or something. I'm dreading the day that I say, "Does my right leg look larger than my left?" and not be talking about swelling from a dog bite. Doesn't Dove offer some sort of healthy women course? Maybe I should take that the next time they come around. Otherwise, I'm pretty sure I'll always view myself as fat.
One quick note: While I may always view myself as fat, I'll never lament over my love of food. I've found that I can enjoy extremely tasty, and not-so-great for you foods and still lose weight. The key is moderation. While I MIGHT be a fataholic, I'm DEFINITELY a foodaholic, and I'm proud of it. It's important to not get the two confused.