I hope that anyone following my blog will quickly pick up that I’m very much a ‘half full’ kinda person and, wow, I’ve had much to celebrate over the past 13 months:
- more than 130 lbs lost so far
- going from ‘super morbidly obese’ to ‘overweight’
- now light enough to do many things once Covid allows such as zip wiring, a helicopter lesson and abseiling
- my waist going from 48″ to 34.5″
- getting into my jeans and wearing US size 8 – 10 (UK size 12-14) for most clothes
So, how can I feel a bit ‘meh’?!! I guess today’s post is about sharing my honest thoughts with you… but also, with the aim to put a positive spin on it, what I’d say to a friend who was concerned about these areas…
- Sagging skin. I am a realist and I knew that losing so much weight wouldn’t take me back to my pre-pregnancy body of 25 years ago. But when I lost a lot of weight 10 years ago (that took me down to 175 lbs and was lost more quickly than this time round), my legs were so much more toned… without needing to work at it. Of course, I’m 10 years older! But I’m starting to wonder how confident I’ll feel wearing any clothing revealing my lower legs if my calves remain larger than I’d like. What would I say to a friend? “I can understand it’s disheartening but the sagging skin shows how far you’ve come. There are always options to deal with it if you’re not happy and perhaps your calves and other areas will shrink further as you continue to lose weight”.
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- Losing weight is a full time job! From when I wake up to when I go to sleep, a lot of mental energy is being given to my journey. I sometimes read about people who get very close their goal weight but then say how they’ve sabotaging their progress for various reasons. I wonder if one reason is the fear of no longer having this constant weight-related thinking to do and targets to aim towards. It could leave a huge gap in a person’s thinking space… but I guess that maintaining could take up as much effort! What would I say to a friend? “It’s great you’re aware of what could happen when you get near your target weight but try to focus on the ‘now’! You’re putting so much time and effort into all of this but perhaps, over time, we can have a think about making eating and exercising more instinctive so that you intuitively learn to maintain without it consuming so much of your time and energy’.
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- Fixated on my imperfections. When I look back to 130 lbs ago, I’m now aware that I was dissociating and I wasn’t connecting with my body. Yes, of course, I knew I had a body (!) but I had no real sense of its actual size. I’m now aware that some parts of my body are actually get bony but I’m obsessing more about my wobbly bits and I can have days where I look in the mirror and question whether I look any different when I was 329 lbs. What would I say to a friend? “Girl!!!! Your body is so different to before. There’s no logical way you can lose that much and have the same body. But it makes sense that you’re focusing on yourself now and you’re more aware of your body shape. Over time, hopefully you’ll fully embrace your success and who knows what your body will be like at goal weight”‘
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- If only I’d started a lower weight. This is a relatively minor point but I wish I wasn’t so heavy when I started out… as I’d be much further along my journey or even at target weight! What would I say to a friend? “Yeah, I get that. But rather that think about where your journey began, keep focused on moving forward”.
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- Scared about calories and scales. I’m starting to panic about calories a bit more than I was before. I love Hartley’s No Added Sugar Jelly and I swapped from my favourite blackcurrant (7 calories per pot) to strawberry (5 calories) all so that I can save 2 calories! Why?! Why not eat the one I fancy more?! Being really open, it’s a very fine line between making careful choices and actually noticing past eating disorder behaviours show their heads. What would I say to a friend? “Keep an eye on that as there’s a balance to be had. Yes, I get why you want to watch what you’re eating but there comes a point where I’m picking up on some things where I’m a bit concerned about you. Keep challenging your thoughts on this one. I’m by your side”.
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In true Erika style, I’ll bounce back…. because that’s what I do! But I think it’s important to acknowledge that going on a journey like this is as much about the head as it is about the body.
Anyway, I’ll be back later this week. Until then, take care