At least half the days I wake up in the morning I feel as though I probably gained five pounds overnight. It could be because it was a Monday and I had just come off a weekend of baseball field snacking, movie munching and Saturday night dinner out, or it could just be a random Thursday feeling bloated, or maybe that my nightly sundae had gone off the deep end of the bowl.
Whatever the case, it genuinely amazes me when I do get on that scale and it informs me I am basically the same weight, which these days is a solid five pounds under my skinny weight.
It’s a weight I haven’t maintained for any period of time since my crazy mid-twenties when I ate zero fat and skipped happy hours and dinners with friends for gym class. Even then I could barely pull it off, which is why I’m so amazed that after some months on Weight Watchers and some months after, I am still living the skinny jean dream.
I really thought that losing this amount of weight would liberate me. “That’s great,” my friend said, “Now you’ve got a nice cushion.” I totally agreed, thinking I could loosen the restraints a bit. I was already imagining the enormous ice cream I could eat later.
But it’s a lie!
There is no relaxing when it comes to weight management. Now at my thinnest point in decades, I still feel the weight anxiety almost every day. Who am I kidding? It’s every day. Am I eating too much? Can I maintain this? The funny thing is that I was happy with my weight being five pounds heavier. I was actually still okay, 10 pounds heavier. But now that I’m low, I have a hard time seeing myself – or that number on the scale – going up. So while my pants size is down, my general anxiety over my weight has not decreased at all. I feel no cushion. And I’m still having fat days.
I was talking with a friend the other day about the craziness of it. She is trim and exceedingly fit, but still tells me, she can’t relax. She feels she must exercise every chance she gets and she’s got to work it hard. She knows her body needs days off; that it’s literally aching for them, but her brain won’t let her. ‘If you do, you’ll get fat,’ it says. Trust me, she’s far from the only friend caught up in this cycle.
So when does this madness end? At 120 pounds? 110? What is the magic number?
The answer is… There is no magic number. It ends when we decide it ends.
I’m finally realizing that my body issues are not necessarily with my body but with my brain. Okay, stop laughing people who know me. Physically, I eat healthy and exercise regularly. It’s obviously the mental aspect that needs work because it’s become pretty apparent that self-image really is in your head.
So I’m making a point to appreciate what I’ve got; to lighten up a bit mentally and indulge a bit more. I work hard to keep myself thin, so I’m also going to give myself the pleasure of enjoying my body.
And my ice cream.
I am with you on this one. No matter what my weight I am uncomfortable. It’s definitely how we look at ourselves, but it’s also that I like feeling comfortable in my clothes. I think this will be a lifelong battle. Agh! I’m so tired of it.
Pass me the ice cream! 🙂
totally true. how bout some gad dang self acceptance!? if only we put as much energy into that!
rocky road or cookies and cream?
Agree. I have always been on the skinny side and you know what? I’ve always wanted to have curves. It’s all in the brain. Now hand me some of that ice cream.
You got it. Let’s work on some brain freeze!!
It’s amazing how a preoccupation with weight seems so compelling for so long, especially after kids, but then just gets boring. Finally, one day, if the fates are with you, after over-indulging, you don’t get on the scale, you do fit perfectly into your clothes and you go, “Okay, good. That’s over.”
i don’t know.. my mother has never gotten over it and she’s on the tiny side of tiny. it might be genetic!
I’ve heard some really good things about Weight Watchers but I keep thinking I should ditch the cigarettes before I worry about the weight.
I’m ok with the whole body image thing but I know taking a few pounds off will make clothing that fits easier to find.
i have to say, i loved weight watchers! first off, it worked. second, it was all in my court. i could eat what i wanted as longs as i just was accountable for it all and kept track. and yeah, i feel better in my clothes which makes me feel better all around. i wish sometimes i could get the crazy out of my head. i’m working on it. 🙂
Love the hat.
why thank. i think i rock it. 😉
You so do.
I always tell people to be happy. Just enjoy that Oreo or slice of cheese cake. Don’t demolish your burger bun. I understand the struggle. I’m recovering from my second child and its taking a while to drop the weight. And its because I don’t give up my way of thinking when it comes to food. Just be happy and enjoy a meal.
i so appreciate people who can really just enjoy a meal without having a brain injury over whether or not they should or could eat something. i aspire to one day be you. 🙂
Ugh the scale. Yes. I did Weight Watchers for awhile and did pretty well on it, but ditched it when I realized that I was doing insane things like eating sugar free chocolate pudding instead of adding avocado to my salad because avocado was more points. Just, no. It’s more of a struggle for me to maintain a healthy weight on my own, but I try because I think, ultimately, it may be a healthier way to go. Who even knows? You’re right, thought, about this being a head issue more than anything else. Except today. Because today I woke up feeling like I weighed 500 pounds and couldn’t button my pants. So today it’s physical. Tomorrow it can all be in my head.
i really really like weight watchers. i guess cause i am very routine and i like keeping track and counting and all that. i was a little thrown by the avocado bit too as it was a huge part of my diet, along with pb. and i admit for the first three months – i cut it out completely, but then as i progressed i added it back in. definitely in smaller quantity but now instead of both my sushi rolls having avocado, i’ll have one instead. okay, i’ve kissed ww butt enough. for me, it worked. we all do our own thing.
This one totally hits home for me. I have been trying to lose weight for four years. FOUR. And I can’t. I’ve tried: WW, Cabbage Soup, Low Carb, No Carb, exercise, calorie counting, seriously you name it. Absolutely nothing helps. At first I wanted to lose 10. But then I tried to settle for five. (every little bit counts when you’re short like me) I’m at a point where I’m trying to be content with who/what I am.. but darn it would be nice to have that cushion. 🙂
i swear by weight watchers now. i loved it and it actually worked. i was shocked because overall i’m really healthy. go figure. the cushion is nice but the anxiety is still there. 🙂
This is exactly the post I needed today. I struggle with this too. Being on my thinner side produces so much more anxiety becuase I’m trying to “hold on” to the size. It’s such a vicious cycle. I hate it. I never know what’s “real” and what’s in my head. I’m so grateful that you talked about this today and I get to be part of the conversation.
i’d say being grateful is the right place to start. i’m right there with you. 🙂
I can totally relate to this post! People who don’t struggle with their weight just don’t get it; it’s always an uphill battle! You are awesome; you look great, and you’re doing great! 🙂 Enjoy that ice cream! You deserve it.
i know. it really does give anxiety although i felt a bit like an asshat complaining about it. 🙂
Great piece! I can totally relate. I lost about 35 pounds a year and a half ago and I’ve managed to keep it off, but it is a constant worry. I feel like the pounds are just waiting around the corner to ambush me when I least expect it.
In an effort to save my sanity, I’ve given myself permission to stop weighing myself. I’m learning to think more about how I feel, my energy level and how my clothes fit. Not checking in with the scale was really liberating.
every single day i think i’m gained weight. and yeah, losing the scale would be liberating but i think for me, it would give me even more anxiety not knowing. i work with the once a week (sometimes twice) check in. i need it.
The issue that seems to exist is we are taught to link skinny with healthy and with an assumption that skinny equals no fat.
Unless you are an athlete competing in weight limited classes then weight should not be the primary concern. It is the percentage of body fat that counts the most – there are a lot of “skinny fat” people out there. In fact the irony for people with eating disorders is that despite being wafer thin there body fat content is extremely high.
Forget the bathroom scales and just concentrate on reducing body fat – and use the “jeans” test. If you are reducing body fat you can be assured that the waist size on your jeans is shrinking as well…
Now go and have a couple of scoops, three, two for you, and one for me 😉
i know it’s all true, but it’s hard. i’ve been brainwashed for a long time. and then there’s my obsessed, hot mom. i try very hard to eat healthy and exercise and keep the crazy at bay. sometimes i do better than others… but i’m always trying. 🙂
And that is the most important thing, trying! But hey, don’t keep the crazy at bay, we love that about you… 😉
As they say in the classics, remain out of control and see what develops, works in our house at least!
except can’t be too out of control with ice cream, just reasonably out of control. 😉
I can relate. I lost nearly 20 pounds before my wedding, and now that I know what needs to be done, it’s hard for me to eat much of anything without some guilt.
That doesn’t mean I don’t do it, but I feel bad about it.
changing your brain is hard!! but it’s a good change, so i guess it’s worth the effort. congrats on your weight loss. 🙂
The brain reset is so hard! I feel like it takes a year or more to get past it.
it is! and when you finally reset – something changes!!
It absolutely has more to do with our minds, and how we are conditioned growing up. No matter how thin I have ever been, I always felt like I needed to do more, to weigh less. Now I am in that– I wish I was the size I was the first time I thought I was fat, stage….and working hard to get healthier. Also working on the brain reset 🙂
it’s a never ending process but if we can get the brain right, we’re way ahead of the scale. 🙂
It certainly doesn’t help to meet people who are fond of saying things like ‘You used to be fat. You’re not anymore’
Right?! How bout, ‘You look great’ and just leave it at that. I like to think people are generally well-intentioned but sometimes they’re just stupid. 😉
Stupid and repetitive