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Monday, December 30, 2013

Body Image

When I weighed 349 lbs I told myself that I wasn't really that big.  I would compare myself to others and say "I may be fat but I'm not that fat".  The truth is I was fat, fat, fat, fat.  I convinced myself that I knew I was fat and I was comfortable with it.  But that was a lie.  I was never comfortable with being overweight.  I was always very conscious of my weight and tried to hide it with clothing and I tried to hide myself.  "This false perception is a subconscious coping strategy to protect us from the brutal truth, the truth about how big morbidly obese really is." (http://www.populararticles.com/article12490.html)
It's funny the things you learn to accept over the years.  Like the way people avoid you, the way people look and then whisper to their friends and laugh.  The way people ignore you or treat you like you are disgusting/dirty.  I have been ignored by waiters, food servers, sales clerks and others on numerous occasions.  In fact there was a time in my life that I would have never gone out to eat by myself, just because of the way people looked at me.
I hated shopping even in the big size stores and don't even ask about trying things on.  I told myself that it was okay that I was overweight and that I was comfortable with it.  But in truth I never was.  I never really looked at myself in a mirror, even to put my make up I would look but not really see myself.  I hate having my picture taken.  Why because pictures don't really lie.
The worst part of this is how I dealt with it.  I ate, drowned myself in over eating and food.  My life revolved around food.  I would be eating breakfast and I'd be planning my snack, lunch and dinner at the same time.
Now here I am almost 100lbs lighter and when I look in the mirror I still see a big fat, fat, fat person.  I know it sounds crazy but I see myself as very fat.  As I've lost weight I've become very critical of myself.  People tell me how great I look and all I can think about is all the fat rolls I have.
I still have trouble buying clothes that fit because I want to buy items that are smaller but that are still loose and hide my body.

So how do I get through this and have a somewhat healthy attitude about my body and all the work I'm doing to become healthier?
One thing is going to yoga three times a week.  Three times a week I put on exercise spandex pants (form fitting) a sports bra and razor back form fitted tank top.  I stand in class with 10-15 other skinny people and proceed to do Bikram yoga.  Am I able to look in the mirror at myself?  Well it's hard because what I see is this huge fat woman with flabby chicken wings for arms and fat rolls stuffed into a form fitting yoga outfit.
It's hard to look in the mirror, I find myself focusing on spots in the mirror that I'm not in.  I force myself to look in the mirror at the beginning of class and during several of the postures.  This is a very uncomfortable and difficult challenge for me but I force myself.
The other thing I've done is work on buying clothes that fit and may be a little snug.  I'm trying not to hide behind the clothing but it's hard.  I still want tops that are baggy and hide me.  The hardest part of the clothing is wearing bras that fit and lift instead of flatten and push down.
I know I have a long way to go to accepting my body as it is but I will keep trying.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Bikram yoga

Well, Wednesday saw my 13th Bikram yoga class since 11/17/2013.  I'm still a little shocked that I keep going back but the improvements I've had in my joints in the last 4-5 weeks is well worth the torture session.
When I started my knees were stiff and I could not kneel.  Now kneeling is not a problem and my overall joint pain 75% reduced.  After suffering for so many years with chronic, ankle, toe, hand, wrists, knees and shoulder pain.  To have such a decrease and during the cold months is amazing for me.  For example I spent the day running back and forth organizing a party at work, I had to make multiple trips and carrying things etc and was on my feet for several hours, in flat dress shoes no less.  Last year this nearly did me in and I was barely able to walk to my car.  Today I may have been a little tired but I was not in pain, my knees and ankles are not stiff and swollen.
While the 90 min sessions are pure torture the benefits have been so amazing for me.  Just to have a some pain relief that does not require medication is wonderful.
As to the yoga poses yes I can do many of them.  I have trouble with some of the balancing ones as I have very little core strength, but each class sees some improvement.  I have learned that I need to push myself until it starts to hurt and then back off on the pose.  I have over stretched a few muscles a few times so I'm learning to listen to my body.  Each time I focus on improving only one pose out of the 26 and not all of them.  The last class was the best yet and I noticed that I'm getting better at controlling my breath.  Over all I enjoy this type of yoga, I like the challenge and I'm so happy with the improvement in my joints.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

8 months

Well it will be 8 months tomorrow since I've had my gastric sleeve.  Last week I bought my first pair of size 18 jeans which I still can hardly believe.  I can't remember when I was able to last wear a size 18.  Other changes include regular exercise for the last month I've been going to Bikram yoga 3 times a week and yes i have survived every session.  Although I will admit several of the sessions I did wonder if I was going to survive the torture chamber.  the thing that keeps me going is that I see people much smaller than me not able to many of moves or they have just as much trouble as I do.
I would go more often but I truly do need a day in between to recover my body.  It takes me longer to get the fluids in that I need the day of and the day after.
The biggest change is how much my life does not seem to revolve around when and what I'm going to eat next.  Food just does not seem that important.  I do notice that I graze more when I'm bored or not busy with something so I'm watching my self a little closer.  I am grabbing more fruit and not going for the crunchy high calorie snacks so that helps.  I've also found that drinking a cup of tea helps also.
 I think the worst thing is that I still see myself as being extremely obese,  I'm still very body conscious and when I look in the mirror I don't see that I've lost any weight.