Weight Loss Support - After The Flood

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08-20-2004, 04:42 PM

My name is Shawna. About two years ago I started a personal weight loss initiative and ended up losing 65 pounds. I dropped from a size 16 - 18 at 230 pounds down to a size 10 - 12 at 165 pounds. I have been maintaining at this weight for about a year. I would still like to lose another 20 pounds but I am not yet ready to make the sacrifices of lifestyle that will require. =)

What I have discovered in the aftermath, however, is that while there are hundreds of handy articles explaining how to lose ten pounds, twenty pounds, even fifty pounds - there are very few articles that deal with the incredible emotional backlash involved in losing the person that you used to be and replacing them with someone completely new.

I have been struggling with a lot of issues of self perception and self image and self esteem. I have been trying to reconcile the old programming with the new reality and it just isn't working. I have had a lot of successes and a lot of failures and a lot of smiling and a lot of sobbing. This is probably the most difficult thing I have ever done and it is incredibly frustrating because every time that I think I have beaten the hurt fat kid inside she springs back up again.

I feel like I have walked through the fire only to discover that the other side is littered with hot coals. I would do it again in a heartbeat, though, because as hard as this has been I feel like I have created positive change.

I guess what I am looking for is some of you to share your experiences of dealing with things after the weight loss. I have spoken to a lot of people about this but even ones who have lost a substantial amount of weight were not able to lend too much help.

Does anyone have any tips or stories or interesting insights into this? Any books to recommend or articles to read? How have you reconciled the ghost of the person you used to be with the reality of the person you are now?

08-20-2004, 10:45 PM
Hello Honey. I read a really good book called The Thin Books, the first part deals with building self esteem and the second part is a daily positive meditation. Another good book is Intuitive Eating-excellent book. I would recommend both of them. I had lost over 80 pounds and have managed to put back most of it. A lot of my reasons can be found in the book Intuitive eating. Anyway hang in there. We are all here for you. Take care and God Bless.

08-20-2004, 11:08 PM
I haven't gotten there yet -- I've lost 145 but am still about a size 16. I've been overweight all my life. When I started thinking about trying one more time to lose weight, I realized that I would have to face EXACTLY what you are talking about if I were to actually reach my goal. So, I'm still "overweight" and I still don't live in the world as a "thin" person. But, you are right, this is the subject no one talks or writes about. We're simply supposed to be happy, right? Now that we're "normal", what's the big deal? :P

I do know that my life at this weight is a LOT different than it was even 50 pounds ago. I can go to a bar and men talk to me (not ALL of them, but ... LOL). I can go to a clothing store and walk through the misses section and not feel that everyone is looking at me saying, "What's SHE doing here?" I no longer assume that people I meet are thinking about my size. So, yeah, that stuff is good and fun. But ...

I'm still getting used to the fact I don't take up as much room as I used to. I feel overwhelmed when I go to the mall because I can buy clothes in so many more stores than I used to. I've lived all my life shopping in a handful of clothing stores and catalogs, so having MORE choices is ... weird and a little uncomfortable sometimes. Being overweight is such a great excuse for not doing things, and for why other people don't respond to you as you'd like. When you lose weight, not only are you shoved out of your comfort zone, but you lose your protection from the world. Even if you don't blame being overweight for your failures, it's still less risky emotionally to stay fat than to lose weight.

I don't have any answers, really, other than to say I know precisely what you're talking about. Have you read the book Fattitudes? It's mostly geared towards people who are trying to lose weight, but it addresses some of these issues, because some people do sabotage themselves so they won't lose whatever their weight is giving them.

You might also visit the Maintainer's Board and cross-post -- I'm sure they'd have a LOT to offer on this topic!

08-21-2004, 11:27 PM
Funniegirl you are an inspiration. You have lost so much weight. You are truly a hero to us. You know that when I went from plus size clothes to regular size clothes, when I would walk into a clothing store I would go automatically to the plus size clothes. It's like my brain never accepted the fact that I was 80 pounds lighter. Anyway this is a good subject to think about. God Bless.

08-21-2004, 11:46 PM
First, congrats on your weight loss, it's impressive! Second, while I haven't lost a lot of weight, I've actually put on a lot of weight. And people just treat you differently depending on your size, it's kind of shocking at times. I wonder if you will be able to find the kind of support you need with just reading an article. I can assure you that what you are feeling is normal (I have a job where I deal with a lot of women who lose a lot of weight and they talk with me about it), it's possible you need to "reprogram" your thinking of how you fit into the world and such. I would actually recommend a therapist, if you can find a way to see one. They can be SO helpful, and can teach you things to cope with how you are feeling, and can give you ways to deal. On the other hand, part of being human is trying to struggle to define who you are, and it's constantly changing, which is the hard part. I think that often we define ourselves by how we look, the weight we are, where we live, and when that changes, it's hard to redefine ourselves. Remember, you are that hurt fat kid, and you need to get to a point where you can accept that, and love that person. I don't know if this was any help, and I hope you feel better soon. :)

08-25-2004, 12:44 PM
Thank you all so much for your replies!

You put it in perspective a little bit and that is very helpful.

Thank you so much. =)