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Old 12-06-2009, 08:41 AM   #1  
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Default What's it like to bust a weight barrier?

I've noticed that for the past week or so, I've been struggling a little bit.

Not struggling enough to go off plan, but just little things, like eating an apple because I'm nervous rather than hungry, or being distracted by the cookies EVERY TIME I enter the break room at work.

It got worse a few days ago when I weighed in at 232. I only remember ever weighing less than I do now ONE TIME, one post-workout weigh-in when I saw a weight under 230. That was in 1992.

When I started this journey, everything sucked. I was fatter than I had ever been, totally out of shape and could feel my health slipping away.

Now, I feel great, everyone compliments me on my weight loss, I'm fit, energetic, and feel pretty.

But I can't IMAGINE the next step-- because I know that if I keep going down, soon I will be giving up a plus sized identity that I cultivated for the last almost twenty years.

I feel like there is a part of me that thinks where I am now is good enough-- I'm still chubby ubergirl, but no longer morbidly obese ubergirl.

I'm just wondering if any others have these feelings, and if so, how you deal with them...?
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Old 12-06-2009, 08:57 AM   #2  
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I think a lot of us who have always been obese have the same feelings. It's who we are and it's hard to let go of.

For me, 200 pounds was that magic dividing line in my head, like your 230. I had been yo-yo'ing between 200 and 250+ pounds for 20 years, so anything under that weight was unthinkable.

Busting through that mental barrier was scary and exciting at the same time. Scary, because I didn't have any idea what lay on the other side. Exciting, because I really, really wanted to find out what was there. It sounds vain, but I wanted to see what I looked like at a normal weight. I just wanted to be normal, for once in my life. I wanted to leave that ball and chain of obesity behind me and walk tall.

In a way, it was like closing my eyes and stepping off a cliff, trusting that something soft and better was going to catch me at the bottom. I didn't know what was there -- but I knew that I was done with being obese. I didn't know who I would be when the dust settled, but I sure wanted to find out.

As you can probably tell from my stats, in the end I decided that what lay on the other side of the magic divide really was a whole lot more rewarding than staying fat (and safe). In a way, we have to lose our old selves to find out who we truly are, to be our best selves and live our best lives.

My advice to you is to recognize that this is a scary time, that you have to let go of your self-image and trust that there is something better waiting for you. Try to get excited and think of it as a mystery being revealed. Tell yourself that being obese doesn't define you, it limits you, and that your very best self and life are waiting for you on the other side of 230 pounds.

This is the most exciting adventure of our lives!
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Old 12-06-2009, 09:25 AM   #3  
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Oh I think so many of us who were morbidly obese experience a DRASTIC change just becoming plain old obese - and then overweight. The rewards of that alone are INCREDIBLE. Mind-blowing.

BUT, like Meg, I too was ready, it was time, I had settled long enough - I - just - wanted - to - BE - a - normal - weight - person. Not morbidly obese, not obese, not overweight, not skinny - just normal. Average.

So please I urge you to not "settle" for better when BEST is well within your reach and available to you.

If you think you're experiencing wonderful things now, I'm here to tell you, you ain't seen nothin' yet. It gets better and better and better still. I always knew it would be wonderful being that normal weight person, but I hadn't a clue it would be *this* wonderful.

Just because of the high weights that we started out doesn't mean that we don't deserve to be our OPTIMAL. Yes better is good, real good, but BEST is - wow, just wow.

So please stop telling yourself that this is "good enough". There are more rewards waiting just ahead for you. Take that leap. Jump. Reach. Strive. Learn. GROW. Discover who you were intended to be. I'm CERTAIN you won't be disappointed.
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Old 12-06-2009, 09:46 AM   #4  
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I have an enormous fear of the unknown (mixed with a dose of excitement with some things). Onederland is, for me, very very much the unknown; I sometimes think I was born with an aversion to the scales.

Truthfully, I don't think I have a "legendary" barrier like your 230. That's how long I'd been in denial about my weight. Being a number nerd means I can "create" lots of mini-barriers, and this 209 was my most recent. I'd bounced up against it for about two weeks, and this morning BOOM it was 208, which put me oh-so-neatly at 40lbs down, overweight instead of obese, etc. I suspect the jump from 200 to 199 will be similar.

Perhaps we need those barriers, strange as it might sound? I'm not sure many people can just start work on a project without any kind of structure whatsoever; everyone does at least some planning. We break up our days into am and pm; the weeks into week and weekend; the year into months and seasons. If we didn't have the big breaks because of their place in our history, we'd have to create them ourselves. do I deal with them? Do you know, I don't really know. I'm kind of eyeing onederland right now like a brooding lioness in the corner of the room. I've never been there, I don't know what it's like, it'll take effort to get there - so someone remind me why I'm doing this again? Surely it's less work to sit around here and enjoy my work so far.

But you know, I'm a stubborn salsa chip. Now, much more than I had when I started this journey, I can see how losing this weight (an issue which has been dogging me for so many years) is a really important part of the larger journey I'm on - that of finding out who I really am, the woman God made me to be, and being honest with myself. There are numbers out there which define a "healthy" range for me, and I want to get there. And I'm really bad at giving up. And somehow I think the Real Salsa ChipŠ is also a woman who doesn't give up, either. So I'm going to carry on...and see what it's like.

No clue if this brain spurt of mine helped, but maybe it was interesting?
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Old 12-06-2009, 09:49 AM   #5  
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I've struggled with the 200 lb barrier for 2 years. I struggled with the 300 lb barrier for 18 months and I struggled about with 260 (my lowest weight in high school) for a few months. It has been hard for me but I don't think it is impossible. Part of it is really the fear of the unknown. I was probably last under 200 when I was maybe 10 years old.

The other weight barriers I worked through by just going through it and I'm not sure why I haven't been able to do that with 200 lbs. Part of me thinks I need to throw the scale away for a couple months just to do it and it may come to that.
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:01 AM   #6  
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Oh, I hear you. I am now lighter than I've been since I graduated from high school, which is getting on for 25 years ago. My little mini-goals keep falling, and with each one that falls, I lose a part of my identity. Mind you, I didn't <i>like</i> my identity as a seriously obese person, but, still, that's what I was, that's how I thought of myself, and this <i>new</i> identity is requiring some mental and emotional adjustments.

I just weighed in, and I am now exactly 20 pounds from the goal I thought was just barely realistic when I started. (Don't mind the ticker, it doesn't count in tenths ) Looking at my body now, I'm certain I am going to change that goal when I get there, but I need to wait until it happens until I do, because, honestly, I <i>still can't wrap my head around it</i> as it presently stands. I haven't been self-sabotaging, as far as my eating/exercise plan goes; I have, in fact, been more on-plan than at pretty much any other time, because my margin for error is so much smaller. But I have been so much harder on myself emotionally and mentally, so harsh and unforgiving, from time to time, that I can't help but think I'm freaking out a little as I get so close, because it is kind of frightening. So I get there, and I believe I will, and then what? I'm in this body I'm still not used to, and I have to maintain it, and OK, I feel very strongly committed to doing that, because I sure as heck don't want to have to lose 180+ pounds again EVER, but right now, and for well over a year, I have had this specific goal I've been working towards, just going full-out, and eventually, I'm going to get there and it makes me worry that my all-consuming purpose is going to disappear and leave me with...I don't even know what.

OK, that was just kind of stream-of-consciousness rambling, and I don't know how much sense it made, but I did want to let you know that yes, some of us do deal with these feelings, and you're not alone at all.
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:18 AM   #7  
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This post and the comments are remarkable! So much wisdom, courage and success! WTG! Everyone is right head is swimming with thoughts right now. Today I can't believe I am in the 240's and going down. Did you hear me? GOING DOWN... Lately I have been working from home and haven't been in the office since I started this down curve of loosing weight... I am VERY nervous of people noticing. And I think it might be this week. I don't want the attention...I don't want to tell people "what I am doing" You know the magic diet question! You know what you all have taught me?

When the attention begins...I am going to hold my head high! Be proud and feel the feelings. Whew, this is a big one for me.

Thanks all you chickies! You ROCK!
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Old 12-06-2009, 11:47 AM   #8  
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Originally Posted by catherinef View Post
My little mini-goals keep falling, and with each one that falls, I lose a part of my identity. Mind you, I didn't <i>like</i> my identity as a seriously obese person, but, still, that's what I was, that's how I thought of myself, and this <i>new</i> identity is requiring some mental and emotional adjustments.
Yes, this is exactly it. Well said.

It brings to mind the way my teenaged kids have responded-- sometimes they say they miss "fat mom" or seem a little sad when I discuss something about wearing a smaller size or being able to do more things. They grew up with a fat mom and had made whatever mental adjustments they needed to make in order to love me the way I was-- so that complimenting the "new" me seems to make them feel kind of disloyal.

I guess the other thing that is kind of weird to me is that I used to be, through my twenties, at or very near a normal weight, but I had such a distorted self-image that I felt HUGELY FAT all the time.

So, when Robin and Meg weigh in and tell me how wonderful it will be to achieve a normal weight, I have a hard time relating to it.

I KNOW for a fact that when I weighed 150 lbs I thought I was so fat that I could barely fit into any normal clothes. That can't be true, right? But I remember it that way.

There is so much combined wisdom on this thread that I've read each of the responses several times....

I'm hanging in there, and those dang cookies in the break room are almost gone and I haven't even come close to touching them.
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Old 12-06-2009, 12:01 PM   #9  
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You have gotten some awesome advice!

I've felt the way you do and my ultimate decision was not to over think it too much....just go with the flow and in the end I'll wind up where I end up. For the most part that worked but there was a few times at the beginning of the year where I felt kind of out of place. I hung in there and I'm very glad I did!
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Old 12-06-2009, 12:38 PM   #10  
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i LOVE LOVE LOVE your exercise and eating motto's, it makes so much sense when you say it like that.

i am new here and extremely overwhelmed with where to start and get started..getting routines down and such. ive been wondering the the forums and reading what i find guys are very inspirational! how did you all get started? what works for you guys? i need all the help i can get i am around 230's and ideally need to drop 100lbs. im so confused..
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Old 12-06-2009, 12:57 PM   #11  
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I never gave a thought to the emotional adjustments that I would have to make when I started losing weight. It's a lot to wrap your head around, that's for sure. I think if you just realize it will take some time to adjust and that you will be so much happier it helps. Be patient with yourself and others. I hit my goal weight in May and I am starting to feel normal. I've loved the thinner body, it's just trying to make the inside and the outside fit together that is strange.
I've been scared to look at myself on video. My hubby and kids and I were recorded last week and we sat down to watch it and I covered my eyes. I was so scared to see what I looked like. My son laughed at me for peeking through my fingers. It's like I've been hiding from myself for 25 years! It turned out that I don't look bad, it's actually okay.
I know that healthy weight ubergirl is someone you will really love and be proud of!
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Old 12-06-2009, 02:01 PM   #12  
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Originally Posted by H8cake View Post
It's like I've been hiding from myself for 25 years! It turned out that I don't look bad, it's actually okay.
So true about not overthinking it-- I overthink EVERYTHING!!

But it's absolutely true that my weight was the elephant in the room (or I was the elephant in the room, LOL) I guess if you adapt to such a maladaptive strategy-- like stress eating until you are morbidly obese-- then you really can't get OUT of that without noticing that you are FORCED to make some changes along the way.

I'm more assertive now, and I think about the millions of times I sacrificed going to the gym because of my family and now I selfishly go to the gym and IT'S NO PROBLEM. And I spend money on myself, and I comandeered our dining room as my office because I work from home some times, and... and... and... the list goes on.

I think a lot of fatties are hiding our light under a bushel and maybe we're afraid of how bright that light will shine if we ever let it out.
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Old 12-06-2009, 02:18 PM   #13  
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wow! what a thread. nelie, your post made me think so much about what I've been doing.

240 is something of a mental barrier for me, it's the weight I was when I graduated college, and going below that feels like new emotional territory, even though I've been thinner as an adult.

I guess the other thing that is kind of weird to me is that I used to be, through my twenties, at or very near a normal weight, but I had such a distorted self-image that I felt HUGELY FAT all the time.

I was 20 or 30 lbs overweight in my early 20s and felt HUGELY FAT. at that age, looks and weight seemed to me to be a much bigger deal. It does strike me as strange to think how I've defined myself as a large sized person for most of my teen years and the majority of my adult life.

maybe you're right, Salsa, about needing the barriers. It's like levels of a waterfall, it breaks the flow into something more gentle instead of a rushing torrent over a steep cliff.

Congrats, Cathy, on the scale going down!

yep, I'm an overthinker, ha!
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Old 12-06-2009, 02:56 PM   #14  
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when i was 29 i lost about 70 lbs on slim fast. my daughter who was 8 at the time went to hug me one day and said ' mommy, you dont feel like my mommy anymore'. it really upset her and upset me to see her so upset. we become so ingrained to being overweight sometimes it becomes 'who' we are instead of just a part of us. i like an idiot stopped dieting and now im over 300 lbs.. when i lose weight this time, and if daughter says i dont seem like her mommy( she shouldnt she is 23 now lol) ill say tuff lol
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Old 12-06-2009, 03:56 PM   #15  
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It's funny, just today, a couple of hours ago, I had a friend here who saw my "before" picture laying around. She said to me that she couldn't believe that that was me. She never remembered me being that large. So eventually, and sooner than you think, the new you is what people remember and the old you fades to the background. Also weird, but whatever. My kids have told me many times that they hardly remember me being so heavy. Thank goodness, because that couldn't have been a picnic for them. The current me is normal to them and given that I was morbidly obese for waaaay longer than I'm at a healthy weight, it's - odd. I guess it really is a case of out of sight, out of mind.

And even me, I swing back and forth on this one, also weird. Sometimes the pain and suffering seems so vivid, but this is my life now. THIS IS MY LIFE NOW. The old me really is gone. In certain ways it seems like it was SO long ago, when in actuality I've only been at my current weight 2 years, 5 months. I'm a whole different person now.. Happier, healthier, more energetic and productive, livelier, friendlier, stronger, smarter, nicer, wiser, kinder - BETTER. I'm the old me - only BETTER. Much, much - BETTER.

And let's not forget. The most important thing about this was/is gaining our health. Our health. Our mental health is a huge, gigantic factor granted, but our physical health, our well being, our future is riding on this.

Breakdown those barriers. Smash em' to bits.
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