I've been sticking at 168 for a week straight now. Sometimes it's 168.3 and sometimes it's 168.8. It really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things, but it is fascinating to observe. Like, this body is just figuring out what to do with all of the extra fat lying around. What a task to perform! I have no idea how it all works but it amazes and inspires me. What else could it do for me if I chose to meet it half way? It's fun to see how easy it is to move around and how I don't get sick anywhere near as often or for as long as I did when I was eating junkier.
I'm not sure what I expected, but I'll tell you that so far this is not what I thought it would feel like. Here are some examples of things that surprised me about making a lifestyle change to be healthy:
I love my body more now than I ever have before. It's really bizarre to think, yeah, I really am more comfortable within my skin this way. I don't doubt there are folks out there who love themselves regardless of anything - some obese people say they're happy the way they are and that's good for them. Unfortunately, I didn't feel the same about myself. When I was over 200lbs, I really wanted to see myself the way I look right now. Don't get me wrong, I was proud of myself for staying around 200lbs, really, and I thought I looked good. But I can't deny that I like the way I look now even more. It's not that I didn't love my body at all back then, it just wasn't delivering like I feel it is these days. I like looking in the mirror now.
I have so much more energy. I give much of the credit to two sources that give me more energy than I thought possible without the assistance of caffeine (I don't drink caffeine daily): healthier eating/less sugar and walking. Getting even a little walk in every day is better than nothing and it gets my brain up and running like a cup of coffee used to do. I try to at least get a mile in every morning and then take additional walks as I am able throughout the day. I feel like I have enough energy to get my own glass of water (instead of asking my husband to grab it the next time he's up) or do multiple loads of laundry so I can go up and down the stairs a few more times (so I can feel accomplished when I check my fitbit stats!). It's the kind of energy that makes me feel compelled to run errands when we need to replenish our food stock, which is convenient because we have to go grocery shopping once a week, sometimes twice. Fresh food is a bitch for the modern lifestyle, but it's worth it.
I still have body image issues. Some part of me thought that I would magically see myself as my idea of 'perfect' and that part of my life would be dandy. It's not. I still have days when I feel chunky and want to wear super baggy clothes to hide. I just take on those days slowly and try to be more patient with myself. When I immediately have negative thoughts about myself upon seeing my reflection I remind myself of how far I've come. If it doesn't help, I'll pull up a comparison pic to prove it to myself. "See, you look like the one on the right. You're not skinny, so you're still going to have lumps in various places. That's probably always going to be there, just like your stretch marks. It's going to be okay. You're still much healthier this way and that is the whole point. It's not about being so thin that you can look sexified in a bikini - though you probably will still rock one out at some point, so don't worry about it. What it's really about is enjoying as much of your life as possible. Enjoy as many moments as you can. If being healthier gives you more enjoyable days to get the most out of your life, then let's get healthy. You're already on the right track and now it's just a matter of making every day count. Use today to do an even better job than you did yesterday." That train of thought keeps me motivated to continue down the path of healthier living. But I'm probably always going to have times when I just feel like a big fat doodyface and that's just how it goes.
When I was over 200lbs I felt a lot more confident when I wore shapewear. I felt like it was a way of hiding while wearing smaller clothes. In the black dress (pictured above) I was wearing nylons with a control top and shapewear shorts that held in lumps from below my bust to just above the knee. In the white dress I am in a dressing room in JC Pennys without shapewear of any kind. I've worn a few dresses out and about since I've been 170-ish and never with shapewear. I prefer going without.
I feel so small. Chairs are huge, holy crap. I can cross my legs while sitting on a couch/chair. Doing the child's pose in yoga is way comfortable. My husband can just pick me up in front of him and carry me around or do squats. My steering wheel is so far away. I can pick myself up without a rocking start. I don't hit my elbows on doorways. Blankets and towels are enormous. Why does the tag on these clothes say 8? I mean, I'm not an 8 by most brands standards but there's still an 8 out there that fits me and I can pair it with a women's size medium shirt. The shock hasn't worn off from that yet. Public transit seats are a comfortable size for my butt. My thighs don't chafe when I'm wearing a skirt.