Also knows as “Shh Freaks OUT”. This was written in March of 2009. It’s one of those posts where you let your thoughts flow out your fingertips…
So I went in to the doctors and we were talking about my weight loss. He asked me questions and recorded everything in my file:
What did you use?
Year 1 – Weight Watchers.
And what did you lose?
Year 2 was on my own, and I lost another 21 pounds. (his eyebrows shot up)
At this point I handed him my printout from NutriMirror, and my list of vitamins that I take daily. He took the time to really look at it, which I thought was awesome. Not just a cursory glance. I like my doctor, because I feel that he is in it for the patients, you know what I mean? He really takes his time, and I’ve never ever felt rushed with him. Even when I see him at the clinic. He is 100% engaged in your appointment.
Whoo, tangent #1!
Anyways, he looked everything over and was pleased with what he saw. He asked about my eating an average of 1481 calories a day over the last week. Was I satisfied with that? Oh yes! I eat really well. What about workouts? I told him about my four days a week of heavy working out and three days off. Again, pleased. In fact, what he said was that he should have me talk to some of his other patients. I told him I’d be happy too, but I don’t think he was serious.
So we are going over everything, he’s asked and recorded all the relevant questions. I’m 5’2″, and I weigh 147 pounds, and this is what he says:
Radio silence. I literally could not speak. My mind just completely STOPPED. Um… what? What? WHAT??? As my mind kicked back in, in kicked back into overload. Swirling, questions, comments, screaming, what? what????
So what did I do? I started arguing with him. I threw numbers and statistics at him. I talked BMI, weight charts, muffin tops. I grabbed the skin and fat hanging over my belt and shook it at him! *hangs head now, thinking about that*
In a completely reasonable tone, but talking fifteen million miles a minute I explained to him that my BMI is still saying overweight. He asked what my BMI is, and I told him that it is in the high 26’s, because of course I couldn’t remember SHIT what it was exactly with my brain reeling. He literally cocked an eyebrow at me. I mean seriously, he looked at me like I was a precocious child. Oh look, isn’t she cute, acting all grown up. He tried telling me that this was not high. I sputtered “but it’s still overweight”. Again, his eyebrows shot up, he was suprised.
Side note, now that I think about it, dude has uber expressive eyebrows! I think that’s another reason I like him… he communicates well with his features.
So I obviously was not winning that fight, so I moved on to this: Well, in reality, I’m only losing .6 to .8 pounds a week, so it’s not a lot of weight. To which he replied, “actually, yes it is”.
What? What? WHAT???? I’ll come back to this. I couldn’t wrap my head around it at the time, but I did later, with the help of talking it out with my peeps (I love my peeps, seriously… they let me ramble and poke in comments that help me to sort and file my thoughts and allow new perspectives. I don’t know what I’d do without them.)
Okay, next arguement was to grab the flab and wave it at him. Gah! Great arguement, huh? Meanwhile, looking back now, I think of the dvd workout I watch and dude, I seriously WATCH their abs. I have a thing for abs. And when they are sitting, doing their stretching, those “abs” dunlop over their pants. And they are HOT. So seriously, is this a good arguement? *shakes head* And of course, later as I’m sitting on my friend’s floor, talking to her about this particular segment, I grab the flab and I’m looking at it, and I’m realizing… it’s mostly skin. Not really a lot of FAT. Mostly just excess skin. She looked me up and down that night and said “I don’t think you are fat at all, I think now it’s just a matter of toning what you have, and it will all come together for you”.
In fact, now that I think about it, if I were to have a tummy tuck, and tighten that bad boy, I wonder how much weight it would take off. 4 maybe 5 pounds? Hmmm… there is an interesting thought. Because when I stand naked in the mirror, and turn sideways…. at this point I realize that I have the technology to show you exactly what I’m talking about.
So, as you can see, you can see my ribs. On fat people, you cannot usually make out ribs. This leads down to pretty damn slender, under the ribcage, which then leads down to the “apron” (goddamnfuckingkids). This is where I have the hardest time losing weight. That and bra fat, but I’m not even going to GO there. Huh… mainly cuz when I think about it, it’s probably mostly skin, too. Damn. Anyways, here is the pic:
Now, when I grab the flab. I can pull it up and hang onto it. But is it fat? Am I still overweight? Who decides that?
One of my sisters raised a good point. As I was rambling to her, I said “I wanted to achieve a healthy body”. And she comes out with “well, if you said that to him, and he’s looking at you, he’s telling you, you’ve achieved that, so you can stop trying for it. You are there.” Then my other sister tells me that as she’s listening to me, she’s not REALLY worried, but that I should watch for signs of eating disorder in myself… because there are a few little niggler signs that I could head in that direction if I’m not careful.
Hell, I KNOW that!! That’s what my whole freaking out has been about since I got home from the doctors. Because I don’t WANT to stop yet. I’m not THERE yet. She says “when is ‘there’ for you?”. Fuck.
And then it all boiled down to one thing. BMI. My BMI says that I am still overweight. And all I want is to be normal. That’s it. Normal. It’s all I want. I’ve been overweight my entire life, except for a three month extremely unhealthy period of drugs and SlimFast shakes before I got pregnant with my oldest son at seventeen.
My sister called me on it. “What’s Normal?” I spouted off the BMI numbers. Off we went on a tangent again, and then it comes out again. I just want to be normal. She, under her breath “there you go with that normal word again”. She’s right. And I know, logically, that the BMI is not an exact science. I know that shorter women have a higher BMI than tall women. I know that muscular people, athletes and body builders have a higher BMI but are not fat. I know that.
But here’s the crunch, and I know I keep coming back to it. I just want to be normal. But what does that mean to me really? If I were to open THAT can of worms… it is so much more than my weight. I’ve always described myself as marching to the beat of my own drum. Although I’ve recently changed that to tuba, because most people march to the beat of their own drum, and I love celebrating that I am different. I talk about how when I met my birth mom, I finally found out why I am so different than everyone else… I’m like her. We do not classify ourselves as normal. That’s a good thing, in our world, cuz normal people are either boring or completely fucked up. And who wants to be either of those??? We attract others who are spectacular vs normal, which is why the people who are in my life ARE in my life. Then there is my childhood. It wasn’t normal. It was a complete and total mindfuck being raised by a Stay At Home Alcoholic. Not normal. Having a kid at 17. Not normal. People always comment about it. Usually in the positive, at how I’m so amazing. Again, though… not normal. I have two kids from two different fathers, and I’m married to neither one. Not normal. Dysfunction that turned into something spectacular. Fantastic, but not normal.
It’s funny, all the “not normal”s are great, or turned out great, for the most part. I was able to put the bad stuff behind me, and move on to become a well balanced person who has a fantastic life, is surrounded by fantastic people, has an amazingly large support group, both in real life and online of people who genuinely care, which I don’t know is normal.
So maybe all this is why I just want one, just ONE area of my life where I am normal.
I don’t want to be a member of the heifer cankle herd anymore. I want to be normal.
I’m scaring myself.
I used to say I want to be healthy. But I am healthy. When did this shift happen? When did my goal change? When did the number start really meaning so much to me? I’ve always talked the talk.
When I got to 145 last time, I went through this same mindfuck, but it was based on my own insanity. Today it’s based on my doctor’s comment. And I’m still reeling. I just don’t know what to do.
Okay, let’s go back to this. He said “.6-.8 pounds IS a lot of weight”. I couldn’t wrap my head around that, because I have had the mantra “.5 – 2 lbs a week is a healthy weight loss” stuck in my head. But then, it was pointed out to me that at weight fat, this IS a healthy weight loss. But at weight healthy? Maybe not so much. My sister and I are obviously both bad at math, but we got our point across to each other (mainly her to me) that at over 200 pounds, a two pound loss was probably a close percentage to what a .6 loss is to a 147 pound body. Okay, I’m going to try to do the math…
Damn, I love google… You don’t have to do ANYTHING yourself. Here’s the formula:
((IW-AW)/IW) * 100= weight loss percentage
((208-146)/208) * 100 = 29.8% of my body weight I’ve lost. Woot!! Okay, but that wasn’t the question, that was just for fun. Onto the science…
((208-206)/208) * 100 = .96% Two pound loss at 208lb start weight.
((146-145.2)/146) *100 = .54% .8 pound loss at 146lb start weight.
Hmmm… I’m making a case in my favour…
((146-144)/146) * 100 = 1.37% Two pound loss at 146lb start weight.
((146-144.5)/146) * 100 = 1.02% 1.5 pound loss at 146lb start weight.
You know, I’m looking at these numbers and I’m thinking… it’s small decimal points. Wee fractions of what? But let’s put it in perspective here… butter. Picture this in not numbers, but bricks of butter. Although, I’d like to know if human fat is equivelant to a pound of butter in size and mass. Okay, google is not giving me results. Anyone know any science that answers that?
So, looking at two pounds lost at 208 vs 146, thinking in pounds of butter, yes, there is a huge difference between just under a brick, and one and a third brick. So I guess if you look at it that way, yes, losing .6 to .8 lbs a week IS a large loss.
Hmm. I have to chew further on that one. That’s going to take a while to wrap my head around. I’ve been striving for that two pound loss for weeks, and have been sorely disappointed at not achieving it, even when I was 24 days OP. But if I’m not truly overweight, my body is finding it harder to find two pounds to spit out. So it’s taking little bites of little fat stores under lots of skin, and ptooing it out a little at a time? Hmmmm. Interesting.
Also, I wonder how much muscle mass I’m accumulating with my working out? I know I’m getting stronger. I know I’ve gained inches in my arms, thighs and bum (yay!), so that tells me there is muscle growing. I didn’t take that into account.
You know what? I’ve got to stop focusing on my “spots”. My bra overlap, which I fucking hate with every fiber of my being. My tummy skin/fat that will probably never go away. I mean really, this skin on my body held 208 pounds. It’s held over 180lbs for over 20 years. How can I expect it to be all taught and firm?
Am I on the quest for perfection? No. That’s healthy. Am I on the quest for normal. Yes. That may be unhealthy.
Thought tangent on this: I was having a convo with a girlfriend at work. We were talking about bathing suits (horrors) and I was explaining to her how when I was fat, I was not self concious, but NOW? Totally selfconcious. She (skinny little thing that she is and always has been) couldn’t wrap her head around it, so I was trying to explain it to her, which actually helped clarify it in my own head. You see, as a fat chick, I looked good for a fat chick! But now? I don’t look good for a fat chick, cuz I’m not fat. But I don’t look great for a skinny chick cuz I’m not skinny, either. So I’m much more concious of the blurbles of body deposit now, because I don’t fall into either category.
Which brings me full circle back to… I just want to be normal.
I look fanTAStic for a former fat chick. I have done an amazing job, and I’ve worked hard to achieve a healthy body, the healthy way, over a long period of time. I am strong, and athletic. I’m healthy in every aspect… except my BMI and clothing size. Yeah, I said it. Clothing size.
I don’t WANT to be in the double digits EVER. Right now, I still bounce between and 8 and a 12 depending on the article of clothing. Some things I fit small, some medium, and some still large. I hate large. I don’t want to be a large girl. I’ve worked two fucking years to not be a large girl. I just want to lose enough to be a medium or small girl who fits in only single digit clothing sizes. THAT is my enough. And THAT would put me in the normal range of the BMI. And why is THAT wrong?
Maybe it’s wrong because we aren’t talking fat, but excess skin. All over my body, not just my tummy. I was fat everywhere.
Sigh…. I don’t know. I’m still swirling. But I’m a little more clear. I just need to wrap my head around this stuff. I need to rethink my body, my values, my everything.
But I can’t help this… the little voice in the back of my head… “I just want to be normal”.
Then I went on…
She told me last year that she thought I was done. I didn’t listen. When I freaked out and mindfucked myself when I hit 145, my sister told me I was done. I didn’t listen. When anyone looked shocked when I said I wanted to lose more, I didn’t listen.
Why didn’t I listen? Because what the hell do they know? I have educated myself out the whazoo when it comes to diet, excercise, nutrition, weightloss, etc. I know numbers, BMI’s, all sorts of stuff. I am WAY more educated (in my own mind) than they are, so how can they POSSIBLY be right. They don’t know me. They don’t know my body. They don’t know my numbers. They don’t know.
But my doctor does. He’s more educated than I am. So him telling me to be done? That’s like you jogging along a path… you are jogging, jogging, jogging, having a good time, tra la laing in your head, jogging, feeling your body, learning your body as a jogger when BAM. Wall. Someone who knows more than you slams a wall in front of you and says DONE. You are no longer a jogger.
So what the fuck am I??? PANIC!!!!!!
Normal… Mom and I got really deep into the normal debate. And it comes down to defining normal. And to WHOM normal is being defined. I’m talking to her, and staring at the pics above of my ribcage. And I’m talking about smaller clothing sizes. I say to her “there’s no fat on my ribs, because I can count my ribs, so obviously, no fat” and she says, “right, so if you put on a smaller size, where the hell are you going to put that ribcage?” Full stop.
I have a large ribcage. Always have. My sister and I fit into the same tops. Why? She has huge bazombas and I have a wide back. It balances out, and we fit the same size tops even though we are shaped completely different. I had to look at the practicality. The practicality of clothing sizes. Tops are always going to be bigger because of my ribcage, not because of fat. Pants are always going to be bigger because I have a hippy bone structure. Not because of fat. I have extra skin that will squish out the top if I wear too small. It’s a muffin top, but it’s actually NOT fat, it’s all the skin that held an extra 60lbs on my body. THAT is my reality.
I have always been a reality based person, so I needed to be slapped upside the head by the two people that actually know my reality better than me. The doctor, who has the education, and my mother, who’s body is exactly like mine. Even when she was too skinny, at 98 pounds with an 18 inch waist, she still had a large ribcage and large hip measurment. That is our bone structure.
Okay, I am slowly wrapping my head around the fact that normal is different for every person. And I am normal… for me. I have a great shaped body, that is fit and healthy. The only thing is that there is a swack of extra skin. Without a tummy tuck, that’s not something I can do something about. It is what it is. It is reality. It’s my normal.
Mom says to me ” you are never going to be normal, you are always going to be better”. Okay, she’s my mom, she has to say that. But then she asks me, “how many women your age do you see that are as healthy as you?” Practically none. “How many are as shapely as you?” Practically none. Go out in public and look at all the women in the malls, in the grocery stores. Really look. I know a few shapely, in shape women, but not at my age, and not as healthy as I am working to be. Not a lot, anyways. To which mom asks “so you want to be normal?? You want to be like everybody else?” Huh. No.
I have a different normal. So do you. And you. And you.
I have to let go of my BMI. I have to let go of smaller clothing. I have to find a new goal. A new path to jog on. Strength training? What does that really mean? I’ve never looked beyone “getting healthy”. Okay, I’m here now… now what? Keep doing what I’m doing? Where will that take me? Do I need to have a goal? I think so. The word “maintaining” freaks me the fuck out. It signifies the end of the journey. I don’t WANT the journey to end, because it’s been a great positive goal for me. I need a new journey. One not based on weight loss.
Maybe I need to journey to a place of deeper understanding of health. A deeper education about fitness. I’ve got the nutrition stuff down pretty good. Maybe the next phase of my life will be about building endurance, strength, speed, who knows?
You know what? Mom lambasted me. She said to me “you’ve done it. You are there. Congratulations, honey, you did it. I’m so proud of you.” I had such a lump in my throat I couldn’t even talk.
I did it. I’m there. I’m healthy. I’m slender (with excess skin). I. Did. It.
I will never be normal. Normal in our world, here in North America, is overweight. Size 14 is the average. I’m between and 8 and a 10 (the odd 12, but it really depends on the brand). That is well below normal.