The Phantom of the Fat Girl

Down a little bit more…not as productive of a week as I would have liked, but as it was another week on the go, it could have been a lot worse.

 

For the last 14 months I have undoubtedly gone through some pretty significant physical changes.  Having lost almost 75 pounds, you can’t help but have changed a little bit.

But despite all the physical transformation I’ve gone through…despite the fact that I’ve dropped from a size 20 to a size 10…I still have a hard time seeing the new me occasionally.

I still compare myself to the Giselle’s of the world…to the Kate Upton’s. I wish for a flatter stomach and a firmer ass. I want toned arms and 1 chin…I want to look in the mirror and stop seeing fatter Hannah.

Don’t get me wrong…I do see very clearly that I’ve lost weight. But I don’t think I’m seeing myself as I presently am.

It’s like I’m on a 35 lb delay.  My brain still thinks I weight over 200 pounds.

 

Uhh, hello?!  What the hell? Where is the confidence I was guaranteed? Shouldn’t I be wearing a bikini for the first time in my life? Shouldn’t I be able to get dressed in the morning and leave the house in the first thing I pick out because there is no longer such a thing as an unflattering dress that makes me look like a refrigerator? Yeah…not so much.  To me, I look almost exactly the same. And yes, I’m still changing clothes 100 times. No bikini. On occasion, refrigerator status.

I’m putting on medium shirts and convincing myself that the sizes must have been manufactured incorrectly. My size 10 jeans fit comfortably and I’m telling myself that it’s just fluke.

How does one change that? I do I overcome the ideals of perfection thrown into my face daily by the media? How can I be proud of the fact that I’ve dropped my BMI 14 points (true story) instead of the regret that I don’t have the belly for a bikini? How do I get over the fear that every time I sit in a chair, it’s not going to buckle beneath me?

 

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The quality of that video is bad…but you get the idea!

 

Believe it or not, this distortion has an actual name:  ‘phantom fat.’  Apparently, after a person experiences weight loss, their perception of themselves can sometimes take its time to catch up to the body’s physical changes. Experts have compared it to the feeling of the phantom pains that amputees feel long after a limb is gone. Yes…I said experts. As in people-who-get-paid-to-analyze-the-brains-of-others agree with this distortion….I’m not crazy after all! (Ok…I guess that’s technically up for debate.)

Who would have thought that body image would be something I’d have to worry about once I got here? I figured my insecurities would vanish with the weight.

So now begins a new battle… I’m working on recalibrating my image of myself. Surrounding myself with positive people is certainly helping. People that don’t necessarily know the way I used to be, but see me as I am right now, and appreciate all that this person is. People that truly believe in my beauty, and not just in comparison to what I was…I am trusting the compliments for the first time in my life, instead of convincing myself that there’s some ulterior motive behind them.

But why put in all this work if I can’t see anything changing?

I know I’ve got to give it time. Staying on track towards my ideal and happy weight will help.  My brain will see and celebrate the new me eventually.

I also need to stop being unrealistic.  I’m not going to wake up tomorrow rocking the physique of a Victoria’s Secret model. Losing the weight won’t necessarily turn me into a stick thin, air brushed, Hollywood honey… No one is perfect. I’ve got to try to focus on an ideal that is realistic for me given the bones and genes I was born with.

I have come a long way mentally…it’s time I take a good hard look at myself and see the long way I’ve come physically too.

Years and years of beating myself up has left me numb to how mean I’ve been to myself…It’s high time I appreciate my body. Flaws and all…imperfections and all. It’s time for me to look into the mirror and say, “Damn, the new you is absolutely astounding.”

 

“Mirrors are perpetually deceitful. They lie and steal your true self. They reveal only what your mind believes it sees.” – Dee Remy

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Happy Anniversary!!

Happy 1 Year Anniversary to my blog!!!!  Well…it was officially the 26th, but close enough.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me keep my eye on the prize during this entire journey…no, it has not been easy. But it has been 100% worth it.

1 Year down…and 60 lbs lighter!!!

 

So what has the last year taught me…well let’s reflect.

 

I am beautiful.

I look much healthier in a size 12 than I do in a 20.

I am not a reflection of my weight. No matter the number, I am still pretty awesome.

I can do what I always thought I couldn’t…I have busted through every barrier thus far, and I’m still going.

Wearing skinny jeans makes your derriere look magnificent.

Running up the steps without being winded is awesome.

No gluten in the diet = no acne on the face…I think that’s a win-win for everyone.

Shopping is actually fun…I’m too sexy for the dressing room and so I must do my little turn on the catwalk. (Pardon the Right Said Fred reference.)

Not all gluten-free foods are created equal.

Hiding behind baggy clothes to prevent a little bulge here and there does nothing other than make you look frumpy.

I have incredible shoulders.

Finally focusing on what’s best for your body instead of what gimmick looks the easiest makes an enormous difference.

The cabbage soup diet doesn’t help you lose weight, but it does give you ungodly flatulence.

Finally being able to fit a standard bath towel all the way around you gives you serious motivation.

Not all restaurants understand what gluten is.

Being diagnosed with celiac disease was the greatest blessing.

I am obsessed with looking at myself in the mirror.

I am worthy of only the best…in everything.

I’m a hell of a cook.

It is amazing how amazing you feel when you finally like yourself.

Looking in the mirror and referring to yourself as skinny is quite a feeling.

Hearing other people refer to you as skinny feels just as good.

Corn tortillas are my best friend.

The only reason I have been successful this time around, is because I’m doing it 100% for me.

A positive look on life can change the way you react to situations.

Two glasses of wine now puts me over the limit…aka I’m a cheap date.

I could live off of garbanzo beans, brussell sprouts and ginger ale.

I do not miss what I used to eat…at all.

I am everything that I always wanted to be.

I have found who I am.

I believe in myself.

I am unstoppable.

I am desirable.

I am spectacular.

 

“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”~ Winnie the Pooh