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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Walk On Water

I’ve always been of the belief regardless of your specific spirituality that it is sometimes hard to deny that there is a divine power. A higher being of some sort watching over all of us.

Being a person that is so nerded out in the science world, having things happen that I can’t explain really throws my brain into a complete tizzy.  As much as I want to believe that there has to be a scientific explanation for everything, I know this isn’t always the case. While I might have a hard time wrapping my mind around it…I know there are many occurrences that can be explained only as something heavenly or godlike.

I had one of those Tim Tebow-esque interventions last week…

It was Tuesday afternoon. I was in my car, stuck in random mid-afternoon traffic, feeling the initial tinges of road rage creep up as I got frustrated with sitting through the same stop light one too many times.  The fear of my impending unemployment was extremely heavy on my mind.  Stressful thoughts were firing one after the other: Right now is a horrible time to be searching for a job.  What path do I take? What direction do I go? Is it time to go back to school? Do I follow my passion and pursue a medical career? Do I take a safe route? What about money? What about insurance? Will I lose my ground? Will I lose my faith in myself if I can’t find something right away?

A wave of emotion rushed over me as I sat there. I felt defeated. I felt myself going backwards 10 steps in that moment and didn’t know what else to do but sit there at that red light as my mascara started to creep down my face.

The radio had already been turned up…I was listening to K-LOVE. Partly because there had been commercials on all the local stations it seemed like and partly because I thought I’d explode if I heard another Katy Perry song that hour.  I wasn’t really paying attention to the songs that were on…my brain was too busy pumping me full of fear of the unknown.  But then a song came on that I’d never heard before, and my mind stopped running 100 miles an hour…so I listened.

I didn’t know who was singing the song or even the title of it…but the chorus hit me in the stomach like a ton of bricks:

When you take that first step into the unknown
You know that He won’t let you go

So what are you waiting for? What do you have to lose?
Your insecurities, they try to alter you
But you know you’re made for more, so don’t be afraid to move
Your faith is all it takes, and you can walk on the water, too

“Walk on Water” by Britt Nicole

Here’s the whole song in case you want to listen – the lyrics are on the video…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The song’s message and the moment it was played can be explained by nothing other than divine intervention.  I had to pull over I was so moved and blown away by what had just taken place. And when the song ended, I wiped my tears. Put a smile on my face, and drove away knowing that no matter what happens to me, I have faith in my ability to handle it, I have faith in my ability to face it, and I will no longer afraid to move.  This feeling that I’ve had about myself over the last few weeks (aside from my minor breakdown at the intersection) has been me walking on water.

I got home and my entire week turned around…which is purely coincidence I’m sure…

I got fantastic news that afternoon…I entered a contest a few months ago sponsored by Jovial Foods, makers of amazing GF pasta. Contestants were required to submit their favorite food memory. Entries would be narrowed down by Jovial the first week of December to 15 finalists, and then the ‘general public’ would vote on their favorite of those finalists. The person with the most votes after the voting closes on December 20th wins an all-expenses paid trip to Italy!!! And if that isn’t enough, there will be cooking lessons alongside my most favorite GF chef and author of all time: Gluten-Free Girl.   I wrote about my sweet Grandmommy and her swimming spaghetti, and found out after I got home that I’m one of the finalists!!! One of the 15!!!! Can you believe it?!   And so I need your help now! Please go to https://www.facebook.com/jovialfoods and ‘Like’ their page…then click on ‘Vote Now’ on the left-hand side – click the link to vote, and then scroll down to the bottom. Please vote!! If you deem my memory your favorite, please take a second and vote for me…I’ve got a lot of ground to make up and would thoroughly appreciate your help!

As if that news wasn’t amazing enough…it didn’t stop there…

My position was being eliminated because one of us was not needed in every single market. In lieu of 1 or more per market, the company was consolidating to 1 per region…my region being the Southeast.  I interviewed for this new regional position, hoping that there might be some chance that I wouldn’t have to be unemployed after all.  Well, my loyal blog followers, I am happy to say that after 2.5 years of hard work, I got the promotion, and got the regional job. Yay! I no longer have to stress (at least not right now) about all the things that I fret over at the stoplight. I am relieved. I am grateful. And most importantly, I am proud of myself and the name I’ve made for myself within the company thus far.

But no…that’s not it either…my week got even better this morning….

Pudge has a lot less pudge now!  I am officially down over 50 pounds!!!!!! 50 pounds – are you serious?! Me?! The girl that has failed at a million diets and attempts at weight loss in her lifetime? The girl who thought so little of herself that she didn’t feel like she deserved to be happy or healthy? The girl who refused to look at herself in the mirror for fear of taking her level of disgust to a new high?  The girl who so many times in her life didn’t feel like fighting anymore?

Yes, this girl. This girl is now happy. This girl is now on her way to being healthy. This girl now thinks she’s beautiful and amazing. This girl now can’t help but stare at herself in the mirror and admire how fantastic she’s beginning to look.  This girl has never been more in love with herself.  This girl has overcome the depths of hell. This girl has overcome her eating disorder. This girl has proved the naysayers wrong. This girl has conquered her fears and overcome her demons. This girl is walking on water.

“Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.”  – Voltaire

It’s Opposite Day – And I Lost Weight!

I’m sick and tired of all this weight-loss mumbo-jumbo. I come on here every week and write something silly or pen something sappy, and you come waste your time skimming over whatever hodgepodge gobbledygook I happen to push out.

Happy Opposite Day!

I take my Opposite Day seriously and think I’ll head to the weight-loss blogosphere today and pass on some really horrible advice.

So in the spirit of completely phoning a post in, here are some tips to make sure your next weigh-in doesn’t drop you too, too much…

  • You don’t have to workout on days that end in “y”.
  • Dog paddling can burn up to 10 calories an hour; dog paddling in water will burn even more.
  • Driving by a YMCA earns you three activity points
  • That tuna salad could use a little more mayonnaise
  • Wearing sweatpants in public isn’t always perceived as a sign of giving up
  • Low energy can cramp your style… and nothing provides a quicker energy boost than Twix bars dipped into a can of vanilla frosting.
  • Most Mexican restaurants will keep bringing you baskets of chips if you ask.
  • Most scales are generally five pounds “off,” so be sure and take that into account before registering your numbers
  • If you go to one of those fancy gyms with the treadmills with the TV sets built right in and you just stand there and watch the Soap Opera Channel for an hour… hey, that still counts.
  • Eat smaller meals throughout the day… roughly every 20 minutes.
  • If you have a good weight-loss week, you deserve to blow it out over the weekend.
  • If you’re looking for a substitute for butter on your toast in the morning, why not try fudge?
  • Staying up all night farting around on the internet is just as good as sleeping eight hours.
  • People will tell you that eating too many carbs is bad for you, which is why I encourage you to quit listening to people so much.
  • If you wear a wide belt, nobody will notice that you have your pants unbuttoned.
  • A glass of half-and-half has a tremendous amount of calcium.
  • If nobody sees you eat it, it doesn’t count against you.
  • Make it your goal to be more like Jillian; that is, be a total bitch to everyone around you.
  • You know what’s a good appetite suppressant? Belgian waffles and syrup! I don’t know why it works, but it does!

Why such a sarcastic mood this week?…well…1) my vacation is over…2) look at the freaking results of a ‘week off’:

Ugh!!! Apparently the peanut M&M’s didn’t help…or the alcohol….or the 90 pounds of shrimp I ate a day…or the butter that said shrimp were dipped in.  But…nonetheless, it was vacation after all. Not that being on vacation gives me an ‘official’ excuse…but telling myself that it’s all ok is making me not beat myself up quite so badly.

I am motivated to get back on track though…especially after I had a reminder of what I could look like this past weekend…

Anyone that has ever been overweight will tell you, having a friend that is your same size makes a huge difference from a confidence standpoint.  I used to have that friend….

Aside from the fact that she was significantly more “chestily” endowed than I was (which I always hated her for) we were very similarly built. People always thought we were related…some even questioned whether or not we were twins. We shared clothes; we shopped in the same stores. I won’t call her my fat friend, because neither of us was necessarily fat, but we weren’t skinny either.

We spent many summers at the beach together…I didn’t care what I looked like because I knew she wasn’t judging me and vice versa.  I didn’t worry what she was thinking if I ordered French fries, and she knew I’d never criticize her for ordering the same.  We both had a penchant for The Biscuit Factory and could both destroy a plate of Japanese food and a cup of white sauce.

But it wasn’t all about the food. I felt comfortable around her. I felt safe around her. I didn’t feel self-conscious…Well…That’s how I used to feel.

Fast forward 10 years and my previous not-fat-but-not-skinny friend is now extremely thin. Like size 2 thin. And she looks AMAZING.

I am so jealous of what she has morphed into. I am so angry with myself that I didn’t follow the same journey and we can’t both relish in being each other’s skinny friend.  The girl that used to share my disdain for shorts now looks like a knock-out in them.  The girl, who used to swear that she’d only feel comfortable in a bikini around me, now looks like a model in one. The girl whose clothes I would borrow with no issues, now wears pants that wouldn’t fit around my left ankle.  I now look like a giant ogre next to her.  Her petite frame easily overshadowed by my un-flat belly that we used to have in common.

I want to hate her…but I think I’d rather just look like her.

We vowed to do everything in life together. But I failed on my end of the bargain…She got skinny. I stayed fat. It makes me so upset with myself when I realize the insecurities about myself I didn’t fix because I had someone else to share the same ones with. I no longer have that fat friend…and my insecurities are as raw as they come.

Part of me wants someone to be envious of my physique. I want someone to watch me walk down the beach and be green with envy over my figure. I want for someone to be jealous of me like I am of her…

And as it turns out…I hate that we’re different. So, Amanda…I’m coming for ya…and we’re gonna do this skinny friend thing together…till we’re 307 – unless we kill each other first.

“A true friend is one who thinks you are a good egg even if you are half-cracked.” ~ Author Unknown

This Isn’t Me…

I woke up fat.

I woke up today, wiped the sleepy out of my eyes and gazed in the mirror.

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

This isn’t me.

The “me” in my mind’s eye was fit and spirited, healthy and vital.

The “me” staring back at me was pasty, weak and lifeless, sporting a layered look even though I had yet to get dressed.

This isn’t me.

The “me” in my mind’s eye looked good from every angle and was more than just a pretty face.

The “me” staring back at me was rotund and flabby, uncomfortable looking and miserable.

Somehow, we convince ourselves that we’re doing okay, even when presented with an abundance of evidence to the contrary.

We understand that our actions have consequences, but the truth of those words slip tantalizingly through our fingertips.

We know what we need to do, and yet we falter and fail and can’t for the life of us begin to understand the reasons why.

And then one day, it dawns on us…hopefully.

I’m having an extremely difficult time right now. Between the abundance of digestive issues I’m currently experiencing and a complete loss of every ounce of energy I’ve ever had, I have hit a complete stand-still.

I am sad at my lack of progress and I am dejected in my own skin. I am tired of clothes not fitting. I am tired of whatever food sensitivity I’m currently experiencing creating the feeling of Thanksgiving dinner after eating 2 or 3 bites. I am tired of telling people I’ve tried every diet, and here I am…still topping the scale at over 230 pounds.

I’ve tried so hard all week to keep my internal dialogue positive…but I have so much fear of failing that I think I’m starting to subconsciously sabotage myself to prevent success which I then might screw up.

I just want to feel normal. I want to be able to get up when my alarm goes off and not hit snooze for 2 hours. I want to make the best decision food-wise and not even think twice about it. I want to be excited about working out. I want to stop feeling like this is going to turn out like every other time I’ve attempted this same feat. I want to feel good in my own skin. Is all of this too much to ask?

This certainly isn’t me:

I’m not a person that knows better but can’t do better.

I’m not a person that’s too frightened, worried or weak to make a positive change in my life.

I’m not a person that just doesn’t give a damn.

This isn’t me.

I can grab the reins of my life and take control of what I eat and how I live.

I can push myself harder and further than I ever thought possible.

I can scale a mountain by taking one uphill step at a time.

I can do this.

“Stopping at third base adds no more runs than striking out.” ~ Unknown

The Cat in the Fat

 


The sun did not shine,
hadn’t shined not a blip,
For the girl the blogging world
knows as Pudge Gets A Pink Slip.

She sat there so sadly.
She sat there unhappily.
And she said, “How I wish I didn’t eat
quite so crappily.”

Too big to go out
And too fat to play ball.
So she sat at her desk
and did nothing at all.

And all she could do was to
Sit!
Sit!
Sit!
Sit!
And it left her feeling
Like a big lump of sh*t.

And then
Something went bump!
How that bump made her jump!

She looked!
Then she saw it pop onto her screen.
A web site
On weight loss and low-fat cuisine.
And it said to Hannah,
“C’mon, let’s break this routine.”

“I know you are chubby.
And there’s work to be done
But you can drop poundage
And still have some fun.”

“Have no fear!” said the site.
“I will not let you fail.
I will give you new confidence
when you stand on that scale.”

“In order to lose weight,
There’s two things you must do.
And I call these two things
Thing One and Thing Two.”

“Thing One is ‘eat less’
Stuff less food in your mouth.
Cuz what goes in up North
Often winds up down South.”

“‘Exercise more’ is Thing Two
And please don’t forget.
You won’t dump the plump
without sweating some sweat.”

“Follow Thing 1 and Thing 2
And you won’t stay a fat hog.
Why, if you wanted to you could
Write your own blog.”

“Chronicle your journey
as you step away from the abyss
Fill it with wisdom
(and a few stupid lists).”

So I vowed to eat right,
And I started to move.
And soon was in my own
little weight-losing groove.

And my blog’s doing great.
I may never get rich,
But it seems to have found
its own special niche.

So this cat’s on her way,
She won’t lose her grip.
You can follow my story
as Pudge Gets A Pink Slip

I hope you enjoyed this,
All silly and Seuss-y.
But I may need a lawyer,
When somebody sues me.

 

Gained last week…dammit. Figured that was going to happen…I didn’t really watch what I was eating. Had to drink 2 large containers of barium on Friday…Bottle said flavor was apple smoothie…seriously?! – I may not be a smoothie connoisseur but this was far from a smoothie. Consistency was more like phlegm (pardon me…I just gagged a little). I’m convinced the barium concrete block is still wedged in my gullet and weighing me down like an anchor.

Maybe this addiction to watching 23 hours a day of Food Network is impeding my progress…

Should perhaps get back to reading my “What Motivates Me List” that I posted last week.

In the words of the infamous, animated, blue fish – “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.”

“The difference between try and triumph is a little umph.”  ~Author Unknown