Size Matters

Or does it?…..

matters-of-size

What a joy it was to re-launch the blog last week. I really had forgotten how much I enjoy pecking away at the computer and posting my mental ramblings for all to read!

I funny thought crossed my mind this week regarding my memory…

When it comes to my ability to remember things…eh…I give myself a C. I suffer from can’t remember what I had for breakfast and can’t remember why I walked in the kitchen syndrome. My mental notes should be renamed “you’re going to forget it in 5 minutes so write it down now” notes.

I’m the queen of forgetting I have clothes in the dryer (Ugh…I hate washing the same load twice because I forget!) and the master at heating something up in the microwave only to find it two days later because I open the door to heat something else up.

However…aside from my lackluster ability to recall most things in my daily life with perfect recollection, there are 2 things that I have no issue forgetting…

1)    I have the psycho ability to recall numbers and numerical data like Rain Man…my first phone number was 845-1424…the Wifi password to the first Wifi card I ever had (circa 2006) was 833846904…My high school locker combination was 17-28-13.  Want to know my address as a 3rd grader? I can tell you that too. Want to know my great grandmother’s phone number? I’ve also got that stored in my noggin. When it comes to numbers, I’m weird.

2)    If I think about a time in my life or an age I was, I can tell you EXACTLY what size clothing I was wearing.  No…I’m not exaggerating. And not only do I remember what size I was wearing, I can tell you outfits I had during those years that were those sizes.

Yes, of course I can recall the details of many events in my life or periods of time. I recall the emotions and the experience, but the very first thought I have when I need to recall a certain time period is my size. It’s like a weird robotic, involuntary reflex….

“So Hannah…tell me something about…”

  • 6th Grade…Shirt size was Large…Went to space camp on a class trip.
  • 8th Grade…Shirt size was Large…Did a dance to ‘Sugarpie Honey Bunch’ in front of my homeroom with 3 other friends. (Ummm….)
  • The day I graduated from high school…Size 14…What a fun party that was.
  • Beginning of sophomore year of college…Size 12…oh that school kickoff party!
  • End of sophomore year of college…Size 18…My gallbladder hurt and I was so lost.
  • Junior year of college…Size 20…What a sad person I had started to become.
  • January 2011…Size 20, XXL…Start to this blog thing.
  • Thanksgiving 2011…Size 18…Started to feel different, but why did I still look so swollen?!
  • March 2012…Size 12…Glad I can now comfortably shop without having to worry about whether or not the store carries plus sizes.
  • The day I got engaged…Size 10…Most incredible day of my life thus far.
  • April 2013…Size 12, Large…Failure. Have to buy a larger size pants because my 10’s don’t fit anymore.
  • November 2013…Size 8…Whoa. Smallest I’ve been in my adult life.

Why?! What the hell is that thought process about?!

I am saddened that I have had such a warped way of reviewing and reflecting on my life. Why are the moments in my life so defined by the number on the label in my freaking pants?

Why is the first thing that comes to mind when I think about the day I graduated from HS the size of the black ruffled dress I was wearing and not what a great accomplishment it was to walk across that stage with honors and the 6th highest GPA in my class?

I don’t want my sizes (past and present) to define me. Size shouldn’t be important. My life and the way I’m living it should be what matters. Thus we have uncovered my current struggle…

I’d love to say that size no longer matters…but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t. Especially when I started to creep back up the sizing scale earlier this year. I’m still struggling with feeling like I look exactly the same in an 8 as I did in 16.

I have this weird meltdown when I buy things that fit because in my warped mind, fit means that they’re tight and tight means that I’m fat.  My brain thinks that loose equals skinny despite the fact that there’s twice as much material. Away from the mirror, I logically know that clothing that fits means that it sits close to my body (as it should!) versus rocking the saggy, diaper booty that I seem to sport when I wear pants a size or two too large, and that if the size is smaller, I’m obviously smaller. But, thus my backwards brain thinks otherwise.

Is it my psyche? The media? Photoshop? What has made size so important? Will the focus stop when I reach my destination? I guess only time will tell….

I am now 1 size…1 flipping size!!!…from the goal I set for myself when I weighed 248 pounds. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted the scale to say…but I did say that my ultimate stretch goal was to be in a size 6.  What do I do if when I get there?

Speaking of goals… I am 12…yes you read that correctly, 12 pounds from having lost 100 pounds. 100. 1-0-0.

 IMG_1277

I have a feeling this will be the slowest, most drawn out 12 pounds EVER….especially with Thanksgiving around the corner. I can do it…I can do it…I can do it…I can…who am I kidding…I’ve already done it!

A triple digit loss is just gravy on the accomplishment train…a very healthy, vibrant, beautiful (low cal) gravy…

Have a great weekend, all!

“Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

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Step Away From the Chocolate!!

I promise I will restart my weekly ‘normal’ blogs next week. PROMISE.

This week I need to vent…well not really vent, I need to confess.

I cannot stop thinking about…chocolate.

Please for the love of all that is holy forbid me from it!  As the result of a ‘hormonal week’ (that’s about as nicely as I can put it) I am having sweet cravings out the wazoo.

This is so abnormal!! I’d give up sugar for 6 months to eat 1 french fry.  Dessert does nothing for me typically. I’d much rather be elbows deep in a bag of Lay’s any day of the week.  But this week….this week is just plain ridiculous.

I opted for dark chocolate after lunch today…it’s more nutritious, right?  I’m afraid to buy a large bag of M&M’s for fear I’ll tilt it into my mouth like a feed bag and eat them like a dog eats a biscuit.

Going to the grocery store earlier was a mistake…instead of focusing on dinner I found myself wandering down the ‘snack’ aisle staring at the 5lb bags of candy and wondering how many would fit in the basket. Thank goodness I’m gluten-free or Little Debbie would have promptly sent me a thank you card after the chunk of change I would have dropped on boxes of Swiss Cake Rolls.

The voice in my head loudly yelled, ‘Ma’am, step away from the chocolate’. I half expected to look up and see the grocery store employees coming at me with scanners drawn.

I feel like someone needs to call in A&E’s Intervention….yes, it’s that bad. It’s been two hours since the last M&M…I’m sweating and shaky. I’m conspiring on how I can score my next ‘hit’. I feel like a drug addict.

Want to know how bad it really is?! I went to the vet (ok I didn’t but Coco did and I took her) this morning with blue M&M stain on my bottom lip.  Yes, the handful of M&M’s  (from a small bag) I had for breakfast decided to really make me regret my decision.

I think it looked enough like a purple bruise that no one said anything. But they were looking. Thinking they were staring at the gargantuan bump on my chin (thanks for that too, hormones), I didn’t think anything of it.  I was mortified when I got back in the car and discovered the lovely blue dot on my kisser.  Great first impression at a new dog doctor, Hannah! I’m sure the notes added to the bottom of the chart where something like: ‘Owner must be having sordid relationship with blue ink pen’, ‘owner was in fight and lost’, or ‘owner is trying out new 80’s shade of purple-blue lipstick that is NOT working for her.’

It was chocolate karma! That’s what I get for indulging!!

I’ve gotta stop…the little progress I’ve made over the last few weeks is going to completely unravel with the calorie consumption I’ve had in the last few days.

I am happy to report that in addition to a tiny bit of weight loss, I did manage to get into a size 8 and am now the proud owner of a SMALL shirt! I never thought I’d fit in a medium much less a small! As if that wasn’t enough, exactly one year ago today I weighed 214…so proud. 🙂

Maybe I’ll think about that when the urge to stick my face in Cherry Garcia arises. I don’t know if my will-power is strong enough for the ‘curse’ force though…

Motivation to eat lettuce is so tough when Swedish Fish (ok not chocolate but damn delicious!) are sitting there looking all beautiful. They’re whispering…saying naughty things and taunting me…’Take a bite…I dare ya!’

I’ve got to resist…if I keep going like this the city council is going to have to approve an expansion plan in the region of my badonkadonk.

Don’t do it, Hannah. Fight it. Be strong.  (But it’s so tasty.)  Don’t do it. You don’t need that candy. (But I do.) You’re better than that Reese’s Cup.  (No I’m not.)  You’re sweet and wonderful without that Symphony bar. (Oh, shut it.)  Step away from the chocolate.  Step your ass far, far away.  The next town over should be far enough…the next state maybe. Candy is evil.  Remember that!  Say it with me now, everyone. Candy is…oh, nevermind. You heard me the first time.

If you can’t be a good example, then you’ll just have to be a horrible warning.”

~ Catherine Aird

Winds of Change

There is change coming….

There is a new chapter beginning….

This once introverted, girl who despised herself is making the journey of a lifetime this week.

In just a few short days, I will be moving to Miami. Far from the NC life I am so used to and so comfortable with… Far from the comfort of my family…Far from familiarity.

But I could not be more excited!  While this relocation is partially due to work, South Florida has also led me to love, and I am taking a leap of faith and following my heart 700 miles south.  I am ready for this incredible new adventure. I am ready to show the world what I’m made of and I am most certainly ready to rock the bathing suit on a more frequent basis.

I have grown so much in the last 14 months. Old Hannah certainly wouldn’t have been able to take on such uncertainty. New Hannah is accepting it with open arms.

Needless to say, my mind still continues to have its own insecurities into how other people view me.  I always wonder whether my own biases and perceptions are ones that other people have.  I question whether I’m doing all of this to prove something to myself or to prove something to the world.

I’ve decided to create a new mantra for myself…create a new creed. In honor of my ‘new chapter’ I’ve created my new rules to live by:

1.  I will not think badly about myself when I look in the mirror. – Magazine images aren’t real. Photoshop has destroyed my perception of beautiful.

This is real…and this is beautiful:

(My god, what’s wrong with me?! I just posted a picture of myself in a bathing suit….if that isn’t change then I don’t know what is!)

 

2. I will not judge someone without recognizing the journey they are on first. – I originally started this blog as a way hold my fat self-accountable…to preach to the world that that just because I’m overweight doesn’t mean I am an awful person or lazy or a failure.  Along the way, I’ve been honored when people tell me that I motivate or inspire them, and I’m humbled to know that I might have put words to their pain, their struggle, or their journey.

 

3.  I will not let someone else’s judgment of me change how I feel about myself.  –  I do it because i can, I can because I want to, I want to because you said I couldn’t.

 

4.  Find the good.-  Consider every day an opportunity to live, laugh, learn and love. While many walk around with the world on their shoulders, choose to be different. Choose to be the exception. Choose fun. Choose to find the lesson. Choose happiness. Choose to be that person.

 

5.  I dictate how I feel about myself, not the scale.  – My weight loss has certainly slowed over the last few weeks…but mentally, I feel better than ever!  It’s about persistence, not perfection.

 

6.  I am on this journey because of the courage I had when I took the first step. – Had it not been for the pudgy girl that found her way along this journey, I wouldn’t be the thinner girl I am today. I owe the world to the 248lb version of Hannah that survived the pain and survived the heartache. She came out strong enough to say, “This is the last time…time to make it happen.” She is my hero.

The next time you hear from me I’ll be in a new place…with new people…and a newfound outlook on life. This euphoria has been 29.92 years in the making…and this happiness isn’t changing anytime soon! This is my time…

Pudge has just about gotten her pink slip….and it feels incredible!

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”   ~ Maria Robinson

If You’re Happy And You Know It Clap Your Hands!

I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus the last few weeks. A few trips out of town, furniture market and preparation for my sister’s wedding in a few days had my brain in a million different directions.

After all this travel, I had a frightful reunion with the scale. But I did not fret…I did not panic. I didn’t decide to eat merely a tablespoon of lettuce for the rest of my life or vow to wear a trash bag around the house to sweat out the extra weight. I didn’t do ANY of the things I normally do.

Who is this girl and what the hell did she do with her old self?

I decided to take a deep breath and get back on track. Oddly enough…not stressing got me back on track much, much faster than I expected and even managed to drop some more….

 

 

Reflecting on my newfound reaction to adversity I realized something. I am changed. I am positive. I am happy.

Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it. – Groucho Marx

Happiness is often defined in different ways, which of course creates a fuzzy picture on what happiness actually is. There is no set standard for happiness. There is no specific explanation. I know what happiness is for me….

The sound of the ocean…the smell of honeysuckle in the spring…holding my love’s hand…cooking dinner for my family…the excitement in my dog’s eyes when I come home…Oyster Roasts with the family…my sister’s crazy laugh… my mom’s okra…my niece’s sweet smile…liking myself in a bathing suit…my Poppy Doc’s stories…my daddy’s 4-hour meal preparation…Fripp Island…the smell of hickory-smoked barbeque…feeling healthier than I ever have in my life…being in love…learning how to trust again…finally being proud of myself…believing in my ability… loving who I see in the mirror…these are some of the things that make up my happiness.

Don’t get me wrong…my mood isn’t always happy but knowing that I’m striving to live an incredible life with supportive, positive people around me keeps me in a state of pure exhilaration.  I am taking life one day at a time, and it is paying off.

I have discovered the life I always dreamed of having…and it really, truly has nothing to do with my dress size. I am eternally grateful for the people in my life, especially the ones that supported me when I was too weak to do it myself. I am grateful for the long journey I have been on, for if it weren’t for the hurdles I’ve been forced to face, I wouldn’t be who I am right now.

I am grateful for the lessons…I am grateful for the encouragement…I am grateful to be me.

 

Clap. Clap. Clap.

Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

I Ain’t Missin’ You At All

We have hit another milestone….

80 pounds!!! E-I-G-H-T-Y!!!!! (Well…80.2 actually.)

80 pounds of excess…fat…sadness. Gone.

And in honor of the title of this week, here’s a little background music for the rest of this post:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I’ve had a lot of people ask me in the last few weeks what I miss about my former non-diet conscious life. My response has simply been, “Nothing.” There is no food that I miss. There is no habit I wish I could revisit again. There is no part of my prior self that I would prefer over the new and improved current version.

This photo was taken the day after I started this blog.

I don’t miss feeling out of control every time I ate. Was this snack of 18 chips going to turn into an uncontrollable binge on 2 bags of Lays, a batch of cookies and a liter of Coke?

I don’t miss the feeling of self-hatred after I had eaten far more than I should have.

15 pounds lighter...

I don’t miss that feeling that food was my only true friend and the kindest, most supportive part of my life.

I don’t miss the way my jeans dug into my stomach leaving an indentation that would last hours on end, because I refused to accept the fact that I might need to buy a size 22.

Losing...slowly.

I don’t miss the popcorn and M&M’s that helped me to not feel so lonely. I begged and begged for them to fill the void but they never did.

I don’t miss wondering if invisibility would be more comfortable. No one could see how badly I’d let myself go if they couldn’t see me at all.

I don’t miss the way my legs chafed when I wore shorts.

30 pounds lighter.

I don’t miss watching other people laugh and dance and have a good time, wishing with all my might that I could be that free.

I don’t miss the staring and the ridicule.

I don’t miss the breakup of my stomach and my brain. Once they stopped speaking to each other I didn’t know when to stop eating.

35 pounds gone.

I don’t miss wondering if anyone would ever really love me for the person that I am, or if all they’d ever see is my muffin top.

I don’t miss worrying whether or not I was going to fit in the booth at a restaurant if the table was one of those that was super-glued to the wall.

I don’t miss the feeling of regret when I ran into someone I knew from high school and wondering if they were saying to themselves when I walked away, “Wow, she sure let herself go.”

50 pounds gone.

I don’t miss feeling like I could not succeed at anything.

I don’t miss crying in the morning when I had tried on everything in my closet and nothing fit correctly.

I don’t miss feeling like a failure to my family.

70 pounds gone.

I don’t miss having a belly that stuck out further than my boobs.

I don’t miss the pain in my knees every day because of the extra ‘me’ I was carrying around.

I don’t miss the fear that a photo of me was going to be tagged on Facebook.

I don’t miss the feeling that no one would ever want you unless you were a size 2.

75 pounds can kiss my ass...

I don’t miss the rejection.

I don’t miss the shame.

I don’t miss hating myself.

I don’t miss waiting.

And waiting…

And waiting…

Waiting for my life to begin.

Waiting for my time to start.

Waiting for my true self.

But she had been there all along.

I found her there waiting off to the side…waiting for me to let her in.

And unlike all the other things that I don’t miss, I had truly missed her.

But she is here to stay…

The new and improved version!

“There is no right path. Only the one that lets you sleep soundly and wake up excited.” 

~ Jennifer Louden