I used to weigh more than 100 pounds more than I do today. When you’re as overweight as I used to be, people don’t always look you in the eyes. They make assumptions about you that probably aren’t true, including that you’re lazy and unintelligent.
People who haven’t struggled to get or stay slim don’t understand how it feels, but they are always congratulatory when they find out I’ve lost that much weight, which is nice.
Yeah, life’s definitely different than it used to be.
People are nicer.
Like I said, overweight often equals overlooked. Since I’ve lost the weight, I notice that people people in general are nicer to me. They’re more likely to offer me a hand or to smile at me in the aisle at the grocery store. I’m even more likely to get special discounts and other little goodies the world offers to petite blonde women. Imagine.
Truth? It makes me a little mad. But whatever.
Men are more aggressive.
Not that I’m complaining, mind you, but since I’ve lost the weight, not only do I get hit on more often, but the men (and a few women) have been a LOT more aggressive with their flirtation and attempts to gain my attention. This is mostly flattering but had been annoying/offensive and otherwise displeasing on a few occasions.
My feet are smaller.
I’d always been a size 7w in shoes, but after my second child was born, I found myself in a size 8w. I told myself it was related to the pregnancy, but interestingly, after I lost the weight, my feet quickly returned to their original size. (Score! An excuse to go shoe shopping!)
I can feel my bones.
Not like I’m super skinny, but for years, I didn’t even know I had hip bones. Now, I can feel them. A weird thing to note (if you’ve never been overweight!)
I’m not perfect.
A lot of us think crazy stuff like, “if I could just lose 100 pounds, I’d be almost perfect! My weight is the bane of my existence!”
Truth? You’re going to be just as messed up when you’re done losing the weight–on the inside. So, in my case, I’m still evolving, and my guess is that I’m not alone. So I’m OK with not being perfect. Instead I work on being a perfect (read: best possible) version of myself in any given moment.
Sitting is better. So is standing. And everything else.
Not only can I pretzel myself into nearly any position, but I can sit comfortably almost anywhere–including on my husband’s lap. And I can do just about anything I want with my body–I dig that. A lot.
I love my husband more, because I know he loves me for REAL.
See, when married me, I was 100 pounds heavier than I am now. And he still loved me and wanted to be with me.
No one else in the world can ever take his place, because I know for sure he loved me through some of the most unattractive years of my life. That is a beautiful trait to find in a man, no?
Listen, there are some really great designers out there who make out plus sized sisters look amazing. Unfortunately for me, being only 5′ tall was working against me.
Some women can totally rock the plus size look, but for me? I wasn’t pulling it off. So after losing the weight, my ability to wear and buy what I want has made life way more fun. And since I can now wear the day, s and m sizes depending on the outfit, I can get some really great deals on the clearance racks. ( Around here, there are always leftovers in the little sizes).
I also shop the juniors section for some stuff. It’s cheaper and for trendy items, works well with some pieces.
I still have to watch what I eat and pay attention to my body.
It’s not a freaking cakewalk, people. IF you have been overweight, then you may once again go there if you’re not careful. It’s a matter of monitoring yourself closely and of CHANGING YOUR HABITS. That means it can’t just be a “temp” fix–you’ve got to be in this thing for the long haul. So go ahead and have a little chocolate if you need it–but don’t be crazy about it! Keep your serving size reasonable and make up the calories elsewhere.
Jan. 2014 Weight Loss Update: 100+ Plus Loss Maintained, Continued
Angela Atkinson is a certified trauma counselor and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery, and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic personality disorder and narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships since 2006, she has a popular narcissistic abuse recovery YouTube channel. Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed narcissistic abuse recovery coaching and has certifications in trauma counseling, life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation, and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy.
Pain. Wake up. Stand up. Pain. Walk, sit, squat, kneel. Pain, pain, pain, pain. Get into a car, get out of a car. Pain, Pain. Sit for more than ten minutes, stand up for more than ten minutes. Pain and pain.
This was my life from November of 2009 and onward.
It was a stupid injury. I drove a truck (18-wheeler) with a tight clutch all night. Limped for about a week. Two days before I was going to see my doctor, I was getting back into the truck when the door slowly drifted closed. My left foot big toe brushed the door and turned my sore leg. POP!
The pain was incredible, like getting hit with a two by four.
They said ‘mal-tracking patella.’ I say popped knee cap. Everyone I tell says, “no big deal.”
Either way, what it translated to was that every time I straightened out my leg– POP, the knee cap shifted and I got pain.
It meant that when I walked on it, the leg and knee hurt. It meant that I limped, making the other leg get sore. It meant that every little misstep or unintended twist or accidental bump was like a renewal on my pain subscription. Later came the back and wrist pain (having to push up from any position takes its toll on the carpal tunnel thing).
Two surgeries and four different multi-week sessions of worker compensation paid for physical therapy later, and I was not better. And now I was out of a job. You can’t drive a truck, they said, we have nothing for you.
I am not the type to ask for or accept help from others. I was the “I can muddle through this and make things better on my own” type of person. Damn the torpedoes and full steam ahead.
But the bills were piling up, my pay had been drastically reduced (about $200 a week) for the year and a half while I was trying to get better. And the settlement money was barely enough to cover the really behind bills. And I found out that if you settle, there is no unemployment insurance to fall back on. So I looked for help and found the South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department.
It is a four week program, where they test you and assess you, both physically and mentally. And they work with you to determine the extent of whatever disability you have and help you determine a future where you can work and contribute and stop feeling like such a drain on everyone. It is a program that helps people with work related injuries, life related injuries, mental and physical disabilities (like muscular dystrophy, autism, spinal cord injuries, and the list goes on).
They teach you how to deal with your limitations while not thinking along the lines of limitations.
And this has been the most important lesson I learned while working with these wonderful, caring people. Since November of 2009, I had been living with my disability. But what I had to understand and learn was that I needed to start dealing with my own limitations. I had been in denial, even as the doctors and therapists were telling me that there was nothing more they could do. I was working from the self imposed assumption that I was going to get better, and then things would be able to go back to normal.
What I realized while going through the program, almost in an epiphany moment, is that I needed to change my view of what had happened to me. I needed to see my injury as the life changing thing that it was. All the while seeing that I was not alone in this. There was a community of people, some with lesser degrees of disability, others with more severe problems that I couldn’t even fathom how they could cope with. But a community nonetheless.
I now understand that I will not get 100% better, but I will learn how to work with what I have. I now understand that I will never play basketball or football with my grandsons the way I had envisioned, but I can do it in ways that include my new knowledge of my limitations. I now understand that even though I will have limitations it doesn’t have to define me or what I do, but I can work within those changes in my life to still live a full life. I now understand that by dealing with my injury instead of just living with it, I can now actually live life again.
I know the pain will never fully go away, but I now know ways of limiting the pain. And I now know what it means; it means my body is telling me “you can’t do it that way anymore.” But that doesn’t have to mean I can’t do it a different way. It is almost like driving down a road you have taken to work for years and coming upon a collapse in the road. Instead of complaining that I can now not get to work, I have discovered an alternate way to get there.
They say not to let your disability define you. But I have found that this is not exactly the best thing. Your injury will always define something about you, however it doesn’t have to define who you are. It will only define your limitations; limitations that are only a challenge for you to discover a new road to take in life. For some it will be simply a new way to walk or a new way to lessen or avoid pain. For others it will be a change in career or mobility or a complete way of thinking. For all of us dealing with injury or disability, physical or mental or both, we are all different. But we are never truly alone. It may seem that way at times but we just need to reach out and ask for help, even if we’re not used to doing that.
It is a change in view, a change in the mechanics of living and, above all, a change in attitude. As Janney, one of my instructors who views life from a wheel chair due to cerebral palsy, always says, you need to have a positive attitude and at least fifteen good belly laughs a day.
I got my laughs in today. Did you?
About the Author
Charles B Reynolds has been blogging for four years, writing news, commentary, poems and recipes for just as long. He has been working on several books in several forms and formats for way too many years to like thinking about. A former genre writer from the 1990’s in the small press realm and romance writer on the internet, Charles is married to a wonderful woman who is also a writer and editor. He has three super talented children and two amazing grandsons. One thing he would say about himself that many people would be surprised is that he nearly ran as a write-in Independent candidate for the 2008 Presidential race. But his decision was vetoed by the family, who love their privacy too much to let the media hounds in. Outside of writing, Charles has a wide variety of interests, from history to composing music to enjoying a swim with his grandsons.
Want to get rid of belly fat? You can tone and tighten in as little as 45 minutes at home.
“Fat” is not a personality trait.
I was pretty lucky growing up. I never got teased for being a chubby kid.
Even as an adult I never really “suffered” from my obesity like the horror stories you hear on TV or read about on Facebook, with kids being tortured on the playground and adults who are ashamed to come out of their houses or be in social situations.
I was never so awkward that I wouldn’t go to my prom or meet new people. I was just never all that bothered with my weight. Even in a size 22/24 I still managed to feel pretty good about myself most of the times.
I do realize how very lucky I am for that… my parents must have done a great job in that department! (thanks Mom and Dad!)
I’ve always had a bit of a mouth on me though so maybe that was why I was never a target for fat jokes or taunting. I’ve learned to filter over the years but I’m still not one to take too much bull from anybody without stepping in and setting the story straight rather quickly.
I realize not everybody has the same attitude (or the self esteem or whatever it is) to do that though and I am writing this post for some of those people who have just never had the balls to say anything.
Being fat is not part of my personality. I can lose weight, gain weight, have lipo, get implants, cut off limbs, grow a third arm and that still wouldn’t change me from the person I am now.
I will still be a witty (read: mouthy smartalek) character when I’m at my goal weight, just like I was when I was at my rock bottom weight.
Being overweight doesn’t mean I am lazy. I have worked my butt off at every job I’ve ever had. I’ve never had a problem keeping up with my thinner colleagues and in most situations I could work circles around them.
At one point in my life I was in between jobs when an uncle thought he should let me know that if I didn’t lose weight I would never be able to find a job because people just didn’t hire fat people. I, of course, got a job almost immediately and worked my way up the ladder within the company in a short period of time. When I left they were sorry to see my un-thin ass walk out the door.
So that blows that theory.
Regardless of my experiences in life there are certain “visions of sugar plumps that dance in your head” when people think of the an overweight person. Just to set the record straight and to leave you with a clearer picture of those jazz handed dancers, here is the scoop:
Being fat doesn’t mean that I’m jolly or jovial.
It doesn’t mean that I am mean or bitter.
It also doesn’t mean that I want to be thin or that I’m jealous of those who are.
It doesn’t mean that I’m depressed.
It doesn’t mean that I’m out of control.
It doesn’t mean I’m dirty.
It doesn’t make me ugly.
It doesn’t make me unqualified for the job.
It doesn’t mean I have no willpower.
It doesn’t make me stupid.
It doesn’t mean I’m sloppy.
It doesn’t mean I’m unlovable.
It doesn’t mean I’m unworthy.
It doesn’t mean I’m weak.
Being overweight doesn’t define me… it doesn’t define anyone. I hope we all can recognize that in our daily lives.
What do you have to say? Have you ever felt that being overweight defined you or someone you love? What do you think now? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section, below.
“Attempting to get at truth means rejecting stereotypes and clichés.” ~Harold Evans
I’ve noticed a trend in language throughout my lifestyle change. Once I discovered it, I started noticing it more and more and now when I see it, it sticks out like a sore thumb.
I think what irritates me most about the language is I’ve noticed I’ve started using it myself.
There are certain words associated with unhealthy foods that you don’t really see connected to healthy food very often.
Let me give you a few examples of what I mean.
“You should quit guzzling soda.”
“You just wolfed down a biggie burger and fries.”
“You must be shoveling in the twinkies to weigh that much.”
“Chow down wide load!”
I never read the advice “you should guzzle at least 8 glasses of water a day.” I’ve never read that some Hollywood star was “wolfing down” anything unless they were talking about Kirstie Alley, Rosie O’Donnel or some other un-thin celebrity. Nobody’s photo is unknowingly snapped while “wolfing down a salad”!
I guess I find it so irritating because it draws a really disgusting picture of what overweight people are doing.
It paints a portrait (at least for me) of some unkempt slob sitting on the couch with his/her TV tray pulled up next to his/her belly which is protruding out from under his/her too small t-shirt with his/her bucket of KFC next to him/her and about 6 cans of Coke strewn about.
Yes, being overweight is not healthy. Yes some overweight people may guzzle, shovel, inhale, cram, chow down, wolf and pig out but it’s not necessarily the norm and the language we use when talking about obesity really dictates differently.
Not every overweight person is cramming food in their mouths every second of the day.