Starting Weight: 318.2 lbs.
Weight Last Week: 253.2 lbs.
Current Weight: 252.2 lbs.
Weekly Change: –1 lb.
Total Weight Lost: 66 lbs.
Good afternoon, friends!
I lost a pound this week (bringing my total to 66 lbs. lost!) but I’m still stuck in the 250s! I’ve been here for 7 weeks now, which is a bit of a bummer, but, overall, I feel OK about it. The scale is moving downwards and I’m definitely making better choices health-wise, so I’m doing OK! Progression is progression, right? Rome wasn’t built in a day! 😉
This week has been a particularly good one mental health-wise. Last week, I wrote to you guys about my ongoing struggles with my fickle emotions, and just like the title of that post, I know that that’s going to be a forever thing, however, this week wasn’t so hard, which was definitely a nice change up.
This week I’ve been trying to sort out my life in other areas aside from weight loss: I’ve been getting my undergrad transcripts together and speaking with my college advisors and preparing all of the paperwork for graduate school; I’ve been speaking with the program director at the university that I hope to be admitted to next year, and I’ve been checking on my student loan debt and talking to my loan advisors about postponing payments until I’m entirely done with school.
It’s been quite an adventure.
It’s been very nerve-wracking and overwhelming, but it’s also been very exciting, too.
And that excitement is what’s made me realize that it’s been a good week for my mental health.
If you’ve read my bio page, then you know that I stopped attending “traditional” college courses after only two semesters on campus because my weight became a huge problem. I weighed 319+ lbs. at the time, so I couldn’t fit in the desks at school, and I also couldn’t walk across campus in a timely fashion or without my face turning red and my body pouring out buckets of sweat. It was very embarrassing for me.
At the time, I was having to schedule my classes with 45-60 minute breaks in between because the normal 15 minute breaks weren’t enough time for me to walk to where I was going and sit down to rest a bit before class.
Yes. You read that correctly. At age 19, I was incapable of walking across campus without stopping to take a break and compose myself.
Anyway, I ended up switching to online courses, which I’ve actually thoroughly enjoyed. I’m a very self-motivated learner, so online classes have been easy and convenient for me. But, with that said, I do feel that I’ve missed out on a lot of “traditional” college experiences, and I also haven’t been able to make any friends this way, which has been difficult.
When I go to graduate school next year, I’ll start with online courses to level out my BA, but then I’ll be doing two full years of school on campus, face-to-face, in a classroom.
As I was getting my applications and whatnot prepared this week, I had a lot of time to think about actually physically being in school again, and, amazingly, I’m not nervous at all. I’m actually very, very excited!
By the time I’ll have to physically be present in the classroom, I’m hoping that I’ll be in ONEderland. As it stands, I’m only 52.2 lbs. away from ONEderland now, and in 1.5-2 years, I think it’s feasible to imagine myself at least 52.2 lbs. smaller than I am now.
I think it’s OK to imagine myself in the 100s.
I’ve never imagined myself being that small.
It feels incredible to have that hope in my heart. It feels incredible not to constantly be in a state of agonizing worry and embarrassment.
I know that walking across campus won’t be a problem because, currently, I can walk a mile in about 15 minutes’ time—2 miles in about 27-28 minutes’ time. I know that I won’t have a problem fitting into a desk because I don’t have a problem sitting in chairs or desks or booths now. I know that I won’t have a problem making friends because I’m no longer the girl who sits quietly and camouflaged in the corner, praying not to be noticed or bothered.
I am a new woman now, and I know that with each passing day, I only get better and better.
I also had a really, really long chat with my best friend, Katelyn, this week, too. She currently lives about 1,100 miles away from me in Reno, Nevada, and we haven’t seen each other in-person for more than a year. I’ve been telling her that I’ve lost weight, but I haven’t told her much more than that, and I haven’t sent her any pictures either.
This week I decided to break my silence and just tell her the big picture of what’s been going on. I finally admitted that I’m on Weight Watchers, and I also sent her a handful of pictures to demonstrate just what it is that I’ve done.
She was so happy and ecstatic for me, and when she saw my current pictures, she said, “Wow! Those pictures, Ray! That’s insane! I can’t stop looking at it! That side one is blowing my mind! You’re glowing!”
When I explained that sometimes I have a difficult time dealing with the physical side effects of the weight loss and that I almost always have a difficult time dealing with the mental side effects, she told me that she’s been reading up on people who’ve lost a lot of weight, trying to get some idea of the struggles or challenges that people don’t tell you about. She said that she can’t imagine how hard it must be to look in the mirror and not recognize the person you see there.
When I said, “Yeah, I really don’t look anything like I used to look.” She replied, “You’re still there. You can just see more of you now.”
Then we had a really sappy talk about our friendship, and I felt like I could breathe a little easier.
She’s never treated me like “the fat friend,” but still, I think when you’re obese, you always tiptoe around other people. You never know when something or someone is going to hurt you with their words or actions.
Katelyn’s coming to visit in mid-June, and she’s bringing the man she wants to marry with her, and she’s excited for us to meet. She said, “I’m probably going to scream and cry when I finally see the ‘new’ you, and then I might cry some more because you and Chris are finally going to be with me in the same room, and it’s going to make me so happy to have the two people I care about most meet one another.”
After that sappy chat, we decided that we wanted to plan a vacation, so we started making plans to visit the West Coast next spring—specifically the Bay Area.
As we were making these plans, I realized that just 8 months ago, this was something I’d never have done. 8 months ago, I’d have made some excuse as to why I couldn’t go, too scared that I’d have to try to squeeze myself into an airplane seat (or end up buying two seats) or have to shop for frumpy clothes to cover my 300+ lb. body.
Now I’m not scared of those things. Now I’m just excited to be able to vacation with my best friend and have fun experiences like a “normal” twenty-something.
I had lunch with another old friend from high school on Tuesday of this week, and she couldn’t contain herself when she saw me. She said that she noticed just how “thin” I’ve gotten as soon as I stepped out of my car.
When she asked me “what’s new” over lunch, I said, “Well, I’ve lost 65 lbs., and that’s about it.” She then told me that I looked great and asked me how I managed to do it. After already having talked to Katelyn and admitted my use of Weight Watchers, I figured that being totally honest with everyone would be the right thing to do, so I just told her that I joined back in September and that I’ve had great success with it.
She was happy and excited for me, too, and she didn’t make a bigger deal out of it than necessary.
After having talked to both of these women and being truthful about my lifestyle now, I feel so much better. I didn’t realize that part of my mental health issues were tied up in all this secret keeping. I was still really embarrassed about my weight and about everything that goes along with that, but I think I’ve finally realized that it’s OK to talk about this stuff with people who don’t necessarily understand the complexity of it.
It’s OK to tell people that I’m living a healthy lifestyle now and that Weight Watchers is helping me do that.
It’s not something I have to be embarrassed about.
My mental state is finally catching up with the rest of my changing body.
It’s about time!
This week I think my goal is going to be to do a little extra walking. I need to put my Fitbit back on and start making more effort to get moving. I’m not supposed to exercise until I finish this bout of medication for my back, but I think some non-strenuous walking should be OK. I won’t push too hard—just hard enough to get my muscles moving again.
I hope you’ve all had a lovely week, and I hope this next week is a happy and productive one, too.
Eat well. Be well.