Losing weight: time for accountability
January 6, 2011 § 12 Comments
All right gang, what you’re looking at here are my weight loss goals. My goal is to lose 2 pounds a week until February 2012. If I do that, then I will get down to my goal weight of 135 pounds. My starting weight is 238, taken this morning at 8 a.m. Essentially, that’s just over 100 pounds in 13 months, which by my calculations is fairly healthy. The bars are color-coded:
Dark Blue = Week One Goal
Red = Week One Actual
Green = Week Two Goal
Light Blue = Week Three Goal
Periwinkle = Week Four Goal
Here’s what’s happening. On The Today Show the other day, one of their fitness experts (I’m blanking on who now) suggested creating a spreadsheet with goals for each week or month or whatever to keep you on track. Which is what I’ve done. I do have an Excel spreadsheet prepared: on it, I have listed my weekly goals for weigh-ins as well as spaces for the actual weight at weigh-in. I have also listed my weekly exercise goals as well as spaces for the actual amount of exercise I did that week. At the end of each month, I will create and share that month’s chart to show you how the progress is going.
Now, before anyone starts to exclaim in alarm about anything at all, I want to assure you that I am doing this healthfully. This is not about becoming a little twig. I am 5’4″. Technically 135 is on the high end of “normal weight” (taken from the National Institute of Health’s website). By comparison, if I wanted to be on the lowest end of “normal weight” for my height, I would have to weigh 108 pounds. Just seeing myself type out that sentence makes my heart race in panic. I haven’t weighed 108 pounds since sixth grade, and I have absolutely ZERO desire to get there again. Ever. I was TWELVE when I weighed 108 pounds. Why would I want my twelve-year-old body again? Absolutely not. I want my young woman’s body back. I weighed between 135 and 140 when I was in college six years ago, and I was abso-freaking-lutely adorable. Like, doable. I’m a curvy woman. I have good strong hips. I have huge breasts. I have a pronounced ass. I have a short torso but “long” legs. Now, if you were to ask any heterosexual man to describe his dream woman (as I have done with a few males I’ve encountered in my life once I gained interest in those sorts of things), he will likely describe a woman with those characteristics. Rarely do you come across a man who wants a twig on his arm. You hear things like, “I want a woman who is huggable. A woman who has something to hold onto.”
And you know what? I do too. I want to be a huggable woman. I want to be a woman that has something to hold onto. I like the way that body type looks. It’s a strong, capable, voluptuous type.
I realize that on a level this sounds shallow. But believe me that I am concerned about my health primarily. I have no idea what dress size I will be when I get down to 135 pounds. The only reason I chose that number is because when I look back at those pictures of me in college, that’s the weight I was. And that’s the body I want to get back…so…naturally, I chose 135.
Primarily, though, I want to feel better. I want to eat better. I want to exercise more. I want to look on the outside as good as I feel on the inside. I want to be proud when I look at myself in pictures. I want to be able to look at myself in the mirror and be happy with the reflection. As it is, I cannot look at myself in the mirror. Gloriously, the mirror steams up so that I don’t have to face myself as I emerge from the shower. And I do not glance at myself when I disrobe and enter the shower. It’s bad enough looking down at myself from the neck down when I wash.
And I realize how horrible saying all of that is…but this is where I’ve been for a number of years. I don’t know when the last time was that I actually took a full look at my naked body in the mirror. It has to have been years. When I am forced to look at myself, I see my body in sections. Those are my eyes. Those are my cheeks. Those are my breasts. There’s my stomach. And my thighs. And my feet. My arms. My frizzy hair. I don’t see my body as a single unit. I don’t remember the last time I saw my body as a single unit…but I do know that from a very early age, I began to parse my body apart (and those of my playmates).
I am scared. I am scared that this is something deeply rooted within me. I didn’t hit 200 pounds until I was in graduate school in 2004. This body I currently live in is a new body. I am not home in this body. But have I ever been home in my body? I am afraid that when I get to 135, I will still see only pieces of myself and never the whole. And if that happens…will I let myself go back to 238 or worse?
But I also know that I can’t live wrapped up in that fear. Here’s what’s different now:
Robert is here now.
The love of my life is here now. Someone, besides my family, who loves me in spite of anything and everything is here now. Does Robert want me to get to a healthy weight so that I am no longer on any dangerous borderline? Of course he does. Does he want me to love my body and feel confident? Of course he does. Does he want me to enjoy shopping and not come home with just another purse because that’s the only thing that fits me? Of course he does. Does he love me no matter what? Absolutely. I wouldn’t have said “I do” if he didn’t. I have to have confidence in this difference. I have to believe that because he’s here now, then that difference is enough to help pull me out of the destructive rut I’ve been in.
So, look forward to monthly updates on weight loss. Also: I am not going to torture myself if I don’t lose 2 pounds a week steadily. Instead, I will own whatever I am able to accomplish and assess when I might need to make a change. Our bodies plateau because they become “accustomed to” what we’re doing. I do expect the plateaus, and when they come I plan to make the necessary changes.
In advance: thank you for your support! 🙂