Saturday, March 3, 2012

How I didn't really notice I got so fat

Someone on the weight loss forum I visit posted about this and I found it quite interesting because she too wondered, "How could I not really notice I had gained weight?" And I fall into that too.

I think part of it was that vanity sizing was going on so that when I bought clothes (which wasn't frequently), I didn't realize how sizes were changing. That an 18 NOW was what a 22 WAS. I just gained between shopping and so bought an 18 and then again an 18, not realizing that they were now bigger pants. For a long time I wore clothes out, so it's not like I had both pairs sitting next to each other.

But that explains staying in one size, but I went up sizes. When I finished high school, I was wearing a 16. I got to a 20 somehow, right? And, I dropped 50 pounds at one point and somehow gained all that back plus added nearly 50 more in less than 2 years time. How did I not notice that either?

Now that I think about it, we didn't have a scale for much of that time, so that is part of it. I didn't have anything but my clothes to register if I was gaining or not. My body always had flaws - poochy tummy. Big arms, double chin. I guess I didn't really notice that the tummy and chin were getting bigger. And, with only going up two dress sizes 16-20, that's not "that" much, right? Sure.... that 16 is now a 12. Going from a 12 to a 20 sounds much more dramatic! And it was a dramatic weight gain.

Part of it was that I was in denial too. I couldn't be that big. I was healthy! I was strong! But at some point - about 9 years ago, I started to not feel so healthy and that's when I started to hide from the doctors. I didn't want to hear or know what I was doing to my body. I wasn't ready to face the pounds. I knew what they would say and losing just seemed impossible. I had been gaining little by little for years and when I tried to lose and keep it off, I gained it all back FAST and added more. So, denial. I would find things about my body that seemed OK. I have to admit, it was beginning to be just my smile and eyes. The rest was buried in fat. Towards the end of my denial, I was even losing my hair which was always one of my strengths.

I think about that now and I'm amazed. The 80 pounds down in the last year or so (100 pounds total) has been dramatic. I can see it, everyone else can too. It's not like you can hide major losses or gains. People just don't come up and say, "Gee, Melissa, looks like you are gaining weight? You look dreadful!" Like they will say, "Gee Melissa, are you dropping weight? You look great?" (Maybe hearing the truth a bit more often would be a good thing - I don't know). But how, how did I not realize how dramatic the weight gain was too? Isn't it amazing what tricks our mind can do? I felt fat, yes. but I felt just as fat at 16. Our minds are so good at fooling us.

It's also interesting as I plan to use clothing size as one of the ways to keep on top of regaining. I will try to stay in the same size and if I need to go up a size, that means I need to drop weight. Seems simple enough, but why didn't that work the first time around? Why was I OK with getting the next size up? Twice? Yet, for some odd reason I had an invisible line in the sand. I wouldn't get bigger than a 20 as 22 seemed huge to me. I wouldn't get to 300 pounds as 300 pounds seemed the line from where you from overweight to huge. But 275 lbs and size 20 was OK? Who was I kidding? And where did I get that?  I'm not even thin yet and I'm wearing 10s and some 8s and weigh around 175. Some people who have never had weight problems would say I am huge now and they would be so upset if they were my size (if they had the same frame size and height). Yet I was feeling I wasn't 'that big'. Such denial. And so much to learn about myself in this process!

Stats for 3/3/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 175
Total hours worked out in 2012: 44.5/250

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