A realization…

I went to an air show at the Redlands airport this past weekend with my best friend, and I had a great time. I felt an unfamiliar sense of being carefree and confident — and that was before I drank all the beer.  (It was sponsored by the Hangar 24 Brewing Company.)  I was striking up conversations with strangers, and they were striking up conversations with me. I didn’t shrink away from people, or avoid eye contact. I was present. It felt… amazing.

I asked my friend Dawn if she had noticed that people tend to treat me differently (see: better) now that I’ve lost a lot of weight. She wrinkled her nose at me and said, “No, Erin. YOU are different, not them. You no longer stand around with your arms folded across your chest and a scowl on your face. People want to approach you because you are now approachable. You are happy and people can see it, and they respond to it.”

Dawn was right. I’ve been grappling with this change since I’ve lost the bulk of my weight and really started to feel more comfortable and capable in my body. Initially, part of me was a little annoyed at the realization that people were so much more closed-off to me when I was a lot heavier. But, I now realize that I was the one putting distance between myself and the rest of the world. Who can blame me, though? I’ve spent the majority of my life living in a body that restricted me in every conceivable way. Being called fat, being mocked for it. Being told I wasn’t good enough, and believing it. Being unable to participate in sports, fitting into nice clothes, riding on rollercoasters, or being hugged with arms that reach all the way around me. It seemed natural to remove myself from most activities, as I expected I would be physically incapable of joining in, anyway. I’ve only been living half of a life. Maybe less.

Enough of the pity party, though. The world has shaped me, and I’ve shaped my world. Now, I’m a different shape, and I get another chance to shape the world I live in to fit me. I know, I know ..the size of our bodies should not dictate who we are or how good or bad life is. But, until you’ve lived an entire “life” as a morbidly obese person, you’ll never understand the limitations set upon you, or the limitations you set upon yourself.

I am really excited to live life in a way that permits me to participate fully.
No excuses allowed.  No excuses needed.

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In limbo..

I had a bit of a breakdown moment at the beginning of April. I wanted to eat everything. All the time. I didn’t, but I really wanted to. It scared me, because I felt like I’d been eating well/enough and not really struggling with hunger much this entire time, and then suddenly, the Hunger Within took over.  I didn’t want to undo my progress. I didn’t want to bring back the diabetes symptoms. I was pretty worried, and then I became worried about being so worried.

I went looking for answers to my new dilemma, and a few trusted weight loss veterans told me I should simmer down and try eating at maintenance level for a little while. That, essentially, I should take a break from dieting. So, I did. Because of this, I’m only 2lbs less than I was over a month ago, but that’s okay. I feel better now, and I feel like I can pick up where I left off without any major issues.

I’m still a little off-balance where my anxiety about losing weight is concerned, so I’ve really been trying to focus my attention on building strength instead of the number on the scale. The problem is, I have a very limited set of equipment with which to accomplish that — a set of adjustable dumbbells with a total weight of 40lbs, and my own body weight. I’ve been looking into joining the YMCA and applying for the po’ folk discount they offer, as well as considering a few other options.  We’ll see what I can come up with.

The main realization I’ve had is that I now know that I want to start lifting heavy weights. Often. I want to be strong, and I want to find out what my now much lighter body can really do.  I’m borderline obsessing about it, which is actually a good thing, because that means I won’t likely give up on trying to make it happen any time soon.

I’ve been following a couple great fitness blogs written by science-loving skeptical reasonable people who are very into keeping shit real. One of which is gokaleo.com. She’s a badass, and when I grow up, I want to be just like her. She is also one of the people that has inspired me to want to lift heavy.

So, this is where I’m at… in this odd sort of holding pattern situation, with very little to report, but a whole lot to say, anyway. Thanks for listening.