The funny thing is that I don’t “feel” like I weigh close to 300 lbs. Or 285 to be more specific. It’s seriously messed up because I know I weigh what I weigh. I know I look super fat at this weight. I absolutely HATE to look in the mirror and avoid it as much as possible. I know I’m not thin or fit or healthy yet, but my mind actually “pretends” I’m thinner than I am. I see pictures of myself and I’m always a little surprised and disappointed. It’s like, after two years of making tiny changes, “I still look THAT bad?”
You see those girls walking around with their love handles spilling out of their jeans and their shirts riding up because they are wearing clothes way too small for them. That’s how I was for years. I was in total denial about my weight gain.
I remember hitting 200 pounds. And I hovered at 220 for a long time it seemed like…I thought, “I should really try to lose this weight.” But at 220 that meant I had at LEAST 70 pounds I needed to lose, 80-85 if I wanted to be REALLY happy with my body again, and it just seemed…not possible. Way too much effort. It wasn’t that I didn’t have time. It wasn’t that I didn’t have the ability or resources. It was that it was just too hard. Too much work.
So I just kept pretending.
You know how they always say your body resists weight loss? It becomes resistant to a food or exercise routine? I’ve read all kinds of stuff where scientists blame this on evolution…that our ancestors experienced “feast” and “famine” seasons back in the cave days. The story goes that during times of “plenty” they would totally pig out as much as possible and store those calories for the winter famine season. Their bodies became super good at holding on to those calories as long as possible and didn’t want to let them go, thereby ensuring the survival of the human race. And this is why, supposedly, its “hard” to lose weight today.
I think this is a cop out. First of all, no way in hell I had an ancestor that weighed 300 pounds unless he was like the Incredible Hulk or something. So it’s like comparing apples to oranges. The most my ancestor probably had for fat storage was a couple extra inches of padding by fall. I guarantee he couldn’t hunt enough wooly mammoths to turn himself into Porky Pig. So with a few spare pounds of fat, yeah his body probably DID horde those calories.
But our bodies aren’t stupid. I have to assume that after so many pounds they get the memo that enough is enough; we can survive the winter.
But our perception of what “extra pounds” are is so skewed today. My personal trainer, Joe, talks about this and I think he’s so right-on. People who look “normal” today are overweight. People who would classify themselves as “overweight” are obese, and people like me, who live in fantasy land and can say “Well, yes, I am obese,” are actually super obese or morbidly obese, however you want to phrase it.
We are delusional. It isn’t our bodies themselves that are resistant to shedding pounds. It’s our brains. Dr. Phil always says to the nutjobs on his show that you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge, and our society as a whole doesn’t call a spade a spade anymore.
This isn’t to say that I think it’s ok to “fat-shame” people. It’s not. And no matter how fit I get I will NEVER make fun of someone for being fat. Ever. People who are fat have a hard enough time as it is without being made to feel like horrible people because they have gained all kinds of weight. But people shouldn’t entertain delusions either. The only way to change is to face the mirror, look at the number on the scale, stare at the pictures, and acknowledge that what is, is. It can only get better from here.
145 here I come.