Reality Check - You're Fat
The Fat Ninja
Okay, so I get it. This sounds rude and crude. But open up your eyes and see. If you don’t face reality, there is no way you can fix it. You are fat! It snuck up on you. It was a ninja that smacked you from behind without you even realizing it. But now it is time for you to fight back.
I have been on the weight-loss roller coaster for as long as I can remember. Frankly, I am getting a little dizzy from all the constant corkscrews and ups and downs. Yet, when you finish the roller coaster ride, sometimes you forget to check how your hair looks, and before you know it you have been walking around looking foolish for more than half the day.
In reality, this crazy journey can go both ways. Not only have I seen it, but I have also experienced it. I have had my fat times and I have had my skinny times. I have bloomed out to 225 pounds in my 5’7” frame and I have also shrunk down to 140 pounds. Yet, my image was that of a fun house mirror. I never could see my true self.
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The Journey; the Obsession
As a teenager, I struggled with weight loss. Okay, so let’s be honest. I was obsessed. I would go so far as weighing myself every hour on the hour, just to see if my weight has changed. It did. Yet the numbers were not important. After you drink a glass of water, the numbers will go up. After you did a tough workout the numbers will go up. After you take a nap, the numbers will go down. But, even as an educated young girl, I knew those numbers didn’t matter because our weight will fluctuate an average of 5 pounds in any given day. At that time, it didn’t matter. I wanted to see the numbers go down. It was an unhealthy obsession that has followed me into adulthood.
When I joined the Army, my weight loss obsession continued. How could it not! They military forces you to jump on the scale and if the numbers aren’t what they want, they will tape you to tell you if you are an appropriate size. The number 150 sticks out in my head. I was very close. Depending on my water weight for the day, determined whether I could jump on the scale and be released or if I had to go through the rigorous and demeaning taping procedures. Funny, as I look back at pictures, I wasn’t fat, yet that is what the Army told me I was. As a smart person, I knew that muscle weighed more than fat but I was on the verge of the forbidden number. I hated being taped. Yet, even though I worked my behind off in Basic Training, upon completion, I still weighed the same. I neither gained or lost any weight.
Yet, I was blinded to the reality. I still thought I was fat. When I looked in the mirror, I just saw chubby cheeks and a pudgy belly. Was it there, no. Eventually, I realized that I would never fit into Army standards and I started seeing myself in a different light. I had to except myself and for the first time ever, I finally saw myself as a fit and healthy young woman. Looking in the mirror, there were no chubby cheeks and the belly definitely wasn’t protruding. I was healthy.
Unfortunately, the weight roller coaster started to rise as I got sick. The weight started pounding on and frankly, I didn’t notice. Each time I bought a pair of jeans, I would get a size bigger. My excuse - those damn women’s brands can’t stay consistent with their sizing. I didn’t see the weight starting to stick. I still saw myself as the skinny girl that I figured I was. But I wasn’t that girl anymore. By that time, I had already gained 30 pounds.
Looking back at the pictures, I see myself still dressing as the skinny girl. I was obviously blinded, and before I saw what I was really looking like, I had already spent enough time as the fat girl who wore clothes that didn’t fit. They weren’t even flattering. After I got pregnant and had my daughter, the weight continued to pile on. It was a domino effect. My eating habits were out of control. I finally saw the true me. It disgusted me. It made me cry. It made me mad. By this time, I thought there was no turning around. I was just meant to be the fat girl.
Of course, the Army had different plans. I wasn’t within standards. I couldn’t hide from the scale; nor could I hide from the dreaded tape measure that said not only was I fat, but I was morbidly obese. They started me on some “fat soldier” program to help me with my weight. While I felt demeaned by it, it did allow me to see the true light of the situation. Not to mention, I got a free personal trainer.
So by now, a person would think I am on the road to recovery. Yet that is not the case. I talked with a nutrition expert and together we set out a plan. I told her my goal was to be 140 pounds. She laughed at me. With all the data sitting before me, she told me I could never be that light unless I sacrificed my muscle mass. So, for the rest of my life, I was bound to sit on the numbers that caused the Army to think I was fat.
With the tools in hand, I was forced to do physical training twice a day. Once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Because I was extra motivated and I was unhappy with myself, I decided to add an additional training session in every night. I worked out for more than 3 hours each day. Yet, I didn’t drop a pound. I finally gave up, only to start back on this journey later in life.
The final success was when I joined Weight Watchers. I don’t know why that was the only way I was successful, but it worked for me. Maybe I was stressing less. Maybe I was just missing something before. Yet, the pounds seemed to melt off instantly. Within 4 months, I had dropped just about 50 pounds.
The problem with losing weight that fast is that even though I saw the numbers dropping on the scale, I didn’t see the progress in the mirror. I still viewed myself as the fat chick and I continued to wear frumpy clothes and hide my body. It wasn’t until I dropped down to 140 pounds, that I finally saw the results. The only reason I did was because I was told that I looked sick and anorexic. I didn’t believe them; I still felt fat and continued to try and lose more weight. Yet, nothing else would come off.
The Fun House Mirror Effect
While I could continue to tell you about my journey up and down the weight loss rollercoaster, I find the details to be rather unnecessary. I have ridden this ride all my life and will probably continue to ride this ride for as long as I live. The details are unnecessary. I have my fat years and I have my skinny years. In reality, it doesn’t matter where I am at because I am always staring into a funhouse mirror.
People say you can only see what is happening if you look in the mirror. Yet, if you cover your eyes, the mirror will not tell you the truth. When it comes to losing and gaining weight, they eyes see what they want to see. Personally, when I start to gain, I never notice. I continue to think I am as tiny as I was only months before. The same holds true when I lose the weight. Not only is it a weight loss rollercoaster, it is an emotional one as well.
In today’s society, there is a big problem with obesity. Maybe it is because as a nation we love food. Maybe it is because of the technology we have that allows countless hours of sitting and expanding (our butts!) Yet, it might very well be that there are more people out there looking into a funhouse mirror, just like me.
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