Playing with Fat

Ever since I started losing weight this time around (a couple of years ago now), I noticed myself playing with my fat. This sounds gross, but it’s really not as bad as it seems. My skin that adapted and stretched between extreme weights lays like a deflated balloon that pools in pockets and folds up in weird shapes. I poke and prod at myself in the mirror trying to imagine what it would feel like to be some sort of “normal” weight. Or heck, to even just be simply “overweight” versus obese. I don’t have any frame of reference for what that would look like, so I pretend.

bodyimage

The thing is, I don’t look in the mirror most of the time and dislike what I see. I focus on positive things that I like, whether it be clothes or hair or makeup or whatever. The times I get upset with my body are when it doesn’t physically react how I’d like it to. Perhaps after being on my feet a long time, they swell a little. It gives me a little glimpse of what would happen at 455 pounds. I remember my limit of being on my feet as being 5 minutes, not 5 hours. I remember the pain in my back where I would struggle to just stand up straight. I remember my skin feeling so tight because of how I tested its limits daily. The tightness would turn to an all-over ache, and sometimes go to tingling or  throbbing. When I talk about the “before,” I physically start to grimace because I remember those feelings. My body felt like it was betraying me, and it was a direct result of me betraying it.

only-body-notsalmon

I get upset at the scale because it doesn’t show me a number I decided I wanted. But I really should focus on how I’m treating my body. For the most part, I treat it with kindness and respect. The difference in how I treat my one body now versus how I used to treat it is huge.

I love this idea of treating your body as if it’s the only body you have, but I want to also emphasize that I refuse to spend my life hating the only body I’ve got. I would encourage you to do the same. Spend that energy doing good things for it and it will repay you tenfold.

This seems like a random post, but it’s actually as a result of a few non-scale victories I recognized the past could of weeks. I joined in on a Zumba session while wearing jeans, wedge heels and a blouse. Kicked off my shoes and just danced. There wasn’t ever a doubt of “can I do this” or “what if I look stupid.” I just did it because I wanted to. About a week before that, I roamed around for hours at Ikea and Costco and didn’t have pain in my feet, legs, or back. I realized that I don’t dread workouts and actually have a bit of fun doing them. My body is responding to the good deeds I’m doing for it, which makes me want to continue them.

I’m tired and rambling but I just wanted to get this out there. Hopefully it makes sense.

  • http://musingsofmaia.blogspot.com/ Maia

    A couple of thoughts…
    1 – i do the same thing sometimes when I look in the mirror. I suck in, or push my fat as flat as it will go to see what my stomach would look like when it’s “normal.”
    2 – Thank you for the reminder to be kinder to ourselves. We do get so bogged down in our head’s sometimes about tangible goals, and it’s nice to remember to take a step back and just rejoice in the little things.

    I needed to see this post today. Thanks for the reminder. :)

  • Lisa g

    I do the same thing!
    Awesome NSV!!

  • http://twitter.com/debslosingit Debra Wilson

    LOL I do this too- The skin on my lower belly is a bit loose now and I find myself idly playing with it a lot. Congrats on having that loose skin now!

  • Jen M

    I do it too. Majority of my weight is in my stomach. I grab at it a lot. I’ll even rest my stomach on the bathroom counter sometimes and I feel a HUGE relief on my lower back.
    And yes, this reminder is well timed. I went crazy a few days ago with food but I’m getting back on track and I will keep repeating this to myself.

    • http://www.facebook.com/stephanie.vonblackwood Stephanie von Blackwood

      I literally do this exact same thing!

  • http://twitter.com/artsyrakel Rakel

    I do that too. In my office we have a mirror on a closet door inside the bathroom, so if I stand just right it almost looks like I’m skinny. I sometimes lament if just this belly was gone I would already look so much better but ah well.

  • Emily

    You are very inspiring for people who are enduring their own weight loss journey! I have been overweight for sometime and have fallen off every single diet wagon I’ve been on which is a story you hear very often. I ran across your blog one night and started reading some of your posts and stories and I liked your page on FB so I could keep up with you. Currently I have lost 18.2 lbs since February just by changing my eating habits, alone! I encourage you and everyone else on this journey to stay motivated and keep pushing through! :)

  • Christina C

    I think every overweight person has done the whole playing with fat thing… I lost 40 pounds 6 weeks post partum (yaay BFing weight loss…) and while it was gone I kept playing with the skin that looked like crepe paper to me. Of course when my daughter wouldn’t latch and I had to go back to work so I couldn’t pump, I gained it back.

  • Robyn

    I do some of those exact same things in the mirror, sucking in, pulling my stomach different ways, grabbing my arm skin and pulling it back to see how my arms would look if they weren’t jiggly, but yes, instead of staring and looking for all the flaws I should spend more time looking for what I do love about myself and how I can feel good now and not just waiting for when I reach a certain point. Thanks for this, i needed to read it!

  • Jane

    Your body will definitely punish you for bad treatment and reward you for good. It’s awesome that you can see all the amazing things you’ve accomplished and how far you’ve come!

    Both I and my boyfriend squish my batwing arms, wiggle my thighs etc. I was insecure for all of five seconds about it, but then I remember how much worse I felt and looked at 450 pounds and stretched to the limit.!

  • http://twitter.com/emtucky Emily

    This ‘body self-hate’ phenomena is so common. I do the same exact thing in the mirror on most days. I need to follow your lead and stop hating my body, and start loving it for what it CAN do, not what it ISN’T.

  • http://twitter.com/SimsLifeBlog Simone

    I am totally there with you on the fat poking! I like your idea of picking out the positives, will certainly making looking in the mirror a little easier. Good luck with your journey, looking forward to reading more!

    Sim @ Sim’s LIfe xx

  • Pamela

    Love your honesty and I too, play with my fat LOL… doesn’t everyone? Love your blogs…Your a rock star!

  • Tricia

    Well said! Sometimes it is hard to focus on all the good our bodies do for us. It is easier to get caught up in the negative thoughts and boby issues, which should not be the case.

  • http://twitter.com/SlimStyleSecret Slim Style Secrets

    Such an awesome post! Sometimes I forget all the amazing things my body does for me.

  • Madison GetFit

    Loving this blog! Just starting the journey myself!

    -Madison
    http://themakingofaskinnychick.blogspot.ca/

  • http://twitter.com/300poundsdown 300 Pounds Down

    You are my hero!! Or my heroine since I guess that is the female version. But whatever…you’re awesome!! I think this is such an important concept and I have also found a lot of freedom in this. All the way down the scale I have had pitstops. Places where I hang out at that weight for awhile. It’s not that I’ve given up on losing. I just sometimes find myself naturally needing time to just ‘be me’ at that number on the scale. It has happened about 4 or 5 different times. I might lose about 30 or 40 pounds and then just find myself hanging out comfortably for awhile. It’s not like I’m unmotivated. It’s just that I find myself being content with who I am now a lot more often. I still want to keep losing weight but about 50 pounds ago I started liking myself “as is” and realizing that if I never lost another pound….It would be ok. I’m still losing and I will continue losing for health reasons NOT for “beauty” reasons or to give myself the permission to be a happy person. Right now I am fine like I am. I always was fine. All of us are fine AS IS. Yes it’s good for us to be healthier and to move around easier but who we are internally should not be weighed and measured. I love that you are accepting YOU. It helps the rest of us do the same!

  • http://rylieellen.blogspot.com/ Rylie Ellen

    You are so incredibly inspiring in what you’ve achieved, and you definitely deserve to love and appreciate your own body for everything that it’s done for you. I’m slowly learning that if I want to lose weight and heal my body, I can’t go on hating it because of my weight or size. I’ll never put in the effort that I need to if I don’t realise that it’s worth it, and life is to short to spend time disliking my own appearance.

  • http://twitter.com/orangespoken Steph

    Great post. Keep it up. You’re an amazing inspiration!!

  • Sandy Prater

    You post makes perfect sense. I think too many of us, myself included, blame our bodies as if they betrayed us or let us down. When, in fact, it is as you say: we did this. My body gave me warning signs along the way. The pain. The indigestion. The fatigue. I didn’t listen. Kept telling myself I’d change tomorrow or on a Monday to start off a better week. Here it is on year ten, and I’ve still got selective hearing.

  • http://twitter.com/WanderingAngie Wandering Angie

    Great Post Emmie! I love the quote you posted – why is it so easy to forget we only get one body? You’re so right in saying we need to think about how we treat our body. If we treat it well it will respond :)
    Thanks for sharing!

  • Kelly (Running to Healthy)

    I really like your message here. I’ve been very annoyed with my fat lately–especially where it hangs between my thighs. It’s most definitely not the look for upcoming swim season. But I need to just accept and get over it. My body has carried me through multiple half marathons and a million other places. It may not be the “picture of fitness” but it is reliable, strong, and healthy.

  • http://www.sexyheffer.com/ Sherry @ SexyHeffer.com

    I do the SAME exact thing!!! I thought I was the only one. I fear having all this left over extra skin after I lose all the weight, but I must cross that bridge when I get to it. I too have a problem with the mirror! I posted about it on my blog a few day’s ago!

  • NatashaP

    I needed to read this. Thank you..

  • jiffij

    Thank you for sharing this. I would like to learn how to treat my body and myself with kindness and respect.

  • Gretchen Hill

    Great tips! Before, two years ago I was obese and then I go for Liposuction Surgery, well thanks to PlacidWay who help me to find the Manipal Hospital. I was 18pounds then but now I am fat again. Thanks for sharing your journey, wish you all the best.