Monday, January 26, 2009

Five pounds

That's how much I've lost since Christmas. The scale is now giving me a number in the 160's for the first time in at least 5 years.

As I've said before, I am NOT a model for how to lose weight. This is because the weight I gain, I gain by depressive eating and bodily neglect. In order to be fat, I need to eat more than feels comfortable, to eat most of that in crash-and-burn carbs, and throw in some big helpings of sedentary on top of it. Right now, at my current size, all I need to do to lose weight is cue my eating to my hunger instead of my emotions, and make sure I have some exercise in my life. "All"--um, yeah, you're right, it's not actually so easy to manage, but compared to someone whose body's set point is in the obese range? My kind of weight loss story is not fun to hear about, or desirable as a goal. I feel a little guilty, actually, like I'm not adequately protecting my inner fat girl. But I'm still really, really happy about it.

I've been at it awhile, at slower and faster paces, but never anything but gradual, sometimes with upwards hiccups. I'm not dieting, I'm just paying attention to how my body feels when I eat, and honoring that: intuitive eating. Sometimes I go up a few pounds, and I figure it was something I needed, physically or psychologically or emotionally, and I don't sweat it. I figure the loss will start again when I'm ready, and so far it always has. After 18 months of watching a downward trend on the scale, I know I'm going to settle in somewhere, and every time I stick at a weight for a couple of months I have been figuring out how to get used to that shape as my permanent (ish) body, but I do think I have a ways to go yet.

I gotta say I hope it's not too soon. Losing weight is like years of depression coming off my body. It's like bringing myself back to myself. It's like taking up a place in the world after retreating to a hermitage. It's like taking a slow journey back to my body-image home, where the body I imagine I have is the same one people see. I won't do it if I have to actually diet, but I would like it if I wound up back where I was before my my size started creeping up. It would feel like a complete recovery--but I'll take any amount of recovery.

Five pounds since Christmas: it's not a huge amount. But it's taken me around some crucial bend, where I find myself feeling fond of my belly again: I have a round belly. I intend to keep it round. It's been round my whole life, but until these last five pounds came off, I didn't like the shape of it. Now, today, I do. It feels good.


Magpie said...

I find this post to be inspiring. Really. Thank you.

And, good work.

Songbird said...

Go you!
The emotional connection with eating continues to hang on tight, even though I have the skills for doing otherwise. You have to want it, don't you?

susan said...

I'm smiling at the thought of you looking at your belly and liking its shape. What an image. Yay, you.

jo(e) said...

I love your approach to this.

E. said...

This is a good post--very inspiring, as Magpie said.

S. said...

Songbird, yeah, you do have to want it, but I also think you have to go easy on yourself for also wanting the emotional comfort food gives. I got myself through the end of the retail season and Christmas on hot cocoa and choosing indulgence over deprivation. I gained, and I looked at the gain and decided I was glad to have had the comfort and pampering. I think it's okay to have different wants from food. That's why I won't diet: it's a model of a straight and strict path that I find really dangerous to my inner fat girl. I do think I need to keep her safe while I do this.

Susan, laughing! Actually you should imagine me holding my belly!

Magpie, jo(e), E., thanks!

Jody said...

Congratulations, Sheila. Listening to your body and emotions is hard, hard work. Don't sell the effort involved in that short, okay?