For what seems like my entire life I’ve had a portrait painted in my mind of the woman I wanted to be. I knew what she looked like, how she carried herself, and how she lived. That woman was always a fantasy to me. She was always a “someday probably never.” She was lean and beautiful and impeccably dressed. She was kind and gracious and she wasn’t invisible. She was many things, all the things that I wasn’t. I knew I wanted to be her, but in my mind she was an unattainable goal. A lofty ambition. A pipe dream never to come true.
Today I can say with confidence that I am finally becoming that woman. I try to carry myself with kindness and grace. I am more lean and toned than I’ve ever been. The well dressed portion is a work in progress as I’m building a new, smaller sized wardrobe. But most importantly, I am visible. I feel like people see me. There is a phenomenon that happens when you are overweight. Clearly visible to anyone and yet invisible to everyone. It’s a difficult head space to live in.
I read an article once by Shonda Rhimes in which she talked about this very subject:
Since having lost “closer to 150 pounds,” wrote Rhimes in her Shondaland newsletter, “I discovered that NOW people saw me as a PERSON. What the hell did they see me as before?” Rhimes wondered. “How invisible was I to them then? How hard did they work to avoid me? What words did they use to describe me? What value did they put on my presence at a party, a lunch, a discussion? When I was fat, I wasn’t a PERSON to these people. Like I had been an invisible woman who suddenly materialized in front of them. Poof! There I am. Thin and ready for a chat.”
She makes some strong points in her article, but she’s more fired up about it than I am. I’m not upset with society for the invisibility factor. Speaking solely from personal experience, I wanted to be invisible. I didn’t want people to approach me, and I didn’t want to be noticed. And now the complete opposite is true and it is liberating! I still get a little anxious about it, but I love the newfound confidence I have in talking to new people and joining in on discussions. I feel like the value I bring to the table has not changed but my awareness of that value has changed. When you live so many years feeling worthless and suddenly find you are actually quite worthwhile, it is an intoxicating experience. A cloud that I never want to come down from.
Over the course of the past six months I have gained knowledge and an understanding of myself that is invaluable to me. I now know what what works and does not work for my body. I know when I can indulge and when to restrict. I know which exercise produces results and those that aren’t quite as effective. I’ve also made a very important decision for the next portion of my journey.
This fourth challenge has by far been the most grueling. My weight did not come off as rapidly as I hoped it would. And because of that I let myself get caught up in the numbers and stressed myself out. The last couple of weeks have not been nearly as joyful as the rest of my time at The Camp. So moving forward I have decided not to focus on the scale. I need to focus on how my body feels instead. There are days when I weigh three pounds less and feel bloated and gross or days when I am five pounds heavier and feel amazing. This is a BIG change for a girl who weighs herself at least 3 times a day if not more. That being said, I am NOT throwing out my scales. I AM putting one away. (I have two. I use both.) My goal is go from weighing myself 3 times a day to 3 times a week at most. I’m thinking Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. If I can do less… Hooray for Me!
I want to be better at being happy with the way my body looks and feels instead of allowing myself to be happy if the number is “correct” on the scale. My definition of success is ever evolving and right now success means being happy with who I am where I am.
I’m writing this post the night before the weigh in so I can write what I truly feel without any “result bias.” Regardless of what happens tomorrow morning I am proud of all my efforts throughout these past six months. I know I left everything I had on that gym floor. I ate correctly and exercised consistently. I love the changes I saw in my body this challenge. I am leaner and more toned. Muscles and bones that have never seen the surface of my body are coming forward. It’s a good place to be.
Best case scenario, I lose the 20 pounds plus 2 more and hit my hundred. Equally wonderful scenario, I lose the 20 pounds and roll over to the next six week challenge and hit the hundred sooner than later. Worst case scenario, I don’t hit my 20 and I become a member at The Camp and still hit the hundred sooner than later. All in all, the future looks promising and the portrait I’m painting now looks like me.
Challenge 4 Results
First things first… I mentioned that Michael had rejoined the challenge as a 21 Day Detox Challenger. So here are his results!
In just 3 weeks, Michael lost 21 pounds! Isn’t that just the way with men? They can stop looking at food for a day or two and the weight just falls off them. I am SO proud of him! We still won’t know who won the challenge until all the 21 Day Detox challengers weigh in but it looks like he’s got a pretty good chance.
I’ve been diligent. I’ve changed my destiny by taking a different road. It all stood on one decision. Do I want this or not? I spent most of my life dieting and failing. 26 years of it.
And here is the big reveal. At my heaviest I weighed 305lbs. When I started The Camp I weighed in at 287 pounds. As of last week I had lost 94.6 pounds. I needed to lose 3.3 more pounds to hit my 20 pound goal.
This week I lost 6.1 pounds putting me over my 20 pound goal and hitting my HUGE goal of 100 pounds!! I am over the moon! I finally earned my shirt! I will hopefully get that sometime in the next few weeks.
Now that this challenge is over I can breathe a sigh of relief. It’s been a long six weeks but worth every second.
Here are some of my favorite moments from throughout the 4th challenge. Click to enlarge! 🙂
I hope everyone has a wonderful Labor Day!
See you soon,