Tuesday, March 24, 2015

80lb Maintenance: Year THREE!!

Originally posted 12/16/14

You read that right! 
Three years of maintaining (and every so gradually building upon) my 80lb weight loss and lifestyle change!!! 

It's hard to believe that my dedicated readers from years past are still around, but some of you probably are. I once again feel like I should post an update for y'all, and for any new followers who may have stumbled across this. 


Since posting last September I have: 
Broken my foot. 
Had a bad concussion. 
Sprained my knee. 
Pinched a nerve in my neck, leaving me bed-ridden for nearly 3 months. 
Lost some close friends. 
Been singled out for severe bullying in my first roller derby league. 
Dated a baking enthusiast with a love for bacon grease for several months. 
Went through a very emotional break up with said enthusiast. 
Went on a lot of weird dates with a lot of awkward men, nearly convincing me that spinsterdom and 14 cats might be right up my alley. 
Moved back to my very favorite place, but away from ALL of my friends. 
Gained some new friends. 
Started work at my dream job. 
Transferred to a new, higher-level derby league. 
STAYED WITHIN THE SAME 10LB WINDOW FOR ALL OF IT, until recently, when I very unexpectedly started losing more weight. 

That's right, make ups, break ups, bacon grease, injuries that left me nearly incapable of moving, brain damage... A lot has happened, and NONE of it had a major effect on my weight. 

How can this be possible for the girl who just a few short years ago would have used any one of these as a perfectly acceptable excuse to eat all of the things and gain all of the weight, let alone all of them in just over a year? 
You've got to be tired of hearing it, but, LIFESTYLE CHANGE!! 

Although, personally, I think it's more than that. 
Really, it's a HEAD change. 
I had to make a dedicated effort to learn to like and then to love myself. 
Being fat was just one of many easy outs for me. It was a focus. It was a crutch. It was a weird combination of obsessions. It was a drug. 

"I'll feel so much better about myself when I'm 20lb thinner." 
"I'll feel beautiful when I can fit into that size negative 47 dress." 
"People would like me more if I were thin and pretty." 

NONE of that is really true, if you reallllllly think about it. 

Do I feel better about myself thinner? Of COURSE, but not BECAUSE I am thinner. It's the opposite; I am thinner because I feel better about myself. 

I don't give a rat's arse about what number or letter is on the tags in my clothes, and believe me, they're ALL OVER THE MAP. I have XS clothes and size 18clothes that fit me exactly the same. 

Women's clothing sizes are basically arbitrary numbers and letters thrown onto things made to itch you near your ladybusiness during long commutes and important meetings, and have no place in your life. 

All of that stuff: what was I going to eat or not eat, how many calories did I have left for the day, how many times do I need to work out this week, what size should my goal size be, all of that fantasizing about how life and myself would be different when I was thinner, ALL OF IT was a distraction. An OBSESSION. Whether I was gaining weight or losing it, I was obsessing. 
It was an easy thing to blame for my self-loathing. 
It was an easy thing to blame for my lack of social interaction. 
It was an easy thing to blame for my fear of trying things. 
It was an easy thing to blame for feelings of insignificance. 
It was an easy thing to blame for those times I just felt awkward, or sad, or lonely. 
It was an easy thing to blame. 

So, what's my big secret? My new gems of advice? 
It's still the same, and unfortunately it doesn't have a magic pill, suggested meal plan, workout schedule, or some super mathematical calories in and self-esteem out ratio for you to follow. 

Do what makes you feel good about yourself. 
Think at least twice before doing the things that don't. 
Remember the difference between having an excuse and making one. 
Learn from the results. 


In spite of injuries, bullying, new love, heartbreak, moving, intense work schedules, and losing almost all of my free time, I am still a derby girl. 
I have more friends that call me "Mangle" than by my 'real' name. 
This, to me, is almost a more significant struggle than my weight loss. 
It's kind of the ultimate proof of my lifestyle change. 
I love derby, but it is not an easy thing for me. I am, by nature, more of a 'brain' than a 'jock'. Even more significant, I am one of those annoying people to whom most things come very easily. So, when I come across something that is difficult for me, I usually just don't do it, or quit. 
With every major injury, people around me were astonished. 
"Doesn't this prove that you're just too old for that?" 
"Aren't you worried about getting hurt again?" 
"Do you really have time for all of that with your career goals right now?" 
"You do realize you'll never have time to find a boyfriend, right?" 

I can't explain why, but even as close friends were hanging up their skates to be able to pay attention to similar events in their lives, quitting was never an option for me. 

From November of 2013 to November of 2014, I was either hurt, or recovering from my last injury. AN ENTIRE YEAR of having to 'come back'. Over. And Over. And OVER again. Most of that while at a league where I was very aggressively bullied by a few girls in positions of power. An entire year of either being purposefully excluded, having to miss practice for work or injury, or hang with the newbies where I could regain my strength and agility. It was grueling physically, emotionally, spiritually, heck, even financially! 
But there I was, every practice I could attend. Whether I wanted to cry because I could barely make it around the track 5 times without getting out of breath, or dance with joy because I regained feeling in my left foot after several months of numbness, I was there. 

Last month, it all paid off. I bouted again for the first time in a whole year at a fun Thanksgiving themed tournament. It being a tournament, I skated mostly with girls I'd never met, and was coached by a coach who had never seen me skate. Within a few jams, I was in the "power wall", meaning I was one of the best blockers on my team and got tons of extra skate time. More than anyone else on my whole team!! I had never felt so good out on the track, ever. Being recognized by a coach that way after being told I was so awful by those bullies for so many months was one of the most vindicating experiences of my whole life. 
One of the photographers even snapped my very favorite roller derby picture of me (so far)!! 
(I'm in the green, and that skill took me a very very long time to learn!) 

This weekend past, I realized in the funniest of ways that I'm in the best shape of my life. 
I danced the whole night away with one of my best friends. 
Sure, I've done that lots of times, but I really MEAN it this time. 
We weren't just dancing, the two of us OWNED that dance floor. Our moves were as big and silly as our smiles. People would come out to join us for a song or two, and then leave. Finally one of the guys asked me if we were on drugs, and when I laughed and said no, he asked how we could POSSIBLY dance that hard for 4 straight hours then. 
My answer? 
"We're athletes!" 

I didn't even think about it; it just came out so naturally. 
"We're athletes" 
As in me, girl who couldn't walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded, confidently self-identifying as an athlete, and receiving an interested but un-astonished response. 
That was a thing. 

And then the next morning I got to TAKE OUT the girl who was most responsible for bullying me before my transfer on the track. It might be a little petty to body-check someone 10x harder than you need to, but damn did it feel good. 
She can consider herself Mangled. 

I still drink too much beer. 
I still eat pizza and candy and burritos with tortillas. 
I do not avoid any food or foods as "bad" 
I don't have a gym membership, or the time or money for them. 
I almost never "workout", unless my body is just begging me to. 
I definitely don't sleep enough. 
I haven't looked at a nutrition fact other than to check ingredients in over a year. 
I stepped on the scale for the first time in 6 months this morning, and even super bloated for my period, have somehow managed to drop 5lb below my previous low, pushing me across the 80lb loss threshold, which somehow has so much nicer of a ring to it than 75... 

Lifestyle CHANGED. 
Life is still good, AMAZING in fact. 
No news is still good news. 

I promise you I'm not anyone special, or, not any more special than anyone else.
If I can change, if ANYONE can change themselves for the good, you can. 
You are the one and only thing that's really in your way. 

If you want to see a before and after, there's already one on the maintenance update I posted last year. It feels silly and vain to post it in two blogs in a row! 

Be well. 

No comments:

Post a Comment