On March 6th I had finally lost 50 lbs. It took me a while to lose the last 1-2 lbs to get there, which feels silly I mean it’s ONLY 1-2 lbs. It seemed to go on forever though as I had reached that dreaded plateau everyone told me was coming. Since then I’ve been teeter tottering back and forth within a range of 5 lbs. Some weeks I’m down 5 lbs, and other weeks I’m up. I know it has to do with the fact that everyone always reaches a plateau at some point and a change in routine is in order, but also my incredibly wonky hormones which have me in a constant flux of water weight. Regardless, it’s not a constant downward shift.
I know my body is still changing because I feel the difference in my clothes. I go to the shops and try on clothes 2-3 sizes smaller than what I used to wear and they fit. Things I tried on just a few months ago are looser now and clothes I already owned have slowly gone from ‘can get away with it’ to ‘too big and sloppy’. So I know that changes are still happening. I just can’t help but feel discouraged though…
When I look in the mirror, I see the same old me. I don’t see anything different than I saw a year ago, and that frustrates me. When I go out shopping or to crowded places I get warm and sweaty, just the same as I did back then and I feel like those 50 lbs has made no difference. When I get on my bike, within a few minutes my thighs still burn like hell, I pant and my face goes beet red. The little baby like rolls are still on my thighs staring up at me every time I have to pee. Almost all of the things I hated about my body and my weight are still there, after almost a year and losing 50 lbs… so for the first time since beginning this journey I’m starting to get frustrated and lose patience with it.
It’s so hard to find motivation at times like this. Sure there is the motivation of being thin, but I’m not like a lot of other women. Many have been thin all their lives, gain weight and then long for their former bodies. I have no memories of that to keep me strong. I’ve been heavy my entire life, so I don’t have any thoughts of a fabulous and thin body to keep me going. I have no idea what it’s like to be thin, to go up flights of stairs without getting out of breath, to be able to cross my legs or shop in stores that don’t carry plus sizes, to never have to worry if my butt is going to fit properly into the tiny little chairs on outdoor patios.
I’ve never felt comfortable enough or confident enough in myself to just post any photo of me that is taken, not care who tags me on Facebook, for example, when posting photos they’ve taken of me when I was out somewhere with them. I’ve always tried to post the photos that hide my weight the best, never having the confidence or feeling of freedom that comes with being thin, to just let people see me for what I am.
It’s frustrating to have lost 50 lbs and still be heavier than a lot of my friends who are also overweight. It’s frustrating to have lost 50 lbs and still be heavier than friends were before they lost weight, when they considered themselves to be huge. It’s frustrating to have lost 50 lbs and wear a size that friends pull off the rack and still call them massive. It’s frustrating to be the heaviest person in my circle of friends and family and listen to them say they know what it’s like when they don’t. To hear people talk about how hard it is for them when they started out 50-100lbs lighter than me even when they started. It’s frustrating to sit with friends I consider to be thin and have them talk about how disgustingly fat they are, how they can only fit into sizes that are 5 sizes smaller than what I’m wearing now. Am I over sensitive? Are they insensitive? I don’t know… all I know is it’s frustrating and it hurts sometimes. I also know that it’s all relative and that a woman who is 400 lbs may read my story and think that I don’t realize how good I have it, but I can only speak from the place I am in at the moment.
Still… the hardest part, again, has been not seeing the difference for myself. Looking in the mirror and seeing the same face staring back at me day after day. It’s like I want to look in the mirror one day and see another person. To suddenly have this thin, beautiful woman looking back at me. Yet there I am, just me.
Last night I was talking to my husband about it. We were looking at photos people took of us at the portrait evening on Saturday, and surprisingly I didn’t hate every photo that was taken of me. Not in the way I used to anyway. In the past I would have been scared of people putting them on Facebook for all my friends to see, or looked at them and been disgusted with myself. I didn’t feel that though and for the first time I noticed a change… not in how I looked but how I felt.
I was telling this to my husband and he told me to pull up a photo of myself from before I started trying to lose weight this time, so I did… and for the first time since this whole thing began, I was able to look at myself and see a difference.
In the photo on the left I am smiling, but I am quite possibly the unhappiest I have ever been. My mother in law had asked for some close up photos of our faces because she wanted to do a painting of us together. At that time I was not taking any photos of myself at all, ever. I hated the way I looked, I felt fat, bloated and so incredibly ugly. I took a few photos of my husband and he was happy with them, yet no matter how many photos we took of me, the more I hated them. My hair was in a weird place then too, growing out from my disastrous decision to cut my hair short, so it was always in a mixture of clips and headbands. Ugh, I just hated everything about myself at that time.
The photo on the right was taken this past Saturday by one of the men in my photo club. When he asked if I wanted to pose I wasn’t as hesitant as I might have been before, I was not dreading the photos as much either. I don’t even hate the photo. In fact, I quite like it. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to say that about any photo of myself.
When I look at those photos I can see the difference. I know it’s there… yet when I look in the mirror, it’s not. It’s a really bizarre experience to have your brain so warped that you can see one thing in a photo but another in a mirror. So I am going to look at these photos every time I feel like giving up or like nothing has changed in my life… because there are changes, they just may not be as quick or drastic as I might like them to be at this stage.
I am tired of being ashamed of myself. I have spent years hiding who I really am and how I really feel about things. Somehow thinking that if I don’t say it that people won’t realize just how fat and out of control I had become. That if I didn’t go out or see people as much that they wouldn’t know how unhappy I was or how difficult things had become. Things that to them are just day to day life, but for me were strenuous, painful and often embarrassing.
I’m tired of numbers ruling my life… pounds, kilos, sizes… constantly in fear of people knowing the truth about me and what they will think of me. If current friends will know the truth and somehow feel differently about me, if old flames or bitchy former friends will visit and get some sort of sick satisfaction from knowing my truth in numbers. I don’t want to live like that anymore.
I want to be open and take ownership of who I am. To accept that this body is mine and even though it’s not what I’d like it to be at the moment I have the power to change it. To love myself in spite of the things that may not be what I want them to be at the moment.
So in the words of Diana Ross – I’m Comin’ Out!
My name is Tammy, not Breigh. Yes, Breigh is my middle name in real life but it’s also an online persona I had created over the years. A mask to hide behind and someone to be when I didn’t want to be me, I don’t want to be that person anymore, she wasn’t real and I don’t need her.
I was 308 lbs (139.7 kilos) in that photo on the left, I was wearing a size 58 (Euro sizes, I think it’s a 28 Canadian) and have never hated myself more in my life. There was nothing I could do or anyone could say to make me feel anything other that fat and ugly. When I got on the scale, for the first time in almost a year, and saw that I had gotten over 300 lbs, I cried… and I didn’t stop for a long time.
Today I weigh 255 lbs, I wear a size 52-54 (Canadian 22-24) and I’m frustrated, but I’m happier. I don’t live in constant paranoia that people are laughing at me behind my back and while a lot of things are still difficult, I take pleasure in being able to wear smaller sizes and that I feel a little bit more comfortable in my body. Sometimes, on a really really good day when I wear something that makes me feel good or bother to put some makeup on, I even feel sort of pretty for a moment.
I want to keep going with this, I want to see how I feel with another 20lbs gone, to lose another 50 lbs and be able to say I’ve lost 100! I want things to be easier for me, to enjoy life without all the issues of being a fat girl nagging me in the back of my mind and stopping me from getting out there and living my life. I want one day, to be able to walk into a shop and know that I can buy anything I want because they will have it in a size that fits me.
I just want to be happy with me. I’m getting there…