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I’ve struggled with writing this post for a while now, and I am writing it 24 hours in advance to give me plenty of time to take it all back if I feel like it. If you are reading this, I didn’t chicken out. There is something to be said for that.

So anyway, here it goes.

When I look in the mirror, I don’t see a fat person. I don’t see someone who is obese. I see a woman who looks ok, if not for a few extra pounds and curves. I know what the scale says, and I know what my pant size is, and yet I check myself out and think “not bad…”.

But then I see photos and almost do a double take. Who is that bloated person holding my child…OMG, that is me?? And a few months ago, when we watched our amusement park day trip photos as a slide show on our TV, it just kind of hit me. That is me. That is what I look like. That is what other people see when they look at me.

And I was mortified.

So I identified that there was a problem, which is great, but what about doing something about it. I started paying attention to what I was eating, and in the process, was guilting myself about having a small piece of cake, or anything that wasn’t “healthy”. I wondered if other people were watching what I was eating too, and judging or mocking me, and I started sneaking things like Burger King in my car. I started feeling really bad about myself, which was new—I was always able to rationalize my behavior, to myself anyway, and I don’t know—just generally be ok with it. I started slacking at the gym, or skipped going altogether. I wallowed. I felt trapped; heavy under the pressure of wanting to do something about it, but feeling frozen on account of the pressure of how much work I actually needed to do. Do you understand that feeling? I used to try and explain it to Hub as it related to housework—I am a very poor housekeeper. I could see that there was so much to be done. I would know that it was necessary. But the sheer volume of work overwhelmed me to the point of panic. And I would crumble under the pressure, and basically do nothing.

A few weeks ago when we vacationed, something horrible happened to me. After spending the day at Hershey, in 94 degree temperatures, with humidity through the roof, my body started to fail me. I had been sweating all day; there was no avoiding it. As the day ended though, it had enough, and began to go in to survival mode. I started dripping buckets of sweat, was soaked to the skin, cold and clammy, shaky and struggled to make it out of the park and to the truck. It took over an hour of sitting, drinking water, 4 advil and air conditioning to regulate my body temperature and make me feel somewhat human again. I wasn’t evaluated by anyone or anything, but I think I actually overheated. Something that probably would not have happened if I had been taking better care of myself, and if I wasn’t carrying around so much extra weight, or at the very least, had made a commitment to exercise and health. It was embarrassing.

After that day, I had a sort of revelation. This cannot happen again. CAN NOT. How terrible for my kids to have seen me like that. How terrible for my husband to have to manage the 3 of them out of the park because of my issues. This cannot happen again. I mean, what if we had actually gone to Disney. What if something like that had happened to me there, on our vacation of a lifetime? CAN NOT.

And really, it’s not that much unlike my housework issues in the past. Once Bud was born, it sort of hit me. We can’t have all of this clutter. We just cannot. CAN NOT. We have a child, and the house needs to be clean. We chipped away at that pieces one at a time, until we were at a point where daily picking up and dishes etc were enough. I am still not the best housekeeper. I may let the dishes sit in the sink until tomorrow, or forgo sweeping the kitchen floor. But I generally keep a clean house. It’s not different, right? I need to chip away at this a little bit at a time, watch what I eat, work out in a productive manner. I need to be healthy for my kids.

That’s what it boils down to. It isn’t about the number on the scale, or about the size of my pants, it’s about general well being. Mine and my family’s. I need to set a better example. I need to get past the panic. I need to stop being lazy. I need to be a better me.

This isn’t to say that it won’t come without struggle, or that I’m going to go all motivational and shit from here, or that I’ll turn my life around in a split second and be 100% health kick all the time, or that it won’t totally suck. And I’m not going to say that I’ll never eat cake again.

But I may have to give it up for a while. And that’s ok. I can be ok with that.

So that’s my story. My name is Saly, and I’m a bit screwed up. But I am working on it.

17 responses »

  1. Oh, I can so relate to this, all of it, from not seeing the same thing in the mirror that you see in pictures to the overwhelmingness of what to do about it. But you're right, you can do it, and it might not be perfect, there will still be cake and you may never be a size 2, but you can just start from where you are and chip away at it and eventually you'll get there.Good luck! And thanks for sharing.

  2. I'm so glad you wrote this, and I know SO MANY people relate, whether it's body stuff or housework or whatever.I'm sort of in this boat at work, way behind, procrastinating, and with lots of things I know I should do to further my career, but it is TOTALLY OVERWHELMING. I'm trying to tell myself to just "start where I am". Even one procrastinated task accomplished makes me feel better for the whole day, and it's the same with health kick stuff. Even if you don't solve all of your weight/health issues overnight, as soon as you do SOMETHING you will feel better, ya know?Anyway, I'd love to chat about health kicking any time, so keep me updated. Ftlog.

  3. This post was so relatable. I feel the exact same way about what I see in the mirror vs. what I see in pictures.It's hard, but we can both do it.

  4. I know exactly what you mean. When I weighed 300lbs I was totally overwhelmed. The thought of having to lose 150+lbs was just too much to comprehend. There was no way I was ever going to be able to do it, so why even bother. I couldn't make myself believe that just losing 10, or 15 or 20 lbs made a difference. That I didn't have to see it in one 150lbs increment.I still have 20lbs to lose and ironically, it feels overwhelming, too.

  5. I really love this post! I also love your attitude about it, I think you will be successful!

  6. This must have been difficult to write. It's funny how photographs seem to tell a better story than the mirror or even your own eyes. Almost everytime I see a picture that was taken in my house, I notice baseboards that need to be painted, furniture that looks tired, etc., and yet I walk by this stuff daily and it doesn't bother me.I think your one step at a time approach is the only way to do it. Do what you can with the food. Do what you can with the exercise. Remember why you're doing it and reward yourself along the way.

  7. What a thoughtful and honest post. So relatable, too. I can't wait to read about all the progress you'll be making toward your goals – you can do it!

  8. I could have written this post. I never would though, so be proud that you can. In my mind I can admit things, but the actual GOING ABOUT doing something about it makes my brain cramp and shut down and I don't know what to do or how to do it. The amazing thing is that I'VE DONE IT BEFORE so I KNOW that I can, but right now, it seems so elusive that I give in to the dark feelings and overwhelming feelings instead of just doing something about it.Sending you big hugs!!!!

  9. Oh goodness, yes, that's EXACTLY how I feel about the housework and even the whole find-a-job-NOW problem. It's too much and overwhelming, and it just makes me super-depressed, and I end up shutting down altogether. Like you, I have been trying to break free and work on it a little bit at a time. Soooo hard.You were probably mostly dehydrated at Hershey. I get faint and sickly in 90+ degree weather if I don't chug water and eat several snacks CONTINUOUSLY while at amusement parks. I eat/drink more than the kids while we're out. (As a matter of fact, I almost fainted after we got off the [fake!] chocolate factory ride there at Hershey while I was pregnant with Izzy. Dehydration, again–mixed in with the low blood pressure I always had while pregnant.)

  10. I have that too. The thing where you look in the mirror and think "not bad" and then you see a picture and…it doesn't match the mirror.Crossing my fingers for you, hon. I really liked WeightWatchers for showing me how to figure out how much I should and shouldn't be eating in a day. And I liked the meetings and am so NOT a Kumbaya kind of gal. But they really were educational and motivating.

  11. Hi Saly, a friend of mine showed me your blog, and I absolutely know how you feel. It was as if you were writing from my head.I wanted to let you know that you have people supporting you. I am in the process of losing weight. I did the whole "should I have bypass surgery? lap band?" But I'm so scared of surgery (almost died after a c-section) that I just couldn't do it. I found a bariatric doctor in my area. That's all she does is help people lose weight.I have to tell you. *I*… *ME*… have lost 56 pounds in the last 6 months. I have done it with JUST eating correctly. I haven't exercised because I'm too embarrassed. However, now I have to because I'm getting too flabby and have to start tightening up my skin and stuff. I *KNOW* it's overwhelming. Trust me, I know. I didn't even know where to start. Just take it one day at a time. Just like an addict would. Because face it, we are addicts.Thanks for this post. It was very brave. I wish you the best of luck!

  12. This is truly an amazing and inspirational post. And, as everyone has already said, totally relatable.In fact, when my mom was here last week, we were talking about how different I see myself in my head than in reality. On rare occasions I will get a glimpse of myself in the mirror coming out of the shower and honestly think "Who is that?" because my real life body does not much resemble the way I think I look in my head.You can do it and I am confident you will. One tiny step at a time. & when it all seems too much and you're too overwhelmed, come here and let us cheer you on. You deserve it.

  13. There are quite a lot of stories about weight perception,it might be an idea to do some reading. I'm here for you. I can buddy with you. I'm not sure if that is helpful or not but I can relate to this quandary. Love you, Paprika.

  14. I feel this way about furthering my education. I litrally have only a high school diploma, and a couple of credit hours here and there. My plan has always been to chip away at getting a degree and then go to work at least part time once all our kids are in school, and yet, here we are on number three and I have yet to do a damn thing towards getting a degree or even some kind of vocational training. It just seems so BIG and daunting and I feel so overwhelmed sometimes by the house and kids and laundry and all that I can't imagine adding something else. EVen though I KNOW I'd probably feel great about myself and really like it once I got the ball rolling, I am still overwhelmed by the process of getting started and just doing SOMETHING.Anyways, my point is, I think everyone has an area of their life that feels daunting and that often, if not always, keeps them beaten down. Good for y9u for identifying it and owning it, instead of shoving it in a closet (like I mostly do with mine!) This is very inspiring, and I mean that sincerely.Also? I am technically only about ten pounds overweight, and I get overheated and faint and sick in the heat all the time. I also have a friend (who weighs 130 lbs) who passed out cold in line at Cedar Point once from heat exhaustion. So don't beat yourself up too badly about that incident- it can happen to ANYONE, in any kind of physical shape.

  15. I am absolutely that exact same way. I generally feel like I look fine and then the pictures are a giant smack in the face. Usually they're family photos taken with sisters and my sister's are sizes 0, 4 and 6. I'm . . . oh let's just double that highest size and add a bit more. I had hit a weight where at least I wasn't gaining and I felt like I could just tolerate that a bit then suddenly I gained about 15 pounds due to stress and I'm heavier than I've ever been. We should partner up and set up goals together. There has to be SOME way to get motivated that actually keeps me chipping away. Seriously – if you want to work on something together, if you think that would help, we should brainstorm some ideas. I certainly know what I SHOULD do but somehow it just isn't making a difference . . .

  16. I hear you. I am/was at my highest weight ever. I stepped on the scales a few weeks ago and couldn't (well I could) believe that I gained 10 lbs over the summer.So I'm pulling my act together and I've been eating really healthy the last week and a half. I just have to do it. I'm not dieting (I'll drive myself crazy), but I am eating really healthy good things, snacking less, and drinking lots and lots of water.It sounds like you have a lot of people here who completely understand. It's not easy to change, but you can do it. And so can I!



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