Saturday, January 4, 2014

Fear and Loathing in Weight Loss

So I write about my loves and I write about my loathes and I write about my fears... always managing to hang on to one or two grains of me for myself. One can't possibly truly go all in right? Well...

So who out there is ready to lose weight in 2014? Anyone know what that really means for themselves? I'm not even really sure I know what that all means for me and this is my second time around on the weight loss mission.

When I think about this path that I'm back on, and how excited I am to be back on it. How I am grateful beyond words that not only did I manage to find my true love of Ballroom again, but it's managed to find me right back, I still have some reservations...

There is a lot of fear that comes with losing weight. Do you know what I mean?

There is a fear of not being able to be my same self, don't get me wrong here... I rather like who I am... I'm just not a fan of what I look like. There is a fear of not having the same people in my life. There is a huge fear of not being treated the same way.

Have you ever felt that way when you made a big change?

Here's what's funny about it, the way a fat girl is treated in public isn't nice. It seems the way a tall fat girl is treated can be a bit rougher than my petite counterparts. Although my theory is that I get treated the way I do more because of my shape than my actual size. I am not built with an hour glass figure, I can't wear an empire waist without looking totally pregnant, and if I wear a baseball cap in public someone will address me as sir at some point during the day. I usually describe myself as either "coming from good Polish peasant stock" or as an "NFL football player w/ a rack." In all fairness my size actually intimidates some people from treating me poorly, nothing like clamming up the idiots that may shout things at me at the mall because their dumb asses are actually afraid I might really sit on them.

But that's what I know... it's what I'm comfortable with, I don't know what it would be like to have that perception change. Ever since 7th grade I'm hesitant about hugging someone I don't know super well because I was constantly informed that it is disgusting to touch a fat person. (Remember, if you hear something enough... you start to believe it.) So what would it be like to be different? Admittedly Ballroom dancing helped me change that perception about myself while in the studio and amongst people I know, but this girl still doesn't get asked to dance much by unknown partners if she goes out to dance. It doesn't even offend me anymore, it seems perfectly logical to me that I wouldn't get asked to dance when there are so many other seemingly more attractive options. My head is on a constant swivel any time I go anywhere there is seating because I currently exceed the weight limit posted on some items like, outdoor furniture, plastic furniture, and anything that is inflatable, and even some folding chairs. What would it be like to not have to do that? I get paranoid anytime I share a two person bench with someone because I already weigh as much as two people, well I definitely did... and I definitely do weigh as much as two petite people now. Don't even know what it would be like to not have to worry about it.

I can't possibly be the only one that thinks this way right?

Hell... I've even broken my bed before... (I sat on one corner too often when changing clothes, but still...what do you think that does to a person's head?) .... Like how I explained that one out for you? I couldn't possibly have you think that I laid down in bed one night and the whole thing just fell through.. which has happened to people I know.

The rational side of me knows that a lot of what I feel is perceived is all in my head. On a logical level I know that, but that doesn't mean I can rationalize it out. Yet.

Does this make sense to you?

Much like Stockholm Syndrome a person becomes very used to the way things are, the way they perceive themselves in the world around them. With  something such as being obese, which is prejudiced against in a similar way to race, or sexual identities, or anything perceived as different, an obese person can actually change their situation. Well not everyone can, but some can and many have chosen to. But what happens to the way the person perceives themselves when the world around them begins to perceive them differently? I think there is a lot of catching up that has to happen.

What would it be like to go into a department store and have the sales people want to help me? The only place that happens now is in the stores that are designed around "people like me," or the establishments where I have set myself up as a regular customer.

I fear change, well not all change, I've actually worked at interpreting change to mean adventure and I really think those two words should be next to each other in the Thesaurus if they're not already. The change that comes with deciding to lose weight, or as I prefer to think of it, be more fit, and guarantee that my life is going to be different... forever... Yeah that ranks right up there with my fear of heights, and jellyfish.

I'm better prepared this time than last, I have more knowledge about my own body, more knowledge on nutrition, and even more knowledge on anatomy and physiology. I have an increased understanding of why people think the way they do and why I think the way I do. I had no idea what to expect the last time around, and I think I have a better team around me to help me out if I stumble, or lose my way. 

Having a team around you is key. Life changes can very rarely be successfully done all on your own.

If you're looking for a team, I'd be happy to join you in your big grand adventure. :-)

What scares you about change? What excites you about it?

I think I'm probably most excited about the things I'll be able to do as I get more fit. Like an hour long cardio work out, I'd like to do the splits again, I'd like to ride horses again at some point as well. I'd also like to be able to dance and wear my pro instructor out.... and not because he has to do most of the work. :-)

So... I'm scared, I loathe being scared, but I'm excited too... and blissfully most days the excitement trumps the fear. I want to be able to tell you that I'm just going to suck it up and move forward, and I will as much as I can....but there are going to be days that aren't that easy. Would you like to come along so we can cheer on each other?

Don't forget... if you'd like to join me in this big adventure and you're in Chicago you can find me, dancing with Steve, Franny, and the Get On The Floor team at Http://

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