If you've been following my blog for a while, you will know that I've recently starting exercising to lose weight....I started to liste 100 reasons why....and here are a few more....

# 11 - Thinking people are ashamed of me
I recently found a letter written by Joe when we first started dating. It was a very sweet letter, telling me how much he loved me and how much I mean to him. In part of the letter he had written how much he loved to show me off. How he loved that other couples were envious of our love for one another. When I read that my heart just sank into my stomach. I hardly think that he would even be close to proud of how much I’ve let myself go. I know that he would NEVER admit it, or show it….that’s one reason I love him so much. He has stuck by me literally through thick and thin. I guess our wedding vows meant a lot to him, b/c he has had to deal with a lot from me! He is my strongest supporter right now. He wants me to be happy with myself again!
Society is all about first impressions. What do we think about when we meet someone for the first time? Well it’s certainly not their personality if they haven’t even spoke yet LOL We instantly judge a person based on their outward appearance. Some of us make opinions right off! If someone is dressed badly, they’re poor. If they’re dressed nice, they’re rich! If they’re skinny, they’re worth befriending…if they’re fat, well they’re not. Now not everyone thinks like this, but I’m sure it’s ran through some of your heads at one time or another. Think back to high school days….when you want to be popular, so you hang out with only the popular kids. It’s a vicious cycle that goes on through adulthood.

I am constantly thinking my oldest daughter will be ashamed of me. I hate that. I don’t want her to be embarrassed to walk into school with me or have a friend over. I know at this age, she isn’t…but kids are cruel! I don’t want her to get teased about having a fat mom. It’s constantly on my mind…when we go to a school program, softball game, etc. I want her to be proud of her mom and show me off…I know that sounds shallow, but it’s the truth.

#12 – Celebrity Weight Loss Shows
I love them! I hate them! You know the shows, like VH1's Celebrity Fit Club or NBC's Biggest Loser, and a host of others. Honestly I do love to watch these shows. Something about watching these shows makes me feel better about myself. What is it? Is it because I see people even worse off than me and that makes my life not seem so bad? Is it because I take pleasure in others misery? Or is it just because it feels good to see people in the same situation as me, thereby making me feel not so alone? I don't know. But I do like to watch them. At the same time, I TOTALLY hate these shows! The biggest reason I hate these shows is that it perpetuates the myth that get-thin-quick schemes work and are healthy. I think most doctors would agree that losing 20 or 30 pounds in a week is NOT healthy! The thing I have taken from the huge number of diet and healthy eating programs I have been on is the idea that you should be losing about 1-2 pounds a week for healthy weight loss. Studies have shown that the faster you lose, the easier it is for your body to regain the weight. Sure, we all want to be thin TOMORROW, but it didn't take a day, a week, or a month to gain all this weight, it took years! I guess you give your body time to catch up with the idea of being thin or something. I suppose it's physical and psychological: you shrink both your physical stomach and your psychological cravings at this pace. But 30 pounds in a week??? I would imagine these people need EXTREME self discipline to maintain their loses. I would imagine they have to fight serious cravings to keep the weight off. OK back to the subject: weight loss shows. Why have these shows become such a phenomenon? I suppose it is just another topic that fascinates us in the long line of reality-based programming we all seem glued to. I suppose it does have something to do with the fact that we love to see other people in our same situation, we can relate. Some studies have shown that as many as 120 million Americans are overweight (maybe even more!). That's over 65 percent of Americans!!! And I think the rest of world is not far behind us! So I guess watching these fat shows seems very familiar to us. We like to see other people like us on TV. The one good thing going for these shows is that they are doing it through diet and exercise, showing us that it CAN be done without pills or surgery. That I like!

#13 – Dressing Rooms & the 360
Who doesn’t hate that dreaded 360 degree mirror??? UGH!! I think I'm so used to looking at myself from the front, you know, the full length mirror shot that when I get to the 360 it’s like wow…really I look like that? They have that oh so flattering fluorescent lighting that leaves nothing to the imagination to contend with, basically amplifying every single flaw times ten. I remember at one point of my life, I didn’t mind mirrors. In fact I couldn’t wait to get in front of the mirror to see how I looked and to show off my body in front of others! Boy has that changed! Now I have chosen to just shop online. At least I can try the clothes on in the comfort of my own home, and then just send them back if I don’t like them.

#14 – Bikinis
I was looking at my not so tight tummy (ok, let's be honest, my flabby tummy) and wondering if I will ever look good in a bikini. I've lost almost 40 pounds since I’ve had Stella, and I'm cursed with some loose skin. I think it's one thing to be a bit over weight and expect your skin to pop back into place, but when you've been overweight for a long period of time your skin stretches quite a bit to accommodate the fat. I'm probably being impatient, I know it might firm up a bit over time, but I worry that I'm stuck with it. I really do hope I can firm up my stomach over time. Because I know that I'll feel like a total success the day I can wear a bikini.Why do we hold the bikini on such a high pedestal? We are always talking about getting in shape for bikini season, or losing weight to someday fit into that elusive bikini. It seems that the bikini has become the socially accepted symbol for the pinnacle of health or thinness. I have had times in my life when I wore a bikini. I wasn't tiny skinny or anything. I really did love the way it made me feel, very pretty and sexy, so I guess I do understand all the hype. I guess the bikini is just another way of saying you are at a healthy weight for your body, cause you would only wear a bikini if you were comfortable wearing one, meaning most likely you are at a pretty healthy weight and have a relatively flat tummy (at least no rolls lol). Why do I have such a desire to wear a bikini? Is it one of those "I can't have it so I want it" kind of thing? If I was naturally thin, would I be wearing a bikini anyway?

#15 – Afraid to go to my high school reunion
I got an email not too long ago about planning for our 10 year reunion. I actually would love to go see people from high school, see what's become of everyone, but honestly I'm totally afraid. I still fear what those people think of me. Isn't that ridiculous? When I graduated high school I was about 130 pounds. Needless to say, I have gained a lot! I am really scared to let those people see me. You would think we'd out-grow all that silliness, but I guess not. I guess no matter what age we are we just want to fit in and be liked. You know, that is what really attracts us to people and makes us want to be friends with someone…. Confidence. It really can take you far. With a healthy dose of confidence we feel like we can accomplish ANYTHING! Low self-esteem probably made us use food as a tool to cope with life in the first place. The only way to get out of that vicious cycle of feeling bad and eating more is to reverse it - get confident. Don't feel confident? Fake it. I think if you tell yourself you are confident enough, the confidence will follow. Sometimes when I'm feeling really self-conscious, I just remind myself of something great I've done. That shuts my inner demons right up. The little voice that tells me "you suck" is replaced with the other voice that says "na uh, you rock!". We all need to give ourselves little pep talks now and again. I know I sure do!


Jenelle said...

Leah, what a honest post, thanks for sharing. I sat 2 rows behind you at the wedding Saturday and watched your beautiful family interact. Your girls are so beautiful! And you & Joe seem to love one another a lot. I would see you guys look at each other several times and just smile. I thought to myself, what an awesome family! Good luck on your journey!!

Whitney Dyer said...

I have been reading your blog posts on weight and I definately feel the same as you on many of these topics. It is so hard to be accepted in this world today and with the way that society is being overweight is not the norm. Thanks for your willingness to be open and help others. I have been touched by it. Good luck at your weigh in!

Jamie said...

Good for you for embarking on such a difficult adventure (and for posting about it, too). Takes a lot of will power and hard work to do what you're doing. Sounds like the results are starting to pay off. And, way to go on running 2miles! Woo Hoo! You'll do it, I know you will. Congrats on your progress thus far.