Looking back, looking forward, and looking at the present.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

I'm struggling through the beginning stages of a separation and likely divorce. I have a great support system, and am finally getting decent sleep after two months of living alone, but I am still struggling with my favorite vice-local, tasty, made-with-love microbrews, with are abundant in Portland.

I replied to a blog post by one of the most inspirational Sparkpeople I can think of, STEPH-KNEE, and I realized i have so many NSVs to celebrate to get me through this difficult time. I know I will never go back to my old ways of bingeing to hide the pain, but I definitely want to relax with my best friend with a beer more often than my pants will allow, so I'm up a few pounds over the top of my "normal" range.

I did an awesome spin HIIT session yesterday morning, and then went for a lovely hike with my mom. I didn't get tired or winded, I didn't need to stop and take breaks, and I wasn't sore today. Those things would have never happened when I was obese. So many things in daily life are easier, and I didn't even realize how many until I listed a few in STEPH-KNEE's blog. Here are a few:

When I was at my highest weight, I took up bellydancing. In bellydancing, all body types are appreciated and respected. I've seen stick-thin dancers and women over 300 lbs dance, smile, own their bodies in a healthy way, and be in a supportive environment. Bellydancing was the first place (besides running) that I felt strong and beautiful. I even performed at a festival (right in the front center because I'm short!) twice-with the traditional choli top and exposed stomach! I would encourage all women to take a Middle Eastern dance class. Low impact on the joints, great for the core, and fantastic for body image and empowerment. Some of the ones I've experienced besides dancing in public:

playing the Wii standing in front of people without worrying how my backside looks (I know that sounds silly, but there it is)
going dancing without feeling self-conscious
walking around the mall/grocery store/retail without worrying I'll bump into someone or take up too much of the aisle
not feeling worried about taking the middle seat in a backseat of a car
not worrying that my behind is falling off the back of a bench at a picnic
not worrying that my thighs are touching my airplane neighbor
not having to turn sideways down the aisle to the bathroom on an airplane
not having my stomach touch the booth in a restaurant
not being self-conscious as a music director in front of a gym full of people (your backside is turned towards the audience when you conduct the band)
not being embarrassed to lean over far enough to get a great view on my angle of my shot in pool and having my booty in someone's way
not getting upset in the summer because the back of my arms wasn't cottage-cheesy.

There are tons more, including not being embarrassed in pictures anymore. Including the one that my mom posted of me on Facebook yesterday! Spark on, sparkers!!!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Those are all amazing and happy things. And all hard-earned and very well-deserved! You are an inspiration to many, including me, and you inspire me each and every day to get to that place where I'm no longer ashamed and embarrassed in my own body. I want to live the life you've shown me is possible, once the "body prison" is gone. I also have an NSV I'm looking forward to - in part because of you. I bought a smaller swimsuit this year, and I can't wait to wear it to the pool with the kids. Now next year, I'm hoping to have an even smaller one, and not have to wear shorts over it and to be able to wear tank tops without bat wings. But for now, I'm happy with being able to wear a new, smaller suit because I know that means I'm headed in the right direction. :)
    2615 days ago
    Yes, I read Steph-knees blog too. Obese people all have horror stories in their past. Chances taken and failed, chances not taken with regret, moments of humiliation, fears, shame and that awful loss of self worth.
    I celebrate with you your fitness. Your joy in moving. I gave that up so many years ago it is but a tender memory. I am working on getting it back one walk at a time.
    I wish you well in this new phase of your life as a single. Try to remember the good times as you move on and let the rest slide into your past. Be thankful you are moving into a time of peace with your self and with your life.
    Who knows what is just ahead? Your journey showed you that there are possibilities out there that you never dreamed could be a part of your life. Go grab one!
    2615 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.