Shape of You


These days, I get constant reminders of just how far I’ve come since the beginning of this journey, and how much has changed in my day to day life.

Most of the squirrels in my back yard look like this, and I never feed them.

In September of 2013, my first month on this particular effort, I made notes about changes in my condition. Here are a few highlights:

  • My highest weight during the month was my starting weight of 371. My lowest weight during the month was 354.8 pounds, for a total loss of 16.2 pounds.
  • IBS symptoms are decreasing from daily occurrences to 1-2 times a week.
  • I feel as if I’m able to get up off my love seat without as much effort.
  • On the whole, I am sleeping better, with wakefulness in the wee hours of the morning only occurring 1-2 times a week, as opposed to being almost daily.
  • I still experience knee pain, back discomfort when standing, as well as pulling on lower back and upper thighs when standing; probably because my fat distribution causes me to stoop somewhat to counterbalance.
  • To help myself mentally, I chose 50 pound increments. I am 34 pounds away from the first goal.
  • I have a lot of support at the moment, and I hope this continues.
  • I am still anxious about being in situations where I must stand or walk. I am unsure of footing and fear falling.
  • I have to remember to be more patient with my current status instead of wanting everything right at this moment.
  • Accomplishments: I’m not sure what to include, here at this time, other than staying the course for the month. I achieved my goals of starting off right, which I think has helped me through some times of doubt. Instead of starting halfheartedly, I weighed, I measured, I took photos, I took video, I enlisted support.
  • My biggest challenge is mobility; standing, walking, endurance. These are structural as well as distribution issues; structural in that my knees are in bad shape (level 4 osteoarthritis). This will continue to improve as I lose weight.

Last night, I had a meeting in the downtown area in a larger city I live close to; just the simple act of finding a place to park and walking down the street to my destination, and then getting down the stairs, would have been close to impossible for me. These days, the only part of that journey that bothers me is the stairs; I can make it up and down them, but it takes me a while because of the condition of my knees. That will continue to improve.

I don’t wake up in pain every morning. Most days are pretty good, actually, and I no longer fear standing or walking. Standing for longer amounts of time, especially on concrete, still bothers me — but not like it did, before. As for walking? I’ve been making the effort to increase my walking, bit by bit, and now, shopping or walking in downtown areas doesn’t bother me. In fact, I rather enjoy strolling through my neighborhood on a daily basis. My goal is 10K steps a day; I’m currently at 3750, and add a little more each week.

I still fear falling, but my gait is strong and getting stronger.

It’s a heck of a lot easier to find clothes that fit, and they don’t all look like they were made for dowdy old women. I have a waist, again, and by golly, I’m discovering I have shoulder blades!

Heels! Granted, I don’t wear ankle breakers, but I can get around in moderate heels. This was impossible except for the very shortest of walks back then. I’ve got a pair of wedge sandals that I bought last year, and I’m looking forward to wearing them this year.

We’re going camping in a few days, and I know things will be a lot easier for me, even compared to just last summer, especially since I’m setting daily step goals and routinely achieving them.

I breathe easier and better. IBS issues all but disappeared in my second month and rarely reappear.

I still set my ticker goals in 50 pound increments. In just 6 pounds, I get to reset it for a goal of 200 pounds lost. Incredible!

While I still experience knee pain, it’s a lot more manageable and isn’t debilitating; before, it was a handicapping condition. While I still don’t walk with as much freedom as other people my size and age, I’m much more in the normal range instead of needing reassurance that I’ll have places to take rests and relieve knee pain if I need to go anywhere.

I still have tons of support — thank you!

I can still be impatient, but I’ve learned so much over the last 3 1/2 years about the importance of getting my head straight. A prime example: I’ve had a really good recent run of weight loss, reporting losses every week for probably 5-6 weeks, but not this week. Before, I would have been bothered by it but unwilling to look at the reasons that might happen. This time, I understand; I ate too much this week, plain and simple, and sometimes my body isn’t in losing mode for reasons that don’t always make sense, so I take those times, do the best I can, and move on.

I’ve given myself another chance at living instead of just existing, and I’m enjoying the heck out of it. This is the biggest and best gift I could have ever given myself, and it’s not just my shape that’s changing.


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