January 19, 2016

Non-scale victories

Yesterday, an electrician came out and fixed the problem that we'd been dealing with for the past few weeks (power flickering throughout the front half of our apartment). We hadn't been able to use the microwave, range, washer, dryer, dishwasher, garbage disposal, or any of the lights in the kitchen, bathroom, hallway, or Noah's room. Incredibly frustrating, but at least once the electrician figured it out, it wasn't too long 'til it was fixed.

When the electrician left, I took Noah for a walk (we did 5K at the park), then came home to catch up on a week's worth of laundry before my night class.

Two great NSVs in all of this:

  1. When the landladies said we couldn't use the range/microwave for five days, my first thought was well, now we need to go to the grocery store and get stuff for salads and sandwiches since we can't cook - instead of what I've often thought in the past, which is jackpot! an excuse to order pizza and go out to eat!
  2. After doing the laundry, I put on a shirt that fit well fresh out of the dryer - no tightness, no stretching it out to loosen it up.

I'm really proud of the progress I'm making. It's tough in the beginning, because you have to be so strong for yourself. You feel fantastic, you can feel the progress of every pound. But friends, family, co-workers ... it may take a while for them to notice. (When I first lost the weight, my boss didn't notice [or didn't comment, anyway] until I had lost 75 pounds.) So you just have to keep working, keep chugging along.

I remember once, when I was in grad school (maybe 2009?) ... I was probably around 330 pounds, and I'd managed to lose down to 307, and I felt incredible. It wasn't a ton of weight, but it felt like it - I had more energy, I wasn't binge eating so I didn't feel all bloated. And so I decided to try and go out on a date. I met a guy online, Jerry, and I was entirely upfront about my size - I wanted him to have reasonable expectations. We went to a movie, and he was visibly uncomfortable being with me. I should have just left, but it was late and he'd driven us. I tried to make conversation, but he gave these awful dismissive one-word answers, and when I asked him if he wanted to get a drink somewhere so we could talk after the movie, he said he was busy, he had to work the next day.

I went home and cried. Not for him - he wasn't interested in getting to know me at all, so it wasn't a loss. But I cried because I felt so good about myself when the night started, but by the end, all I felt was like I wasn't enough yet. Like my hard work didn't matter, because no one could tell.

So I gave up. It was easier than facing how much work I'd have to do before people would notice. And I regained everything, plus some, before I had my rock bottom, this is it, now or never moment.

If only I'd realized then that it doesn't matter if/when people notice! Do this for YOURSELF, not for anyone else. People come and go. Compliments will be showered while you're losing the weight, but they taper off in maintenance. Eventually, it's not a new thing, it's just your life. And you have to find everyday reasons to keep making the best choices. You can't let the compliments be the only motivation.

Interestingly enough, that awful night at the movies was not the last time I heard from Jerry. I got a message from him in 2011, on a different site than the one we'd met on a few years earlier. He had no idea who I was - and I don't quite blame him, because this time I was 150 pounds lighter. He sent a pretty standard message, saying he was looking to meet someone in the city, that I was gorgeous, and that he'd love to go grab a drink some time and get to know me.

I never wrote back.


Denise said...

"Eventually, it's not a new thing, it's just your life."

I really loved that line and I can't really put my finger on why. I've been feeling that "it's just your life" thing a lot; the novelty of my shiny new diet has worn off, so now it's just the way I am. I've lost seven pounds and no one can really tell, but I can tell. I can tell I'm not bloated anymore. I can tell that my heartburn is better and my sleep is improving and I'm generally happier and not starving all the time.

I'm glad your diet is paying off, and I'm glad you're keeping track of these NSVs so that when you have a hard day and think about having a binge, you will have these things to remind you.

Jill Walker said...

I didn't realize how much all that praise was feeding me until it tapered off. I probably still wouldn't realize it if you hadn't mentioned it...but it's true. Even though I haven't yet reached my goal weight(still about 35 pounds to go), I've pretty much been maintaining my 80lb loss since before Christmas. After a year of steady change, people have gotten used to the 'skinny' me, and don't really mention it much any more. That's kind of sad in a way, but also very exciting to me...because now, I'm just...normal. Wow.

You're doing awesome, btw. And not just for your progress, either. I'm detecting a change in demeanor/attitude that I haven't heard in your postings for a very, very long time...pre California, in fact. That is more encouraging than anything you could possibly say. :) I'm so stinkin' happy for you right now!!

Amanda said...

Yay for your NSVs! They definitely keep me going when the progress feels so slow.

And yes, it's hard to realize that when the compliments come and go that it's still just you and yourself left...like you said, you have to just do it for you. So proud of you! :D

Unknown said...

I felt like it took forever for me to actually see a difference and even longer for anyone else to notice. There were several weeks at the beginning when I started to wonder if my body was defective and incapable of change! Those first few months are SO hard. It really does have to be a commitment to yourself to get healthy!