Bikini Bodies

Bear with me guys, this might get a little rambly and off path a little, but I’ve been thinking a lot lately about weight. Not necessarily weight…more like (mainly) women’s unhealthy obsession with weight. But I don’t even really think weight is the issue…it’s more what we look like, how big or small we are…why is there such an emphasis on our size? Why is this a thing? Like at what point did women start deciding that their value comes from how they look on the outside instead of the content of their character?

“If you’re always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be.” – Maya Angelou

I don’t think I fit the societal norms here, to be honest. I am big, plus size, overweight, obese, morbidly obese, fat, whatever term you use for describing my size…however, I have NEVER seen myself as big as I actually am. I am confident in my body. Is it harder to do some things physically because of my size, I’m sure it is, but I wouldn’t know because I’ve never been the super tiny girl. I’ve always ‘had some meat on my bones’. Was it harder when I was dating, to be bigger than other girls my age? Nope, I never had trouble getting asked out or getting male attention. Do I have low self-esteem or self confidence because of my size? No, not really. I don’t find my self-worth in my dress size…sorry, not sorry that I don’t see myself as less than because I don’t fit what society has deemed as attractive and worthy all because the scale is a higher number than you are comfortable seeing.

Is this to say that I don’t place value on taking care of myself or eating healthy and moving? Heck no! What I am saying is that I don’t think it’s healthy for one to be so consumed with eating healthy and exercising for the sole purpose of losing weight as opposed to eating healthy and exercising because it’s good for you, no matter your size or the number on the scale. I’m pretty healthy, I have no medical issues that are typically attributed to being overweight (high bp, diabetes, circulation issues, high cholesterol) but people don’t see our medical records when they look at us, do they? They just look at me and see how big I am and automatically assume I must consume all the unhealthiest of foods and do nothing but sit on my butt.

weight does not determine worth

As I’ve scrolled through each of my social media accounts lately, it has struck me that even the most ‘healthy’ and fit, the thinnest people I know still aren’t happy with their bodies. Why? Who is telling you that you aren’t good enough? Why are you letting them? This isn’t even about body positivity to me right now. I do want every body to feel good about themselves, but when I think about it, I want everyone to feel good about themselves because they are happy in their life and relationships and career. I am definitely not trying to knock people who are proud of themselves for being the healthiest, most fit, strongest they have ever been because they are taking the time to work and push to accomplish things physically to test themselves. I think that is amazing and awesome! I just worry about the women who are out there killing themselves to attain a smaller size or smaller number on the scale just because they think that will make them happy or make other people happy.

“Work out because you love your body, not because you hate it” – Katie Goulet

I have many friends who have expressed feelings of not being confident to even wear a swimsuit, let a lone a bikini, because they have a belly, or thick thighs, or are just bigger than what society has told them is the appropriate size to be right now. Each time, the thing that comes to mind is how to get a bikini body….have a body, put a bikini on it, now you have a bikini body. I recently took this to heart and purchased a bikini. Not a tankini like has been my go to for the last 10ish years…but an actual bikini. And I love it. I feel confident in it. It makes me happy to wear it. And I hope that when my daughter sees me in it, she sees that she too can wear whatever makes her feel confident and beautiful and doesn’t let other peoples opinions get into her head and ruin her self image.

For a really long time, I followed the crowd – must lose weight so I can be more acceptable to everyone around me, must hide my body because no one wants to see a plus size woman in anything that shows any skin, must perpetuate the cycle of self hate because that’s what society tells women is normal behavior…I thought I was so fat, I thought I was unattractive, I thought I was unhealthy, I thought my value was tied into the number on the scale. In all of these old pictures of me, I thought I was so huge compared to my friends…what the hell was I on?! Looking at them now, I see a beautiful woman who was healthy and was the same size as all of her friends! All those years I spent hating myself, my body, because why?…I don’t even know at this point.

Do I say all of this to say that I never have moments of weakness now when I see a picture of myself and think, wow am I really that big? No, I totally have those moments but they don’t define me. The number on the scale doesn’t define me. I don’t have a single desire to lose weight so that people will find me easier to look at, or more worthy of their attention. I have a desire to be healthy and to work on loving all of myself, flaws and imperfections included. I’m not willing to hide for anyone anymore. My wish for every woman I know, is that she would see herself and love herself, as is. Stop the self hate, start loving yourself so we can stop the cycle of teaching our children to hate themselves if they don’t fit whatever society has deemed acceptable. <3

Progress…

So I’ve been back on Weight Watchers for 2 full weeks. I would say I’ve been pretty successful. I have tracked every single thing I eat or drink. I have exercised. I have eaten really healthy good foods. And then I went to Mom’s Night In last night and ate and drank things that were not the greatest for me (especially the night before a weigh in) but I am not going to stop going out with my friends just because the scale might not reflect the hard work I put in the rest of the week.

I admit, I did sleep right through my alarm this morning to get up for my early WW meeting, but I got up and got myself ready and went to the second one they have on Saturday’s. The progress I have made is not on the scale this week. It is in my attitude. I knew the scale wouldn’t be kind this morning and instead of just skipping the whole thing this week from oversleeping and knowing I would show a gain, I got up and I went anyway. That to me is a HUGE success!

Here are my stats and photos for this week:

Inches lost – 2
Pounds lost – up .8

Our topic this week is Planning, do you plan your meals? What do you do to help yourself get through the week making the healthiest choices you can make?

My goal for this week is to stick to my menu plan and if I’m going to be out and about to plan on bringing good snacks so I don’t get in trouble with being hungry and then just picking some junk food instead of pre-planning and making a healthy decision.

Go get out and do something good for your health!

Back on the Wagon

I admit, I fell off the wagon. Last summer I had started doing Weight Watchers on my own and exercising. Then in January I officially joined WW and started going to meetings every Saturday morning. From August of last year til April of this year I dropped 52 lbs. I felt so good and I could tell a huge difference in how I looked and how my clothes fit. I had to wear smaller sizes but I just felt better. I had started taking a new picture every week after my WW meetings and I am going to share a before and after with you so you can see for yourself the progress I had made. I was riding a stationary bike for between 10 and 13 miles everyday and doing 45 minutes of yoga/strength training 5 days a week. Don’t get me wrong, I know that 52 lbs is a big amount of weight to lose, but I still have a really REALLY long way to go. Then life started to get in the way and I had to stop going to meetings and then eventually stopped tracking my Points + on my food and then I stopped exercising. And now I have put on 10 lbs again since April. But I am ready to get back on track and continue on my journey.

In the spirit of getting back on the wagon, I have been doing a lot of baking and cooking. I want to eat less processed foods and more whole foods. I have once again started doing yoga and strength training, I’m working my way back up to where I was a few months ago. I am also going to be tracking my Points+ again. I can’t go to meetings again yet, but there is no reason I can’t track and exercise and get things back where they should be.
It’s not easy, that’s for sure. But I believe I am worth the hard work and so is my family as a whole. When I do better for myself, I in turn am doing better for my husband and daughter.

Have you lost a lot of weight? How did you do it and how do you keep yourself motivated and keep it off? I’d love to hear from you and maybe we could help keep each other motivated!

Oh and don’t forget to check out Paranormal Tales to see my featured post!

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Weight Watchers

So I recently joined Weight Watchers after losing almost 40 lbs on my own I was stuck, I needed the extra umphh to get past it. I had thought of joining WW for a really long time, but I was always afraid. I was afraid I would be judged or something…which couldn’t be further from the truth. I mean in reality, WW is THE LAST place you will be judged for being overweight. I don’t know why that never dawned on me before my first meeting. I joined in mid January and went to my first meeting that same day. It was good, I came home excited and believing that I can do this.

I am proud to say that since that first meeting I have lost 11.6 pounds, but more than that I have lost 28 inches overall!! I follow my Points Plus everyday and I do yoga. That’s it. I sometimes take the dog for a walk, or we go on a hike as a family. But my main form of exercise is yoga on the Wii Fit Plus. It shocks me to see pictures of last summer when I start dropping the initial 40 lbs and what I look like now. I feel so much better, I can feel a huge difference in my body, I can see a difference but I feel so much better!

I still have a long way to go, but I am on the right track and getting closer to my mini-goals every day.

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A New Day

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Today is a new day, it’s a day of new beginnings for me. I have decided it’s time to really focus on me for a while and get healthy (or at least healthier). I have been pretty healthy up til this year and I seem to be falling apart all of the sudden. I have been overweight for a long long time, but was always still healthy (i.e no high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, heart issues). Then with all the stress we were under last year with the caregiving of my MIL and GMA – I had way high blood pressure. So high that my doctor put me on blood pressure meds. All my other blood work came back perfect, still no diabetes. However my cholesterol was through the roof – thanks mostly to my PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome). But this was enough to kind of scare me into making some changes. We have started eating more fresh, unprocessed foods – eating less meats and packaged foods, eating smaller portions and drinking less soda. But the exercise was lacking. Let’s face it, I am a SAHM, I am not lazy but I was not doing any actual focused workouts either. Then the faux heart attack I had a few weeks ago, combined with the fact that the last couple of days my right leg and foot were swollen to double the normal size – I am sufficiently freaked out. So, my mom had been looking for a treadmill for herself and posted on my mommy group forums (PhoenixMommies) that she was ISO a treadmill. One of the ladies messaged her saying she had both a treadmill and an exercise bike that she was looking to sell if she was interested. I talked to my mom and she said that she would buy both ($100 for both! what a deal!) and she would keep the treadmill and give me the bike since I despise walking on a treadmill but can rock it out on the bike. So my dad and I went and picked them up yesterday and I have gotten started on my new way of life.

My goal is to do at least 2.5 miles twice a day – if I can break it up into smaller chunks of time I will be more likely to get it done. So if I can turn the tv on and watch one show while getting in a couple of miles I am proud of myself. Last night I did just that, I got in 2.2 miles the first time. Then again this morning I have done 2.7 miles. This evening I will do the rest of my 5 miles for today. I feel better, have more energy already and feel proud of myself for doing it. Now, just to remain accountable…