Saturday, June 7, 2008

Body Victories

Over on my other blog, Refuse to Regain, my web partner Barbara asked readers what kinds of things they could do with their reduced bodies that they couldn’t do before. I’ve thought about it a lot since she posed the question and it seems every day I add things to my list – some very small and some quite significant.

I’m calling my list “Lynn’s Body Victories.” Entries include the obvious ones like fitting in the bathtub and sitting on my husband’s lap without suffocating him. However, I’ve also added a few less obvious ones, things I’d forgotten I couldn’t do or hadn’t paid close attention to until Barbara asked the question. I wanted to share a few of them with you in hopes that you’ll collate your own list of Body Victories and add to it at every step of your weight loss and maintenance journey.

The last few days have been a steam bath here in western PA. Temps in the upper 80s and low 90s with high humidity. I used to hate summer at any weight over 200 pounds. Absolutely dreaded it. Nothing put me in a bad mood faster than the heat. Anything above 85 degrees was a challenge to my respiratory system and sweat glands. It took a lot to cool me off. When most people went on vacation, I planned my activities around places with air conditioning. I avoided, as best I could, amusement parks, zoos, or any place where I had to walk in the sun. I was miserable and sad when it was hot and humid.

This latest heat wave, though, reminded me that the last few summers haven’t been so bad. In fact, I like being warm. I don’t mind sweating. I enjoy sitting on the porch in the afternoon and the deck in the evenings. I don’t want to be inside in the air conditioning. I prefer to sleep when it’s cool and so I sleep with the air on when it’s warm and muggy at night, but my days are better now a million fold.

One of the little things I added to my list was painting my toenails. I remember very well the days when that wasn’t comfortable or even possible. Bending over when my stomach was so large cut off my breath. Hardly worth pretty toenails. It was a pleasure to give myself a pedicure last night on the deck.

Lastly, I wore spandex bike shorts on our bike ride this morning without covering up with a loose pair of shorts. Even last year I wouldn’t have worn spandex in public because I thought, “What would people think if they saw my loose inner thigh skin? They’d react in shock and horror, no doubt!” So silly. This year, I don’t give a crap what people think about me in spandex. In fact, I’m only concerned how I feel in spandex and I think I look pretty darn good. Body Victory!

At the 8-mile mark of the particular ride my husband and I did today, the point at which we turn around and head back, there’s a significant hill. We downshift to a low gear and peddle our legs off. At the top, we’re breathing hard, reaching for our water bottles and feeling pretty damn good because we know we saved the best for last: coasting down the hill we just climbed. As I soared down that hill this morning, the wind in my face and my tires whirring under me, I celebrated the hill I climbed to lose 168 pounds because it’s been worth every fun downhill glide since then.

What’s on your Body Victory list? What do you hope to add to your Body Victory list?

16 comments:

thewwchick said...

Hmmm.....I can only think of the obvious stuff. Now you've really got me thinking. I'll have to type up a list. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Lynn,
Just stumbled across your site looking for a bit of inspiration and it worked. I have lost 20 pounds of the 45 I needed to lose, but had hit that stage....you know, a bit of success and all of a sudden sabotage behaviour kicks in. I still can't figure out if it's just complacency or actual sabotage. Either way, I know the only way to defeat it is to change my dialogue and push through. I love that people are commenting how great I look, so why, right at that time do i find an excuse to skip the gym and eat Macdonald's?
I know my sensible eating plan and kicking my butt in the gym IS working (imagine!), so why do I feel so tempted to revert to behaviours that got me to a place I'm uncomfortable in? One of your posts really spoke to me. Instead of chastising myself, I'm going to question myself. That doesn't mean I'm going to "justify" my change in behaviour, that won't do me any good either. But, I thank you for helping me start this day with a question instead of negative self talk. Now, to the answers. Why, why, why when I've tasted success, gone down two dress sizes, am feeling much better physically and mentally, am I fighting it? Why is the call of the quarter pounder and a night on the couch with potato chips stronger than the success that I REALLY am enjoying. If you or any of your readers have any insight, I'd love to know. In the meantime, I think I've got one foot firmly back on the wagon. I can white knuckle through anything for a time. I just want to deal with this head-on so it doesn't sabotage my long term goals.

C

Lesley said...

Great topic.

This may sound gross, but my favorite thing was discovering that I really do have bones under my skin. Hip bones, behind-the-neck bones (spinal cord), shoulder bones, ribs... When overweight, I only remember feeling "soft" all over. I love feeling more toned now.

Wearing skirts and not worrying about my thighs rubbing together and giving me rashes.

Here's a silly one - when standing up, not having to immediately pull my shirt down over my butt because A) Sometimes some shirts I wear are too short anyway and B) I'm not self-conscious about covering my big old behind or pulling my shirt "away" from my fat rolls.

Linda B said...

1. Crossing my legs.
2. Loving warm weather (same reason as Lynn)
3. Shopping in the regular sizes
4. Not having to wear control-top pantyhose.

Anonymous said...

A HUGE motivating part for me is shedding the body shame. No longer walking into a party *knowing* I am the biggest one there. Or avoiding the party altogether. Not feeling like everyone turns their head and judges when I eat a dessert. Then going home knowing EVERYONE was talking about how big you've gotten. (Yes I have demons.)

It is also fun to try on swimsuits and pick one that fits and is flattering, rather than looking for the biggest tent I can hide under!

Lynn Haraldson-Bering said...

Hey there, Anonymous C. Are you writing down what's going on in your head? I find journaling helps me figure things out that I can't do by just thinking about them. Self-sabotage can only be stopped when we understand what's going on in our heads. Sometimes, too, it takes one meal at a time and an almost parental talk to our inner child who wants to eat McDonalds and other crap. "No, you CAN'T have that right now. Not this meal." Ugh. It's tough, I know, but just stay present, in the moment.

deanna said...

Nothing momenumental, yet! I can't wait to have a list though!! Lynn, just wanted to comment on your comment to AnnoymousC, what GREAT advice. I never did that with my internal voice, and I think it would be very effective, for me anyway, since I am talking to my a 4-year old son that way, I might as well use it on myself too! I find your blog just lovely to read and very inspiring. Thank you!

Lynn Haraldson-Bering said...

Thanks, Deanna. BTW, I just told myself no to cereal. Why I wanted cereal I don't know, but I opened the cupboard and it was there and it sounded good, but I said no. I have Dirty Couscous leftovers out for dinner tonight. And broccoli. And that sounds good, too.

<---loves cereal

debby said...

Thanks so much for this thoughtful post. It has made me think of so many body changes that I am grateful for that I had started to take for granted. Some of the things I love: walking fast, crossing my legs, shopping for clothes that look good, and not just clothes that are adequate and cover me, getting in and out of the car gracefully, and driving with lots of space between my stomach and the steering wheel, not being afraid of getting on an airplane because I would overflow into the person next to me's seat, and wearing pretty shoes, including heels!

Rhonda said...

Well, at the present time I am body defeated and victory-less. When I did lose weight, I think just being able to comfortably tuck a shirt in and wear it without the fear of mooning everyone was a HUGE victory for me. I loved to lose the constant habit of tugging at my clothes to make sure I wasn't "drafting" anywhere. LOL Another big thing for me was buying Levi's in a size that didn't have teen or ty at the end of it. 18 ...20...22. These are Good #s for ages, but NOT pants size. :)

Lori said...

Body victories for me:

Not having to turn sideways to get down an airplane aisle.

Sitting cross legged in my office chair.

Not worrying if a chair is going to collapse under my weight.

Wearing a belt!

Sondra said...

1. Moving inbetween two objects (desks, boxes, people, etc) without having to turn sideways... even though I still do out of habit sometimes.
2. Racing my son and almost winning.
3. Being able to pack a smaller suitcase because my clothes are smaller.
4. Walking, standing, running, jumping, etc. I used to get up in the morning with my feet hurting already. If we did anything where I was on my feet for more than an hour I would be in agony.
5. Sitting comfortably in a restaurant.

Farseashore said...

"This year, I don’t give a crap what people think about me in spandex. In fact, I’m only concerned how I feel in spandex and I think I look pretty darn good."

That rocks! Good for you! :)

One of my goals is to be able to run again. Not for fitness necessarily, but just for the joyful sense of freedom, like kids do. I haven't run since I was a kid.

JJ said...

Obvious ones would be fitting into new clothes and dancing in the public. Oh ah, feeling sexy and proud of yourself.

Cheers,

JJ

Paula said...

I got to thinking about this blog and wanted to share a book I found with everyone.

Back in February, when I started my personal weightloss journey, I found a book which addresses a part of weightloss we don't think about- the psychological aspect and how we view ourselves and our shrinking bodies. The book is called “Joining the Thin Club: Tips for Toning Your Mind after You've Trimmed Your Body”. It's written by Judith Lederamn. She also has a website. Check out her website. http://thethinclub.typepad.com/

flyingfish said...

Um, you know . . . "married life." It's so much more joyful when you love your body!

Sorry, TMI?