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Reactions

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Oct 4, 2009 in My Adventures in Dieting

I suppose that’s the theme of all of my posts lately – sorry about that.  Real life gets in the way of blogging, I guess.

I missed wishing a happy birthday to my dear husband Michael last week.  We celebrated with a dinner at Guillermo’s in downtown Pitman.  Pitman is undergoing a resurgence, of sorts – in the last few months, several new restaurants have opened and we’ve been lucky enough to try them all (maybe that’s why I haven’t had to time blog). Funny thing is, since it’s still a small town, we ran into several other people we knew at dinner.  And for days afterward, friends and neighbors stopped us and said, “We saw you eating dinner at Guillermo’s on Friday night.”  I guess they saw us through the window?  Life in a small town – can’t get away with anything.

Speaking of which, I’m sure everyone was concerned with exactly what was on my plate since my weight seems to be the other big topic of conversation in town.  I reached my goal weight last week – I’ve lost a total of 48 pounds since January 1st.  It took a lot of hard work and certainly didn’t happen overnight – if you do the math, I lost about 1 1/2 pounds per week on average. 

I’m finding some very interesting reactions from people…

The first thing people ask is HOW I lost the weight.  They are expecting to hear it was some magic pill or secret diet plan.  When they hear it was eating healthy, counting calories and exercise, they are usually disappointed.  Problem is, there is no secret – we all know how it really works to lose weight, it’s just no fun to do it. 

People are amazed that I have the time to exercise.  They think you need hours of time and an expensive gym membership.  I don’t belong to a gym.  I have 3 kids, work a full time job and commute an hour each way every day.  But I am probably in the best shape I’ve ever been.  I just take about 20-30 minutes each day and try to hit all the major muscle groups plus mix in a little cardio too.  No special equipment – just some videos and a whole lotta sweat.

Some people have taken me aside and asked if I’m ill or depressed.  They make me look them in the eye and swear that I’m okay.  I never expected that reaction.

Other people keep staring at me and tell me that they can’t get used to seeing me this way.  Or that they can barely recognize me.  I have to admit, sometimes when I look in the mirror and catch a glimpse of myself, I feel the same way.  I have two badges at work – one photo was taken 1 1/2 years ago and the other was taken a month ago.  They don’t even look like the same person.

Another very strange reaction that I didn’t expect was the reaction from men.  As much as people try to tell you that weight doesn’t matter in how attractive someone is, the awful truth is that it does.  Even though I am happily married and WAY past my prime (at 41, I’m certainly not a head-turner), all of a sudden, I find that I’m getting cat-calls, those awkward stares and smiles in a way that I didn’t get almost 50 pounds ago.  And the truth is, it makes me uncomfortable.  Maybe I should be flattered, but the other day when a group of men told me to turn around so they could see my rear in my jeans, I was thinking “sexual harassment”, not flattery.

The best part of the whole weight loss thing is going shopping.  I walked into Gap yesterday for some new dress pants, flipped through the sale rack, pulled out a few pairs of size 6 pants, took them into the dressing room and they fit perfectly.  I kept spinning around in the mirror and looking from all angles – I was very proud of myself.  Me – in a size 6.  I NEVER thought that would happen again.  I wanted to say to the sales girl when she asked how the pants fit, “You don’t understand – I just lost ALMOST 50 POUNDS!  I’m not your average size 6!  I’m not like those girls who are naturally skinny!  I had to work really hard to get here!!!!”  But I didn’t.  I just said, “They fit perfectly.”

So now the challenge is, how do I stay here without gaining any weight?  I also don’t want to lose too much more either – I want to be healthy, not gaunt. 

This week has been particularly hard for me because I have been having some issues with my sacroiliac joint and have been instructed to stop all exercise for at least 2 weeks while I’m in physical therapy.  I don’t want to get out of the good habits I’ve formed and I don’t want to put on weight from extra calories not burned.  So I’ve been cutting back a bit this week – no dinners at Guillermo’s for me.  This is going to be a real game of balance while I try to settle in at this weight…wish me luck.

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