Thursday, September 17, 2009

Listing The Negatives

Originally the list that follows was titled ‘Thing I Detest About Being Obese’, but after doing a little soul searching I have decided that I needed to add in the ‘ed’ at the end of the third word to make this post more accurate. These are issues that I have dealt with for a long time – I never once came close to the ‘normal’ weight range throughout my twenties – but they are also problems that I am working at removing from my life.

I am less concerned about a lot of these things after just one month of living healthier. But many of the items on this list will probably continue to plague me for a while, and perhaps some right until the end of this journey. Maybe I will even find a few new things to be stressed out about once I have gotten used to an average sized me.

The point in writing them down though is not to simply have an itemized record of the mental blocks, emotional trappings, and physical barriers I struggled with such a short time ago, but to ensure that I have somewhere to look back on when I am feeling sad, unmotivated, or discouraged. I want to be able to draw from this in the future and know that I have very valid reasons to want to avoid obesity. I need to chronicle my journey so that I know where I came from and where I need to never call home again.

- actually debating whether running to catch a bus or being late is the least desirable
- anytime I need to wear pantyhose
- being casual about my weight issues when talking with friends even though I know that they just don’t get it
- being over twice the size of one of my best friends
- being scared of leaving my husband a widower
- catching a glimpse of my reflection in a window
- contemplating if I would be charged more than most to have my legs waxed
- exceeding weight limitations for certain activities
- fearing the teeter-totter and the lack of movement should someone sit on the end opposite to me
- feeling like I can’t tuck in a shirt for fear of defining my (lack of) waistline too much
- generally settling for simple clothing because I don’t want to draw attention to myself
- getting winded from walking up a flight of stairs
- having a bath and feeling like I nearly fill the entire tub
- having to sit down most of the time to tie my shoes
- having to worry more about potential back problems and knee injuries
- looking around wherever I am to see if I am the largest person there
- looking at photographs of myself
- never wearing a belt because it’s too hard to find one in my size
- not being able to try things on while out shopping with my average sized friends
- running into the occasional scale that doesn’t register weight as high as I need it to
- shopping in plus-sized stores out of necessity
- stressing out about potentially having a difficult pregnancy
- taking extra care to breath normally when walking with a friend to make them think that I am as fit as they are
- that even after losing thirty pounds from my highest weight, the one-hundreds still seem so far off
- that every failed diet and exercise program started off weighing on my mind and eventually shifted to my waist
- that losing twenty or thirty pounds doesn’t seem to look much different in the mirror
- that my husband weighs less than me
- the decreased life expectancy
- the groaning planks of picnic tables and the faces of those already seated when I join them
- the increased risk of serious ailments
- the thought of embarrassing my future children
- the utter lack of flirting that comes my way *
- the way my stomach hangs away from my body
- trying to sleep on my side while the excess fat at my chest feels like it’s suffocating me
- wearing shorts over my bathing suit when I go swimming
- weighing more than nearly every man and woman I know
- when friends suggest activities that I know I am not physically able to do
- wondering if people I haven’t seen in a long time think I’m pregnant
- wondering what people who know me must think of my weight
- worrying that I will pass my unhealthy habits onto my future children

*I need to note that I am very happily married, but sometimes it’s just nice to be noticed.*

- 11 glasses of water throughout the day
- 1 nectarine
- 1 banana
- 1 cheeseburger on a thin bun with lettuce, tomato, onion, fat free Miracle Whip, mustard, and relish
- 2 cups Caesar salad with light dressing and croutons
- 2 1/2 cups of celery with 2 Tb. light peanut butter

- 30 minutes on the recumbent bike
- 4 sets of 30 stomach crunches (2 straight, 1 right, and 1 left)
- 2 sets of 10 knee push ups


  1. I applaud you for taking the time to really think about these things. Sometimes it's hard to articulate the situations and feelings that make being overweight difficult.

    I like your reasons for making the list too. It will be a great motivator for you when you have times where your journey feels harder than it does right now.

  2. This is a very moving list. And I think of this as good news (I hope you will too)-- you don't have to lose 100 lbs to cross most of this off your list. You will be tying your shoes easily, shopping in regular stores, and looking forward to a healthier pregnancy long before the 100 mark. Especially if you lift weights :)

  3. To me, part of the mindset of starting to get serious about getting the weight off, is to get in your head WHY you want it gone.
    While looking better and all that jazz were great, they weren't what did it for me. Thinking about having a stroke and diabetes like my grandfather (not overweight btw) or high blood pressure and depression (elevated by being overweight) that my aunt struggles with was what did it for me.
    I also though about how I always felt bigger than the other kids at school and when I had my daughter the light bulb went off that I DID NOT want that for her. So, I decided to be a big girl and set a good example for her. I sure hope it pays off.

  4. Thanks for taking the time to do this. It must have taken alot of soul searching. I have a similar list and as I lose weight, I cross them off. For example, NOW I can tie my shoes by bending over, I don't have to put my foot up on a stool or chair anymore. NOW I have a lap and can put my laptop on it :) You will see some things change fairly quickly so don't lose sight of that.

  5. I could have written pretty much the same list. It's a good idea to remind ourselves of these things once in a while...sometimes we tend to "forget" when faced with a possible bad food decision.

  6. Ugh, I got to the second one (pantyhose) before I got a rush of what I hated about being obese. Many are similar to yours, but no husband to consider. I may make my own list, but just thinking of it makes me sad.

  7. It's so early for tears over here on the west coast but this blog did it. This list is huge, overwhelming, and just too much for one person to handle. Thank you for sharing and good luck.

  8. This was such a powerful list. I'm so glad you made it. I may have to copy you and write up something similar.

    There's so much to hate, and so much to look forward to.

  9. "- taking extra care to breath normally when walking with a friend to make them think that I am as fit as they are"

    I didn't realize that other people do that too. :-)

  10. You're right, Jack, the list is endless. I've already realized that I should have added:

    - having to move carefully when getting up from sitting on the floor to avoid hurting my knees

    - literally rolling out of bed

    - the difficulties of contending with excessive celulite when trying to simply shave my upper legs

    I know this list will help me a lot in the future!

  11. Oh yeah, and:

    - barely fitting on your half of a bus seat, in patio chairs, or between the armrests on air planes

    - being nervous when getting in the back of an unfamiliar vehicle since the seatbelt may not fit