Sunday, June 10, 2007

The After Life; Before Death

Don't let the title fool you. This post will have very little to do with spirituality, heaven, hell, purgatory or what really goes on after you take your last breath and feel the last thump of your heart. I'm talking about Life After Fat.

I think anybody who has weight to lose, especially significant amounts of weight, has a few ideas in their heads as to what life will be like after the weight is gone. You're going to be more confidant. You're going to be healthy. You're going to join in more team activities. You're not going to feel bad about yourself anymore. You're going to email your evil ex-boyfriend a picture of your new smoking bod. I think everybody has a little check list in their heads and we're all extremely eager to tick those boxes off one by one.

I went back and re-read my very first post from July 2006 "My Confessions" and was thinking about in the beginning what I was really looking forward to during this whole life changing experience. Some of the things I had hoped for have already come true which is actually really exciting. Sometimes I get so caught up in the "what's next" that I can easily forget about what I've already accomplished. Here's what my "Life After Fat" has done for me thusfar.

I can take a flight of stairs without feeling like I'm going to pass out. In fact I climb up 3 flights of them every day at work 2 or 3 times even though there is an elevator at my disposal. Way to go me!

My acid reflux isn't nearly as bad as it used to be. I have cut my dose in half, only taking it once a day now. I hope by the time I reach my goal I can cut it out all together.

My ankles are no longer "cankles". I no longer have the permanent swelling in my toes that make them look like snausages (those little puppy dog treats that looks like miniature sausages. Liz, quit laughing) There's actually space between each of my little piggies. My ankles are no longer so puffy by the end of the day that they spill over the sides of my shoes. My feet no longer look like they're going to explode out of my shoes at any given minute. I still have swelling when the weather gets really hot but even some un-fat people have that problem so maybe it's something I'll always have to deal with on some level.

I have sat in airplane seats, in theatre seats, in restaurant booths and chairs and I actually fit. This may seem like nothing much but it takes a huge load off of my mind. I no longer have to be nervous before I board the plane. No flight attendant will ever embarrass me again by talking a little too loudly about the seat belt extender that I need. Occasionally I'll still get a little sweaty palms when I see the size of the chairs or booths we're about to sit in in public but I fit in just about every single public space available now. Whew.

Just those things there make me pretty proud of what I've done so far. "Life After Fat" is pretty ok. I still have a lot of work to do though and still have a lot of things I'd like to accomplish.

I still have to shop in the big girls stores. This still sucks in Europe. Big girl fashion is still hideous, still outdated, still riddled with elastic waistbands and still made for your elderly Aunt Marge who enjoys loud flowery prints and has a touch of colorblindness.

I'd like to tuck a shirt in and not feel totally self conscious about it. I have never tucked a shirt into my pants and walked out of the house that way in my entire life. Ever. I will not do it until my belly is much smaller. This, I believe, is going to be just as much a mental thing as it is a physical thing for me but that's an entirley different post.

My very last confession in that first post of mine was that I just wanted to see what I look like underneath all of this. That confession still rings true for me today. I've enjoyed several new found body parts over the past (almost) year, my collar bones, my wrist knobs, my cute little protruding patellas but I still have quite a few bits of me that I want to get to know. These parts, amongst others, include my hip bones, my triceps and my Achilles tendon. There is just something about the Achilles tendon that I think makes a leg look good. I look forward to really seeing mine standing out there all pretty and pronounced.

I don't think my After Life is going to be perfect. I'm still me underneath it all but just from the little things I've had happen so far I still look forward to Life After Fat.


mamacita chilena said...

For me one of the most shocking things about life after losing weight...was that it really didn't change all that much. Obviously physically yes, but as far as the people around me treated me, no. Then I woke up, smelled the coffee and realized the people in my life love me whether I'm thin or far :)

ps. I'm now a healthy weight, but I would still never tuck a shirt into my pants because I'm paranoid it makes me look fat. that being said, I'm crazy. I won't even put a cell phone or chapstick into my jeans pockets because I tink it makes me look bulky and fat. Hey, we've all got our issues.

***CCC*** said...

Oh wow...what an amazing post! You are so right--we all wonder what it will be like, especially those of us that have been overweight for life.

Of course, I know it's not going to be a fairy tale, life will still (pretty much) be the same, but there are so many things those of us that are significantly overweight can't in regular stores, ride certain amusement park rides, etc.

The airplane thing is huge too (pardon the pun!)...I've hated that on my last few flights, when my weight was at its highest, I always had that worrisome moment where I fretted the seatbelt wouldn't fit.

Don't fear that anymore...

So glad to hear you're making progress and seeing so many wonderful changes in your life.