Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Negative Feedback Thing: Why I Think It Happened

That has been a big puzzle to me. It was so shocking and so hurtful. I was feeling so healthy, and so good about myself, that I was completely unprepared for negative comments. "You're so thin! Are you sure you're okay?" Not complimentary. But it also wasn't that "I'm so jealous, I'm going to tear you down" passive-aggressive thing, either. These comments were from dear friends who love and care about me.

I think I understand it now.

Most people here, in the town where we've lived for almost seventeen years, have never known me at my right, healthy weight. Almost everyone I know here has only known me overweight. Because I'm tall, and carry my weight well, they didn't realize how overweight I was. My health said differently.

My husband, wonderful, supportive, kind man that he is, never once in all those years made me feel fat. He never made a comment on the extra weight. Not ever. He was so concerned when we found out all the potentially serious health problems I was having. It was scary. When I started eating right, feeling better, and losing the extra weight, he was so happy for me. He was my greatest cheerleader. He didn't think I looked too thin at the end of it, because he actually knew me before. He knew that was the "real" me. It's the same size I was a few months after giving birth to our first child.

In addition to the part where almost nobody here knew what I really looked like when I was healthy, I lost the weight pretty fast. I didn't do anything crazy. I cut out refined white sugar and refined starches to begin with. When I found out the long list of foods I was reacting to (this explained the constant generalized nausea!), my diet got more restricted. I was eating plenty of food, but it was vegetables, some fruit, nuts, seeds, beans, meat.  It took months to lose that fifty pounds. I was losing at a healthy rate- a pound or two a week.

But I didn't exercise. I think that's the other big part of why people had so much concern over how I looked. Though I was eating well, I wasn't exercising. I lost the weight, but I didn't build muscle mass, so I looked skinny, not fit.

Also, I changed clothes sizes so fast, and I didn't have the money to replace my whole wardrobe every month or two, there were times when my clothes looked really baggy. I think that was also part of what worried people. At even a pound and a half a week, that makes ten pounds every month and a half or so. Ten pounds is a full clothing size for me. I would buy a few clothes that fit, but within two months they were too big. It really was a healthy rate of loss, but I think it seemed very fast to other people.

I am trying to really take a lesson from that whole experience. This time around, I am incorporating exercise into my plan, so that I will not only lose the weight, but be healthy, strong, and fit as well.

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