So Roxie posted an update on the “weight loss journey” of her incredible shrinking typist, and this has inspired me to provide an update about my own progress (which is sloooowwww, to be honest) on that score.
I don’t have a lot of deep reflection to offer, really. I’ve never really had issues with my weight – not in the sense that I’ve ever been “thin” exactly…. I’m just not built for thin-ness. As a kid, I was always big for my age – not fat, just “big.” Tall and heavy, as in me at a size x weighs more than another person at the same size. As my mom was inclined to describe me, I was a “big girl.” Now, I did not love that description, particularly in high school, and I was inclined to take it as an insult. But, really, as descriptions go, it is sort of true. I’m not “slim” and I’m not “slender” – even when I am at my smallest. My smallest is, at the end of the day, a big, solid size. I haven’t worn clothing smaller than a size 10 since I was like, I don’t know, 12 years old? I have broad shoulders, broad hips – even if I weighed less and less, it would be a baggy size 10 for me. And, seriously, me at a size 10 means my clavicle juts out and I can look kind of sickly.
But so if anything, the way that I got to the Biggest Crazy Ever has something to do with the fact that I actually have long accepted that I would never be “small.” When you know that “small” is an impossibility, it can actually be pretty easy to expand beyond the limits of “healthy.” It’s sort of like a high self esteem version of thinking that you’re “too fat” no matter what your size: instead, you always think you look great, and you somehow live in denial that your size keeps increasing.
So anyway, that’s what happened to me. I just didn’t really realize that I’d crossed the line from “big girl” to “too big girl.” Until I finally did realize it.
But so anyway, in some respects that’s good, as I’m not terribly concerned about impossible standards of beauty in American culture, or whatever. It also means that I’ve never really been a dieter, and what attempts I’ve made historically to “diet” generally weren’t really “diets” at all, or not ones that I ever followed with any sort of true commitment. In contrast to Moose, I am not a “good” dieter. I refuse to be regimented. When in doubt, I will always have that glass of wine; I will always have that pasta with cream sauce. I am of the carpe diem school of food consumption, and I was very clear about the fact that if I really intended to take off the extra weight that I’d need to work with that tendency as opposed to pretending that I was a different person from the one that I am.
[Aside: This is not unlike the fact that I think I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that I will never be a different scholar from the one that I am. I look longingly at those people who “write first” every single day; I admire those people who grade five papers a day and finish with the stack by Friday. That said, I’m just not that person. And I’ve found that accepting how I work ends with me accomplishing a heck of a lot more than trying to fit myself into a mold that isn’t “me”.]
The return from sabbatical, combined with the winter doldrums, combined with getting strep throat in February, well, it has meant that my weight loss has slowed considerably. In this three months that Moose has lost 27 pounds, and my friend J. who also started the WW in January has lost like 35 pounds, I’ve lost…. wait for it…. in the neighborhood of 8 to 10 pounds. It’s not exactly a plateau, because I do continue to lose VERY VERY small amounts per week, but to call it a plateau would mean that I was really working the program to the best of my ability. And I’m not. I’m just doing my best to maintain, to remain conscious of what I’m eating, even if it means that I’m conscious of not remaining totally on track.
That said, I wore two skirts this week that I haven’t been able to wear since 2006, and I fit into one of my suits that I haven’t been able to wear since 2006 (and, actually, the pants of that suit I couldn’t even wear in 2006 without spanks, so I’m actually smaller than I was the last time I wore that suit). Which means that even though I don’t feel like I’m making progress because the progress is so slow, I’m actually making progress.
Now, do I hope to speed things up again when the semester comes to an end? Yes. Do I plan to be more focused on the plan once classes are through? Totally. Do I still hope to go down a size or two? Sure. But I don’t feel like there’s a time-line on getting to a smaller size. I think it’s ok if it takes a little longer as long as I’m moving in the right direction. I think it’s ok if it takes a little longer as long as once I get where I’m headed I can maintain it, and I don’t think, given my personality, I would be able to maintain a more regimented approach.
So I’m not an incredible shrinking Crazy. Instead, I’m more like a slowly but surely contracting Crazy, a Crazy whom people don’t really encounter as having lost weight, but whom people are encountering as looking nice, whom people are complimenting on her clothes or hair or skin. And I’m feeling good about how I look, and I haven’t consciously felt that in a long time. I feel like I’m taking care of myself.