Thursday, April 1, 2010

Another Progress Pep Talk

Lately, I've been noticing some more changes to my body which indicate progress being made. Some of this comes under the heading of "too much information", so squeamish sorts may want to bow out before they reach the end (I'll issue a warning when the time comes). Nonetheless, if this is to be a record of all of the way weight loss is going for me, and improvements I'm experiencing, I want to be relatively thorough.

The biggest thing I've noticed physically is that there has been a profound change in the way in which I perceive the "layout" of my fat. The way I'm saying it makes it sound bad, but it's actually a good thing. In the past, my belly felt like a tire that went all the way around my body, and it still is a bit like that, but lately I've had more of a sense of it hanging mainly from the front of my body. This means my stomach is shrinking. It's pulling up from the sides such that I can see more of my thighs. I'm getting some sense of my true body structure as it follows my spine rather than feeling like some sort of amorphous blob. Oh, I'm still plenty fat, but things are changing in a noticeable way.

When I was walking around shopping today, I caught a glimpse of myself in a full-length mirror, as I occasionally do, and felt as though I was definitely much smaller than I once was. I still am very pear shaped (and big bottomed), but my upper body in particular is much, much smaller. No one is going to mistake me for anything but morbidly obese, but I've shrunk a good 10 inches all over by now, and more in some areas.

The size 44 bras I bought last year which started out quite tight are now getting loose. I have to have the straps at their shortest to keep my breasts from wanting to fall out of the D cups. I couldn't use my 60-inch tape measure to get my bra size over a year ago, but now I can use it. The size around my body under my breasts is now roughly 42 inches. I'm hoping to deal with these bras until I reach the size of the 38C I've got in reserve. Bras are expensive, so I'd rather not splurge on interim sizes.

Though I never had much of a double chin for someone of my weight, the little bump of flesh under my chin is starting to flatten out a bit. This sounds good, but it looks bad to me. I'm 45 and it looks a little wrinkled at the moment. I'm wondering if I'm going to end up with some sort of turkey neck after I lose as much weight as I like. This certainly wouldn't stop me from deciding to lose weight, but it's not a happy ending to this process.

My legs have always been fat and I expect that they always will be, but I've noticed that they are starting to get smaller as well. I'll never have lovely, shapely legs, but my calves don't seem to be quite as obscenely huge as they used to be. My feet are also starting to feel too small for my shoes, which I believe were stretched out when my feet were fatter.

I've also noticed that I no longer need to lean on various things in order to clean difficult to reach areas in our apartment. I also used to have to sit while vacuuming because my back hurt too much to stand all of the time. Now, I only infrequently experience the sort of discomfort that prevents me from moving about and doing cleaning work in a normal way.

On the negative side, I continue to experience swelling in my hands when I walk, and I think it's related to overdoing weight lifting. Sometimes my hands feel like stuffed sausages after (and during) a walk. This is definitely a new thing, and I quit weight lifting for the time being to see if it abates, but I'm not liking it. I've also developed a "runner's toe" on my left big toe. It is black and blue and gets fluid under it. I think this is happening to me because my shoes fit badly, but also because my body is weak and not accustomed to so much walking. Still, these are minor issues, and I'm in so much better condition than before. My back problems are such that I can walk for about an hour now, and even then the main issue isn't my back as much as my joints or hips aching. I still wake up stiff in the mornings, but it isn't as painful as before and passes much more quickly.

Finally, I'm getting to the "TMI" section, so nervous types might want to close the browser tab or window. Before I started this, I had a lot of problems with irritable bowels. I would urgently have to defecate in the mornings shortly after waking up and had excruciating pain from my back while dealing with this. Often, I'd have diarrhea-like bowel movements and more often than not I'd have them 2 or 3 times in the same morning. I also had some hemorrhoids. All of this has gone away. In fact, now, I occasionally have difficult bowel movements, but I think that is related to water retention and hormonal changes. Nonetheless, my body is not accustomed to having to "force" a movement, and it's quite difficult trying to work those muscles now.

There's another toilet-related issue, and this one is quite humiliating, but I'll say it anyway. Because of my belly apron's size, back stiffness and difficulty bending and the narrow layout of my toilet (which prevents me from opening my legs wide), I have not been able to wipe my backside from a seated position for over a decade. I have always had to stand and prop my foot on the seat and wipe myself in that manner. I realized this week that my back has healed enough and my belly has shrunk enough that I didn't have to do this anymore. I can now wipe from a seated position like most people do, even in a narrow toilet space.

I also have found that my periods, which went away for about 2 years, have returned (note that this happened to me before - I didn't menstruate for a year in my early 30's and no cause was ever found). I thought it was perimenopause, but I think that my weight simply arrested menstruation. Now that my weight is between 250-280 (not sure of the number now since I rarely weight myself), they're back more or less on a regular basis.

On the brightest side of all, my husband has given intercourse another try after years of not wanting to for reasons I already discussed. He didn't do this because I was losing weight, but neither of us can deny that it is much easier now than before. I'm not pinned down by my weight and he has much easier access because my belly isn't in the way as much and I have greater flexibility. This is something which we're still working at (because it wasn't entirely only an issue due to my weight), but I'm much more hopeful now than before that we'll get back on track to something closer to what we once were (which was much more active and confident on both our parts).

There are still some changes I'm very much looking forward to, and some of them are embarrassing things. I know it may seem that I've already talked about the worst of it, and I may have, but there are a few more. One thing that has been happening for many years is that my belly apron catches on the lip of the toilet seat when I lean over to get up and off, and it sort of grabs it and picks it up a little and it falls noisily back down. This still happens, but not all of the time. I think that it should stop by the end of this summer as my belly size should soon be small enough to not get a good enough grab.

There's also a narrow doorway leading from our bedroom to our kitchen which I'm too fat to walk through. There's another entrance that is wider that I can use that is not far away, so I always use it. My husband uses the narrow one, and I want to be able to use it, too. Of course, I'm also very much looking forward to the day when I don't outweigh him.

1 comment:

Florida Food Snob said...

These are by far the most impressive non-scale victories I have ever heard of! Your approach is so unique! I’m so happy for you!