Fatty Jody

Guess who’s back? Back again?? YES ME! And I STILL have weight to lose. And if I hear one more time, “It’s a journey, not a race…”I KNOW!!!! I have been on this journey since the 7th grade.

Seriously, the 7th grade. I recently posted on my Tik Tok account (heck yea, ya girl has a TikTok!!) a question to my peeps. What is your earliest memory of realizing you had a body image issue. You would not believe the answers I received. One woman remembered her dad making sounds every time she walked through the den…in the 3rd grade!! Another person said that at every reunion, her aunt would call attention to the fact that she had to wear women’s size clothes…yea, she was in the 6th grade.

My memory? I remember my aunt calling me “Fatty Jody” when she came to visit us. I had never had anyone directly say something to my face. I mean, there were little signs…like shopping in the JCPenney husky department for back to school clothes. Or when the class would stop to watch me try and do the 1/2 mile run for the Presidential Physical Fitness Award (yea, that is a whole ‘nother blog). But my parents had never said out loud that I was heavier than the average young girl.

So my aunt just spoke the facts that she thought were actual. She saw me as “Fatty Jody”. She didn’t see me as the young girl who was throwing her lunch away at school every day so people wouldn’t watch her eat. She didn’t see me as the girl who would be the “ear” to all the boys when they talked about the girls they liked. She didn’t see me as the girl who tore pictures of girls out of her Tiger Beat magazine and tried to imagine what it felt like to look that way.

But what is the saddest of all is that I didn’t see myself as anything but “Fatty Jody” either. I was always the class clown, because who would take someone who was overweight seriously. I always made good grades, because I sure as heck wasn’t getting any athletic awards and I never put myself out there. I never attempted so many of the things I wanted to because of how I felt about myself. I think back to that 7th grade girl and I just want to hold her and I want to tell her what an amazing sense of humor she has, I want to tell her she is beautiful and I want to tell her, more than anything, I want to tell her she has to love herself.

I am still working on that one. I am still working on loving myself. So many people are in this same boat. We grew up with judgement and from that judgement, we formed our opinions of ourselves. One year ago, I went on my first kayak ride down the Savannah River near our home. That was a huge deal for me and I almost chickened out at the last minute. But I didn’t. Do you know why I didn’t? Because I have built a wonderfully positive and amazing support group around myself. I don’t hear the negatives, I hear “Of course you can do this” or “I am so proud of you”.

That is another thing that I would tell “Fatty Jody”. I would tell her to build a support network. A strong group to surround her. Oh and I would tell her to tell her Aunt Daisy to shut the hell up.

Oh and look for me on TikTok @higgsbunch!!

Until next time…

Harry, the Gauntlet has been Thrown!

harryWho has challenged me? Who dares to throw the gauntlet in hope of scaring me from picking it up and running with it? I’ll tell you who threw it…ME!

I have posted before about my “Weight Loss Bucket List” – a list of activities I want to do that I have either stopped doing or have been too scared to attempt because of my weight. On this list is ride the Harry Potter ride at Universal Studios.  Harry Potter was a big part of my children growing up. We went to Universal Studios a while back and, as most people who are weight challenged do, I researched the Harry Potter rides.

I googled “am I too fat for harry potter ride”. Seriously, I goggled that. My Media Arts degree son always makes fun of my google searches. At least I stopped putting “and” between the key words. Remember having to do that? “am and I and too and fat and for and harry and potter”!!!! Wait, was I the only one who did that?

ANYWAY, there was A LOT of info on the Harry Potter ride. Stories of people being asked to exit the ride because they were too large for the seat. People were criticizing Universal for making seats that didn’t have room for “ample buttocks” (that is the nicest way I can say it).

So, we went to Harry Potter World and walked up to the ride and I broke out in a cold sweat. How would my kids feel if I was asked to leave the ride? How would I feel?

You know what happened, right? I didn’t even attempt the ride. I didn’t EVEN ATTEMPT IT! My self esteem could not have handled the blow. I sat on a ledge and watched the families heading into the ride. I consoled myself with a cauldron cake (oh don’t be such a muggle, ok, it was TWO CAULDRON CAKES) and some pumpkin juice. This has bothered me since that day 9 years ago. For 9 years, every time I see a Harry Potter movie or book or actor, I remind myself of that day and my fear.

Well, the gauntlet has been thrown my friends. On 2/6, we go back to Harry Potter world. The reservations have been made.

I WILL NOT BACK DOWN!

There is a certain fear in the back of my head that I may not be able to ride the ride, but this goes beyond that. I will not be afraid to get in that line, I will not be too timid to pull that bar down and I will not sit there with a cauldron cake while my family has an amazing time.

I am excited. I cannot wait. I have a Harry Potter ride countdown calendar.

It makes me sad that I let my outside control my confidence. We are what we allow ourselves to be. It is all part of the weight loss process. Rediscovering ourselves and becoming mentally stronger.

Let this be the year you pick up the gauntlet you have on the ground before you. Have the courage and confidence of a Medieval knight. Pick up the gauntlet and prepare for the challenge!!!!

Nudist Colony? Anyone…??

suit (2)I did the worst thing imaginable the other night. I mean, I did something horrible and offensive and just plain dumb. I did something that would make Joan of Arc throw in her sword and shield and opt for a telemarketer job.

I TRIED ON A BATHING SUIT! (Audible gasps and panic ensues)

I have lost over 250 pounds, I have been working out and I can actually feel some muscle developments (ok, the muscles may be located within my finger joints…but it is something)! So, I was at Target and I thought, “why not?” I deserve this! I imagined how amazing it would be. I had the whole scenario in my head. I would slowly turn around, wind blowing my hair, and behold the image in front of me.

I just didn’t count on the imagee making me stifle a scream (or my daughter complaining about blowing my hair with her mouth).

OK, I have lost 250 pounds. But when you lose that amount, your skin cannot just pop back into the shape you once had. All of that loose and hanging skin has to go somewhere, or does it? Nope – it doesn’t! It just sits there and hangs. Looking at you with a smirk. You thought you were doing well with your arm weights, well BAM! there’s some hanging armpit skin to snap you back into place. You thought you had lost belly fat? Well BAM! Here is a flap of loose skin that could block the sun off a small community.

Seriously though people, I was tucking like I was working at a Build-A-Bear store.

So I angrily threw the bathing suits on the floor and marched out of the dressing room, telling the attendants that there was seriously something wrong with their mirror – it belonged in a fun house.

I headed to the Starbucks inside Target. I wanted to order 2 cake pops and just be done with it. I could remove the bathing suit sight with every bit of sugary gooey goodness. Right?

I knew I wouldn’t do it. I wanted to buy something horrible for me to ease my emotions. However, I got an unsweetened tea and sat down to evaluate my situation. I dropped my money on the floor and bent down to pick it up. When I did, I realized how easily I could bend over and touch the floor.  OK, I get it, the cosmic forces were teaching me a lesson. And I get it.

I sat down and thought about this excess skin. I don’t need to hide away, I have done that my whole life. I am not that person anymore. My body is not and never will be perfect. Some of it is because of the way I have treated it over the years and some of it is wear and tear (nursing 3 babies doesn’t help). But it is mine.  I am responsible for this beautiful shell that keeps my feelings intact.

I will not shy away from my body.

It is a beautiful thing I am doing. I am losing weight and taking care of myself. Others may not know my struggle and they may just see the skin. I see so much more. I see a woman who had enough and reclaimed her life and her body. That excess skin is there to remind me of what a tremendous journey I am on.

This journey is not easy. There will be times when I get knocked down, times when I need to get extra support, times when reality kicks my stability to the ground. But there will also be many more times of quality days with my family, tears of joy at the doctor’s scale, walks with my husband and realizing I AM worth this struggle and I CAN do it.

So watch out swimsuit companies…I may just become a nudist!

 

Numbers Don’t Lie…Or Do They?

Image result for weighing inSo – I weighed 255 at the end of January and now it is March. I weighed in January because that was my last doctor’s visit, that’s how I know my weight.

I only weigh at the doctor’s office, never on scales at home. Why? Because my whole life has revolved around that scale. People always say:

“Don’t weigh yourself every day!”

But I did. Every time I started a new diet, the scale became my obsession. Every morning, I would remove all clothing and jewelry and I would shave…just in case those hairs weigh more than we realize. I would then step on the scale and the cycle would begin.

“I gained a pound yesterday, I will not eat any meals today and just drink water

“I have weighed the same for the past 2 weeks, something is wrong, I am just giving up!”

The number on that scale dictated my self-worth. The number on that scale told me whether I was a failure or a success. The number on that scale decided for me if I would get dressed and go out into the world that day.

I can remember in elementary school when they would weigh and measure the students, I would dread this day more than anything. I would try to get in the back of the line so no one could hear my weight. That was at 12 years old!! For over 40 years, I have let a scale tell me who I am.

When I got to my heaviest, I avoided the scale like the plague (is that politically correct to say?). I even avoided the doctor because I knew the first thing they would say was “let’s get your weight”.  I didn’t need to go to the doctor, I knew I was obese. I knew everything that was wrong with me was because of my weight.

So in 2017, when I got on the scale at the doctor’s and weighed 478 pounds, I knew I had to face some facts.

I changed everything in my life. My eating, my sleeping, my exercise and my attitude. I also changed the way I weigh (like that?).  I would not let myself become a scale victim. I decided to only weigh at the doctor’s office every 3-4 months. When people would ask, “How much have you lost?” I was able to say “I don’t really know.” The number was not what was important. The fact that I was getting my life back was the most important thing to me.

So numbers do lie. The scale numbers may tell you that you can’t do it. Those numbers may cause you to ridicule and judge yourself, but you are so much more than that number. Just like I am. Just like every person is.

So if you want to make a change, do it for you. You are beautiful, you are worth the effort and you are definitely more than a number. It may not happen overnight (she said TWO YEARS LATER!) but it will be worth every bit of work you put into it.

Make that change.