Sunday, September 14, 2014

Differences After Weight Loss...

After a recent conversation with my mom I was inspired to provide a short list of notable differences in my quality of life after reaching and maintaining a "healthy" weight... This is by no means a comprehensive list - just a few that comes to mind. 

1. Tolerating Heat
This is what actually prompted the blog post idea.  We've been experiencing a heat wave for several days. Today the high is 95˚F.  Yes, I understand that might be cool for people who live in Nevada, Arizona, or even Africa - but it's unusually hot for those accustomed to San Diego's typically comfortable mid 70's. 

When I was obese - I felt absolutely miserable in any weather above 80˚F.  I'm not exaggerating when I say I would cry because of how uncomfortable the heat made me.  I experienced heat rashes, headaches, and sweated profusely - all while doing absolutely nothing but sitting.  

Now?  I feel warm but I'm not uncomfortable or miserable.  I even went outside, exercised and ran errands for a few hours today.  Before my weight loss I wouldn't have even considered going outside in this weather unless I absolutely had no choice. 

2.  Shopping
Here is a perfect segue to my next point... I had a love/hate relationship with shopping when I was obese.  This may sound insane - but I never wanted to go to the store without my kids when I was obese.  I used my children as a visual excuse for my excess weight.  I figured if people saw me with my 2 (and subsequently 3) children they would think, "She must have gained weight when she had kids."  The truth is, I was technically overweight prior to ever having kids - but no one else knew that.  I always irrationally felt that people were mentally judging me when I went shopping. 

I don't feel that way anymore!  Now I'm whizzing down aisles and hopping onto the back of the shopping cart as I ride it through the parking lot!  Weeeeeeee....

3. Clothes
This ties in to shopping but deserves a feature on it's own. I've abhorred clothes shopping for as long as I can remember.  I started getting chubby when I was about 9 or 10 years old... and back in the late 80's/early 90's there weren't really sizing options for fluffy kids.  I couldn't wear the cute/stylish clothing because they either didn't fit or didn't look right on me. I resented having to settle for frumpy clothes.

Of course now I absolutely LOVE shopping for clothes.  It's a wonderful feeling being able to pick clothes off the rack and have them fit and look great (ok, so sometimes I have occasional fit issues since I have large breasts - but I'm okay with that). Oh, and I don't have to spend a fortune either - I always find great deals for things on clearance or at the thrift store.

4. Social Butterfly
I've always been a life-of-the-party girl... however, during my morbidly obese years I completely fell off the social spectrum entirely. I stopped going to events and friends parties.  I was ashamed and I didn't want anyone to see me.  An old friend/acquaintance from high school invited me for coffee and I casually said we should be never did.  I dreaded that awkward moment someone you know digests the drastic difference in your appearance. 

Although I prefer to maintain a light social calendar - I no longer shy away from invitations (or going to the store).  Now when people digest the drastic difference in my appearance - it's in an entirely positive way which leaves me feeling proud of what I've accomplished. 

5.  Sex/Intimacy
Yes, I have no reservations in addressing this very important topic.  It's incredibly hard to be sexual and intimate with your spouse when you're completely embarrassed and/or ashamed with your body.  How do you give yourself to another person when you're constantly holding back and hiding?  Quite frankly, you don't - not the way either of you deserve.

For more than 9 years of my marriage I would not willingly let my husband see me naked!  I would always wear some sort of clothing - either a baby-doll nighty or tank top with panties.  I covered myself with sheets or pillows...  I would even dive behind furniture or a door if he accidentally walked in on me simply changing my clothes. 

There's a lot I'm not going to say - but I will say that sex is amazingly different now that I have energy and confidence in my body. 

6. Energetic
I always had one extraordinary and feisty personality.  Oftentimes I wondered how much of my personality developed as a coping mechanism for my personal insecurities with my weight... For what I lacked physically I more than made up for with my smashing personality!  (I concede my personality wasn't always so fabulous...  in high-school I was a bit of a loud-mouth *itch - or in a more eloquent word, arrogant.  Thankfully I lived and learned from my shortcomings.) 

I can finally physically keep up with my own energetic and frisky personality!  I took the bull by the horns - it was worth the challenge! 

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