Old Jeans, New Outlook

Last week I did something I’ve been holding off doing for too long.

I took my size 14 jeans out of the closet and put them on.

It felt like defeat.

The jeans fit. perfectly.

Two months ago, they wouldn’t have stayed up around my waist.

Sigh.

Except.

Except, I’m trying really hard to pay attention to my thoughts about this jean situation. I’m pretty upset, to be honest. I want to lose weight. now. and fast. Those thoughts lead me down a bad place, a shame spiral, a failure mindset.

And then, just five minutes ago, I had this thought:

“If I’m going to be miserable trying to lose weight, I’m not going to do it.” It was a total “duh” revelation but immediately put me on a better path.

Before a few months ago, I genuinely enjoyed tracking my calories, logging my weight, and all the other habits associated with weight loss. Before losing any weight, I wasn’t a person who thrived on spreadsheets and tracking. I’ve never been that super organized, make lists, love-crossing-things-off type. To be that way for this long actually kind of amazed me.

If I’m going to lose anymore weight it has to be in a way I enjoy, because otherwise, what’s the point? The whole goal of being healthy was to have MORE enjoyment and participation in life, not less.

The thought of logging in to MyFitnessPal and tracking my calories seems like torture. I don’t know if that’s because I’ve gotten out of the habit of doing it or because I feel upset about the whole idea of doing it.

I want to be excited about the way I’m living. And be healthier. Those ideas have to go together for me. It doesn’t work for me to say “I’ll just be on this diet until I lose more weight” – that leads to weight gain. Every. Single. Time. I have to be living, eating, and moving in a way that is joyful all the time.

I can’t continue to be upset about wearing these jeans because being upset is not going to get me anywhere. Hating how I look doesn’t motivate me to work out, it motivates me to sit on the couch and eat more.

Honestly, the jeans fit well. I liked how I look in them because I’m wearing clothes that are the right size and not pinching at my stomach. Why should the size of the jeans take that away?

And with that, my outlook changed. For some reason, putting on those jeans gave me courage to face everything else I was ignoring.

You’ll notice a couple of new things in the right sidebar of my blog. For one, I have a new “welcome” graf, but I also updated my weight on MyFitnessPal.

That was not easy. I didn’t want to erase that hard-earned 90-pound loss, but I can’t dwell in the past. I’ve gained weight. I am where I am now and facing that, instead of pretending it’s not my reality, will be more productive.

I have a bunch of exciting fitness things going on that I can’t wait to share, but I’m going to hold off for another post.

Part of me not posting regularly is because I just didn’t feel strong enough to be in my life.

Here’s the thing: when you’re overweight, obese, fat, whatever, you are (or maybe just feel?) pretty much invisible to society. It’s not a great feeling, but it’s a place where I felt safe and protected. Being this size, being on this blog, being me without the weight takes courage and vulnerability and I think a lot of my overeating/binging has been triggered by the desire to be invisible again. To retreat into the familiar.

I’m always and forever nervous to post things like this, but the one lesson I’ve learned from writing here is that every time I put myself out there in a way that is terrifying, I receive love and strength in return. When I first started losing weight, I used one phrase to push myself forward when my motivation waned: “What’s the alternative?”

Well, the past few months I’ve seen what the alternative is. Ignoring reality and soothing every anxiety with food. I’m stronger than that. Who I am right now is enough to handle anything that comes my way. I owe it to myself to believe that.

We are not held back by the love we didn’t receive in the past, but by the love we’re not extending in the present.
— Marianne Williamson

 

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4 thoughts on “Old Jeans, New Outlook

  1. Hi, Jodi – first time commenter here – I have just begun to explore your blog, but I do want to thank you for being an important voice. When I first starting reading up on fat acceptance, I was very disappointed to see the common viewpoint of ‘those who choose to try to lose weight are idiots fooling themselves/the enemy’. 😦

    Yours is one of the few places online where I’ve seen what I believe is a healthy approach (both physically and emotionally) to being a person who absolutely supports fat acceptance while also supporting the idea that it’s okay to seek a healthier lifestyle that involves being a smaller size.

    I think you had a great insight with the jeans that fit right now; you’re continuing to figure out what’s going on in your life, what things might help you adapt your thinking and behaviours, and what’s just not working at the moment. This can only be a good thing. πŸ™‚

    Your writing sounds like you’ve read the works of BrenΓ© Brown, but if you haven’t, I highly recommend them. πŸ™‚

    Take care, I (and many others) are right here with you on the same journey – thanks for your honesty and sharing your inspiring (no matter what weight) story with us!

    • Hi! Thank you so much for commenting. Your comment is exactly the voice I’m trying to be, so I’m glad it’s coming across. I do love, love, love Bene Brown…I’ve only watched her videos but need to read some of her books. The Fat Acceptance space can definitely feel anti weight loss, and I’m trying hard not to internalize that while I go about losing weight. It’s an ongoing process of checking in with myself.

  2. Jodi, you’re the best and such an inspiration! Keep them positive thoughts comin’! They help you and help others, too! ❀

  3. Loving your honesty and constant introspection (and the quote on the bottom!). Your outlook is everything and you’re one person who not only gets that, but works hard to apply it to all things you do. Keep it up! πŸ™‚

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