Unprepared to be Skinny

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A woman reported to have lost 180 pounds here. She wrote how losing this weight fast made her unprepared for being skinny.

“The problem was that I lost all those pounds, but I didn’t have to change a thing about my self. I didn’t have to address any of the emotional or psychological issues. I didn’t have to figure out why I had been depressed – why I was still so, so depressed, despite the fact that the one thing I thought had been ruining my life was suddenly gone.” Jen Larson says.

When I encroached 220 pounds in December, 2009, the reality of my future also hit me. If I wanted to live a long and healthy life, or at least a life filled with energy, I had to change my eating habits; not merely go on another fad diet. The change in lifestyle would ensure I wouldn’t gain it back and would fuel my body so I could live better. Gary Thomas’ book, Every Body Matters, changed yet another way of my thinking.

At first, I wanted to wear a bikini for the first time, or at least a two-piece, but after reading Every Body Matters I realized I needed to change my thinking. I can’t loose weight just to be like a magazine model. I needed to lose weight so I could be a better servant of God, better wife, better friend, and better worker. I didn’t want my weight to keep me from experiencing life. Life is a short time of space. Jen Larson lost her weight through surgery and hard work. Her words, “…but I didn’t have to change a thing about my self,” resonated with me.

Losing weight meant changing how I eat and how I think about food. My inspiration was a BBC production show called, You Are What You Eat. The nutritionist was right when she said your taste buds will change when you eat better. Vegetables are good. Rarely, do I drink soda. Working out at first was difficult.

I didn’t like getting up extra early every morning to work out at first or using a few lunches to take long, brisk power walks. I bought weights and have so far added a stability ball, a resistance band, and a homemade step. Now I am into running and average about 10-16 miles a week. I ran my first half marathon last year and my second one last Sunday. I still have 24 pounds left to lose to be at my ideal weight.

In spite of the difficulty in losing that last twenty pounds, I am undeterred. Food is a temptation, but no longer in control of me. Stress is controlled so it doesn’t add weight to me. Stress and the psychological issues were what gained it slowly over the years in the first place. I have maintained my weight loss successfully these past few years. But still tense when I go shopping for clothes. Somehow, when I pull on a size 12, I worry those 45 pounds will have returned and size 12 won’t fit anymore. I still see a fat girl in the mirror, but I have learned not to let her control my heart.

And by the way…Jen Larson, you look fabulous and much more altogether and in control than in your before picture. God loves you both ways.

 Share your weight loss stories in the comments.
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2 thoughts on “Unprepared to be Skinny”

  1. As a nutrition consultant and weight loss counselor, I’ve encountered this problem frequently in clients who lose a significant amount of weight– and it doesn’t have to have happened quickly. The extra fat acts as emotional insulation. The overweight person has come to depend on people’s (real or imagined) reaction to his or her extra pounds, and uses it as an excuse to bar them from getting to close to the vulnerable human being within. I recently counseled a woman who has lost and regained the same 100 pounds twice before, and is approaching the goal again. She expressed to me her fear of facing the world skinny, unarmed by her fat. The importance of an entire lifestyle change can’t be stressed enough. God bless!

    P.S. Another, quite opposite effect that significant weight loss sometimes has on a person is the “bikini model” syndrome. It tends to happen with women more than men. Having never seen herself as beautiful, the newly thin woman becomes narcissistic, imagining everyone is either desiring her or envying her. The friends who supported her through the weight loss process begin to avoid her and she finds herself more isolated than when she was overweight. Fortunately, a lifestyle change that includes good honest counseling and spiritual support can head this problem off at the pass.

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