Weighty Matters

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NSV and Some Random Observations

on June 21, 2012

I experienced a big (for me) Non Scale Victory (NSV) today.  Here comes another one of those confessions that I’ve never shared with anyone before.  🙂  Ten years ago when I started working for my current employer, I was issued a foul-weather jacket.  My boss had ordered it in a larger size, which was great.  Unfortunately, I was still larger.  Although I could put it on, I was never able to make the sides meet in the middle so that I could zip it up.  I never said anything, nor did I ask if I could exchange it for a larger size.  I was too embarrassed.

Today, for the first time in over ten years, I put on the jacket and zipped it up.  It fits!  I was so proud and happy over this one small thing, that I had to wear the jacket to visit a couple of friends and share the news.  I must have seemed like a little kid who received a particularly joyful gift.  Overall it was a great feeling and I still smile tonight when I think about it.

I had to lift and carry some moderately heavy boxes today and yesterday.  While I was toting one, I noticed that I can actually see a somewhat defined bicep muscle in my upper arm.  Granted, I have some batwings of flab underneath but, hot damn, I’m showing some muscles.  Same thing with my calves.  Honestly, the muscles have been there all along.  I’ve been physically strong for yeras.  Many people don’t think about it, but we who are overweight have to be strong just to get around.  Carrying all of those excess pounds builds muscles beneath the fat.

I didn’t feel that strong before, weighted down so much.  Now, with over 90 of those excess pounds gone (Bye, bye and good riddance!), I feel downright powerful.  Booyah!

When I lie down and the remaining fat redistributes, if I press in certain places, I can actually feel my ribcage.  It will be several more months before I can feel those ribs consistently without the fat redistribution, but locating them now with my fingertips reminds me of the improvements still to come.  That’s just glorious, as far as I’m concerned.

I know that even when I’ve lost all of the weight that I want to and achieve the as-yet-decided goal, there will be some things with which I’ll need help.  Even as I increase my exercise, I know that all of the workouts in the world won’t remove all of the flab.  My skin isn’t sagging yet, but it will before I’m done losing weight.  I’m okay with that and absolutely plan to have cosmetic procedures to surgically take away what can be healthily removed.  Although I have significantly less pain in my right knee and more mobility, I’m not confident that I’ll be able to restore it to 100% shape.  I can’t say at this time whether knee replacement is in my future.  I’ll have to see how far I can improve that joint, or how much I can assist it by building up its surrounding muscles.  If it doesn’t measure up all the way to my left knee but doesn’t hamper me or cause me constant pain, I’m sure I’ll be okay without surgery.

A year ago I was bemoaning my condition and living overwhelmed by the knowledge that I was steadily and surely disabling myself with my super obesity.  Today I’m celebrating positive changes and looking forward to continued efforts to lose weight, grow stronger and improve my body.

One day at a time I’m renovating myself with wonderful results.

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7 responses to “NSV and Some Random Observations

  1. hoperoth says:

    Congrats on the jacket!!!

    My knee and foot problems tend to come and go with a swing of as little as 5 pounds. I wouldn’t be surprised if your knee becomes *much* more manageable as you continue to lose.

  2. Skye says:

    Mary, it’s so exciting to read about your progress and how you are feeling and thinking! Your joy is so infectious that I feel joyful just reading your blog! It’s wonderful to read how you are already thinking about the future and options and all that. I’m so very happy for you!

    • Mary Stella says:

      Back at you, Skye! I tried to leave a comment on your blog but kept hitting a glitch. You’re doing wonderful work too, and it’s great to read about your progress.

  3. pinkpelican says:

    Awesome! I love it when you get those little hits of reinforcement! Congratulations.

    I went to the dentist the other day. Not only could I comfortably rest my elbows/arms on the arm rests, I could lay my hands across my abdomen and rest them one on top of the other. I remember when I would be on a medical table/reclining chair/dentist’s chair and my bulk made the arm rests unusable; I would have to clench my hands together on my tummy and hold them that way the whole time with no support.

    Mary, something you might want to consider as you continue and when you lose enough weight that some of the loose skin starts coming along is investing in spanx or other compression undergarments (if you don’t already). I can fit comfortably in size 20 jeans right now, and I can wear tops in anything from a size 16 to a size 18 and they fit well. But I’m starting to have enough loose/excess skin that even though clothes fit, I get some unfortunate bulges that show under the clothes. I’ve gotten some Spanx camisole tops – the ones that have a deep scoop in front that rests under the bust line. (They have other designs, tank tops, or high rise panties that come up over your rib cage.) They do an excellent job of smoothing out your silhouette so that your clothes drape properly. They don’t necessarily take off inches, they just hold everything in a little better.

    I used to get low back aches and pains because of all the weight my back was having to support; it was hard to sleep for more than about 6 hours because my back would also get sore laying in bed. As I started to lose the weight, the back aches and pains went away. Then after I lost more weight, the back aches started to come back. My theory is that even though I’d lost a lot of weight, the loose skin is “dead weight” and is pulling on those muscles.

    The side benefit of the Spanx is that, since I’ve been wearing it, the back pain has disappeared again. My suspicion is that the compression not only smooths my silhouette but supports the excess skin and takes the drag off of my low back muscles.

    The garments are surprisingly comfortable. There is occasionally a little drag across my shoulders (the strap for the piece I wear is fairly narrow), but otherwise, I barely notice it. And it’s much more breathable than I feared. I was sure that it was going to be hot misery this summer, but again, it wears well even in the heat.

    Lane Bryant carries these, and the one near me has them on hangers so you can try on various sizes and designs. Next time you have a chance to visit a Lane Bryant, try some on. they aren’t cheap, but I’ve found they are worth every penny, especially since I wear them daily. Right now I’m wearing a 2x but I’m thinking about dropping down to a 1x. Once you find a size that works for you, you can order online.

    There are other brands of compression garments, you don’t have to go with Spanx, but so far I’ve been satisfied with them. ;=)

    • Mary Stella says:

      It’s good to get a “referral” for Spanx from someone who uses them. I’m not at that point quite yet, but I know I will get there. The next time I go off of the rock, I’ll check them out.

      So glad that you’re continuing to see great progress!

  4. Susanne says:

    We’re complete strangers living in different countries, but I’m thrilled for you and admire all your efforts. Feeling better is a fantastic goal in and of itself.

    Susanne

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