Monday, December 5, 2011

Zero Excuses Challenge Week 4: Feeling Fat

Fat is a state of being.  There is no doubt at all that someone who is carrying 100 extra pounds is fat.  In fact, recent statistics show that the United States is one of the fattest countries in the world – whatever the reason.  We see it on the Biggest Loser all the time when the doctor in charge of the contestants goes over their tests with them and shows them the inner fat that is crowding their vital organs, making them much older than they are in reality and threatening their very lives.

There is, however, a complete difference between being fat and feeling fat.  As you know there are fat acceptance groups in which the members who are overweight have great self-confidence and do not suffer from the feelings of inadequacy that feeling fat can give.  Feeling fat carries so many burdens with it, you have to wonder why we'd even entertain those feelings.  Additionally, my personal belief is that feeling fat is once of the greatest obstacles not only to losing the fat itself, but also to maintaining that loss once at goal.

Many of us read the lovely Lori of Finding Radiance who has lost well over a hundred pounds and kept it off.  She posts her exercise and her eats and her recipes and makes the rest of us sit there and think that we too want to be the well-oiled machine that she is one day.  Last week she had a tremendous post about accepting the mirror that shows just how much feeling fat can play with our heads - and our reality.  Go ahead and click and read it if you haven’t.  When you see the photo she posted you’ll be shocked that she would even begin to think that somehow she thinks – even temporarily – that how she looks right now isn’t quite right.  She had lots of great responses on that post too because we all understand that exact feeling.

While I am still fat statistically I have been losing weight of late.  (Woot!) I work out hard and have been following the eating plan given to me by Rich Kreps, the trainer for the Zero Excuses Challenge.  Why then did I struggle from Wednesday-Friday with feeling fat?  I’m not weighing myself but once a week so it wasn't a scale thing.  Besides with the awesome ZeroScale I don’t even know what that number is right now, only whether I’m losing or gaining.  Still, I struggled.  I thought it calmed down a bit on Thursday but that evening at Muay Thai I got partnered with someone quite thin and when we stood in the mirror side by side I felt like a moose - a cow - an elephant - GIGANTIC.  By Friday this feeling was full blown and I literally spent the entire day talking myself out of over eating because “I’m fat anyway, who gives a carp?!  I’m going to gain and be the cow that I was before and…..”  Well, you know the drill.  But I did not succumb even though it required me literally powering through by gritting my teeth and telling myself over and over again that I was not hungry and I would not feed my emotions. Hunger feeding = Yes!  Emotion feeding = Hell to the NO!

Wouldn’t you know Friday was the night Mr. Helen wanted tacos and while I was angelically fixing my Paleo taco salad he kept saying, “Don’t you want cheese?  Don’t you want tortillas?  Don’t you want a hard shell”  Finally after saying no thank you several times I told him that “Yes @#$%$##@!$#%^&*^^%!  I want all those things.  But I am choosing not to have them right now.  Thank you.”  He said, “Oh, sorry!  I forgot you are trying not to eat that stuff.  You are one of the strongest women I know Helen.  So proud of you!” Which made things a bit better.

But back to that fat feeling.  It’s the craziest thing that can totally sabotage everything you’ve done… all the hard work you’ve put in for a week straight… unless you refuse to back down and acknowledge that it IS JUST A FEELING.

With a pounding heart, I got on the scale for my weekly weigh in and got my proof that feelings don’t last but hard work shows itself out:

The truth will out as Mama Helen used to say.  And one day I will also no longer be statistically fat.

When we were leaving for the wedding we had to attend Saturday morning, Mr. Helen said, "You look gorgeous.  More beautiful than the day I married you."

That's me he was talking about.


  1. Great job Helen! You are doing an amazing job. You are on quite the fast pace with weight loss, too. Very inspiring to me.

    Mr. Helen is quite the keeper.

    (and thanks for the shout-out, btw).

  2. I am so proud of you Helen! I am totally going to try to "be like Helen" this week. And like Lori said - Mr. Helen is a keeper! :D

  3. I love, love Mr. Helen! Two great quotes he said to you in 2 days. I can totally understand why you love him so much.

    You are doing great on the challenge, you're really an inspiration. I have those inner fights too: wanting to eat because I feel fat or bloated but unlike you I give in sometimes. It's not that I eat whatever I can get my hands on when that happens, it's usually 1 or 2 things but it happens and I hate myself afterwards for it. Going to think of you next time it happens.

    I think that all of use who are overweighted (doesn't matter how much) has that feeling of feeling fat every now and then. I know I have. But I also know there's always a day after that where I feel like that I look great. I do have feeling skinny days thank goodness.

    Congrats on the weight loss this week.

  4. You GO, Helen!!!!!!!
    Sometimes "fat" is just a state of mind. Good for you for recognizing that and not letting it slow you down.

  5. I think pretty much all of us completely understand every word you wrote and have been there many, many times, as well...losing weight is SUCH a mental game. That said, LOOK AT YOU!!! This way of eating is working for weight loss!!! Girl, you are on fire!!! Sorry for all of the exclamation points, but DANG!!! I'm really happy for you. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. What a great post! Thank you.

  7. Dang it! Mr. Helen is so romantic it makes me cry.

    And the feeling fat. Oh yeah, I can relate. Oh, before I cried at Mr. Helen's romantic statement, I practically spewed my oatmeal I was laughing so hard at this sentence: "when we stood in the mirror side by side I felt like a moose - a cow - an elephant - GIGANTIC." My gosh, you are funny Helen!

    Well, right now you are my personal inspiration to keep going.

  8. Oops, I forgot to say CONGRATULATIONS on a weight loss 4 weeks in a row!

  9. It's so difficult to not eat your feelings, isn't it? Congrats on a great 28 days!

  10. Way to go Helen!!!! On the healthy program, the weight loss and marryin' that amazing supportive man!!! Have a great week.

  11. Great news, Helen. I mean the loss and the loss of feeling fat and the lovely compliments from your hubby. Very sweet last line of your blog.

    It has taken me over a year to feel the loss of over 100lbs. The loss is finally registering a bit even if I am in smaller clothing. So the two things don't always go hand in hand -- Weight loss and the actual feeling better from the loss.

  12. I know the fat feeling. It's depressing when you can't even fit into your fat pants.

    Here's to more successful days on the scale! WTG

  13. Wow! Such a great job you're doing, and you look beautiful in your dress! Mr. Helen is a sweetheart, but he's also a lucky man!

    I know what you're writing about regarding feeling fat. I have always felt fat, even when I was thin. How does that happen to so many of us women? I think we internalize the fear of becoming fat from the time we are very young, for so many reasons, and we become hypervigilant about weight, food, and the perceptions of others.

    Ironically, once we have lost the weight and are of a normal size, some of us still feel fat (me), and I think the stress, fear, and anxiety that result are the primary reasons we regain. I guess I can only speak for myself, but I do know that this is an issue for many women who often feel differently about body size and weight than men do.

    Very good and perceptive post, Helen. We have to manhandle that "feeling fat feeling" right out the door. You look great!