Monday, 21 April 2008

In Search of Normal

So tonight BBC 2 had a programme: Am I normal? I only switched onto it by accident but I was glad I did. It was an interesting programme with a few things I could certainly relate to about my own search for normality.

What really interested me is how one psychologist talked about the fact that when a lot of people say they want to be normal, what they want is to fit in, to not stand out. I can relate to that totally. I want to blend into the crowd as opposed to standing out for negative reasons - because I am fat or unattractive or whatever it may be. But I don't particularly want to stand out positively either - for being really attractive or slim... I don't want to have the attention of everyone in the room on me. I just want to be one of the crowd - smack bang in the middle of normal, medium I guess.

Why is it that we want to be so regular and the same as other people? In so many other ways I like being independent and an individual, but when it comes to how I look I just want to be a regular size and shape. I have no desire to be a size zero or a size ten or 12 even (well maybe a 12 would be nice). No seriously, I just want to be a size 14 and with that I will be happy.

But still, I do need to consider what normal actually means to me beyond not standing out from everyone else. I am going to try and think about this and then write it down - I guess I will put it on my blog. Unless I can identify what it is then I won't be able to know it when I arrive there, nor will I be able to actively work towards it. So that is a task to be getting on with

This is a bit of a short post compared to my usual rambles but that is all I have to say on this for now. Iwill post again soon though with more about my definition of normal.


Tuesday, 15 April 2008

A bit Fed Up

So today I am feeling a bit fed up. I was at the gym this afternoon before lunch and it was A STRUGGLE! I just felt tired and my heart wasn't in it even though I knew it was doing me good. Everything was irritating, particularly the music. If I have to put up with listening to James Brown 'I Feel Good' whilst working out one more time I think I will scream!!! They definitely have very bad musical tastes for a gym and when it blares over your ear phones preventing you from even hearing your own music it is particularly annoying.

But I think it was just the mood I was in that made it worse and made me extremely intolerant. My trainer spotted me as I started on my weight resistance training and he said 'keep at it. Even though you don't feel like it just push through it. We all have days like that. I don't particularly feel like going for a run right now but I am going to'. So that spurred me on a little. Partly because he had obviously noticed I wasn't giving my usual 100% which I was embarrassed by the fact it showed (!) and partly because I knew he was right, we all do have days like this. I just haven't had one in a while.

I think the thing is I am getting bored of my cardio workouts and need to find some variation. So I think I will try boxing class as I have heard it is fun and a great work out. Plus I might try some high cardio aerobics. Variety keeps things interesting so why not? Whatever keeps me at it. I will keep on plugging on and hopefully get some more nice rewards in terms of weight loss etc soon to make it feel all the more worthwhile. There's nothing that makes you feel more like heading to the gym for a workout than a lower weight on the scales!


Friday, 11 April 2008

Fat Defined Me

Today I was thinking about what the fat persona I have lived with all these years has meant. I realised that because I was fat for so much of my life, the fat persona was essentially who I had become - the fat defined me. I saw myself as fat and felt (rightly or wrongly) that everyone else saw me as fat. And that was the main thing that I felt people associated with me, because it played such a pervading role in my life. So I guess the fat defined me in a negative sense. And it contributed in a big way to me disliking myself and feeling that I was worthless - although it wasn't the reason for that, I think that came before and that is something I am working on whilst losing the weight because I realise weight loss isn't a magical cure all in that sense.

And, since I have been on this journey to become a normal weight I guess what has defined me is this challenge. My losing weight has become what defines me and I relish it. I feed off it. As I see the weight disappear I feel that I am clawing back a bit more control, I am becoming more empowered and freer. Opportunities are opening themselves up and I have hope for the future and for what I can achieve in other areas of my life. Losing the weight and realising I can be normal has made me start to feel that anything is possible. I feel that once I conquer this I can conquer anything.

However, realising that what has been defining me and my life over the past 16 months has been my weight loss is also quite scary. I defined myself before as a fat person, now I define myself as someone who is losing weight and achieving a goal, but what will that leave me with once I get there? I have known weight issues for nearly my whole life, what will it be like not to worry about weight anymore? Who will I be then? Without the weight and without the weight loss goals and achievements, who am and how will I be defined? I guess, or I am hoping, that I will then be defined as 'normal' but what does that actually mean? I don't know, I just know that I never felt normal before and it is what I have longed to be. So this is a transitional phase, a journey of discovery. I need to learn who I am aside from weight and weight loss. I need to work out what normal means to me, so I know it when I get there. One thing I do know is that (although they definitely help), normal is far more than just a number on the scales or a dress size.

little miss normal

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Milestone Ahead: Nearly Under 80 Kgs

So today I weighed myself and the scales said 80.9 kgs. That means I am getting so close to one of my big milestones to get under 80 kgs. I feel like once I have done that, the end is in sight. I will have 15 kgs to go to my final goal of 65 kgs and compared with how far I have come already, that seems really doable and not overwhelming.

The lightest I can ever remember myself being was 76 kgs when I was about 17 years old and had dieted to get down to there. I am not sure what weight I started at that time round, but think it might have been around or above the 90 kg mark. So once I am under 80 it feels like that 76 is in sight, and wow, to be the weight I was when I was 17 and then go past it to my goal will be amazing.

It is funny, when I got down to 76 kgs all those years ago I still felt like I was really huge. But then years later, looking back at pictures of myself at that size I longed to be that weight - it seemed pretty normal. So I suppose it is all relative. Therefore I am conscious that I need to monitor the losses I am making now and how I am feeling about myself and my size so that I can accept and recognise when enough is enough and I am well and truly a normal, healthy weight.

Now that size 16 clothes are starting to get a bit loose, particularly on the bottom that is pretty exciting. And the other day I bought a belt from Dorothy Perkins which was a medium and it just fits! Yes that's right, not an extra large or even a large but a medium. It will take a little while before it fits me really well, but I can wear it and that is a start. I suppose a medium is what I want to be in the end. A proper medium. Not the biggest of the normal girls and not the smallest. Just smack bang in the middle of normal.So wish me good luck as I step ever closer to that goal. I know I am going to get there I just have to be patient for the last leg of the journey.