I Went Shopping Today

I had to get some dog food before I leave on my trip, so decided to make a day of it.  First stop Costco, for the dog food, and then ended getting a lot of extra household supply-type stuff.  Basically no food, except goat cheese and laughing cow light, the Chevy’s salsa, which I love, and those little bowls of pre-cooked brown rice.  They are just right for me.

On to Marshall’s and Ross, where I planned to look for some tops for my trip.  I have enough pants, but thought I might be a little short on tops.  I tried on 10 tops at one store and 8 tops at the other.  Only ended up with one that I really liked enough to buy. As I stood in the dressing room trying on top after top, I consciously did not allow myself to engage in ‘negative talk’ about my current weight, the size I was wearing, or the state of my body.  I was not discouraged that I didn’t find more to wear.  I am just very picky about paying retail prices for things that don’t fit that well or aren’t flattering to my particular body type.

When I got home I checked the blogs, and Lynn had posted!  She was recently featured in a segment of 60 Minutes Australia.  It was a very interesting piece, because they started out talking about a study that was done in Melbourne that ‘proves’ that your weight is genetically predetermined and so it is pretty much impossible to lose weight and MAINTAIN that weight loss.  Lynn’s part was showing that it was possible to maintain weight loss long term with “hypervigilance” both in food choices and exercise.  They also featured the doctor who is part of the NWCR study, which of course has 10,000 people who HAVE successfully lost and maintained their weight loss for a number of years.  A big part of the segment was dedicated to a plus-sized woman who won Australia’s Got Talent.  She discussed her journey of trying many different diets, trainers, etc, and finally coming to just “love herself” the way she was (they didn’t mention it, but it sounded like “Health at Every Size.”)

I guess I just want to say that I can see both sides of the equation.  I’ve been at my current weight since before I went to Africa, so that’s been about a year and a half.  Its 20 pounds (plus or minus one or two) up from my lowest weight.  Sometimes part of me feels like a failure still.  That’s when I remember all the evidence about how hard it is to maintain weight loss.  And yet, if I dwell in that camp for too long, it can kind of boomerang on me.  There’s nothing wrong with being hypervigilant about my food choices, and nothing wrong with exercising a lot.  Lori made such a funny, but true comment in response to the 60 Minutes piece.  The doctor from the Melbourne study had made the statement that to exercise that much was “obsessive-compulsive.”  Lori said, “An hour of physical activity is obsessive-compulsive? Why does no one say watching an hour of TV a day obsessive compulsive?”  LOL.  That is so true!

On the other side of things, sometimes it DOES seem weird that I think about healthy food all the time, talk about it endlessly.  Worry about what food to take with me on a trip vs. just  dealing with what I can find when I get there.

And back on THE OTHER SIDE of things, I don’t think the current weight I am maintaining is because of genetics.  I think its because I am indulging too much.  Sometimes when I take a little bowl of walnuts and raisins to bed with me, when I’m not really hungry, I think about that.  I don’t know why I can’t resist it, but I don’t really think its a genetic or hormonal thing.  I don’t even think its an emotional thing.  But since I can’t identify what it is, maybe it is a physical thing?

Ah, so you can see I have as much concrete information about weight loss maintenance for you as most of the experts do.  I’ll just tell you that the best advice I can come up with, and it has been something I have kept in the forefront of my mind for the last 7 or so years, is to look at what the successful people have done and imitate that.  So when they said that most of the people in the NWCR ate breakfast, I learned to enjoy a good breakfast.  When they said that most of the people exercise for an hour a day, I took exercise seriously.  I worked up to over an hour of exercise a day.  Now, I don’t know if I get an hour every day, but it is close.  They said that most people weigh themselves once a week.  I have gone back and forth on this.  Currently I weigh myself twice a week.  And lastly, they said that most people watched less than 10 hours of TV a week.  So I threw my TV out!  LOL, that’s not exactly true.  I don’t actually remember reading that fact before.  I did get rid of my TV for different reasons, and I think because of that I do stay a lot more active.

I also think its not bad to keep the increasing body of evidence regarding the extreme difficulty of weight loss maintenance in the back of your mind.  Sometimes (okay, a lot of times) I think women are striving to get to an unrealistic weight.  By unrealistic I mean that they are not heading towards that weight with the full knowledge of what will be necessary to MAINTAIN that weight.  And in the meantime, they are very unhappy with themselves.  That’s no good, is it?  I recently saw some pictures of me as a little girl. I remembered that time so well.  I was, umm, well endowed at a pretty young age.  I remembered having to get that awful ‘old lady’ yellow swimsuit with the built in bra.  I FELT SOOOOO FAT.  What I saw in that picture was a VERY SLIM little girl.  Oh my goodness.  The mind games we play on ourselves.  Its just no good.

So wherever you are on this journey,  try to look at the truth that is known.  Work that into your life now.  Try to love yourself now.  Find clothes that are flattering for your body type right now.  Don’t wait until you are some imaginary shape or size.  And don’t wear clothes that are too tight to remind yourself of how ‘bad’ you are or how you want to be another size.  That is not loving and kind.


9 thoughts on “I Went Shopping Today

  1. Great post, but your last paragraph, especially, reminded me of why I liked to read your blog way back when. Thank you for putting that out there.

    That said, I remember being handed a swimsuit with a built in bra as a young teenager and absolutely refusing to try it on. No way, no how – no matter how endowed I was (and I WAS), I wasn’t going there…and yeah, I remember feeling just so BIG, overall, back then, when, like you, I wasn’t. Sad.

    I’m glad you were choosy on the tops. One good one is way better than half a dozen meh ones! And I think it’s way better to plan ahead with food when it comes to travel – there will be plenty of opportunities to wing it along the way, but there’s nothing wrong with taking care of yourself, too – plus, I find that when I’m out of my normal routine (like with vacation), if I can at least eat mostly right, I feel so much better throughout the trip.

    • Thanks, Shelley! I love the top I got. Its one of those drapy cardigan-type things, good for layering. Its shorter than some of them, so its just right for me.

  2. I have a love-hate relationship with clothes shopping. I can go into a dressing room feeling fit and in shape, then leave feeling dowdy and fat. And vice versa (although I am not inclined to shopping when I feel chubby).

    It’s very hard. I weigh more than my lowest weight, but I have stayed pretty much at that weight for a couple years. I just don’t know if I am happy there or not. I am happy to not be back at 250, though.

  3. Yay for a new top!! I love it when I score something new to love.

    I am learning that a little kindness towards myself goes a long way. It’s hard to reverse the negative thoughts, but it’s worth the effort.

  4. Love this post Debby – so much goodness in it and a lot of it hits home for where I am right now and after a couple shopping excursions over the weekend. I find that if I try to squeeze myself into things that are a bit small, I end up feeling really bad about myself. The ugly inner dialogue starts about how stupid I am because I let myself get here in the first place, etc. etc. NOT GOOD! Besides knowing that clothing that fits well makes one look better, I actually learned a great lesson from a co-worker who is a recovered anorexic. She told me this when my weight was in a thyroidal upswing: buy what fits, cut the size tag out. It was something she was made to do in therapy. I guess with anorexics if the size of the clothing is too big it kicks the anorexia in even as they are trying to recover. I’ve never forgotten that. Even as I shopped this weekend, I was feeling myself get frustrated because a top that I really liked wasn’t fitting me in the size I wanted. But I had to admit when I tried on the larger size, I looked pretty darn good! As soon as I got home, I cut that dumb tag out. Just like the scale does not accurately represent me, neither do clothing sizes!

    I can already see that if I ever manage to get to the weight I’d like to be it’s going to require me being pretty vigilant. So then the question becomes, do I really want to BE that vigilant? Maybe not but we’ll see…

    • Love the size tag removal idea. I just might do that today! Also when I thrift store shop, lots of clothes have the size tag cut out. So you are just trying on clothes that you think might fit and look good. Its very satisfying.

      Also, I think you hit on something really important. If you go forewarned to a lower weight, knowing you will have to be vigilant, why not go there? Give it a try. But if it doesn’t work out, YOU are not a failure. You have tried something on, decided it didn’t fit, and gone on to something that fits better and you look marvelous in it. Heck, I’d like to try on 125 again. Maybe someday…

  5. Love this post, Debby. Compassion and balance. It’s difficult.

    I’m checking in a little late. You’re probably on the road now. Travelling mercies to you!

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