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My inner fat girl

Thursday, January 20, 2011

There are many weight loss websites and I have signed up for notices from lots of them - mostly I delete the messages and I rarely go to the sites - why bother? We have the best, most comprehensive and amazing site here at sparkpeople, right? But this morning one of the notices was for a woman's blog and its title resonated with me so I clicked over to it and read with total empathy.

The 45 year old woman had lost over 100 lbs and was now sitting at 141. She'd had a stroke at 40 and knew that she had to take control of her health now. She's in great shape - her doctors, trainer and BMI all tell her so - and she feels like she's in great shape except when she looks into the mirror. There she sees the deflated belly, sagging neck and arm skin and it isn't pretty. She reports that her DH is less in love with her and she's unhappy - she described it as her inner fat girl trying to get out.

One reply suggested she was too thin and should regain weight to her set point (an outdated and false notion of ideal weight) - seriously a bad idea IMO. Another recommended plastic surgery ASAP. I'm thinking that, too, is not a great idea at this stage. In fact, I didn't like any of the replies but I'm not signing up to another site for the privilege to respond to her so - here it goes.

When I look into a mirror, I see a fat girl. I am a superfit, marathon runner who strength trains, eats right and wears size 2/4. Every single person I know thinks I look great - so, I do, right?

Oh, I wish it were that simple.

Inside of me is still the damaged person who ate herself through every emotional crisis, every celebration, every moment of insecurity. I have been working with that person for years now - healing the hurt, teaching her how to respond more appropriately to feelings of envy, shame, doubt, sadness, anger and I'm definitely winning the war. I am a better human being inside and out - I am happier than I have every been but, when I look into the mirror, I see a fat girl.

There is a palpable disconnect between my miniature size 2 jeans on the hanger and the moment I go to put them on - it's a bit of disbelief from the fat girl that they will fit. When I look at photos of group outings, the fat girl does not know who that tiny woman talking to her husband is. When I get on the subway, there is a moment of panic before I slide into a sliver of a seat between two larger people - why would I attempt to squeeze into such a small space - oh, I fit. It goes on and on - trying on the wrong sized clothing in a store, borrowing a pair of size 6 shorts from a thin friend and having them fall down over my hips (that happened) - there's never a moment when my insides actually believe my outsides are thin.

I feel the extra skin sagging around my belly whenever I sit down and it attempts to muffin top its way over my belt. I see my sagging arm skin in the mirror as I hold a brave warrior pose. The cellulite is still there on my thighs and so is a lot of sagging skin behind my knees. It's very discouraging and it's fuel for the inner fat girl's fire!

I think the woman on the other website is heading for a regain. I know I've caught myself eyeing up my sagging saddle bags in the mirror with disgust and the inner fat girl thinks - "oh, what's the point?" It's overwhelming to have a poor body image.

The reason I can overcome my inability to see myself as thin despite 100's of pieces of evidence presented daily is because I have been able to develop a sense of myself beyond the physical. My success is spiritual, emotional, mental and metaphysical. The inner fat girl has been molded to understand and love herself in many dimensions - that she can't see her thin person body has become a minor detail. Working on the less visible parts of my health have made it unnecessary for me to have a great body image which is good because I don't think I will ever see myself as thin.

When my inner fat girl sees my lumps and bumps and wants a cookie, the serene part of me goes over to comfort her with a soothing hand and she falls back to sleep while I slip into exercise gear and hit the gym.

To the struggling soul on the other website I'd say - hang in there. You can do this. Keep the faith in yourself. Stay away from mirrors for awhile. And maybe take a long, hard look at your marriage! This part may never pass but don't let what your inner fat girl sees in the mirror become the only thing that defines you!

The outer thin girl can win this thing.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Much to think about. Thanks for sharing.
    3661 days ago
  • no profile photo CD9234910
    I was very moved by your blog... I have always talked of myself as 'fat' even though my BMI was completely normal. Now I am obese - and I am starting to realise, since being on Spark, that losing the weight won't be enough, I really need to keep working on my mind.
    Thank you for giving me more food for thought.
    3661 days ago
  • MYTIME001
    thank you so very much. a great blog.
    3666 days ago
  • ANNIE7205
    Great blog!
    3734 days ago
    beautifully written - I think your inner beauty and confidence will eventually wear down the inner fat girl until she very rarely or never appears emoticon
    3734 days ago
    For me, my identity has been wrapped up in being the fat girl as long as I can remember. I am no where near my goal and, honestly, have been struggling after some success in my first year on Spark. I wrote an obituary to Fat Teri a while back. I need to go back to that blog regularly to remind myself of the lies she tells me and of the truths that really describe me. Thanks for being so open and helping me remember that there is more to healing the past than just weight loss.
    3736 days ago
  • CMB2048
    I read somewhere once that people were saying Marie Osmond looks much older since she lost those 50 lbs on Nurtrisystem. the article said that when you lose weight you have to be prepared for that although it stopped short of saying don't lose weight if you want to look younger. Well, I'll take looking older if it means I'll live longer!!! For the girl in the other blog and to you, there is no way to avoid some sagging skin after losing so much weight, but I'd look at it as a trophy of an amazing victory!
    3738 days ago
    3738 days ago
    This (and your previous blog) are two of the most powerful things I've read on this site.

    And of course it's the understanding here that weight loss and maintenance takes more than losing pounds which makes this site so remarkable.

    It's the people -- the community -- the wholistic commitment to healthiness physical, mental, spiritual.

    Which you, of course, epitomize.

    3738 days ago
    This blog brought me to tears. Thank you so much for such a well written blog. I'm the other person on the website (not really). I'm in the middle of a divorce because of the no support and sabotage from my soon to be X. I say he'd kept me down for 30+ years but I can't blame him for all of it. I've grown up this last year. I've taken control of MY LIFE.

    SparkPeople put "I" back into my vocabulary and my journey became all about ME!

    3739 days ago
    Wow! I'm no where near being a "skinny" girl (on the outside or the inside) but its so encouraging to read such great writing and passion. I hope to be able to relate in the coming year. For now...I'm just a fat girl, plain, and simple. emoticon
    3740 days ago
    very thoughtful and inspiring. I think that many people (myself included) believe that being a certain size will make everything okay. That is obviously not the case --- the fat girl inside was there first, was there longer, and will take longer to change. I'm going to keep this blog in mind as I go through the motions of finding my inner thinner. :)
    3740 days ago
    So very true! I have been at goal weight and maintaining for over 2 years after an 85-pound loss. Still, I think of myself as a fat person who has lost weight -- not as a thin person. Sometimes when I walk past a glass door or window and see my reflection, I have to do a double take because I can't believe my silhouette is so slim.
    3740 days ago
    emoticon blog.

    Hugs Mary
    3740 days ago
  • KITT52
    Hi I'm Gini friend Kitt52....
    I know how you feel, I have lost 209 pounds and still have the same fears about my body being to big when I go out.....People who did not know me as a 347 pound women can't understand what I'm feeling....My friends who knew me as a fat girl are gone, they don't want to bother with me, I make them uncomfortable....
    I look at me in the mirror and say I have worked so hard but I still have this ugly body.....I have no answers for you but to say, loosing the weight feels way better than carrying around that extra 200+ pounds.....
    I wish you the best, if you find any answers to our inner fat girls please let me know.....
    3740 days ago
    Very Interesting.... food for thought, I actually had this discussion with myself a while back. I was trying fo the life of me to figure why I can't stick with this and be healthy as seems nothing I decide to do I can stick with. I did in one of my times of thought, thought hmmm I may likely look worse with all that flab around. ewwww my worst thing now is the flabby belly laying next to me ( i worte a blog whle back about that!)
    so I am starting to self sabotage , yea lasted about 2 wks good.
    So asked a few days ago for butt kicking or soft yelling lol
    I know i have to get my water in as if I don't drink my water dont get anywhere.
    HUGS on a great day and Thanks for reiterating that I can do this.

    3740 days ago
  • no profile photo CD2560890
    Thank you for this blog. It re enforces the whole idea that this is a life changing thing. That we can't just be about the pounds and ignore the emotion and inner issues that make us who we are. I don't think that not being able to recognize yourself for what you have achieved is a negative thing. Yes, I bet it is hard, but is it better to see the fat girl and know she is really there? I bet it's not. I wish I could make this easy for you and everyone else but we live with our decisions, whatever they will be. I hope someday you see how beautiful you look to everyone and feel satisfied. I have a friend who I am going to send your way. She is Kitt52 and is having some of the same issues but is finding herself starting to obsess . I hope your blog will help her too.

    Love Gini emoticon
    3740 days ago
    Well done, great insights, I could have written this one (not nearly so well as you did) .

    It's a challenge to see ourselves for who we've become, even years later, since we were so ingrained with who we were...my fat girl was a fat teenager and young adult, I've lived most of my adult life as a "thinner" person, bu still can identify with the inner fat girl, it's still shocking to see the mirror image and photos...Don't know when it will feel like the real me.
    3741 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5127867
    What an incredible insight. I thought I was the only one who still thought they were fat.
    3741 days ago
  • KELPIE57
    Great blog, lot's of food for thought, I particulalry like " the serene part of me goes over to comfort her with a soothing hand" Something to aim for!
    3741 days ago
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