body image, healthy living, weight loss

phoenix rising and redefining progress

After signing up for Weight Watchers meetings, my weight has been so up and down that I’m basically back to the beginning, a mere 0.2 above my starting weight.

Here I’ve been paying for the monthly pass and two months later and I still haven’t even hit my first five pound loss, let alone my 5% or 10% or any of that. I should feel frustrated, right? I should feel maybe even a little upset with myself for not being more focused. I mean, I am trying to lose weight and get back down to 175, right?


I’ve spent weeks now trying to formulate the words to write this post and then the awesome Emily comes along and basically does it for me on her blog by asking the question of how should we really define progress and success. But what really struck me was when she wrote:

Holy shit.

After reading that I asked myself the question I’ve been asking for weeks now: Why do I feel this sense of urgency to get back down to 175? What do I imagine will suddenly happen or change in my life if and when I do?

The first time I did Weight Watchers I was a senior in college and went from 269 down to 220 in about six months. Then something, well, snapped. The entire time I was losing that weight I had myself convinced that once I got down to a certain size or number, everything in my life would magically correct itself. When that didn’t happen, I decided “Well, if I’m going to be unhappy I might as well be unhappy and eat whatever the hell I want” and thus packed it all back on plus some. Rinse and repeat a few years later and then you have me at 311 pounds.

I honestly believed that if I fixed what was wrong on the outside then I would automatically fix what was wrong on the inside.

Here’s the flaw in that thinking: there is nothing wrong on the inside.

It sort of catches you off guard: not only being happy with yourself but actively liking who you are, because for a long time I didn’t. I saw ever quirk as a flaw that needed to be eradicated or changed. Now, this almost-32-year-old feels strong and courageous. She takes risks and chances, like running a half marathon. She constantly challenges herself to improve, like buying my FitBit as a motivator to move more.

I look at pictures of myself and see a warrior woman and quite literally scoff at the notion that anything needs to change.

So, again, I ask: where am I getting the idea that I have to or need to lose another 30-50 more pounds? (150 is the high end of my healthy weight range based on the BMI chart). Yes, yes, I’m clearly overweight. Technically, I’m back to being obese. But I’m active and when my doctor runs tests the results are good and I rock clothes like nobody’s business. Plus, I’ve done things at this weight that people smaller than me can’t or haven’t done so that has to count for something, yes?

I used to say I want to lose weight so the outside matches the inside.

Honestly, I don’t even know what the hell that means anymore.

Actually, I’m pretty sure the moment I understood I’m happy and healthy at this weight was a few weeks ago when I realized I feel just as comfortable and confident out of my clothes as I do in them.

(Take that to mean what you will.)

My relationship with 200 pounds is different than other people. I don’t weigh 200ish pounds after ballooning up after having kids. I’m not working towards getting back down to my high-school weight. Hell, I’m smaller now than I was at 18. Let that sink in for a moment. My class ring? Too big. Way too big. I can wear it on my thumb too big.

I weigh 200ish pounds after working my fucking ass off (literally) to get here and that needs to be celebrated in its own way.

So. Taking a step back, let’s re-examine and figure out what my real goals are:

I want to exercise because I like how it makes me feel and I enjoy doing it, not as a means to an end.

I want to attend FitBloggin ’14 and finally meet some of the awesome people I’ve gotten to know online.

I want to build a healthy intuitive relationship with food and practice the balance of healthy eating with occasional splurges.

I want to become a group fitness instructor of some kind.

I want to run more half-marathons, specifically from the Rock ‘n’ Roll Series so I can get some of those sweet Heavy Medals.

I want to wear clothes that leave me feeling comfortable and confident and buy them based on fit, not size (which explains a closet full of 12, 14, and 16s — all of which I wear on a regular basis).

I want to be a constant inspiration to others and encourage their own desires to lead a healthy life.

I want to participate in the Tower of Terror 10 Miler and have a kick ass Ursula costume for it.

I want to find someone who loves and accepts me the same way I love and accept myself and until he shows up I’ll continue being my fabulous single self.

I want to constantly challenge myself to do things I never thought possible and to never settle for less than I deserve.

Like Emily pointed out: nothing on this list has anything to do with what I weigh nor does my weight hinder my ability to do any of them. This isn’t an amusement park where you have to be at least 48 inches tall. It’s not like I have to weigh a certain amount to achieve any of these things.

Of course, it’s scary and overwhelming and daunting to announce I weigh over 200 pounds and I’m okay with that, although it shouldn’t be. But we live in a world where these things seem to matter and The Barbie Doll Complex is real. Then again, I’ve never labeled myself a weight loss blogger. From its inception, The Year of the Phoenix has always been a healthy living blog and I call myself a healthy living blogger. Health has always been my motivator, my ultimate end goal.

The most important part of that goal, however, is a healthy relationship with myself and that has to come from somewhere inside. That’s not something the scale or a particular dress size can give me.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

12 thoughts on “phoenix rising and redefining progress”

  1. Great post! Love, love, love I! You gave me something to think about. I'm attached to a number on scale and do not know why it's so hard to let go. Hey, I'm thinking about attending Fitbloggin' 14 too. It would be so great to meet you!


  2. Soooooo, this post made me almost cry. I'm so incredibly happy that my post served as a mini-lightbulb. I'm still reeling in that “holy shit” moment myself. I mean – wait – we can DO ALL THE THINGS without having to be that perfect weight? Does. Not. Compute. 😉

    I love everything about you and about this post. You MUST be at Fitbloggin '14 so we can hug and celebrate our fabulous selves.


  3. So many awesome takeaways from this post. Especially love: “Here's the flaw in that thinking: there is nothing wrong on the inside.” It's not all about the weight- it's feeling happy and healthy where you are. Love this post. Thanks for sharing!


  4. This is a fantastic post, filled with strong messages.

    In a black and white, view of the world, if we are trying to improve, then something must be broken.

    In a grey and realistic view of the world, we can progress and improve regardless of our current state. Nothing is broken, but we can strive for new challenges, new goals, new experiences, new friends anyway, just makes life feel richer.


  5. I totally commend you for writing this post! So awesome and relatable on so many levels- this kind of attitude applies to everything in life. If “this” happens, then I will be happy is the type of attitude that destroys happiness. Thank you for this reminder that you don't need anything to be happy. Simply being is enough. Thank you for the inspiration and keep kicking ass!


  6. It really struck me when you said:
    “My relationship with 200 pounds is different than other people. I don't weigh 200ish pounds after ballooning up after having kids. I'm not working towards getting back down to my high-school weight. Hell, I'm smaller now than I was at 18. Let that sink in for a moment.”

    THANK YOU!!! Totally agree! 🙂


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