Dear Body

Dear body,

What the hell is going on?

My heart is broken. I’m a mess and in anguish. I’ve been feeding you cleaner and healthier foods than ever before. I’ve given you supplements, exercise, rest. I’ve lifted weights with you, danced, walked on the stair stepper. The past month you and me have been through a lot and I thought there was progress, real progress. It seems maybe a little easier to do some things, but am I just kidding myself?

Because you see, my mind had a hard time with all this. I’m doing everything I am supposed to do. And listen, we both know I wasn’t ever “perfect.” I did have cheat meals. But damnit, they were more contained and in control than before. The vast majority of the time I’ve been disciplined, regimented.

But you seem dead set against me. I cannot fathom your reaction.

You seem bound and determined to stay fat. You actually seem to want to adapt to carrying all this extra poundage in the form of adipose. You’ll work and change, but only so you can more easily do the activities I ask of you while still staying fat. You won’t give it up. You are not releasing. And I am at my wits end.

I didn’t weigh myself for a month. An entire month! I did this because I understand I’m not looking for instant gratification. I’m in it for the long run. I’m doing it “slowly” and with clean eating and exercise and all that. So I get that things fluctuate week to week. I realized weighing myself weekly got me depressed and wasn’t worth the stress or heartache. I’m walking the walk so there should be progress. Actually, I expect there to be. So fine, I’m willing to let you do what you need to do while I plug away. But there has to be an objective measure of progress at some point in time. A month seemed reasonable. How could I possibly not be better off than I was 30 days ago?

Because you suck that’s why. I don’t understand how I can be 8 pounds heavier than before. When clothes seem looser (but am I delusional?) when I seem to be able to cope with dancing better? I was in utter disbelief with this number. I purposefully chose this long period of time between weighings so I could set myself up for a win. Even after a night of sleep and emptying myself I’m still a good 6 pounds higher than before. WTF?

I take responsibility for less than perfect choices at times but even taking these into account this result just doesn’t make sense to me. There is no way in hell, even with the blips I had, that I should be up weight. And don’t nobody even mention that idea that I’ve gained muscle. I call bullshit. No person in the history of people ever put on over 6 pounds of muscle in 30 days. Especially not a girl.

You make me feel like I am doomed to a life of active obesity. That no matter how hard I work I will still be big. I will never be lean. It just doesn’t seem possible when you pull shit like this. Why are you not on board with this, anyways? It has got to be a better situation for you to be a healthier size and weight, to have better cardiovascular health, clearer lungs, the ability to go out and experience the world.

I totally understand why so many people don’t stick with losing weight. If I was seeing progress, any progress toward becoming a normal weight I’d be thrilled. But every single fucking time I check in I’m no better than I was four months ago in terms of body weight. Pathetic progress I say!

I feel like I do a lot. Yes, I’m getting all indignant and going into victim mode here but just let me get this out. I know I have to pick myself up from the dirt once again damnit and I need to clear this because it sucks to be repeatedly knocked to the floor over and over and over every single time I try to objectively measure progress. I am angry. Angry, do you hear me? I feel like I do more than most people. I thought that combine clean healthy eating with all the activity I was doing and I’d drop weight fast. It wasn’t happening so I INCREASED my activity. I didn’t let it be an excuse but tried a new tactic. AND YOU ARE STILL FUCKING WITH ME! YOU FUCKING BASTARD! So what the hell? I swear to God other people do what I’m doing and they would drop weight. Why will you not? When is enough, enough? Do I have train 6 hours a day or eat 1400 calories a day? I don’t have that kind of time! It would be a ridiculous lifestyle to live. It doesn’t seem like it should require such extremes. Why will you not bend to my will when I take less severe measures? I thought I was being compassionate toward myself but you are not responding. You are a fucking hoarder. Must I put you under a knife to change? Is that the route I should take?

It is going on nigh 3 years and you are still a disgusting obese mass of flesh, jiggly and slow, incapable of doing certain activities. I despise you in so many ways. I have been trying to make peace with you and you betray me at every turn. People say to be grateful for what I do have, and yes, I am. But right now I’m so angry at you I can’t see straight. And I don’t wish on my worst enemy the amount of effort, sweat, tears, and heartache it has taken even to get to this place. They say focus on how far you have come. Blah blah blah. I don’t have time to meander the rest of this path anymore and thought I was kicking it into high gear. And still my goals loom so far away. Have we even gotten any closer?

I feel like You are a taker. You take and take and take and don’t give up anything! You drain my very heart and spirit in this struggle to push your gargantuan mass up a mountain and you fail to pick up your end of the work. I am absolutely disgusted that I am still only 20 pounds lighter than I was than at the beginning of the year. Eight months of work for 20 pounds is absolutely ridiculous. Who in their right mind is going to stick with this? If I stay at the same rate, and oh wait, we don’t know when this plateau will end, so it might be even longer, but if it takes you 8 months to drop 20 pounds than I’m looking at like 3 years to get this done. Holy hell I just want to weigh less than 200 pounds. I just want to be smaller than men.

Is this too much to ask? From your response it seems that it is. It seems that you don’t want to change or that you require me to abuse you. I thought we were going about this sanely and safely and healthfully but you are a stubborn shithead. When you do not budge It feels like you would rather we look like a beached whale. That you would rather stay the same so we feel the need to cover ourself from wrist to ankle in the blistering heat of July in Arizona. You would rather we be relegated to the “woman’s” section in department stores and never wear shorts or shirts with sleeves shorter than 3/4ths. Apparently you don’t mind looking older and homely, or how it is affecting our dancing.

Perhaps you have some thoughts on this situation but the truth is right now I am too angry with you to hear them. Take a few days to meditate on what I have said here and write me back when you are (I am) ready to help me see this from a different perspective. And you better fucking tell me what it is going to take to finally get you to change! Make sure that is part of your answer.

Until then fuck you. If I could divorce you right now I would.

*Dear readers, this letter to my body is part of me processing the way I feel at the moment. I am just as determined as ever to continue on. I will not be going backwards because I have worked too damn hard for every tiny gain and I never want to have to go through this again. When I am calmer and saner and feeling better I will write a response back from my body to me. Kind of like how I did here with food. And reading this I can see that I have very much forged a much, much healthier relationship with food. It does not have the same hold on me as it once did.

It has been a rough couple of days for me emotionally but one thing I have been doing successfully and is new is channelling and transmuting this pain. For instance, yesterday I did some extra cardio and used the pain to push myself. Also, on my dance lesson today Ivan could immediately tell something was wrong but I said, “No talking. Just dancing.” And we had a focused and productive time. Stuffing myself with food wasn’t even an option!! If anything I am more clear and disciplined than ever. So, yeah, I am having a little pitty party for myself, but only because I have the intent of moving through it as quickly as possible and back to neutral so that I can get back to the business of transforming my body as efficiently and effectively as possible. Hopefully soon I will be able to look back on this letter, and the one I write back from my body, and see the same type of growth as I see when re-reading my old letter to food.

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15 thoughts on “Dear Body

  1. BigLizzy says:

    Love is the answer, honey. Not hate. Not threats. Not anger. I really get it. I do. More than you will ever know. I accept that it’s been a hard week for you and you need to vent. But, love is the way through it. Come have fun with me at BigBodyBeautiful and love that body of yours. XOXO

  2. Andrea says:

    You are an inspiration.

    Also, remember that muscle weighs more than fat. You may have dropped inches (making your clothes fit looser) but gained muscle (adding weight).

    Maybe try measuring certain parts once a month and use that as a way to measure the difference.

  3. What Andrea said. Muscle weighs more than fat. It makes total sense that your clothes are loser but your weight is more. Don’t focus on the scale. Focus on how your clothes feel, how you feel like you can do more, how your stamina has changed. And remember in the end, you’ll kick the shit out of this. You will do this!

  4. spookisgirl says:

    Steph,

    I completely feel your pain. You said in your letter what woman has ever gained 6lbs of muscle in a month while trying to lose weight? I have. And it sucked. A lot. I spent 3 years of my life working hard, doing weight training, learning to run, doing everything right to try and lose weight. The result? I was 220 lbs when I started at size 28, and 220 lbs when I finished at size 14. Even though I was definitely smaller, to see the same number over and over and over was depressing, overwhelming, heart-rending. So what happened? I got badly injured and I gave up. Hello 265lbs, size 20 and a bad relationship resulting from low self-esteem. But I clawed (and I mean clawed!) back. Lost the relationship and gave myself permission to do what I always wanted to do…dance. The first two years I danced I lost only 10 lbs, but I was weight training a lot because of my job (I am in the military). Again frustrating, but I went from a 20 to a size 16. Then I moved, refocused, changed a lot of habits, stopped doing weight training so much and danced more. It was like a miracle for me, 40lbs gone….but it has taken almost a year, and I have a good 50 to go. I noticed that when I started focusing on weight training again, my weight loss stalled. Completely. It was so devastating, I wanted to give up again. But dance keeps me going. I just did my first competition, and yes, I was one of the biggest girls there, but I brought it, all of it, and was surprised by the results. I hope to compete again soon.

    Anyway, I don’t expect this little piece of my story to be much use to how you are feeling right now, but I wanted to let you know that there ARE women who have the same issues as you–not that we are overweight, but that we gain muscle the minute we pick up a weight, and it seems like our body refuses to give up fat. There seems to be no win for us. We need to tone and gain strength to dance and lose fat, but doing so keeps us at the same weight or higher. How do we fight this battle??? I can’t tell you what will work for you, unfortunately that is something you will have to find for yourself. But I can tell you that keeping track of some basic measurements as a check, forcing myself to look in the mirror and taking before and after photos works to help me see results the scale isn’t reflecting. I have seen pics and videos of you that you have posted, and definitely, there is a difference. Keep going, but give yourself permission to use something other than a scale to judge your results. Sometimes this is the hardest thing to do. And keep dancing and inspiring others.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    Spookisgirl

  5. Ursula Mayr says:

    Keep up the good work. It took 12 months to drop 35 lb doing 2 hours ballroom/day, swimming, and some dietary changes. Sustained weight loss takes time.

  6. Kim says:

    If you need an objective measurement, you should consider measuring yourself (hips, thighs, belly). I don’t know anything about weight loss, but I do know that my weight fluctuates a lot based on random things- how hydrated I am, how much I just ate, if I’m on my period. Maybe measurements would give you more positive feedback. An even better idea would be to measure what you can do that you couldn’t before- can you now run a mile? Can you touch your toes? Can you do a pirouette? The whole point of getting healthier is to be able to do things, so measuring what you can do might be a more accurate measure anyways. Good for you for getting healthier sanely.

  7. I can understand your frustration and anger at your body. You have worked so hard and it just does not want to play fair. I think it’s good you wrote this letter….got the feelings out and gave it a good verbal kick in the pants. I am really proud of you and continue to be inspired by you. You are forging ahead and wanting to move forward from this. I love your “giving up is not an option attitude” You are an amazing person!

  8. RO says:

    I can sense your frustration. Frustration is maybe an understatement.. but still. Please don’t give up. Sometimes our bodies don’t listen to us so we need to wake them up, give them a shock. Try something different in your regime. Break out of your regime for a while. Try NOT to think about your body not working with you. Also, muscles weigh more than fat so it could be that your fat is disappearing but in the meantime muscles are getting stronger.

    Keep it up, please..!!!!

  9. what a great idea to write to your body and express how you feel. If you talk to a person the first thing they do is assume you are going to quit and give up . I think it was a very healthy thing to do.
    I have not worked as hard as you, but worked pretty hard in the past , no cheating and trying to work out pretty good and not lost a damn thing for weeks. I have that metoboic syndrome and I know I will have to fight tooth and nail to get this weight off. I need to lose half of my body weight. That is a lot. 130 pounds.
    I wish you the best and believe it or not, your story is inspirting for m e. I can see that I might have to deal with some struggles but I will get there even if it does take me three years, I will make sure I do not give up !! I cannot wait to read your bodies answer to your letter !!!
    I wish you the best and look forward to seeing you hit that goal one day, I know you will do it !!!

  10. The Dancing Rider says:

    I read this and I must congratulate you on being brave and getting all of this out. First of all, I can see that everyone here, including me, supports you in your efforts. People above have said so much already. I second their observations.

    The absolute BEST thing I took away from your entry is that you USED this to help you push yourself. Weight gain or no weight gain, that fact is huge. When you can channel your frustration and continue pushing toward a better you, even with setbacks, you will realize success.

    Now to get the aspect you see as betrayal by your body to work with you in spirit as well. You can do it. I know you can!

  11. Z says:

    I’m with you. I’m working hard with my food, I’m working hard with exercise. In my case, the weight is moving, but it’s moving so slowly now that I am just used to seeing the same huge number day after day.

    Do you take body measurements? That is the only way I know SOMETHING is happening. I’m shrinking. I just don’t lose pounds. :/
    Fat and muscle weigh the same, but muscle takes up so so much less space in the body than fat – I do think it’s reasonable that you’ve converted 6 pounds of fat into 6 pounds of muscle.

    I went from barely being able to walk around my block without nearly keeling over, to walking 8 miles with just a bit of soreness in a month. So that, plus the inches, tells me if nothing else, I’m getting more fit. The thing is though, I want to SEE THE SCALE DROP POUNDS. I’m pretty angry too. I started crying at my doctor visit, which was kind of embarrassing, but man it’s frustrating.

    I guess we just keep it up. The scale has to catch up at some point. It has to.

  12. Leanne says:

    I am in the exact same place mentally with my body, my weight, and my struggle. To try so hard, move more in pain only to have more set backs makes me want to give up. Then I come across someone else that has the same struggle, anger, etc. in odd way gives me hope. That we are not alone. I am over 300lbs and have been working on eating clean for almost two years. I haven’t given up but it is harder and harder to keep going, I am a sugar additct and that adds to the mental game. But, I am not going to let the additct win. Thank you for sharing and letting me know we are not alone. I respect your honesty and bravery for putting this out here.

    • loveablestef says:

      No, we are not alone. I often feel like I am the only one struggling with this, especially when I am surrounded by dancers with amazing bodies, but the truth is, even though the context may not look the same, there are lots of people out there like me.

  13. […] awesome nutritionist, Chelle, owner of Recipe For Fitness, who wrote an amazing response to my Dear Body Letter.  Seriously, go read Chelle’s blog post!  I totally believe she’s got my back and […]

  14. […] Apparently you all like it when I whine about my body.  Yes, the busiest day of the year was when I posted Dear Body. […]

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