I'm still fat. Thought I'd get that out there. That's probably the biggest reason I have not been drawn back to blogging -- I made a public commitment to doing something, and then I didn't do it. I did give it a good run, though. I made it two months. I lost exactly 9 pounds. I know that shouldn't be discouraging, that slow weight loss is the most sustainable, that if I had just hung in there I would have gotten past the plateau... I know all those things intellectually, but at the time I felt like I was making a huge and painful sacrifice for very little result. So I just went back to my normal eating.
Of course I'm back to where I started now, weight-wise, and most of my clothes are getting tight. But there was an upside to the whole experiment, because I wasn't just struggling with the "diet" part -- I was also struggling with my whole motivation for trying to lose weight in the first place. I felt, and still feel, conflicted about wanting to be more body positive AND at the same time wanting to be thinner. All these issues had bubbled to the surface, just by writing this blog, and I hadn't really taken the time to process them. So the time off has been beneficial in some ways, because I feel more at peace about a lot of things.
For one thing, I feel better about my body as it is right now. I can look in the mirror and see things I like. I still have an hourglass figure (even if the bottom part has spread out a bit) that I appreciate and know I wouldn't have if I never got off the couch. Continuing to teach, take classes and perform plays a big role in that, I know, so I am also grateful to my own self for getting off the couch and going to class and hanging in there and not breaking.
I've come to terms with costuming and, to a certain extent, clothing my body as it is now. There are some things that just will not be flattering on me, and there's no reason to keep them around. There are other things that make me look FABulous, and I'm hanging on to those. I still have a hard time seeing something on the rack or in a picture and really being able to imagine it on me, so I have to be ruthless about trying things on (and returning them when necessary). Looking in the mirror is getting easier, so trying things on isn't as bad as it used to be.
Candid pictures are still hard for me to look at, but I know that it's possible to get a good picture of myself, so I just try not to think about the "bad" pictures too much. I know they are one element of the reality of how I look, but they're not the only element.
|Pictures taken April 20, 2013...|
|...right after winning second place in a competition|
Still, as I said, my clothes are getting tight. I don't want to buy new clothes, and I'd like to have more choices for clothes (and costumes) than I will have if I keep getting bigger. So while I still feel really strongly about finding ways to appreciate the way I look now, and fight against my tendency to be hypercritical, I also need to put the brakes on gaining any more weight.
So, I'm taking some steps to do just that, not necessarily to lose weight, but to kind of "reset" nutritionally and pull back a bit. One of my best friends from high school has had a lot of success -- not just with weight loss but with general health and well being -- with Advocare products, so I'm giving that a shot, starting tomorrow.
I'll probably be posting pictures of my "progress" at some point, but I really don't want (and have never really wanted) this to turn into a weight loss blog. That's not what The Fat Dancer is about, even though sometimes I felt like that was the direction I was pushing it, which made me anxious and uncomfortable. This is a blog about body positivity at any size and belly dance at any size and finding something you love and pursuing it wholeheartedly at any size, even if it means getting up in front of people and putting yourself on display.
I'd love to hear from you guys about your challenges and triumphs with weight and body image (and dance). I'm not a therapist, so I won't be offering advice, but sometimes it's nice to know you're more than just a voice crying out in the wilderness :)