confessions of a weight loss waffler

Posted on Mar 9, 2012 in Fitness

(source)

I’m a waffler. A flip-flopper. A terrible decision-maker.

I can take the simplest, most asinine choices and twist them, turn them and overthink them until I have no idea which way is up. I had a 30 minute conversation with a co-worker the other day where I changed my philosophical position no less than 10 times. Not because I was trying to conform, but because I really couldn’t figure out where I stood. I’ve never been good at trusting my gut and instead have to think through every possibility and that leads me down a path of flip-flopping. I’m also a second-guesser. So anytime I start thinking, “Oh, this is definitely what I believe” another voice pops up and say, “WHAT THE WHAT? You don’t believe that!”

I should really get that checked out.

And large decisions? Forget those. I normally just blabber random gibberish until Babyface finally says, “I think we should do this and here is why.” and then we do. You should see me whenever we make big purchases. Total panic. I rock back and forth. I question every minuscule detail. I regress to a three-year-old. It’s not pretty.

(source)

One part of my life this quirky personality trait constant ravages is weight loss. I am the ultimate weight loss flip-flopper. Yes, I want to lose weight. No I’m happy where I am. Yes, I want to lose weight but I’m happy where I am. No, I don’t want to lose weight but I’m not happy where I am. No, it isn’t about the number. Yes, it’s all about the numbers. I just want to be strong. I just want to be fast. I just want to be thin. I just want to be a single-digit size.

You know yo-yo dieting? Well, I don’t do that. But I am an expert at yo-yo decision-making. I’m sure you’ve seen no less than a hundred different, conflicting posts here on BTHR documenting my various stances on weight loss.

When we last left this, I had completely abandoned the scale and decided I was really stoked with how I looked and felt. Which makes what I’m about to tell you, probably a little surprising. Confession time: I’ve been losing weight. On purpose.

I know. You’re probably clicking the little “x” in the corner of your browser and mumbling under your breath about how annoying and fickle I am. I’m annoyed by me, too. Why can’t I just figure out what makes me happy and stick with it? To most people, it’s a simple question. Lose weight or not? But for some reason, for me, I just cannot decide.

This didn’t come out of nowhere. There was a catalyst for this current foray into calorie counting. It came out of sore knees.

I’m a big believer that you can be healthy at any size, but I also believe that carrying too much weight can cause some negative side effects. After dropping 50 pounds, I noticed a lot less aches and pains throughout my joints. I thought all was good, until I started walking long distances, and with those longer distances, a new kind of unexplained knee pain. I got new shoes. I’m strengthening my muscles. I’m stretching. I’m refueling well. But even with all of that, my knees ache. And after one particularly bad walk, I thought to myself, “Maybe it’s that there is too much weight on them.”

And while my knees hurting might be the spark, I’d be lying if I said that was the only reason. For a while now, I feel like I might be justifying my weight. I think there is a fine line between being confident in your body and delusional. And I wonder if I’ve been a bit delusional. Convincing myself that I’m healthy because I’m healthier. Healthier than I was. Smaller than I was. Fitter than I was. Which is all true. Comparatively to where I was a few years ago, I’m a whole new girl, but am I the girl I want to be yet? I’m not sure.

There’s that pesky flip-flopper again.

The truth is, I talk a big game about being happy with who I am and where I am with my body, but often wonder how much of that talk is trying to convince myself. The lady doth protest too much. After all, even with the abandonment of the scale, I still secretly wished the pounds would melt away. I once had a doctor tell me that based on my height and frame, she’d consider me at a healthy weight if I was around 200 pounds. This was a progressive doctor, who didn’t subscribe to BMI numbers and height weight charts. But even she believed that my magic number was lower than where I am now. I’ve hovered 15-30 pounds away from that point for 18 months. And all through my various positions on weight loss through that year and a half, I’ve always imagined I’d eventually get to that weight. I imagined the 195-200 range to be the promised land for me and I’ve always wondered what it would be like to get there.

The interesting part is, I feel like I’m betraying a part of who I am (and who this blog is) by desiring to lose more weight. I’ve sold myself (to you guys and to me) as a person that is healthy and happy at 225 pounds. And I am. But there is also a growing part of me that thinks that I might be healthier and happier with a few less pounds. But even with that that motivation, I can’t shake the feeling that I’m selling out in a metaphorical sense. Selling out to the pressures to be thin. Selling out to the pressures “look” healthy. Selling out to the medical ideal of what is healthy.

Because, the truth is, I want to be out of the BMI “Obese” category, even though I personally believe the BMI system is a load of poo. I also want to never have to worry if a store will have my size even though I think store sizes are an obnoxious way to measure health. I want people to look at me and think, “Wow, she looks healthy.” even though I know that smaller doesn’t mean healthier. As obnoxious, superficial and inane as those reasons are, they are all there. And have been since day one.

So take that as you will. Maybe this the start of another chapter in my weight loss journey. Maybe this is me just being fickle. Maybe this is me succumbing to society pressure. Maybe in a week, you’ll see another post saying, “PSYCH! I like my weight! Weight loss is evil.” Maybe  Probably, regardless, I’ll look back at this whole journey in a few years and think, “Gosh, you were so foolish.”

When I first started losing weight almost five years ago, I thought the process was a straight line. You go from point A (your starting weight) to point B (your goal weight) in a set amount of time and then move on with life. But I’ve realized over the past five years that the line is more squiggly than the country road I grew up on. You lose a good amount and then you gain some back and then maybe you lose a lot more and then you gain some back and then you may decide you are happy and then you decide you aren’t. No one ever tells you that if you are doing it right, chances are, it’s not just a one time thing. It’s a long, roller coaster of a journey that hopefully, eventually, lands you at your healthy and happy weight, whatever that may be.

So you may ask what’s changing around here? Well not much. You may have noticed over the past few months an uptick in the healthy, clean and lightened-up recipes. That’ll stay the same. You’ll probably see less bacon (but maybe not) and maybe healthier ways to make cheese and chocolate stretch a little further. I honestly feel like my eating is pretty clean, I just need to keep an eye on portion control and make sure I continue to hit my exercise goals. Just as long as I’m tracking my food and consistently exercising, I’ve never had any problem dropping pounds. You’ll probably see a few more posts talking about weight loss and all that goes along with it, but I highly doubt this will turn into a weight loss blog. That’s not my bag.

My apologies for being the worst decision maker on the planet.

Are you actively trying to lose weight?

86 Comments

  1. I totally support you and understand where you are coming from. I too have battled with my weight all my life and I find your blog an inspiration. I am a daily reader and look forward to all of your posts. Wanting to be out of the obese range (Morbidly obese in my case) is a great goal and as soon as this baby pops out (38 weeks pregnant thank you very much!) and I am cleared for activity I will be back on SP with full force. Keep up the great work Cass and the great Blog. I truly admire you!

    • Thank you so much, Emily! And CONGRATS!

  2. I’m planning to loose weight. Every winter I gain a couple of extra pounds and now spring is coming and I want to loose them again. I feel better with those fewer pounds, more active and such.

    The best thing I like about your blog is you changing your mind. I like the way you keep looking for that one thing that works for you and that you are not afraid to try new things and, more imporatantly, that you are open about your change of hearts and are not afraid to change tactics over and over again. GOOD FOR YOU!!

    • Thank you so much, Marleen. I’m always afraid that people are going to jump all over me for not picking a position and sticking with it, but that’s how I honestly am in my everyday life. I’m always questioning everything, for better or worse. :) Thank you!

  3. Careful with the knees! women tend to be extra prone to knee issues because of the way our hips turn out, regardless of our weight. If they don’t stop hurting, I’d consult a doctor. I let mine go on forever thinking that it was no big deal, only to find out I had done serious damage. :(

    That said, I can totally relate to the flip-flopping. I am the world’s worst at making a decision and sticking to it. But I certainly don’t think that you are wrong for changing your stance on weight loss for health reasons, just so long as you are doing it in a healthy manner and listening to your body :) And I like that you are so open about it and honest about how you change your mind!

    • I come from a long line of genetically bad knees, so I know part of it isn’t just my weight, but just the ole family joints. One problem I’ve had is I’ve yet to find a doctor that will even talk to me about knee problems until I lose weight. They all say, “Well we can’t figure out what is wrong until you get the weight off of your knees.” Sigh.

      Thanks for the support, Ashley. :)

  4. I love this. Personally I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to lose weight as long as it’s for the right reasons and in a healthy way – which I think is where you’re going with this. I also think it’s fine to keep changing your mind about it – who says you have to know exactly what you want and exactly why you want it anyway?

    • Thanks, Amanda!

      “Who says you have to know exactly what you want and exactly why you want it anyway?”

      Unfortunately, I think society tries to make us believe that everyone is this way! That all the other people in the world know EXACTLY what they want and are going after it. And I think more often than not, the majority of us are kinda flip-flopping around until we finally land on something that feels right.

  5. I have never commented before, but I read every single one of your posts and I will continue to do so no matter what you decide to do with your life. I am currently trying to lose weight- or be healthy at the weight I am at (see I am doing it to- I dont think its waffling, I think its where I am now). I can related to this post completely and still think you are amazing no matter what you decide to do. I also want to drop out of the morbidly obese range and even out of the obese range. I just want to be comfortable in my own skin regardless. Thank you for sharing with us! I really do admire you!

    • Thanks for commenting, Melissa! And THANK YOU so much for reading. I love the idea of it being “where I am now” instead of waffling. That is so true! Who says we have to be in one place and stick to it?

  6. This is something I totally relate to. I go back and forth about whether I want to lose around 15 pounds or whether I am happy where I am right now. I am juuuuust inside the healthy BMI range (though I don’t put much stock in BMI either) and my body seems to just love to be here. I can eat pretty much whatever I want and my weight bobs around a 5lb range. Then again, I’d like to be a little slimmer, and I know what I need to do to get there (limit deserts and exercise), but then I go back to thinking maybe I’m happy enough to save myself the effort.
    I don’t think it’s annoying that you go back and forth. I think it’s pretty normal!

    • It is so great to hear that other women are going through the same thing I hope you figure out where you want to “live” and are super dooper happy there. :)

  7. I love this post so much.

    Could have written it myself actually.

    • You have no idea how much better it makes me feel that other women go through the same thing. I’ve had in my mind for months these pictures of two types of women. The ones that want to lose weight and that’s all they want (Biggest Loser style) and those that are totally happy with their body and don’t care about the scale. And I don’t feel like I fit into either of those. It sounds like a lot of us don’t.

  8. This makes so much sense to me. I totally understand how you feel with so many voices (yours and others) telling you what healthy is and how you should think about it. In college I lost a lot of weight in not-so-healthy ways, then I gained it all back plus a few extra for good measure, and I now I’ve lost some of it again, this time trying to do it slowly and healthfully. I’ve recently gotten to a confusing size and weight because I could “pass” for healthy. Sure, I’m still overweight, but my doctors know I exercise and eat mostly good foods, as do my friends and family. Everyone thinks I’m a pretty healthy girl, and I am. But I also still overeat a lot, not just the its-my-birthday-and-I’m-going-to-have-two-slices-of-cake type of overeating, but the secretive, out-of-control, anything-goes-binge type. I’m struggling to get motivated to stop because, well, I’m still “passable.” Thinking about this absurd rationalization has made me realize how unreliable other people’s determinations of healthy and unhealthy can be.

    This is the way I’ve been thinking about it lately, and I think it applies to what you’re going through. I’m working very hard at getting control of my desire to overeat. If and when I get to the point that I no longer do that, that I am being completely honest with myself about my exercise habits, that I’m reasonably sure my portion sizes are what it takes to fuel me, and I’ve maintained that lifestyle for some time, then I have to be happy with my weight. I don’t have a choice. My guess is that number, whatever it my be, will be smaller than it is now and may even happen to fall into “healthy” categories.

    You don’t need to apologize for being a flip-flopper, you’re just honest and normal. Get it, girl! Whatever you decide “it” is.

    • You really struck a chord with me about being “honest” with myself. I think that’s what I’m struggling with the most. I can’t decide what is reality and what is just me trying to convince myself and others. Am I really healthy? Or am I just playing the part?

      Thanks for your support. It’s so helpful to know that others are going through the same thing.

      • You’re welcome! I think part of the problem is the idea that we have to be either healthy or unhealthy. We’re all an little of both! You are healthy because you eat wholesome, natural foods and walk a million miles. Nothing can take that away from you or make it untrue. But you, like all of us here, probably have some unhealthy habits too (excessive portions, not enough sleep, whatever). No one is ever strictly one or the other and those that are physically, well they’re probably not so much mentally. Don’t let your decision to focus on addressing your unhealthy habits convince you that you’ve been fooling yourself about the healthy ones all along!

      • Oh my gosh, both this post and Laurel’s comments resonated so deeply with me. I am an avid exerciser and very strong (both in body and mind) when it comes to exercise. Unfortunately I struggle daily with over-eating. I am probably 15 pounds heavier than I would like to be, being 6 feet with quite a bit of muscle it maybe translates to one size. But my real goal is just what Laurel said to be honest with myself with my eating habits, to fuel myself. Reading this blog is so helpful and inspiring – thanks!

  9. I’ve been meaning to comment for awhile, but hadn’t until this post. I can relate SO much to what you’re saying. In late 2010 I started losing weight (initially trying to lose 70-80 lbs.). After getting to -40, I’m totally stalled out and have been waffling between continuing to lose weight or to just be happy where I’m at currently. For me, it’s definitely the struggle between being happy and healthy and wanting to be happier and healthier. I’ve been writing down everything I eat and drink during Lent and think I’ll how to proceed after Easter. Thank you so much for verbalizing many of the same struggles I’m facing much better than I ever could!

    • Thank you SO much for chiming in Hillary. It is nice to know that this is a normal part of the process and I’m not alone in my weight-loss confusion. :)

  10. First of all, I can totally identify with everything you’ve said in this post, and I could write a whole post of my own in response. But, I’ll try to keep it concise.

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with changing your mind, flip-flopping, or waffling on any topic over time. To me, it’s a sign of personal growth and open-mindedness. We are constantly growing, changing and evolving into ourselves, and it’s silly to think that our opinions won’t change as a result.

    I also think you can be completely happy/ comfortable with your body as it is and still want to lose weight or be actively losing weight. I think the same can be said for any aspect of life really. I’m happy with my job, but I think (know?) that there’s a carreer out there that will make me happier. I just don’t know what it is yet. There’s nothing wrong with being happy with your current circumstances while striving to achieve or find something that will make you happier.

    Plus, when it comes to weight loss, I think sometimes you just need break. I know after a year of actively losing weight, about 40 lbs, I was just done. I was burnt out, bored and just sick of it all. I was happy where I was at. I wasn’t at my goal, but I was comfortable with my body as it was. I was running and training for and loving half marathons. I found a new sense of confidence that allowed me to start focusing on improving other areas of my life. Yes, part of me secretly hoped the weight would still magically fall off, but I was fine with it when it didn’t. A year and a half and a few added pounds later, I decided I was ready to go again. I joined Weight Watchers (back in June 2011) and I’ve been actively losing since.

    • Oh gosh, there is so much win in this comment.

      I LOVE the concept that changing your mind is a sign of personal growth. So often I feel like I’m being fickle (especially when I blog about it) but I love the switch in thinking that maybe I’m growing instead of being wishy-washy.

      Also, the idea that you can be happy with your body AND want to change it. Mind. Blown. You’d never, ever guess that was possible from all the media out there. Seems like a pretty healthy place to be, actually.

  11. THIS SO MUCH. I lost 100lbs, had a baby, and am now back in the weight loss game. I go back and forth from being fine with where I’m at, and wanting to lose some more weight. I had a moment this morning where I thought “Ok, I DO want to lose weight again”, after a month or so of feeling like I was ok where I’m at.

    I think this is good, and healthy. I’m not at all obsessed with a number on the scale as some “holy grail”- I just want to consciously try and lose again, and see what happens. I like the challenge, and I’m up for it again! But I’m sure there will be another wave of not wanting to lose in a few months, because honestly, it gets daunting.

    And this is LIFE. I’m totally ok with it for the first time. I’m accepting my flip flopping ways :)

    • It totally does get daunting! And I say we all accept out flip-flopping ways!

  12. Thanks for this post! I am currently in the exact same place in my weight loss journey. I am currently about 15 lbs above my goal weight. I finally have a normal BMI, although, like you, I think that is necessarily the best way to measure things. Lately, I’ve been thinking I am happy where I am, I’m at a healthy BMI after all, but like you said, I think I’ve been trying to convince myself that. Yes, I am happier and healthier than I was 50 lbs ago, but I just can’t help but want to lose a little more. And I think that’s okay, especially after reading this post and the other commenter’s stories!

    • I think it is okay. Now that I’m reading the comments (I so love all of you guys) it’s starting to make me realize that being this way about our lives and bodies is a POSITIVE thing. The real problem is when we stop analyzing and stop questioning ourselves. When we’ve “settled down” is when it seems like a big red flag should shoot up.

  13. I love love love this post. I am the same way with trying to accept my weight and health and wanting to lose more and be better. Thank you for verbalizing it in such an eloquent way.

    • Thanks, Leah! It is so nice to know that we aren’t alone in liking where we are, but still wanting to be better. :)

  14. Girl, I heart you so hard sometimes I cannot even stand it. I have always been so inspired by your confidence and pride in your body, and it has helped me come a long way in terms of accepting my own view on my weight loss goals (since, as we know from my blog title alone, I *am* a weight loss blogger… sort of.) My whole perception of health, my ideal body, what it means to be fit, has all changed so much. And while I’ve toted this “goal weight” of 165 lbs since Day 1 of this blog, honestly, I’m not sure I’ll ever really get there. And the crazy thing is that I’m totally okay with that.

    This is already a long and very convoluted comment, so I’ll try to wrap it up. I guess I just wanted to say that I don’t think you should be ashamed of waffling on this. It’s human, and SO relatable. I mean, I am an active weight-loser, and I waffle all the time! I am still trying to lose weight, to slim down and tone up, but it has a whole different flavor to it than it did before. And part of me worries that I’ll be letting down my readers if I ever decide to say “you know what, I am totally happy at 185 lbs (which I definitely am planning on getting back down to… eventually)and am switching into maintenance mode. I think I’m healthy.” because I am supposed to be the one who loses weight. It’s a strange pressure (effective though, I suppose) to not really be losing weight for yourself anymore.

    What was that about wrapping this comment up? Oh yeah, bottom line is, you are amazing. And I’m proud of you no matter what road you take, no matter how much time passes before you may (or may not!) waffle back. And you’re beautiful. But that last one goes without saying (I said it anyway.)

    • <3 <3 <3 <3

      The whole reader pressure thing is a really, super strange thing. Because as evidenced by how awesome everyone that has commented here is, it's almost entirely imagined.

      I had this picture that people saw me as some sort of champion for being healthy AND overweight and that if I said I was going to start losing again, there would be riots and looting and a mass blog exodus because I'd be letting everyone down (okay, not really, I'm not *that* conceited). But there would at least be some outlashing against this decision. But it's just not the case.

      Everyone just wants you to be honest and happy, whatever that is. But we both put this pressure on myself that everyone wants us to always have our stuff together, but that's just flat out not true. Blogging is so weird. And after this experience, I 100% know your readers will totally support you whenever it is you decide to switch your hotness over to maintenance mode.

  15. I get it! I’m a weight-loss flip-flopper myself. One day I think “gee, I really should get on the bandwagon. Back on the diet, back on the extreme fitness plan”, and the next day I’m thinking “Well, maybe first I need to learn to be happy with where I am and THEN try and change to be a better me”. And I think they’re both right! I DO need to be on a diet and fitness plan (diet being… healthy. Which is what I try to do, with a few minor exceptions), and I DO need to be happy with who I am right now. It doesn’t mean I won’t continue to be happy at a smaller size. I’d love to be a single digit too ;)

    • I love the idea of them BOTH being right! So much of fitness and weight loss is sold to us as so black-and-white, but you are right, there is a gray area where you can learn to be happy with you AND want to be better.

  16. Hey Cassie, I like all the other comments I read, really enjoy your blog and feel that whatever makes you happy then so be it. If it means losing weight go ahead. I saw a nutritionist a year ago and it wasn’t about a goal weight to look at but finding that balance/feeling. I am trying to lose weight however I find it hard to exercise on a regular basis!

    • Did seeing a nutritionist help? I’ve always thought it would be really interesting to see one, but I’m not entirely sure they’d tell me anything I didn’t already know.

      And THANK you for reading. :)

    • Yes the nutritionist helped a lot! It was nice to get confirmation of what I thought certain food! I’m sure your cooking classes would accomplish most of the same things.

  17. I am actively trying to lose weight. It has been a battle this go-round. I work out at least 5 days a week, but I also need to work on my portion sizes. I eat pretty healthy most of the time. I lost about 25 lbs for my friend’s wedding in 2010, but it has been a downward slide since then. I’ve put about 15 of those pounds back on. It’s so frustrating.Plus, I have a health condition that makes it harder to lose weight, but I won’t stop trying. I love reading your blog posts because they are inspirational and keep me motivated. So thank you for being so open and honest and know that you’re not in it alone!

    • Thanks, Athena! Portion control is where I really struggle, too. As you can probably tell, I just love food so much! :)

  18. When I started college, I started losing weight on purpose, and for all the wrong reasons. Sure, I became healthier, but it wasn’t for me. It was to prove to others I was beautiful and strong.

    As you’ve mentioned in your post “Don’t call me skinny”, I altered my thinking from losing weight to getting stronger. And by running 2-3 days a week and rock climbing 3 days a week, I developed muscle. LEAN muscle. I’m not losing weight on purpose, but it looks like I am anyway.

    As for you losing weight on purpose, I don’t think you’re being fickle. I think you’re taking the initiative to feeling awesome, and that just happens to include losing weight. You’re also getting stronger, challenging yourself, and learning what foods make you feel great.

    Stay beautiful, and keep us updated about culinary school. :)

    • Thanks, Morri! Just like you, I did weight loss the very, very wrong way in college. Doing it the healthy way is so much more tolerable! :)

  19. I’m so happy that you put this out there, it helps me realize that I’m not alone on the flip flopping and whatever changes you make (or don’t make) to your blog it’s still one that makes me very happy when I see a post show up in Google Reader.

    • Aww, thank you so much Kelly! That means a lot to me. :)

  20. Cassie, I really appreciate your honesty–here in this post, and throughout your blog. Especially about this back and forth, because (and most of the commenters are saying the same thing) it’s definitely part of my struggle. It’s a really hard spot to find, that place where you love yourself and aren’t beating yourself up all the time, but can also admit that there are changes that could still be made to make yourself healthier, happier…more whole maybe?

    Your journey, and your honesty, were a big inspiration to me to not only recommit myself to my “fitness journey” but to start my own blog to share it. (I hope it’s not a “weight loss blog” either.)

    All this to say don’t feel bad for changing your mind. Call it not being stagnant. And thank you.

    • Thank you SO much, Lo! I love the idea of being “whole”. I think that’s definitely a good way of putting what’s missing in my life. I feel like I’m so much closer than I was a while back, but still not quite there.

      And thank you, thank you, thank you for all the nice things you said. I’m literally blushing. :)

  21. Changing your mind as time goes by is important to know you’re on the path you’re traveling because that’s where your heart is and not just where you got shoved into.
    We change.

    I can say that regardless of what you decide, BUY THOSE SHOES! The ones you posted on your wish list, the Danskos.

    My Podiatrist advised I get some to help with plantar fascitis pain. I bought Sanitas (the same thing) and after the break in period, not only did my feet feel better, but my back and knee pain is GONE. I weigh 205 and am shorter than you, but have joint problems that exacerbate how my weight affects those joints too. I hope that helps.

    Take joy in the strength and capability for change you have, and make the decision that fits best with YOU! That will be the right one.

    • I have the Danskos! And I absolutely love them. Although I usually only wear them to work, and my real knee pain comes during and immediately after my long walks. Maybe I should start wearing my Danskos during my walks!

  22. I can relate to this so much! I have a hard time making decisions. I often times spend weeks planning to buy laptops, new cars, heart rate monitors, and then never actual buy them or decide to wait til I need those things.

    The worst is deciding on a menu item. I will sit and think about it for way too long! Also, I try really hard to focus on being healthy and not think about the scale or my weight. But sometimes you need perspective or you just drift through things without really making a commitment. Don’t be ashamed of wanting to lose more weight or set more goals even if you want to be happy where you are at. It’s okay to always want more good things as long as they don’t border unhealthy weights or unhealthy lifestyles!

    • I am the SAME way with buying stuff. Something will light a fire under me and I’ll need to buy everything ever and do all this research. And then when it comes time to actually press “submit order” my mind is like, “Ehhhhh, maybe not.”

      And I’m terrible about the menu, too. Lots of times, I’ll not even look at the menu and only let myself choose from the specials board just to limit my choices.

  23. I honestly can’t remember a time in my life when I wanted to lose weight- or a time in the last 10 years where I wasn’t actively trying to lose weight. I’m in a “healthy” range (maybe right on the verge of being overweight on those pesky charts) but I don’t feel 100% comfortable. That’s what it’s all about for me- being able to feel GOOD in my clothes. I felt really good in my clothes when I was about 10 lbs. lighter, and that’s where I’m aiming to be again. But for some reason, I just can not get it together and be strict enough to get the weight off (and for me, I have to be 100% dedicated or it does not work!).
    And BMI is a load of BS. It doesn’t take muscle into account at all, which weighs more than fat!
    For what it’s worth, the photos speak for themselves- you look GREAT! And HAPPY! :)

    • I definitely agree that feeling comfy is SO important. I went and did a big shopping trip last month for clothes I actually fit me and I feel SO much better about myself. Even if I had to step up a size, it’s worth it. :)

  24. Hit the nail on the head in a BIG BIG BIG way. My favorite post of yours yet……and I’ve loved a lot of ‘em.

    :-)

    • Aww, thanks so much Tiffany! :)

  25. *raises hand* I’m with you on the decision flip-flopping. Only, my husband is worse than me so when it comes to big life decisions I tend to end up making them.

    Anyway, one of my favorite sayings among the size acceptance/HAES community is “You choose your choices.” You choose and aim for what health means to you. If you’re concerned about your knees, then losing weight may or may not help but the important thing is that YOU think it will help – that it’s not a decision that a doctor or pressure from readers/society/family/whomever is making for you. It doesn’t take away your “healthy blogger” membership card. It doesn’t mean you suddenly hate your body or are giving in completely to society’s pressure to be thin.

    I’m glad to many others have left their reassurances as well that making decisions about your body is HARD and that a lot of us share that difficulty, men and women alike. I’m struggling with it now doing an elimination diet for non-weight related reasons. What does it mean if I do lose weight? Does I get my size/fat acceptance membership taken away? No. That’s ridiculous. My body is telling me that some type of changes need to happen to be healthier and I am making those. And so are you.

    Don’t feel guilty. You continue to be awesome. And I also thank you for your honesty. It’s not easy to admit that you have a hard time with things like this. Nicely done.

    • I was really, really hoping you’d chime in. I knew you were going through something sorta similar. It’s hard to be so vocal about loving who you are, but still being okay with wanting to change it.

      I LOVE the idea of getting to choose your own choices.

      Honestly, I think part of my hesitance about this whole thing comes from LJ. Were you ever a member of the Fatshionistas? I was, and anytime anyone mentioned anything about getting healthier or working out or anything that could possibly result in weight loss (without even saying those words) they’d get jumped on for hating their body and told they should accept who they were. It was such a weird thing to me. If someone else wants to post about where to find nice workout clothes because they want to be healthier, who are we to assume they automatically hate their body? I didn’t want the same thing to happen here. I love my body. And I love (although I think it’s crazy) that some people think I’m a role model, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to make it better if I can/need to.

      LJ made me gun shy. :P

      • Yes, I’m still a member of that community. They do sometimes overreact, I think because weight loss talk is everywhere else. In the larger size acceptance community, I know people who have gotten weight loss surgery and many who actively pursue weight loss for health reasons or have lost weight as a result of health issues. It’s touchy, but I think those are the conversations that we need to have. People’s bodies change all the time and that includes weight changes that happen naturally, as a result of illness or as a result of lifestyle changes.

        I’m sorry that community made you feel bad. It is still a useful resource for me but it can be tough. However, much like the rest of the internet, people sometimes forget that other humans are at the other end of their comments.

        It’s very hard to be vocal about loving your body and wanting to change it. I agree. These days, I try to focus on changing aspects of my body – I want to be stronger in my arms/chest or I want to focus on lengthening and slimming my legs a bit to help pressure on my knees during dance, etc. Health focus. And you’re there. I don’t think anyone ever thought you hated your body. And that’s huge. Because not a lot of people are there.

  26. This post describes exactly how I feel!
    I’m a firm believer in being “body positive” and loving myself no matter what weight I’m at. I also have a goal weight… and simultaneously wanting to love my body and change my body makes me feel like I don’t know which side of the fence I’m on! Especially since I’m still healing body image and food issues… the whole topic is so complex!

    Honestly, I think it’s up to each person to decide what they want to do with their bodies and what will support their happiness the most.
    I personally want to finish working through some food issues and I believe that process will, as a result, include some weight loss (I’ve already seen it happen). I also love the feeling of being strong and getting stronger, and just the pursuit of that goal is going to help my weight loss too. Losing weight doesn’t mean that our only goal is weight loss, and wanting to lose weight doesn’t mean that that’s our ONLY goal in life! Our goals are constantly changing and shifting and we’re the only ones who can really assess how healthy those goals are. Work towards the goals that help bring you happiness, no matter what they are or what stigmas society decides to attach to them…
    And keep writing blogs like these! Although I rarely comment, I read every one of your posts and especially love the ones like these :)

    • Thanks, Eden! The whole issue is so complex and personal, isn’t it? I’m so glad I have readers that recognize that instead of judging me based on their own experiences. Everyone needs something different and that’s what makes us so amazing and interesting!

      And I LOVE feeling strong, too. I can honestly stay that being able to do an extra push-up, lift a heavy box or open a tight jar makes me happier than any pound I ever lost.

  27. Refreshing blog.

    I lost a 100 lbs by eating better and moving more. Then four years ago my weight loss stopped and I spiraled into fatigue so bad I would cry every day and sleep 12 hours only to be more exhausted. Three years ago I found a Doc that recognized that I was in stage three adrenal failure and my metabolism was damaged. We started treatment immediately and it continues. My adrenals are back in normal range but my metabolism is still repairing its self. Yup, I’m actively trying to lose weight but my body isn’t ready. Being on a four year plateau has made me love myself at the size I am but I hope every damn day that my body starts to release more weight.

    • I’m so happy to hear you are on a health upswing, KT! A broken metabolism can be a rough thing to recover from, but it sounds like you’ve got it figured out that you need to be happy NOW instead of waiting from some special number to pop up on the scale. :)

  28. one of the reasons i love you and your blog is that you promote body happiness, strength, and acceptance at any size, at any stage of whatever weight journey you might be on. happiness isn’t achieved at size 8 or 0 or whatever – it exists and should be celebrated the entire way. i think you’ll continue to do this – while trying to lose weight, while trying to keep weight, while losing weight without trying ;) – and that’ll keep us (me) coming back.

    • Thanks, Shann! :) I love the idea of celebrating the entire way. I think so many people wait for a magic point for happiness to show up and it doesn’t even happen that way.

  29. I’ve had (have) the same struggles most of my life so can totally relate to this post. I’m currently 18 weeks pregnant with baby #2 so I’m not in a position to be losing weight right now but I am trying not to gain too much like last time. It’s been a challenge mentally though because prior to becoming pregnant I was on a really good path to healthy weight loss. I keep reminding myself that this is a brief moment in time and that I have to do what is best for my current place in life. It sounds like you have decided to do what is best for you at this time too :)

    I also wanted to share one of my favourite quotes:
    “Life is change. Surrender to it. Allow it. Create it.”

    • LOVE that quote! So great. I think I might print it off and hang it up. :)

  30. I’m the same as you when it comes to waffling on decisions, including lifestyle choices. I obsess and over-analyze, venting to Dallas, hoping he’ll “have the answer” so I don’t have to make the decision. And as much as all of us want to say “I don’t care about societal pressures regarding appearance!” we all do. I’ve done it many times- stated I don’t care, only to realize a day later how much I do care. Having battled my own weight issues and decision-making struggles, I totally hear you. It was not frustrating or annoying at all for me to read this, because I’m so much the same. I love how honest your are with your blog, Cassie. Keep your chin up lady, no matter what decisions you make. And btw, you DO look fit and healthy.

    • Oh gosh, the hoping he’ll have the answer thing? That’s totally me. And it’s definitely not fair to Babyface because he doesn’t need to have that pressure of figuring out my problems, no matter how much he wants to solve them.

  31. I can’t personally relate to this (I have the exact opposite problem in that I need to be gaining), but I’ve seen my boyfriend go through the process of losing weight and it really wears on him.
    However! To add something useful to this comment, I thought I’d give you a heads-up about glucosamine if you’re having knee problems on a regular basis. I forget if you’ve ever stated your position on dietary supplements, but it’s a naturally-occurring sugar found in bone marrow and the shells of crustaceans. It’s been known to help with overall joint health, so you might want to do a little research and see if you’d want to give it a go.

    • Oooh! Thanks for the tip. I’ll definitely look into it. :)

  32. This is EXACTLY where I have been for the past year. I lost 30 lbs in 2010 and decided to back off for a year because I felt great about where I was…even though I still had 30ish to go until I think I’ll be at a true healthy weight. Just in the last couple of months i felt like i was stagnating rather than feeling happy with my weight still.

    Ironically, my goal has always been to reach 195 or 200…I can’t tell you how good it makes me feel to see another blogger in the same range I am. I always feel like a giant since I’m pushing 6 feet tall, so to see another woman my size going through this process is refreshing…it can get discouraging to see women 6 inches shorter and already below my “goal” say they feel “fat”. I mean, I know it’s all relative, and I really shouldn’t compare myself to anyone…but it’s hard to always ignore it.

    Anyhow, thanks for this post and for your honesty. And here’s to continuing on our journeys, no matter where they take us!

    • I feel the exact same way about you and Gretchen. I feel like I’m a GIANT compared to all the other 5’2″, 120 pound bloggers. I’ll never be that way and it helps knowing that there are some other beautiful, amazing and strong ladies out there that are in the same boat.

  33. I definitely can relate. I have lost quite a bit of weight, and I think the hardest part is maintaining! I’m currently on a quest to lose a few pounds. I know the rest of my life is going to be a roller coaster of trying to keep my weight down. Good luck to you!

    • Good luck to you, too, Jane! I’ve gotten pretty good at maintaining, it’s just the losing part that I’m not so great at. :P

  34. I love your honesty. I’m always afraid to post my true feelings and goals about any subject, because I’m scared I’ll feel completely different later. It’s awesome that you are so real and willing to share your feelings. That’s what makes me love you blog so much!

    • Thank you so much, Kristin! And after all the support I’ve gotten on this post, I’m all about posting whatever I feel. People want to see the real you, not the polished, perfect version that is blog ready. :)

  35. Loved this post Cassie. So open, honest and raw… all three things I come across a lot in your blog and they are what I truly love about you. I believe you are on the right track to simply recognize the issue. I don’t know that there are many women out there that are completely content with their size, weight and body type. I feel like I am at a much healthier place than I used to be ten years ago when I was knee-deep in an eating disorder, but I still have my ups and downs with body image issues and trying to find my true happy place. I try to tell myself that I’m healthy, strong and confidant… but there are many days when I feel the opposite. I look at it as a journey, that I’ll always be on. Being comfortable in the journey is most important, but there is no such thing as perfect. :) Perfectly content, perfectly consistent… etc. There will always be ups and downs, but try your bet to grab onto your feelings and deal with them.

    • Thank you so much, Lindsay. :) You are totally right that there will never be perfection and it’s important to deal with your feelings in the moment. Smart lady. :)

  36. You are amazing, thanks for the inspiration. Indecisive girls unite!!! : )

    • Thanks, Shana! it’s nice to know I’m not the only indecisive lady out there. :)

  37. I was actually just thinking along similar lines yesterday. I gave up my scale, but I think I do need to focus on losing some more weight, as I can feel that I am carrying extra “baggage” around my belly and thighs. I have knee problems too, and I remember being told by a doctor years ago that these can be significantly alleviated by decreasing the amount of weight bearing down on my knees. My problem is that I get obsessive….I pick a diet or exercise plan and become fanatical about it, and then disillusioned when I “fail” to meet my goal. I liked your comment about the health-body journey being like a squiggly backwoods road…because it really is. Lots of trial and error, lots of learning about my tendencies to eat my feelings, to obsess about methods, and to beat myself up for not meeting my own expectations. I plan to continue to steer clear of the scale, but like you mentioned, I feel like I’ve been using that and using the “I’m happy with myself, fie on you media and pop culture images of women!” line to rationalize my own physical health a bit. Because for me that’s all it’s about. I’m okay with how I like, but not with how I feel. I get winded quicker than I’d like; I have back and knee pain that I know can be helped if my belly and legs were tighter and less weighty; my energy level is significantly impacted by my consumption of sugar and fats, which I notice immediately when I go off them for a few days and then go back on. So all these things I want to work on, but I don’t want to teeter back into become obsessive. Anyhoo, these are just the thoughts your post inspired in me tonight. :) Thank you for sharing where you’re at. I’m glad to know I’m not the only weight-loss waffler out there. :)

    • I think the thing I’ve learned the most from this post (and everyone’s comments) is that it is entirely possible to both love your body and want to work on it. And there is nothing wrong or fickle about that! It sounds like you are in that same place. :) Good luck with sprucing up your amazing body.

  38. I haven’t read through the comments, so forgive me if this has been said. But here are my two cents.

    I think a huge part of your/my waffling is based on happiness. And I think that is a good thing. I don’t lose weight when I’m down on myself. I beat myself up. I get really fixated. It isn’t pretty.

    But when I’m really happy with myself and just want that push to be a healthier because I can see where it would make a specific difference? When I can see where it would improve a specific part of my life that is important to me? That’s when I’m successful. That’s when I shine.

    Right now, I’m where you were. My weight is stable. I am happy. I have different priorities. I’m not actively trying to lose weight. Does that mean that I’ll be happy here forever? I very seriously doubt it. There will be something that will motivate me again. And the. I’ll kick it i to gear. It may be two months from now. It may be a year from now. Who knows. But I know that I won’t be happy here forever. I know I’ll want more. And when I do, I’ll go get it.

    So I’m a waffler too. Good to know I’m in such good company!

    • You are totally right. I think once you are out of the “danger zone”, weight loss motivation becomes very stop-and-go. I no longer desperately need to drop weight to just get through life. So that motivation is gone, but now new motivations pop up every now and again. I just hope it isn’t this way through the rest of my life. :P I would like to be “done” at some point.

  39. People change their minds, and i think that’s OK, and no one should have to apologize for it. It just shows that you are constantly thinking and analyzing your own impact and place in the world. Life is too complex to pick just one way to be and stay that way. We are dynamic and fluid and I think we can hold a variety of truths within us, and that they are all valid at certain points, even though they seem to contradict one another. Today’s truth doesn’t cancel out yesterday’s just because it’s different or even opposite! A black/white thinker may tell you differently, but I think that following a path through the shades of grey will be more interesting and we’ll learn much more!

    • “Life is too complex to pick just one way to be and stay that way.”

      SO TRUE! I think the unfortunate thing is that society paints people who change their mind as fickle, untrustworthy people. When really, maybe we are the smartest of them all. :P

  40. You are so beautiful :) And you know that I totally support you no matter what, sweetheart! I love that you talk about this because it shows that you’re a real person, not just one of those “plastic” bloggers that we sometimes see. You’re human, so of course you’re going to go through different phases, change your mind sometimes, and just grow as a person and have different opinions than you used to. I LOVE your blog and I’ll never stop reading! Keep it up, Cassie :)

    • Aww, thank you Miranda! :)

  41. New reader – first time poster.

    Like others have said – I can relate. I lost around 20lbs last year with a total goal of around 60. Then i hit a weight loss plateau and even put some back on. Now I’m trying to lose the next 10lb – but my motivation isn’t what it was a year ago.
    Even “just” losing the 20lbs I felt so much better and thanks to exercise so much stronger and better about myself. I can imagine that you must have felt the same after you lost 50lbs. While I do agree that BMI isn’t everything I can feel it myself that carrying this extra weight is literally weighing me down – and doesn’t it make sense? Put on a backpack with even just 10lbs in it and you will immediately feel that extra weight. Now imagine taking that off your back/body and to me it makes sense that our bodies were just not made to carry too much extra weight. This doesn’t mean that we should all be a skinny size 0 – but too much weight on ones body will take its toll.
    That being said I do think it’s important to be happy with ones body the way it is RIGHT NOW and not beat it up (or oneself) about not being slimmer/taller/more toned or what ever else. Your body should be your friend and ally – not your enemy. I struggle with this but have to say that exercise more then anything has made me see just how much my body is capable of and one of the reasons I want to continue to lose weight is because I know I’ll be able to do so much more once I don’t have to carry that extra weight.

  42. I really appreciate you writing about this. I love following your journey, because I often am feeling the same thing, come to read your post & BAM someone who knows what I’m talking about. I literally woke up this weekend thinking “I’m ready to lose weight again” & read this post today. Thanks for sharing!

    (Just so you know where I’m coming from: I gained 50 pounds my first year of marriage & am down 20 so far over the past 9 months or so… trying to get down 10 more by summer!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>