One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

ASK RONI Q&A

Ask Roni: Accepting Yourself

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Sometimes a question comes through AskRoni that I must respond to immediatly.

Hi Roni. I love you (and your site) you seem so happy and positive. You’ll probably think I don’t really deserve to send you a question. I haven’t lost an amazing amount like you and the others Ive read comments from. But I am unhappy with my weight. Im 18 and I weigh 140 pounds. But I’m 5’3" so my BMI is unhealthy and it doesn’t suit me. And Im not pretty so it especially doesn’t look good. I want to lose 20 pounds to get my bmi a bit lower and to look better. I have replaced my lunch (what used to be a big meal) with salad and stopped snacking. I have been doing this for a month and going to the gym and I have only lost about 4 pounds! And I look exactly the same. I’m finding it hard to stay motivated. I used to get a thrill out of knowing I’m being healthier but this is gradually being replaced by desperation. Why is it taking so long? Thank you xx
Maddie

Maddie,

I had to answer you right away. Your email scares me, not because you haven’t lose weight but because you are so hard on yourself. I can feel your discontent with your body and I just wanted to reach out and give you a big virtual hug.

{{HUGS}}

Now. Chin up girl! I can’t answer why it’s taking so long. I wish I could. Our bodies are funny funny things and I just don’t have all the answers. That being said I want, I need, to share a comment with you that was left on the Fall in Love with the Process quote I posted this weekend. Abby shared her story and I think, I hope, you can find inspiration from it.

You comment on being good all weekend and still seeing the same body.
I got divorced 18 months ago, and have since then slowly worked on improving my lifestyle.

Fortunately, through continuous hard work…the little train that could, I have lost over 30 pounds. This in my 5′2” body is a lot of weight. I still need to drop another 20 to be a BMI 25.

The point is that, when I look in the mirror, I have to really focus on what I see, to not see the same person that carried the extra 30 lbs. But the reason I have been able to lose the weight is two fold.

One…I worked on first embracing myself fat. I looked in the mirror and took pictures and embraced what I saw then, I loved me, fat and respected every cottage cheese dimple on my thighs!!!

Two…this has been and continues to be a very slow, long, process, with lots of ups and downs, with continues struggles, and “successes” and “failures”.

What I have come to appreciate and conclude after all these months, is that unless I die, I will still be here, with or without the weight, I see older women,(i’m 35) who are continuously on diets, not willing or able to accept themselves, and I saw myself on that path. and realized that either I need to accept who I am, and see me for me regardless, or live a life of constant battle with weight loss and weight gain, and fat etc.

Now, I know that once I accepted myself the battle ended, the struggle ended, and so I was no longer depriving myself when I decided not to have the chocolate, I am more focused on the now, and choose not to have the chocolate, however, it has taken me 18 months to lose 30 lbs. That is on average 2 pounds a month, very slow, very slow, so guess what most of the time, I have said yes to the chocolate, sometimes no, the loss has been slow, but the gain, the strength I have achieved from my journey has been all valuable. I still need to lose 20 lbs. But this is not overwhelming at all. I know it will happen, probably in two years from now, but so what I will be 37 adn 38, and 50 and 60, so either i could lose the weight fast, which I could if i so chose to, but then I believe it will come back because I am not changing my life, I am on a diet. This way, it will take 2 more years, but when I reach my goal, I will already know how to maintain, because I am evolving as I am losing!!

Love yourself for your choices, that is who we are, not the body in the mirror…that is the outside world looking in, but how you see yourself is key to how much you will appreciate or sabotage you!!!

Maddie, as Abby states in her very inspiring story you have to accept YOU. It really is the first step towards reaching your goals. I know it’s so much easier for me to say then it is to do. I was 18 once and hated my body. I’ve been there. For me it took age and having a child to finally accept myself. Please don’t wait that long. Life is too short. You are beautiful because you are YOU and that is all that matters.



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Discussion

There are 13 comments so far.

    Sarah

    January 19, 2009

    Roni-

    Great words of wisdom. How is it that at 34 years old I still don’t really like my body? I guess this is something that we all struggle with, and I remember not liking how I looked at 16, when I was 130!!! I know when I focus on what my body can do for me and how I feel after a great workout…..and not on what the scale says or how “distorted” I look in the mirror I feel better about myself.

    Listen to Roni, Maddie, she know what she’s talking about!!

    Karen

    January 19, 2009

    In addition to the great advice Roni & Abby gave, it sounds like you aren’t eating enough Maddie.

    Many people think you have to starve yourself to lose weight, which is actually counter-productive. I’ve lost 81 lbs since December of 07, I’ve had months I lost 9-10 lbs, and months where I’ve lost 1-2. It does take time, but you need to eat in a way that you can sustain for the rest of your life. It’s not about quick fixes. After 3 previous attempts to lose weight, I finally realize this. I eat something about ever 2-3 hours, during non-meal times I stick to 50-150 calorie snacks like light string cheese, a piece of fruit, veggies & hummus dip, sugar free chocolate pudding, 100 calorie bag of microwave popcorn, etc…

    I have another 30-40 lbs I want to lose, and lately I’ve been focusing on making healthier food choices…ie…fruits, veggies, whole grains, low fat dairy, and lean protein over processed things like 100 calorie packs and other snacks. I am certainly not perfect and still like to enjoy some form of dessert every night, usually a 2-3 pieces of miniature chocolates or low fat ice cream.

    Good luck Maddie!

    Brandi

    January 19, 2009

    I agree with Karen above. Sometimes, especially at the raw, painful age of 18 it can be easy to convince yourself that being healthy and dieting are the same thing. Even more scary, it is easy to correlate dieting with calorie restriction and not eating.

    Maddie, Roni is so very right. You are beautiful because you are you. The process is so very hard and long and emotionally draining, but when you come out on the other side, everything is so very worth it because you will have learned how to love yourself, big or small. Don’t let today’s mindset of quick fixes pull you in and teach you habits that hurt more than help.

    Learn to love YOU, and the rest will follow suit. I promise.

    Biz

    January 19, 2009

    It’s so sad that young women today are so hard on themselves. But I do remember when I played field hockey in college, they put us on a weight lifting routine and I gained 5 pounds of muscle, but when I stepped on the scale and saw 125 I nearly freaked out!

    Learn to love yourself Maddie! Hang in there and hugs!

    Mark

    January 19, 2009

    You are on quite the journey!

    Julie

    January 19, 2009

    Maddie- take up runnning – couch to 5K www.coolrunning.com and get the free podcasts from itunes search: podcasts for running Make running your empowerment journey to feeling good about you and getting strong, eat healthy, and you will feel 200% better before you know it…I wish I had started doing it at 18 instead of 42…its doable, intervals to get you to running 30 min. straight…do it girl!! Get those free podcasts and go! It only takes 35 min 3 times a week. It will help you feel good mentally!!

    Natalia Burleson

    January 19, 2009

    Aw Maddie, Roni is right please don’t be so hard on yourself. Thanks Roni for answering her question immediately!

    Melissa

    January 19, 2009

    Another thing to keep in mind is at 5’3 and 140, Maddie is not at an unhealthy weight … this is where disordered eating/eating disorders can begin … tread with caution. Remember, Rome wasn’t bult in a day!! Good luck, Maddie– you’ve gotten great advice here.

    Annette

    January 19, 2009

    Maddie……….could I suggest visiting Oprah’s website about acceptance and embracing the body you have at this moment? It really hit home with me and I have been a lot easier on myself since I saw the show ;)

    Amanda

    January 19, 2009

    Maddie–I bet you are beautiful!!! Don’t be so hard on yourself. I am 5’3″ and my goal weight is 140. I wish I could be 18 again and have the knowledge that I do now…love yourself for you. You have to fix what’s inside before everything comes together. It also sounds like you may not be eating enough. Take Roni’s advice–she knows what she’s talking about.

    Matt

    January 21, 2009

    4 pounds in a month isn’t bad. That seems like a nice, sustainable pace that puts you on track for a lifetime of health. I was really struck by Roni’s earlier post about loving the process, not just the end result. You have a great start, just keep working to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t and you will eventually reach your goal.

    Camevil

    January 21, 2009

    Four pounds in one month is actually pretty good. That’s a pound a week. She should congratulate herself for a job well-done.

    Unfortunately, infomercials and internet ads sell young women on the idea that weight loss can be had in a pill or shake. Implied in that business model is the idea that women who don’t lose “36 pounds” in a month are doing something wrong, that losing weight is easy. This in turn preys upon a woman’s already low self-esteem, reinforcing the idea that fat people must be really lazy because there are so many “fast and easy” weight loss techniques.

    She needs to just keep chugging ahead and congratulate herself for a fabulous accomplishment. She’s 4 lbs lighter this month. Next month, she’ll be close to 10 lbs lighter. And so on. And she did it the right way. Good for her!

    Laurie Ann

    February 17, 2009

    I understand this sentiment so much. I’m fat (big shock there) and I know I’m fat. However before I can lose this weight am just trying to learn to love me for me and maybe when I do that I can learn to love myself kwim?