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Thursday, May 10, 2018

They Way-Back Machine

Looking through my online history in the graphics I've stored for previous websites, I realize I spent well over a decade posting on a site almost exclusively about weight loss, and that site had a HUGE number of followers (as well as the associated Facebook page).  Looking back, part of me understands, because it IS a struggle for some of us.  On the other hand, I worry that women in general have become obsessive about their worries about physical shape, weight, and appearance.

It's something I'm guilty of as well. I'd like to say it's all about health, but there were risks I was willing to take in order to be "thin"... or at least thinnER.  Back in those days, it wasn't unusual for me to head to the gym early in the morning for a NIA class, followed by a stretch and tone, followed by circuit training, then off to the pool for an hour of cardio and an hour of strength in the warm water (92°) pool.  I'd come back often in the evening for Tai Chi.  In retrospect, 6 hours a day was a lot of time spent exercising.  Back then it was pretty much my life.


The blog itself went through a number of transformations. It started as Weight1Day, where I'd already lost several pounds after moving out of what was essentially a food desert, and found that whole foods were more filling, delicious, and apparently healthy.  I started cutting out some of the snack foods from my life, but not with deprivation. The idea was if I wanted some sort of snack food, I could have it... in 24 hours... if I still wanted it.  Generally I didn't.  Wait one day became weight1day. 

After that, I wanted something more focused on goal than the method of the diet, especially when I started hitting the gym, so I went to Fabulous@40.  Of course, aging changed that eventually.

A few years in I stalled (about 100lbs down) and ended up going to get gastric bypass, after which I lost another nearly 100lbs before I started passing out from hypoglycemia.  It's important to note here that I wasn't down to some skinny-mini proportions.  I was, at that point, still considered "obese".  At that point I also ran my first 5K.  And blogging about the health issues associated with massive weight loss just started bogging me down.  And of course the readers didn't want to hear about the bad stuff that can happen, they just wanted to see the before and during shots.  Because I never got down to my goal weight (missed it by 10 lbs) and because I never even ASSUMED I'd get out of the "obese" range, I always considered my photos "before" and "during"... I knew back then that health, weight loss, and fitness were going to be an ongoing struggle.


I'm still struggling with weight, but also issues related to the weight loss and my surgery:  hypoglycemia, and anemia, which I probably had before, but has been dangerously increased by my weight loss surgery, and other stomach issues which keep me awake many nights, leading to additional pain, fatigue, and a few ER visits. 

But the big thing I've had to let go of over the last little more than a decade is the idea that at some point I was going to have the body I wanted: petite but curvy, the sexy 20-something body I never had.  Let me tell you, there comes a point when you've gone BEYOND fabulous@50 and know that you're NOT going to publish fabulous@60 when you KNOW that there's no going back and getting that 20-something body without major surgical intervention.

After passing the half decade mark in half century, I learned the difference between focusing on fantasy and focusing on potential, and launched a new website.


and I found very quickly that I was writing to an audience of less than a half dozen, rather than the few thousand followers I had at my heyday at Fab50. 

In the last couple years, I've noticed a shift, however.  More people are embracing their bodies (I was initially revolted by "fat acceptance", but have had a shift in thinking) and a small group of older women are embracing their grays and wrinkles.

In some ways I'm part of that.  I've stopped dyeing my hair.  I don't wear a lot of makeup.  I joke that I'm at that age where I'm not fooling anyone anymore, but it's more than that.  Every day I have to struggle to reconcile the old lady I see in the mirror with the 20 something disco queen inside.  It's hard to give up on a dream.

Today I welcome the gray, but resent the "goose neck".  The one thing I can change easily is the one thing I don't feel a need to change. The things I can't change are the very things that vex me.  I suppose, in some respects, that hasn't changed much since I started Weight1Day, talking about health, but secretly longing for a "bikini body".  I would like to say I'm "aging gracefully", but I sometimes feel like I'm being dragged into age kicking and screaming. It's a process. But I'm not going to make a whole web page about it.




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