She does tri: Overcoming fat girl brain

Paige and Krista

This will probably be a long post. Some of it relates to things I talked to others about at camp and some of it has been evolving for a while.

I met Paige at She Does Tri Camp. Paige has also lost over 100 pounds. We had a few good talks over the weekend about how this has changed our perspectives and our lives. Sometimes it is hard to explain to someone who has not lost that much weight just what it means. Paige made a reference to thinking with her “fat girl brain” at one point during the weekend. I still have a “fat girl brain” as well. It gets in my way at times and I have to fight it. I am trying to come to terms with it and get rid of it. I don’t know that I want to be rid of it completely, however, because it also keeps me in check.

Fit has so many meanings. As I was leaving the Rec Center last Tuesday morning, I saw Deb Dunn, one of the other personal trainers who I have gotten to know. She called out to me that I needed to buy some smaller clothes. I had a shirt on that I had just bought. I had tried on the size that really fit but I took the bigger one anyway. I am not quite sure why. One of the topics Krista talked about at camp was having clothes that fit properly when you work out. I’ve noticed recently that when my clothes do fit right, I have a better workout and compete better. It is easier to move. If I am wearing baggy clothes they get in my way. I still have quite a few shirts that are too big and the first bike jersey I bought last fall that is now 3-4 sizes too big. I need to retire those clothes. (And a side note, I recently noticed that probably have more clothes for working out than I do to wear to work. hmm.)

I also feel better when my regular clothes fit better. On Thursday morning I could not find anything that fit right in my closet. Everything I tried was too big. It was somewhat frustrating. I finally found something that would do but the skirt was a little big and so was the shirt. It’s a good problem but it is still frustrating. Today I went shopping. I tried on and bought the smallest size dress that I have worn in at least twenty years. My fat brain was stunned.

I was telling Sam about an experience that I had at a local department store a few weeks ago. I was in the section I used to shop in – the only place I could shop. Nothing fit. Everything was too big. (And some things were really ugly.) I have to readjust but it isn’t as easy as you might think. I gravitated back to the same section this past weekend. I obviously found the right section to make my purchases though. I do know that there are stores I no longer even have to bother going to – and they were the only places where I could shop for years. I can reject clothes that don’t fit right or that I don’t like because there will be something else on the rack that will fit and that I will like better. It is amazing to buy clothes off the rack again. There are stores that I can shop in again. Dangerous, but fun. Paige and I talked about how much we like to shop now.

Being fit also means being healthy and it is much more important to me now than it ever has been in my life. Something has taken hold and I realize that I feel better, I function better, and I will live longer if I remain fit. It will take dedication and work for the rest of my life and I know that.

There are other aspects of “fat girl brain” that I need to overcome. One is pain.
For an obese person, pain is constant – physically and emotionally. When I weighed more my knees constantly hurt and so did my other joints. I had difficulty walking up and down stairs. I could not wear heels (which I know, I know, I should not wear anyway). I hurt because of rude and thoughtless remarks that were made to me. Life was a struggle. I was exhausted and I had several health problems that I no longer have to deal with.

Pain still creeps in. People just say dumb things. Now the dumb things are a bit different, but still dumb. The difference is that the remarks don’t bother me as much. I still have some physical pain now and then. My toe was hurting when I ran, sometimes my Achilles tendon in my left foot bothers me from a very old injury. My triceps hurt after a tough workout and my quads and core are simply going to kill me tomorrow. These are examples of pain I can stand however because they indicate progress. I don’t let myself hurt to the point of injury.

I am stronger than I was a year ago. I am stronger than I was a few months ago. This often surprises me though I suppose it shouldn’t. I am able to work with a higher resistance on the spin bike. I can also do things like this:


New adventures: planks with the TRX

I think about these things when I am combating my fat girl brain. I also think about my progress:

From 2008 at a storytelling retreat at Alice's House.

April 2011 - Millie and Sam. That might be the same pair of jeans.

About millie jackson

I am a librarian, a yoga teacher, a storyteller, an athlete.
Aside | This entry was posted in camp, change, diet, Krista Schultz, Sam, She Does Tri, training. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to She does tri: Overcoming fat girl brain

  1. Yvonne Healy says:

    Dear Millie,
    You inspire me. Thank you.

  2. Elena Steinke says:

    Millie, I understand you more than I can express, as I lost 145 lbs. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. When I was fat, I never realized how large I really was. Now that I’m 125 lbs and wear a size 0, I don’t see myself as small.

  3. Paige poray says:

    Millie, it was so wonderful to meet you and have someone to talk with who truly understands all that means to walk the journey we have! I love reading your blog and traveling this path with you!

  4. Vickie Singer says:

    Mille – get rid of those old clothes and let’s go shopping! Love you for your candor. We all need to hear what you are feeling. You are the best!

  5. Karen Downing says:

    You are AWESOME Millie Jackson!! I feel a kindred spirit with you because I am asthmatic and it took me over a year (!) of run/walking to be able to run a mile! When I first started, I couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs without getting totally winded. I imagine it must feel similar when you are carrying extra weight. Once I hit the 1 mile mark, I took off and have never looked back! Exercise has changed my life! Thanks so much for your posts–they remind me to savor the progress we make each day toward health.

  6. Anne Merkle says:

    Millie, I think you should be really proud of yourself. You are so disciplined. What a virtue. You look great!

  7. Jason Casey says:

    Millie you are an inspiration to us all. We are so proud of you and thankful that you are sharing your journey.

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