Tuesday, August 12

The Bizarre Shapes of the Body

One thing is certain: if my life wasn't weird enough already, my body is now contributing to the mix. Thanks to lowcarb my body is smaller than it used to be. This is having some unintended, and sometimes disturbing, side effects.

It's kind of like Frankenstein, or The Bride, where you realize that your body is kind of horrible looking but you are stuck with it. And I say this in the nicest way, because I love my body, as a nature spirit symbiote with me; I spend a lot of time lately being truly 'in' it and 'with' it and letting it know how awesome I think it is. But still, watching it morph as I slowly shrink is just... weird.

Psychologically, I mean.

It used to be that I was simply huge. No detail, really; "huge" summed it all up. At 500# you are simply too large to have much of any definition; you're a round refrigerator for the most part.

At the moment I'm hovering around 357. I say 'hovering' because it varies and I think is refusing to go 7 pounds lower out of some perverse desire to delay my meeting my first major weight loss goal for a few more eons.

Currently, my weight is not dropping at any decent speed, which I expect is mostly because I am not really "dieting" anymore but simply eating in a way that is generally lowcarb and mostly gluten free. Despite this, my body continues to... change shape.

I don't know if it is losing fat despite not losing weight, or if it is simply my body's "redistribution of the wealth" so to speak.

The first change was when I stopped, in fear, getting into the shower, realizing I had something oddly hard under the surface on my side. I felt around it in horror. A gigantic, sort of flattened cyst? A tumor of some kind?

Then I realized... those were ribs.

... yes. It had been that long since I'd felt them.

A variety of small changes happened. And then one day in the bathroom at the movie theatre, I realized that my butt had changed. Now, since I carry the vast majority of my weight in the pear shape -- my face only slightly looks fat depending on the picture, my upper body does but not nearly as overwhelmingly as my lower body -- for the most part, the region hereinafter referred to as the "lowertummyhipbuttthigh" region was, for lack of a better term, just a gigantic blob.

But my stomach has lost a lot of fat (I have a waist, unlike most people my size, as I don't store much fat there the way some do). With a lot of extra skin there, the fat sort of hangs down in a roll very low. And then it turned out that my hips and lower butt lost a lot of fat as well, and much of the fat in that region then started sort of hanging down around the top-middle of that area.

This resulted in me standing in front of the mirror, turned to the side, looking and poking in awe at the new weird shape my body had taken. Now there is obviously a huge lump/roll of fat that is basically the lower stomach and then travels all the way around the back. So the top-half of the butt is superfat, with a funky bulge out to each side.

Rolls and bulges were less an issue when my whole body was one big bulge. You know, nobody thinks about the pillsbury doughboy having cellulite, cause he's fat enough to just be "soft and big". But if he started losing weight you could bet he'd start looking pretty funky. ;-)

Recently I apparently started losing some of the fat on my thighs. Well, maybe not losing, maybe it is just moving elsewhere, who knows. In any case, my thighs which were a semi-solid shape from hip to knee -- just very, very large -- are now oddly creased in the middle and to a lesser degree 'here and there', with bulges and a sort of hanging in places that makes clear some of that dreaded "extra skin" of the superfat-dieter is starting to become more apparent now.

With every pound I get lighter, I get one more pound more deformed.

I am trying not to let this freak me out.

I'm not alone. My online buddy Niki has publicly grieved about this too. And I bet everybody who has lost a significant amount of weight has had some of that.

But it's hard to express the sort of horror that comes of watching your body take the most bizarre new shapes, watching your extra skin start to sag, all that fat hanging around in it in very strange, new ways -- when your primary goal is to look better and feel better.

I grant that I feel better. I grant that I can now fit in most chairs and booths (though it's a squeeze in some), and that I can do many physical things I couldn't before, and wear a 5x pants which means I can actually wear pants, unlike the former 8x+ size that does not exist. I am so much happier. I think I might actually live. And I have nothing but good to say for my shift toward eating "real food", which as a side effect is teaching me to cook.

But it is a curious sadness, to know that the more weight you lose, the uglier your body gets. It makes the whole weight-loss process sort of . . . bittersweet.



kamafood said...

I'm just curious - is plastic surgery an option or is it too outrageously expensive? (or scary - just thinking about it gives me the shivers!)

Suzique said...

Oh man, PJ, I hear you. I was just bemoaning last night the fact that even when I get to some sort of "goal weight," whatever that may be (and it'll be a long time till I get there), there are just some things I will never be able to wear because of the combination of saggy skin and gravity. Makes me want to kick Isaac Newton's (probably skinny) butt. But I keep reminding myself that, if nothing else, I'll be healthier.

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Vikki said...

Oh Pj I'm feeling ya. I'm down down a couple of pant sizes and feeling great about that, but my apron is hanging mighty low, my boobs look like deflated tires and yet they are still huge. :oO

I know for health reasons when I get all this off I will have to have it removed, man I'm not looking forward to that. But I am looking forward to being a nice fit 150

ItsTheWooo said...

I don't believe the body gets uglier with weight loss. I just think weight gain makes us oblivious to our body, whereas weight loss makes us hypersensitive to our shape. The body certainly changes after weight loss, but I wouldn't consider my body "uglier" after losing 160 pounds now that I have had years to adjust to its new appearance (plus a surgery to remove some, but not all, of the excess skin). Yes, I have bags of skin under my arms, and on my thighs, and lots of scars. No, I do not look like women who are 120 pounds (but never weighed 160 more). Objectively speaking, is this worse then a massive butt shelf, fluffy sacks of fat strapped to my arms, my legs, my stomach? No, no it's not. WHen I was sporting the butt shelf and sacks of fat, I didn't think about my body, it was just *there* and I took for granted how hideous it was. It was my goal to spend as little time as possible contemplating the fact I even had a body, as I knew just how unspeakably terrible and disgusting it was.

What weight loss does is make us aware of hte bodies we've been trying desperately to ignore. Much in the way detoxing from alcohol makes us feel worse before we feel better, detoxing from "body ignorance" makes us feel really, really bad for a long time because we're screaming aware of every imperfection. Gradually we learn to accept that we have one again, and it is not perfect... but it's better then a shapeless, lethargic, useless carb poisoned body I'll say!