Friday, June 29, 2007

Taking Control.


A post i read on uzo's blog inspired me to put this up. Its a real life story by Lisa Delaney,the author of the book-'Secrets of a former fat girl'. The book is all about her journey from self-loathing to self-confidence. Twenty years ago, Lisa Delaney was overweight and fed up with diets, working at a job she found boring and disappointed by her love life. Over a late night binge, she had an epiphany about getting fit, taking charge of her life and getting out of her comfort zone. Here is her epiphany, excerpted from her book. Enjoy.

After living the first twenty-five years or so of my life with the label Fat Girl, my weight peaked at around 185. I'm just under five feet four, so let's just say I didn't carry it well. It was back in the day when designer jeans had just come on the scene: Everybody, including me, wanted to get into some Calvins or Jordache or the cigarette-leg Guess Jeans that were so impossibly tight they had zippers on the ankles so you could shimmy them over your feet. I was aching to trade in the double-pleated khakis that, rather than hiding my stomach and hips, made me look even more like one of Willy Wonka's Oompah Loompahs. I held on to that hope, only to find that even the largest size of Calvins (size 16) was too small for my ample butt.

By the time I had suffered so many defeats that I began to wonder why I dared to try anymore. Why take the jeans into the dressing room at all? I'd only end up back at the rack of "comfort-waist," "relaxed-fit" pants. Why pull out the dumbbell set collecting dust in the back of the closet? It would only remind me how physically and mentally weak I was as it sat there unused again. Why pass up my favorite bacon cheeseburger for a scantily dressed salad? The calories I'd save wouldn't make a dent in my weight. It was as if I was trying to chip away at the U.S. deficit, one ten-cents-off coupon at a time.

I had so much to lose — and I'm not just talking about the weight. I stood to lose the life I knew, a life I wasn't happy in, but one that was safe and comfortable. And yet I hated it. I hate always being the good girl, the giver, the one everyone could count on to pick up the slack, to get things done, but who was somehow invisible. I hated how I constantly ignored my own needs and my own dreams, focusing instead on pleasing everyone around me, like a panting puppy just aching for a pat on the head. At the same time I was too afraid to let this life go. Deep down I knew that if I truly committed to changing, I wouldn't know what to do with myself. My legs were too heavy with fear to take the first step off that solid familiar platform onto the rickety makeshift bridge of "what if." I was afraid it would buckle under my weight, and I'd go crashing through to the hard ground beneath, unable to get back up again. But I was just afraid I would manage to teeter and tiptoe to the other side — because I didn't know what awaited me there. For all my daydreaming, I simply couldn't imagine who I would be if I wasn't a Fat Girl anymore.


But one day something happened that made me want to find out.

The whole thing started off with a gallon of mint chocolate chip ice cream. I polished off the last third of the container, which I'd opened only the night before, straight from the carton.
As I shoveled the last of the ice cream into my mouth, though, my body decided it had had enough. A wave of nausea hit me, and I scrambled for the bathroom, barely making it to the toilet. At one point, mid-retch, I caught sight of myself in the mirror: bloated, pale, weak. Finally, I saw myself as I really was: powerless, full of shame, out of control, a victim of my appetite. And I vowed to do something about it.
I didn't quite believe that I could, but the reality of what I saw in the mirror that day gave me the strength to commit to trying. And that was the beginning of a journey that over the next three to five years revealed to me the body I was meant to have, and helped me discover the person I was meant to be.


Through lots of trial and lots of error, I finally managed to get my weight down to somewhere around 117, where I've kept it for the last twenty years or so. Along the way I reclaimed, rediscovered, and revealed the powerful, confident woman I am inside.
I was able to do what the so-called experts say is nearly impossible — what you no doubt think is impossible. I've been there. I know how it is to hear those success stories and think, "Good for you, girl. But I'm different. Just because you did it doesn't mean I can."
That's the way I used to think — that I was destined to be a Fat Girl, that I was "big boned." I thought the girls I saw in the "before" and "after" shots were either fakes or had some kind of special willpower gene I wasn't born with.

But I'm no fake, no genetic mutant, and I'm not all that special, either. I just happened to stumble upon the solutions I needed as someone whose very identity was wrapped up in being a Fat Girl — someone whose specific needs weren't being addressed by the big-shot best seller diet gurus out there. While they were yammering about the details such as how many carbs are too many carbs, whether dairy puts pounds on or takes them off, or which is better, low fat or low cal, they were completely ignoring the real issue. The real issue was not "How do I lose weight?" It was "How do I begin to think about myself as someone who can lose weight?"


Through my experience I'm convinced that being a Former Fat Girl is more about changing how you think about yourself and how you carry yourself in the world than the diet plan you're on or whose workout you follow. And that has implications far beyond the size of jeans you wear. It means that you are building the confidence that will allow you to be a success story in every aspect of your life, not just on the scale.
The measure of a Former Fat Girl isn't how many pounds you've lost, it's how you go for what you want in your life — how you take risks, speak up, and don't let fear or doubt rule you. It's how you walk through life with your chin up; how you look people in the eye when you speak.

The shift from wannabe Former Fat Girl to actual Former Fat Girl is about changing your life from the inside out, about going from seeing yourself as a victim of schoolyard nicknames and plus-size labels to a confident, secure, self-celebrating — and, yes, self-accepting — woman. It is about coming out of hiding and shedding the layers, both literally and figuratively, that prevent you from getting what you want out of life. Most of all, it is about identifying the obstacles in your way and finally having the support and resources to make the transition once and for all.


Lisa Delaney is an award-winning magazine writer and editor and is currently special prjects director at Health magazine. She has written for Prevention, Vogue, Men's Health, Men's Journal and Reader's Digest.

35 comments:

Manda said...

You know at a tyme i thot she was advising us to add some weight and damn wat pple say.lol

well, now i think u r talking to me cos i think i need the will power to stop spoiling myself wit junk and lose some weight! you know i got to see dis old pix of me on my sis's fone and i didn't believe it was me! i've heard sooo much about self determination and discipline today and i think everyone is sending a message across to me. Thank you a whole lot for sharing this.

Manda said...

hey, think i just popped tha cherry! *wink*

Obi said...

Dang...just missed the cherry...!!
I believe her message was to search for or true selves within the facade and express it...find the skinny body withing the large, the swan within the ugly duckling, the strong within the weak.

Inspiring post..!!

princess said...

@manda, o gal berra act fast o! i no want make you come dey envy my new shape later o!
U sure popped it.

princess said...

@Obi,you this guy and ur deep thinking.Anyway i no surprise. Thanks for ur 2 cents.

Onada said...

nice blog!

La Reine said...

I like how her message is universal, basically you need to just love yourself.

...Thanks for hiting up my blog, and you'll be glad to know that God answered my harddrive prayer :D

...toyintomato said...

..and that is the message, love your body.
thx for stoppin by

Calabar Gal said...

I'm goggling her book straight away and adding it to my wish list at Amazon.

chidi said...

thanks for sharing this with us

BlogVille Idols said...

BLOGVILLE IDOL HAS A WINNER GO TO OUR PAGE AND SEE WHO IT IS...PLS DROP US A COMMENT TANX!TANX FOR UR SUPPORt THRU OUT THE SHOW......BLOGVILLE IDOL IS OFFICIALLY OVER

Sparkle said...

inspiring

stuck in my throat o said...

I like what she wrote because many women has issues with their bodies...there is a blog I LOVE...www.toofatforfashion.blogspot.com
we chicks need to remember that beauty is an aura which we exude.You have to love yourself if you want someone to love you.

princess said...

@onada, thanks for popping in.
@la reine, am happy to know ur baby(harddrive) is ok.
@toyintomato,hmmmm......its cool.
@calabargal, i just knew you would!
@chidi, you are welcome dear.
@sparkle,yea yea.
@stuck in my throat o, i feel you girl, will check out that blog.

diary of a G said...

hey princess
sorry but I look at this post
and it is long oo! lol
I'll read later

princess said...

@DOG, lol,u lazy brother!

Nkem said...

Human nature can be so strong! I honestly believe that we can do whatever we set out mind to do! There are so many women out there who are overweight and live a very sad life. It's so true: first learn how to love yourself and accept who you are and then everything will follow. It's inspiring and life-changing.

For another similar case, see the film "phat girlz" (phat as in Pretty Hot And Thick ;) )

ExcitedJade said...

wow..this is interstng... if u dont appreciate urslef, no one will appreciate u..

princess said...

@Nkem, Seen the movie, nice one.

@excitedjade,so so right.

Ugo Daniels said...

Hey babes, nice post you've put there. I wanted to comment further but my wife has taken the word outta my mouth. Did i tell you Nkem is my wife!...*wink wink*

PS: ur new pic is BANGGGGGGGGGING!!!, Are you on some kinda secret mission to woo the whole guys in blogville :)

princess said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nyemoni said...

Lovely post girl...for a moment ther I thought the post was about you...and your pix is nice btw

princess said...

@ugodaniels,LMAO! Mission woo all the guys in blogville, here i come!
Hmmm.... so u don marry?? Congrats o! and here i was thinking you were scared of the word 'marriage'. So when will the I.V be out? una don fix date?

@nyemoni,thanks dearie.

Everyone Loves a Naija Girl said...

Ohhhh....looks like a book that I would have to read. I love reading about peoples success stories in life, always a way to add motivation to my own :-)

AN IBO DUDE'S CORNER said...

if to say i no sabi u before blogville, i for begin toast u now with this ur new picture. sorry i could not read all the story(it was long) promise to read it soon enough. no vex say i never come here since o, i will improve. na work hold me

princess said...

@ELANG,welcome back after your long hiatus! No run away again o!

@an ibo dude's corner, awwwh! so you no go toast me again?! I want be toast bread o!

exschoolnerd said...

feels like i wrote this myself cause i can totally relate...i dnt know if i am a former-fat girl or still one all i know is i used to be somewhere i didnt like..but now i am more happy and confident that i ever thought id be.Would love to read that book..

princess said...

@exschoolnerd, happy to hear that you are happier now.

Pink-satin said...

i would def love to read that book!but whichever way one is just learn to love yourself!

Ejura said...

Thanks for stopping by.
I think I need that determination in other aspects of my life besides shedding weight.
Nice pic-cheerful look. Nice.
Takia!

Be silent said...

Thinking about mine real hard

princess said...

@pink-satin,thanks.
@ejura,thanks.
@be silent,silenceis good for thinking,(wink).

Overwhelmed Naija Babe said...

oh gosh this is so inspiring. i'm so proud of her.. i certainly need some determination in so many aspects of my life as well...

princess said...

@ONB,thanks for droppingin.

Omosewa said...

Hey babe, the ogogoro will be much appreciated hehehe. Nice and inspiring story, i should look for the book. Lovely blog, i cracked up while reading the models gist, hehehehe. Stay blessed, i'll be back.