Posted by: minnow | June 7, 2008

I Can’t Believe I’m Actually Doing This

WOW!  If anyone had told me a week ago that I would actually be joining an on-line weight loss challenge I would have told him/her he/she was nuts.  Period.  End of story.  And yet, here I am signing on to the Ragamuffin Top Challenge.  At least, I’ll join if the host lets me join without pictures.  I don’t do pictures for a variety of reasons and none are specifically weight related.

Instead of a picture I will share a little history because I truly want to take this challenge seriously.  I am a married woman with five children.  I am closing in on 50, stand approximately 5′ 2″ and at 1:05AM on June 7 I weigh 195.4 pounds fully dressed.  After my first baby, twenty years ago, when I weighed 175 I thought I was fat.  My sophomore year in college when I weighed 135 I thought I was fat.  My senior year in high school when I weighed 125 (or close to it) I thought I was fat.  In fact, as an adult I do not ever remember thinking of myself as being anything other then fat.  Now obviously there is some difference between 125 and 195.4 pounds–namely 70.4 pounds.  So fat is a relative term.  The truth about fat, for me at least, is that it is not a particularly helpful term.  Overweight is perhaps better but even that does not pack much of a punch.  Being overweight has simply been too much a part of my self image for far too long to care all that much about the word. 

Even though I have always thought of myself as overweight, I have never been a person who dieted or whose weight yo-yoed.  Over the years, thanks in part to pregnancies, my base weight has just slowly increased.  My last pregnancy (two years ago) saw me briefly top 200 pounds.  And, I obviously have not lost what I “should” have lost since that baby arrived on the scene.  So, that is the story of my weight gain.  

While my weight has slowly increased over the years, my self image has decreased.  Although I believe these two issues are related, at least in part, the self image issue control the weight rather than the other way around.  However, which came (or went as the case may be) first probably does not really matter much at this point. 

Just over a year ago I started to wake up to the fact that I was not a happy person.  I did not like who I had become.  I did not like where I seemed to be heading.  And, I suddenly became more concerned about my health.  Nothing serious happened along the health lines–no heart attack, no breathing problems–just general fatigue and minor aches and pains.  At approximately the same time as this new self awareness was aroused from within, I began to develop a new world view.  I am not sure how else to explain it except to say I had the classic “Eat everything on your plate because there are starving children in Africa” experience only it came in the form of a question–“Why must I eat…”  And then another question, “why not just feel the starving children in Africa?”  Followed by the very telling answer, “Because I am eating everything on my plate and then some!”  OUCH. 

Now I realize that these connections do not make sense to everyone.  They may not mean anything to anyone other than me.  Still, getting healthy (not just losing weight) is my goal–physically, mentally, and spiritually.   I need to become more than just another consumer.  How I live matters because how I live impacts others.  I want my imprint on the world around me–my family, my job, my environment–to be positive. 

As for the measuring part: I have already cofessed my weight and I will continue to do so until I get to my goal of 130 pounds.  Let me tell you–the idea that I want to lose 1/3 of myself is a bit daunting.  But perhaps it is also a metaphore for the rest of my life.  I do not know what is considered “safe”  in the pounds per week catagory but I would personally like to achieve my goal by the middle of December.  Along these lines I will journal about what I eat and how I exercise.  Exercise will be my other measurable goal.  I want to get some kind of exercise–walking, jogging, biking, or swimming–everyday!  I know these are rather vague goals.  I will get more specific and include shorter term goals as I proceed on this journey.  For now I am still in a bit of shock that I am even doing this.

Finally I need to say (emphasize) that getting rid of the physical weight is going to make a difference only if it is matched by the loss of all the unnecessary emotional and spiritual baggage (weight) I have been carrying around for the last 30 years.  I suspect the other areas will be a more intense part of this journey than the physical weight.  But, we will see.  I have always said that I was not willing to “just go on a diet” because as I watched others do that very thing it never seemed to last.  I am talking about life (style) choices and changes here.  Still, I believe my December goal will hold for the measurable goals.

The rules from Ragamuffin Top Challenge are:

1. You must have a measurable goal.
2. You must place a photo or video on your blog each weekend and give us (Ragamuffin) the scoop on how you did.
3. You must link back here (meaning the Ragamuffin Top Challenge blog) so that the readers of your blog get to see how the rest of us are failing or succeeding.

That’s it.  Go on over to Ragamuffinsoul to check it out.



  1. Looking forward to seeing how you did this week! Keep going!

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