Thoughts on fitness, health, good nutrition ... and running.

Welcome to Bald Man Running, a blog launched by Frank Murphy on January 1, 2015.

In March, 2013 I was selected as a contestant for the sixth season of Fort Wayne's Smallest Winner. Through this amazing program, I learned about good nutrition, sound exercise and accountability. By October, I would lose over 88 pounds (almost 37% of my original weight)! One of the many things I acquired through FWSW was a love for running. You can retrace my weight loss journey and discover how I became a runner by reading those entries labeled "fwsw" ...

Note: Many of the blog entries on this website predate 1/1/2015. Prior to launching BMR, I had written articles for various projects, and I have imported many of them into this blog (labeled "retro").

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Looking Good Naked

Over the past few years, I've met several people with stories like mine. They've lost a lot weight (amounts ranging from 35 to 100+ pounds) in a fairly short period of time. I enjoy swapping stories with these kindred spirits.

You can imagine how much of these conversations go. We'd talk about exercise, food plans, workout buddies, and other predictable topics. However, after several of these conversations, I noticed one particular issue that popped up fairly often. It's a loosely kept secret within the weight loss community... one that we don't really like to talk about. And yet, I'm willing to share it with you. Are you ready? Here it is ...

... we often don't like the way our bodies look.

Allow me to explain ... when most folks begin a weight loss journey, they have an image in their mind of how great they'll look when they finally get to an ideal weight. I was almost certain that I would get unsolicited offers to model underwear or to appear in lite beer commercials. As the weight dropped off and it started showing in my face, I'd look in the mirror and think the transformation was well under way. I was soooo sure that soon (very soon!) I would be a sex symbol.

Guess what?  As my weight loss continued, I started noticing a lot of empty, flabby skin just hanging from various places on my body. Just because I dropped 12" in pants size doesn't mean that my skin tightened up to the same degree and at the same rate as my belt did.

I'm not alone. Other successful people couldn't help but notice the "chicken wings" drooping from their triceps, or how they felt like a human-size bobble head doll ("my head looks way too big!"), or how they now had "turkey neck" syndrome. Just about every woman who has lost a lot of weight laments the corresponding reduction in bra cup size. And those who did feel good about how they looked often had to respond to people saying things like "you look like a skeleton; eat a cheeseburger for Pete's sake." I think each one of us thought we'd get to our healthy weight and then we'd look good ... real good ... while naked.  It's a severe understatement to say that our collective expectations were sorely unmet.

So, this is a real phenomenon. If you're struggling with your appearance post-weight loss, let me offer you some encouragement ...

You may not like the way you look now, but I know you didn't like the way you looked "before" either. The "now" you may not be gracing the cover of a fashion magazine any time soon, but you do look unimaginably better.

I think about it like this: my old, obese body was the result of being lazy and making poor choices, but the lean body that I have now is one that I have fashioned through hard work and good choices. My "now" body is a trophy that I have won, and I enjoy celebrating that fact by pushing it and discovering what it can do. I went from being unable to climb a flight of stairs without taking a rest to running two full marathons in a two week span.

And I'm not alone ... everyone I've had this conversation with can tell you similar amazing stories of their own post-loss accomplishments. We may not look like we thought we would, but we definitely have many good reasons to appreciate what we have.

So ... here I am ... inside of my flabby, loose skin lives a fit beast. I may not look like I thought I would look, but I now take pride in what I see in the mirror ... a body that I have earned ... and that's quite attractive!

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