Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Critical Eye

I hadn't planned on pouring my heart out this week but as I sat and tried to come up with something to blog about... and my thought process came about... yep, it's a heart pourer. I've become critical of how I look. I don't mean it in a necessarily negative way- which is odd since the word critical involves analysis and judgement by definition. I would say I'm more observational but that isn't right either because it's more than that. I look in the mirror and I seek out the changes in my body. I look in the mirror and I see how my clothes fit- or don't fit. Used to be, my glance in the mirror was to make sure my clothes didn't look too tight... to make sure that I didn't look like a sausage in that pair of pants. Now, I look to see how baggy the pants are and can I get away with wearing them and not look like a clown. Used to be I checked the mirror to make sure I had nothing in my teeth or just to give myself an encouraging smile. Now I see my face in the mirror and I'm trying to see what others say they see- that my face is slimmer and they can really see my weight loss "here" (under my chin). Still have a double chin so I wonder just how bad my chin was before? Or exactly how many chins I had? I am overdue on updating my Healthier Me page. I didn't take pics on June 1. I tried. I took a few and then a few more another day. But since my clothes are baggier, I don't feel like the change is noticable anymore. Since May 1, I've gone from 213 lb to 206 lb. There is some change, I'm sure. The other day, Christy and I had the gym all to ourselves and we stood and watched the mirror. She asked if I can see the changes in my body. Yes, I can. And... no, I can't. When I just look at myself in the mirror, it's still just me looking back. But sometimes, as I pass by, I catch an angle out of the corner of my eye that makes me stop and stare. I'm sure it looks like I'm admiring myself- the picture of vanity. But I'm not. I'm trying to remember how my hip looked before, what the rounder curve of my leg was like before. I'm also noticing that I catch the imperfections more than I used to. I used to glance in the mirror, knowing I was fat and knowing what that fat looked like. No need to focus on it- I was fat and I accepted it. Now, I'm still overweight, for sure. But I've also lost a lot of weight, for sure. And that means my body is changing. I look in the mirror and see that chin, see the pudge of my belly, see the thickness of my thighs and I am aware of what I've done to myself over the last decade. I'm aware of the choices I've made. I know the past choices don't matter because it's the choices I am making now that are my focus and my motivation and are getting me healthier and healthier. I still love myself and marvel at myself and admire the things my body can do. This isn't something that's chipping away at my self esteem or anything. But it does leave me feeling... sad? frustrated? insightful? It's something I don't want to touch on too deeply because I do feel the urge to cry sometimes. I think that's a mourning of my past self and those choices I had been making. Maybe some regret about the hard work I have to do now to make up for it. Maybe some frustration at the path ahead of me to get me to wherever it is I want to end up... (completely running that 5K on Saturday would be a nice start but we'll see). I'm still focused primarily on what my body can DO versus how my body LOOKS. I can run. I can run for exercise. I can run from the register to the back of Target and back without being winded or having to stop and walk. But sometimes... those little accomplishments seem to slip away from my mind because I get distracted by the mirror and what I do or don't see in it. Photobucket

11 comments:

C. Beth said...

I think everything you're saying makes sense. As usual, I appreciate your honesty.

As for the pics, I think monthly pics are great. But you are at a phase now of slower weight loss (at a very healthy pace.) If you don't feel like doing monthly pics, you could switch to quarterly.

I have been catching those little glimpses of cool changes in the mirror too recently. The most recent one for me has been suddenly realizing how muscular my arms look. I don't mean Arnold muscles; I'll never have that type of BIG muscles. But I just love to see how I move my arm, just in normal ways, and the muscles make themselves evident. The small changes are fun, aren't they?

melissa said...

i TOTALLY, 100% relate to this post.
i can't stand even walking by a mirror anymore.
sigh.

Minivan Lover said...

I started running too. You can do that 5K- running all the way. You don't have to be fast.

Katherine said...

It's hard to undo old ways of thinking and to start being kind to ourselves. You have so much to celebrate, and it seems like you are doing a great job of recognizing that.

Beth Zimmerman said...

Your post reminded me of (back in the day) when I had lost so much weight and didn't know who I was anymore. I used to get stuck looking in a mirror, delighted with what I saw (even though I was still overweight) but not quite sure who that was. I suppose that may be one of the reasons I gained it back! :(

~ Lori ~ said...

I'm still overweight, but 40+ pounds makes a BIG difference. So, I find myself surprised a lot.
...surprised that the 22/24 jeans are WAY to big and the 16's that I bought fit
...surprised that 16's fit not only at one store, but at ALL stores, so it's not like that ONE store just had a big 16!
...surprised that I feel like "Fat Lori" still but when I look in the mirror I see someone different (usually)
...surprised at feeling a lil' sexy in a new dress and high heels

I think it's hard to jettison past the old, fatter you. It's hard to let that person go and accept that you've worked hard and you're this different smaller person now. Hard to accept that YOU DID IT....YOU succeeded at weight loss.

You're doing great...keep up the awesome work and keep reminding yourself that you have worked HARD to get here and you're ready for additional HARD work to do even better. And after all that HARD work, you will have the strength, desire, and motivation to maintain that NEW YOU>

Kerri said...

Mourning of your past self is a great way to look at.

Great post.

Leticia said...

I think I know exactly how you feel. I remember looking in that mirror and seeing how big the pants were, but in my case I really couldn't "see" me. I knew those pants were once too tight, and now were too big...but I didn't feel like it was real, or something. I remember the 1st time a man at work told me I should buy myself some pants that fit, because he noticed how saggy the butt was in my old jeans.

It passed with time, and I got used to it...and let me tell you...I got lazy. I went from 210+ to 165, and 9 months later I am back up to 179. It's hard to accept that if I don't want to be 200+ lbs I am going to have to put real effort into this every day of my life, and I've not found the motivation to love myself enough to care for myself like I did when I dropped that initial 45+lbs.

I'm so proud of you for the work you've put in to strengthen yourself! It's an amazing transformation in more ways than just your physical self. <3

Shell said...

Oh wow, such an honest post.

I hae mine written for next week already and it has to do with looking in the mirror, too. Bathing suit shopping brought mine on.

Thanks for linking up.

Garret of Jim and Garret said...

I love reading about your journey knowing I'll be somewhat in your foot steps.

Mandi said...

I think I've said this before, but I'm so glad I finally followed your blog. I love your raw and honest outlook. I love that i can put myself in your place and know almost EXACTLY how you feel. Thanks again :)