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.