Thursday, August 2, 2012

Body Image issues and self discovery

Today I want to kind of continue what I blogged about yesterday but go onto a different subject- One that most of us who have lost weight face every day.

I am talking about distorted body image and self discovery.

When I was heavy, I looked into a mirror and saw a thinner me. Someone who I really wasnt. I think it was a way to not face fact. That I wasnt healthy. An excuse so I could eat what I want. If I dont face the truth, then the truth doesnt exist.

Now that I am thinner, I look into a mirror and see a bigger me. I see the person who was 260+ lbs.

Talk about playing with the mind.

I know the mind takes a bit to catch up to the body.

And that we are our own worst critic.

But I see every little flaw.

Every roll.

Every wrinkle of loose skin.

Yes- I know. It has only been two years.

I am far from what I once was.

I shouldnt be so hard on myself.

Blah blah blah. Yadda yadda.

It doesnt change the way that I feel about myself.

I grew up in a household that perfection was key. We always had to be the best, especially in school. 4.0 was expected though not always achieved. Cousins were grounded for less than perfection. Seriously. Academic competition between the families always simmered under the surface. At least to us kids.

It was a very hard thing to deal with though I know it wasnt done in a malicious way. Our parents were looking out for us. Wanting the best for us. Knowing that grades would be the foot in the door to a better future for us.

When I went onto college, I went into pre-pharmacy. I was repeatedly told by family there was no future in art which is what I excelled at. I thought "how hard is it to count pills all day?"

Life happened my freshman year. I joined a sorority, my grandmother almost died twice from lung reduction surgery, my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer.

Stress was elevated. Weight came on. I turned to food when I couldnt reach perfection. My chemistry grade plummeted. I just didnt get it. And I struggled because for one of the first times, I didnt excel at something. I failed at something.

That Christmas break was very tough for me. I was criticized for my grades. Harassed. Called names. Fat, Lazy, Dumb. You name it. I was told I had to quit my sorority. The one thing that kept me sane and going. Then I was asked- Why dont you go into something to do with art? Ha. What a laugh. I know it was anger that was directed at me. It wasnt really truth. I wasnt dumb or lazy. It was honest to God frustration that was just spewed from the mouth. I get that- NOW. Back then, I felt like I was just pounded flatter into the earth. Beaten while I was down.

At that time, Redux and PhenPhen were big diet pills. I went to the doctor to try to get on them. I was denied. I broke down in the doctors office and told him about everything going on. He put me on prozac (low dose) for awhile to help with the depression and also because of its ability to speed up metabolism. A twofer.

I went underground in my sorority. I refused to quit. I got a part time job and gave a sister cash so she would write me a check for my dues. Stress built, and more weight came on as I kept this secret. I switched my major to architecture.

Next semester I got a 4.0. I loved what I was doing. I was good at it. I built relationships with my teachers. I was still in my sorority. I was happy. I developed a "F you" attitude towards my family. Water off of a ducks back when criticized. But once the armor is cracked, water can still seep in. By then, damage is done and rust, mold, all the harmful effects start.

Fast forward years later to where I am now. After years of yo-yo dieting. I feel like I am finally working thru everything on my own. Facing the past. What made me who I am. I am doing this for me. On my own. No help from anyone. Not listening to criticism. No fad diets. Honest to God HARD work.

I am not going to say I had a hard life. I had a much better youth than others I know. I have parents who love me. Who saw potential in me and push me- HARD. And I wouldnt change what they did or how they did it. It made me who I am today. And I dont want this to seem like an attack on them or any family member who pushed at me. It isnt. AT ALL. I just wish I had known way back then how to deal with the stress. That I would have put that stress into something good like working out instead of eating.

Now I have refocused stress... and the Lord knows this year has been full of it. Enough to take me back to that breaking point.

But instead of eating myself back to where I was, I am putting it into working out.

Into trying to have the body I want.

The body I always longed to have.

And I am left dealing and struggling every day.

Thankfully I never went the eating disorder route. Frankly I love food too much.

This image is disturbing and extreme but a bit of what I feel when I look into the mirror (I had found a different image I liked better a while ago, but cant figure out what happened to it when I saved it).

I think this is a bit of what every one of us feels on this weight loss journey.

For me it is going to be knowing when enough is enough.

With being happy with the image I see in the mirror.

And not being a slave to the scale and what the number says.

This journey is about self discovery. About now having fun. About making up for lost time.

When I was trapped inside my old body.

Some may see it as a Mid-Life Crisis.

I see it as having fun.

Living life.

Coping with my body issues and becoming happy with what I see in the mirror.

 Today I am up 2 lbs. My weight was 177.0. Why? Dunno. My muscles seem a bit puffy and inflamed today. Sore. Muscle bloat? Dunno. Something I ate? Dunno again.

I went out last night with my girlfriend to Ruby Tuesdays but had one of their fit meals. It was only 350 calories. I had a salad with some slightly fattening toppings, a bit of potato salad. Fish. Grilled zucchini.

Honestly I dont really sweat the number on the scale anymore. It is more about the NSV. It is more about getting toned than being a certain weight.

This is quite a revelation for me.

I have completed my 30DS for the day. It is starting to get easier. So a definite NSV (non scale victory).

Tonight is either a long speed walk with neighbors or working out in the basement with them depending on weather.

I will just keep on keeping on.

On a positive side note...and something to look forward to...

I will be doing my first product review on my blog. Something that may help me get to the point where I am happy with my stomach and thighs. Only time will tell. I am very excited to receive it and use and review it. I will be having a guest "speaker" on here about it.

All good things to look forward to.

Because this year

Tip of the Day:


  1. Amen! I definitely didn't see how large I was 3 years ago and now I can't see how small I am! SO FRUSTRATING!

    1. Good to know I am not alone in this- I mean I knew I wasnt, but it is good to hear it.

  2. Yes and Amen sister! To all you wrote.

    For me, the "making up of lost time" involves ALOT of the mental (right perspective, etc.). That's when I find I'm stronger...more able to push through the negative and see all the positive around me - and there is plenty! But boy, depression is an ugly & cruel enemy. Sometimes, when I feel overwhelmed, I listen to (christian) songs...and it never fails to amaze me that I get "ministered" to! Then I cry out my frustration and somehow, I don't feel quite so alone.... And I will feel stronger. Anyhoo-

    I've seen that photo before (the girl in the mirror). Very scary and oh so wrong.

    1. Crying is great therapy. And free. LOL.