I’ve read how people with anorexia can have a very distorted body image when they look in the mirror. They may be painfully, dangerously thin but see a fat person looking back at them in the mirror.
I have the opposite problem. I’m no string bean and have always struggled with my weight, but I’ve always thought I looked good in the mirror. In proportion and relatively fit. Great smile and great skin. I love my hair too…well, most days. Sure over the years a few crinkles and grey hairs have popped up, and that double chin keeps trying to pop back in. And the pounds. Over the years I’ve learned to embrace how I’m built. I’ll never be 6 feet tall with mile-long legs nor will I have deep, olive skin that tans. [As a kid I wanted to grow up to be Cher!! No kidding!]. And in my adulthood my style icon is/was the late, great Carolyn Bessette Kennedy. Once again, my style icon is tall. But I got blessed with a 5′ 4″ body complete with short legs (this is why I mostly wear heels), pale skin that doesn’t tan…and curves. Even when I was at my leanest a few years ago, I was a curvy size 6. With a tiny waist and all.
So, there’s a huge difference between looking in the mirror and seeing yourself in pictures. I now cringe at pictures and try to not be the one front and center in full view. I feel wonderful, happy, sexy and blessed…and yet in pictures I see this large girl very out of proportion to most others around me. I look huge! I started having this realization that I was not the size I perceived myself to be when I went shopping last summer for a trip to Kansas City. No wonder I hardly shop for clothes anymore and spend my money on great accessories like shoes, purses, jewelry and sunglasses! Accessories don’t care what size you are!
And last weekend I did something I haven’t done in about two years. I got on the scale. It’s been staring at me in the guest bathroom whenever I’m in there, taunting me. When I was losing weight and doing lots of walking about 9 (eesh going on 10) years ago, I’d weigh myself daily every morning and take the weekly averages of my weight and plot it on a graph. I loved this method, for you could easily trend your weight loss over time, and not freak out about a pound or two weight gain on the daily weigh-ins. Our weight fluctuates up and down all the time, which is why I am opposed to weekly weigh-ins. You don’t get the full story.
So last weekend there it was, that number staring back at me: 199.5 lbs. Holy fuck. I shlumped to the floor and sobbed. How in the hell could this happen??? I can’t possibly weigh that much, right?? I’m only 5’4″ (1.6m)!! FUCK!! FUCK!! FUCK!! Oh and that’s about 90.5 kg for my metric readers.
I’m still in shock and horror reading this. I know I’m not skinny. I can wear (US) size 14 clothes most of the time and carry them off fairly well, but my tiny waist is long gone. I can row 5000m in under 30 minutes! I can lift weights! I’m no lazy ass…right? What the hell happened? Well, blame it on the 40-something decade, but that’s just an excuse. About 5 years ago I went on the Pill after finding a new doctor, having started a new relationship too. Oh, and a new job. Turns out I was batting zero with all 3 after less than a year but that’s OK…not all of our paths go the way we want them to. I remember being reluctant to go back on the Pill because of the potential for weight gain, but I was assured the hormone levels were far lower than when I took the Pill 25+ years ago as a teen to help regulate my periods.
But nope, I blew up like a balloon. The Pill was one of the dumbest most recent decisions I’ve made and I’ll never, ever do it again.
Now I’m stuck with a legacy I can’t shake and the pounds have crept up big time. I think I was around 170-175 lbs at my heaviest a few years ago (at least from what I know, when I weighed myself).
So what to do? WELL, the Universe has once again served up exactly what’s needed when it’s needed. I’m going to start meeting weekly with a friend who is going through an intensive program to become a weight loss coach, specializing in Intuitive Eating. I’m going to be her guinea pig as she practices coaching me! This is going to be a wonderful journey and I’m super excited she reached out to suggest this! Thrilled! Going in with an open mind and the dial on 10.
Now, I’m a Taurus, so I take my food VERY seriously…it’s a sensual pleasure. I love eating out and trying new foods. I love pretty much any food save for super strong curries and Brussel sprouts. I love grocery shopping and browsing cookbooks. Great food, drink and conversation feed my soul. So any super restrictive diety-diets are only good for the short-term and will leave me deprived, hungry and angry. Or not even wanting to try them at all.
So my next few posts may likely document how things are progressing through this Intuitive Eating program, but it won’t be my sole focus in here. Fivenineteen.org is eclectic just like her author, so keep on expecting variety as always.
And if you have a topic you’d like me to blog about, please feel free to message me!