Friday, April 10, 2009

The Downside to the Upside

Like everyone else, I have my good days and my not-so-good-days. This week has been no different, and was absolutely jam-packed with ups and downs. If only someone could package a week like that - "Now with 48% more speed bumps and 17% sunshine and kittens!". Don't get me wrong; life is full of rocks and of rainbows, so it's not like I expect everything to be perfect all the time. Trust me, spend half of your time sweating your guts out in Spandex, and you learn to re-evaluate! I got to spend time last weekend with family, including my gorgeous niece and hysterical nephew, which always puts a smile on my face, and I made cupcakes for the event, which allowed me to indulge in the thrill of baking without having to indulge in the thrill of eating 3 dozen baked goods - I mostly left that up to everyone else! E and I also got a little bit of work done around the yard, and are looking forward to the day when our schedule's not blighted by rain, sleet or freezing weather.

This week was also the beginning of Passover. Although homesickness hit Wednesday night, being able to go to the Seder at our synagogue really helped me get back into the beat. As the Rabbi says, "There's home, and then there's home." Sometimes a little bit of familiarity is all you need to wipe off the glum, and a glass (or four) of Mogen David certainly doesn't hurt. The most difficult part of Passover for me is definitely the limitations on food. With so many restrictions, it can be hard to eat a well-balanced and healthy diet. None of the five grains (oats, wheat, barley, spelt and rye) are permissible, and, being an Ashkenazi Jew, neither are legumes (soy, peanut, beans, peas, etc.), rices, seeds or corn products. Due to possible contamination, dried fruits are mostly out, as are frozen vegetables. Aspartame, sucralose, MSG, ascorbic acid, citric acid, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, maltodextrin, polysorbates, sodium citrate and xanthan gum aren't invited to the party, either. Basically, 99% of everything I eat: gone. For this week, I'll be sticking to a diet of chicken, cheese (not together!), olive oil, eggs, fresh fruit and vegetables, and matzoh products. Thankfully, I was able to find Kosher for Passover Israeli couscous and noodles, and I learnt that, as a grass, quinoa is safe as well. This is also the first year in a long time that I'm fully keeping Passover for the full 8 days, so it'll be interesting to see how it affects my weight loss.

Speaking of weight loss, I'm now down 31 lbs. Below are two sets of progression shot pictures, the first in each being from February 24th, and the second are from April 6th.

As much as I dislike taking the photos, they help to see the little changes and differences in my body as time passes on. It's one thing to see a number on a scale, but it's a whole different ballgame to see it on your body.

That's where these photos come in handy. If you are on your own path, I suggest that you take photos, too; they can be reassuring when nothing else is. I'm starting to see a bit of a difference overall, especially in my lower abdomen and in my face. My muscle tone is definitely improving - the other day I could even see a slight bicep in each arm!

Like everyone else, I do have low points and frustrations in this process. My main one right now is definitely an emotional one for me, and is purely mental. Unlike most people, I have never been a normal size, or at least not for as far back as I can remember. I was wearing adult sizes before I ever hit puberty, and by the end of high school, my uniform's elements had to be either custom made or taken from the men's section. I am now at least 17 pounds lighter than I was on my wedding day, and about 5 pounds lighter than I was when E and I met. While I am still by no means a normal size or weight, I don't remember being this size, And I'm struggling with it. As a bigger person, I've always been happy and had pretty good self-esteem. Now, I find that crumbling. I was never obsessive or concerned with how I looked or compared myself to others, and I find that's all I do now. Every conversation I have revolves around food, the gym or weight, and to be honest, it's messing me up.

Long story short, I don't know who I am at this size. That's a pretty heavy statement, and it's one that I've taken to heart. I find myself shying away from social situations, and becoming withdrawn. I'm trying my best to work through, but it's a toughie. My biggest fear is that as the weight comes off, this feeling will only get bigger and stronger, and where's it's so internal, the only person who could fix it or quash it is me. I think I may be the first person in history who gets less happy as they lose weight, not more so.

I'm curious to know, any stumbling blocks of your own recently? Have you accomplished anything recently that threw you for a loop?


Stephanie said...

I am So proud of you! You look amazing! Really, the change is outstanding. I can understand you feeling like you lost yourself somewhere along the way. I went through that after I moved into my own apt for the first time ever here in Montreal and the change was overwhelming but satisfying as well but its a total mind f**k for a while.

YOU will always be YOU! Your changing your exterior appearance for the benefit of your health and well being but you will always be the Carly I know and love on the inside.

Embrace it for what it is, revel in it and enjoy it, don't let it drag you down!

I'm homesick too, I miss Easter at my mom's house :(

Laura P. said...

you're looking great so far, keep it up! Just remember that this doesn't change you who you are as a person, you are still YOU. Don't lose sight of who you really are as a person. Good luck!

Jennifer said...

Great job on the weight loss! You will "find yourself" it might be a hard journey but it will come to you. Keep working hard.

Lost In Splendor said...

I TOTALLY know what you mean. I have always been larger. Always. I too was in adult sizes before puberty. I'm actually nervous...maybe even scared to lose weight. I hear the way people talk about women half my size and their bodies. Me? Other women like me? We're just big. We're plus sized, overweight, whatever. When a woman is 140-170? I feel like every part of her is scrutinized. That scares me.

You're doing amazing though. You look gorgeous as ever. I need to start getting more serious about being active and eating better, but I would be lying if I said I didn't share your concerns.