Oct 4, 2011

picture this

Posted by Mary |

I've never been one for pictures, probably because I've never really liked what I see in them. You can call it typical female angst if you'd like. After all, isn't the yo-yo dieter a female stereotype? Are women forever doomed to be Cathy, eating chocolate ice cream and yelling "Ack!" at the scale? Regardless of how active I've been in my life, I've still never been entirely pleased with the way I look. In high school I endured a traditional upper-middle class eating disorder and still felt I was fat. In college, my activity level dropped off dramatically and I took a shine to carbs, thus altering my physique. Even getting an intestinal parasite in Central America in my early 20s didn't do the trick. Oh, sure, I dropped to around 110 pounds and you could see my ribs along the line of my sternum, but still I felt fat.

Partly, I blame my father. It's not that he ever told me I was fat or made me feel bad about myself. To the contrary, he's always been very accepting of me. However, he did give me half of my genetics. And in the gene pool lottery, I somehow missed out on my mother's skinny legs and instead inherited the functional Haley thighs. Yes, I also lucked out and got a small waist, and I've certainly read the research telling me that pear-shaped women are statistically much healthier than apple-shaped women. But still, when I look at pictures, I zero in on the lower half of my body and sigh.

As you may know, my lower half caused me even more consternation last year when I tore my ACL. I went from being a very active dancer and hitting the gym about four times a week to laying in bed and watching four season of Star Trek: Enterprise. I drowned my sorrows in cookies and went into the hospital for two procedures to try to get my knee functional again. I endured more than a year of physical therapy (which my insurance is still refusing to pay for, but that's another story). I was getting stronger, but then I got laid off, went to India and ate my weight in paneer curries for a month. Needless to say, after months of inactivity, I don't really like to look at pictures from India. My goal for the trip was to get Delhi belly and get skinny. I was only 50% successful.

So, without much fanfare, I decided it was time to Do Something About It. It's worth noting that many times in the past I decided to do something about it. But this was different. This time I decided to really Do Something About It. And I did. And I have been Doing Something About It for months. This week marked a milestone. A milestone best represented with a graph.

The graph you see represents my real weight vs. the weight listed on my driver's license. You can clearly see the slow and steady upward creep of my weight since I arrived in Alaska. You can see the point in 2008 when I had to renew my license and decided to be a little less dishonest about my weight. And you can also see how the two numbers never matched up. But you can also see that this week, for the first time in almost a decade, I weigh LESS than my driver's license. Less than the number I made up a few years ago to soothe my vanity.

This is cause for celebration, right? Like with a piece of rich gooey cake! Just kidding - I ordered new shoes instead. And I finally feel ready to tackle my stash of fabric and vintage patterns that I've been hesitant to sew for more than a year now.

And the kicker to all this is that even as my weight has been dropping, my activity level has stayed low. I think the last time I actually exercised was July 29. I've been pretty busy with dance, but I don't really think that counts as exercise. My theory is that all the stress of renovating our house and trying to plan a wedding reception was helping with the weight loss. Yay, stress!

So maybe I don't like looking at the pictures from India. (And maybe I'm trying to only put up good ones of me here.) But I do like pictures like this.

I had to blur the backgrounds to hide the shameful fact
that our house is STILL not finished. How many calories
can I burn mudding and taping the walls?

And Beau and I have our tickets to Hawaii for this winter. We'll be island-hopping for three weeks. I'm sure to like some of the pictures from that trip.