Pictures and perspective…take 2

I’m playing that picture game again.

The one where I look at them and think I look “fat” and have to remind myself that I look healthy.

I’m making a direct comparison…

This year:

Last year:

Besides 20 necessary pounds, what have I gained in the last year?

  • a seriously supportive group of friends
  • better, stronger relationships with my family
  • a new life plan (no big deal)
  • a bunch of experience writing: my Bankrate assignments, my stuff in Canadian Cycling Magazine, and my writing on Runners Feed all happened in 2011 and wouldn’t have been possible if I was stuck in that Foods and Nutrition program and if I let Ed convince me it was too late to change my plans and all of it came together when I got hired at the Gazette as like the icing on the cake (I’m the luckiest girl, seriously, but sometimes I forget it)
  • feeling like a girl again: before I was so thin, sinewy, and just all around tired looking. Even though I think I look “fat” I also see that I look happier, more like a girl should (soft in the right places), and STRONG instead of skinny.
  • better management of my migraines (knock on wood, they’ve been much better lately)
  • experiences from a few trips (out west, to pennsylvania in the summer, and to NYC with bonnie) that I’d probably not have been able to manage if I was still so involved with my Ed
  • the ability to work out because it feels good but alsoΒ the ability to take days off from the gym
  • perspective on how important working out, weighing a certain number, and looking a certain way is
  • the realization that being skinny does NOT make me happy
  • the realization that I am still working through this and that sabotaging myself won’t help
  • faith that I’ll end up weighing what I’m supposed to when I start focusing on other things

…sorry for the diary entry. I know I’ve gone through this issue of feeling down on myself after looking at pictures before, but I’m really trying to reframe how I see myself. I would rather look healthy, happy and strong than skinny. I think the pictures from last night show someone a heck of a lot healthier than a year ago. My hope for the next year is that I don’t even have to THINK about it, I just KNOW that I look how I’m supposed to look (because I’m taking care of myself in terms of exercise/food, priorities, and everything).

This is the last dose of cheese/reflection, I promise. The only reason I figured out I really want to go into journalism is because I made room for things in my life besides Ed. Whether you’re obsessing over food, your weight, or something else, if it’s eating up all your time you’re letting it stop you from being your best. At this point, I’m still spending energy on recovery but I know that I’m close to recovered just because I’m realizing all the amazing things that I CAN STILL DO. It’s really not too late. A pretty big realization just in time for planning New Years Resolutions, don’t you think?

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10 responses to “Pictures and perspective…take 2

  1. YES YES YES!!! I firmly believe that if you’re eating the right foods, eating the right amount, getting enough sleep, and working out the way you want to, then your body will settle out at the perfect weight for you. And for what its worth, you look SO much happier and healthier and FITTER – yes, fitter, not fat – than in the previous years photo. You’ve clearly come SO far! and gained so much of your health back, and with that came your sense of self I think. SO proud of you and I honestly can’t wait to see what the new year brings for you!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    • This is SUCH a kind comment and I so appreciate it!

      I also like the addition of getting enough sleep — and on that note, I think I’m closing the text books that are mostly gathering dust tonight and calling it a night. πŸ™‚

      Happy weekend–loved your last post! I’m searching for inspiration for fun posts to wrap up the year (come the 21st I am FREE from school so I know I’ll have time!): I’m thinking of making a to do list for 2012 in some cute way, but I don’t know how yet! If you hear of anything and care to share, please enlighten me! I wanna be part of the blogging world. LOL!

  2. I’m so proud of you Cheryl! I could write ten pages about how proud I am of you and how strong you are, but I think I’ll save it for our next coffee date! πŸ˜‰

  3. You look SO good girl! You can seriously just see the difference in your happiness level in those pictures – last year’s smile looks like it’s being forced to cover up so much inner tension and turmoil, but this year’s looks SO genuine. πŸ™‚

    Isn’t it amazing how much you can GAIN in your life when we stop worrying about food and weight. It’s funny how our ED makes us think we’re just going to lose everything when we let go of our control, but really it’s the total opposite!

  4. Thank you guys so much. I am ready for it to not have any part, and I think I’ll get there and lo and behold I’ll be happy with my body, whether it’s 5 pounds up, down, or right where I am (or somewhere else). I know I’ve not trusted it ENTIRELY so I’ve still got some changes coming…but they’re going to happen on their own!

    Thank you πŸ™‚

  5. Cheryl, I can’t describe how much of a difference there is between those pictures. I feel like I’m experiencing and pushing myself through very similar changes and challenges right now and it makes me feel so great to see that evidence in someone else as well. Your GLOW and smile alone are so genuine it makes me so happy and inspired!! So proud of you!

  6. weighing a certain number: Are there any other numbers I should ignore?

    I do sometimes use weight scales pre-/post-workout to confirm I am re-hydrating myself. If I see myself any more than one pound below my previous “number,” then I make a point of drinking a couple cups of water.

    Sometimes I get to use a weight+body fat scale; Would body fat / body water be useful numbers to watch?

    I look how I’m supposed to look: You look great & healthy, and you know that through healthful training can look any way you want (including as a bodybuilding, sumo wrestler, or track cyclist). How do you feel, intrinsically? Is improving your rest/sleep & meal nutrition making you feel better? Does your energy (or smile) begin when you wake and last until you retire at night?

    Please continue with diary/reflection posts (instead of apologizing twice for it within the post!) because how you choose to phrase your observations/self-reflections gives me new language for understanding our world, my own experiences, and your journey. If you feel you’re writing too often in this style, then I suggest choosing a day of the week or a date each month for reflection.

    • I think numbers are arbitrary. Maybe if there’s a number where you’ve felt good in the past, but as you kind of raised as a good point, it’s about how you feel on the inside. So I think that your weight should just naturally fall at a healthy number and that number itself does not matter. Entirely my own opinion, though, and I’m sure there are others who will argue otherwise.

      I think the same would go for body fat…if you’re looking to improve body composition, lose fat, whatever for your health then shouldn’t you go based on how you’re feeling? If a program works but makes you feel like crap but the numbers are encouraging, is that a good thing? I’d argue no. If you are feeling good the numbers wouldn’t matter, I suppose!

      Thanks for the comment. And I know that my body will just reflect where I’m at. Right now it’s reflecting me being in a kind of in-between place that I’m trying to get through to a healthier place. I know I will. And when you ask about the smile, I feel like crying, so I think I have work to do.

      I’m going to try to organize the blog a little more over the Christmas holidays when I’m not focusing so much on school and applications. πŸ™‚

  7. Cheryl!! It’s harder to notice the transformation from last year to this year until I see those photos, and that’s for two reasons:
    1) I see you, like, every day, and saw you lots last year too so with the exception of the summer the gradual changes didn’t register
    2) you look so GOOD and HEALTHY now that it doesn’t stand out, it just looks good and normal!

    Seriously seeing your picture this year versus last year you should be so proud. You look sexy and healthy and strong (look at those guns!!) So proud of you, keep up the good work in all aspects of your life!

    • Thanks for the honest comment (and compliment), Kaleigh. It’s really reassuring to hear. It helps to focus on all that’s gone right (figuring out what I want to do with my life, for starters). Thanks for all the support along the way!!

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