Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Fitness Tuesday Update - Changes

Today's Facebook status:

Tuesday Fitness Project Update: I can't believe I'm actually still doing this, that I haven't missed a week and that I'm starting Week 16. I believe it's because I completed NaPoWriMo, writing a poem a day for a month. It set me up for success! This week's stats: 1 lb lost for a grand total loss of 25.8 lbs.

An odd thing has been happening - my appearance is (to me at least) so dramatically altered that it's a bit disconcerting, even a bit frightening. Sounds weird, doesn't it?

I lie in bed at night and when I fold my hands across my stomach...it's not the stomach I've had for years. I move and it's not the way I've moved for years. The physical sensations, the way I occupy space in the world, in my clothes....all different.

Visually, I look in the mirror and see...not quite a stranger, but it's not quite the face I've been seeing for years, nor is it quite my young thinner face. It's not my mother's face...it's a bit like her mother's face, though.

And then this makes me think of my late son Patrick - 16 months before he died, he was in a terrible wreck with serious facial fractures. The surgeons did a fantastic job of putting together the jigsaw puzzle of his facial bones - only a tiny scar near one eye, and he still looked handsome. But his face...was different. Not until he was able to wear his contacts again did he really look in a mirror, weeks after the accident. He said, "I look different." And that was all he ever said to me about it.

If I'm having such an odd time with the changes in my face and body, even though it's on purpose and I know I'm moving towards better health, I can't help but think about Patrick at 18 and how difficult that must have been for him to just wake up one day to his new face. He felt like he couldn't complain because he survived, because the accident was entirely his fault and he was driving impaired. And he continued to drink and use drugs until he overdosed.

I know it's all done and past, but still I often wonder if he had been able to talk about his face and the trauma, had been able to acknowledge and grieve that loss instead of self-medicate....

Maybe I'm thinking about this too because I'm in the thick of planning for the annual workshop held partly in Patrick's memory: Creating a Path Through Loss / The Arts as Healing Tools. Maybe that's why I do this every year, and why I'm working with the local integrative health center on programs that focus on the healing power of expressive art.

I didn't expect this entry to move to these places. It feels melancholy here. But I am at a melancholy stage in this weight release/fat reduction journey. Most of my favorite clothes no longer fit me. Even my underwear....eeek...it used to fit snugly around my 8-inches bigger waist. Now, well, as my daughter says, I'm wearing "granny panties" - either they're sort of....billowing...around my mid-section or pulled up practically to my chest!

I know, I know. These are good problems to have. Still these are profound and fundamental changes in my life and my body...my Self.

It's going to take some time and inner work (and certainly some new underwear) to adjust to them.


edited to add a Before / During picture (not ready to call it After yet!!)
(mysteriously, I don't seem to have too many full-body photos from before...)

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Blogger Reticula said...

I've had both experiences: breaking up my face on the hearth about 10 years ago and losing 45 pounds four years ago (and subsequently regaining 30). It is disconcerting to live in a radically different body. When I lost weight, I didn't recognize myself either. And my body felt so different. One day at a homeschool group potluck we were all sitting at picnic tables in the shelter. I said, "These benches are really hard and uncomfortable." My friend Kate said, "It's because you've lost your ass, dummy." Who knew losing weight could be uncomfortable?

1:45 PM, September 01, 2009  
Blogger abe@abolition.org said...

Well, new underwear, and maybe also a new t-shirt? keep at it. your direction is the true one. --abe

2:28 PM, September 01, 2009  
Blogger tiger said...


3:32 PM, April 04, 2010  

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