Progress might not be what you think it is.
In our heads we have a WAY things are supposed to go. I do, anyways. It’s what I do. I have plans, and ideas, and dreams. And MORE plans. I have plans that are stuck so far down inside my brain folds that I don’t even know they’re there until they don’t happen, and then I get angry, and I usually don’t know why. (Ask The Mister, he has to put up with my didn’t-actually-make-a-plan-that-fell-through temper tantrums OFTEN.)
These progress pictures are kind of like THAT.
I’m not sure what I was expecting. HUGE change. Huge VISIBLE change.
Visible change that was proportionately representative of the changes I’ve made on the inside.
GIGANTIC GINORMOUS MONSTROUS HUGE.
It doesn’t work that way, though. Progress isn’t always what you think it is, or what you think it should be.
I had my suspicions that there would be negligible difference. When you lose weight by lifting and eating it takes WAY LONGER than if you just STOP. Stop moving, stop eating, stop living… You lose a lot of weight that way, and you lose it FAST. This is the first time I’ve done it “right,” so I suspected that things would not turn out the way I hoped. The way I USED TO hope.
I took my time today preparing myself and preparing my photo area for these pics. It was not procrastination, really, but a time of reflection. A time to think about what really matters with regard to the journey, time to think about how the person INSIDE these pictures has changed. It was time for me to spend with myself, thinking about “okay, what comes next,” and it was time for me to think about “what if.”
“What if” is a game I play with my kids a lot. A LOT. We talk about “what if fill-in-the-blank,” then talk through whatever crazy scenario they can come up with. It’s a great way for them to use their imaginations and think outside the box. It’s also a way for them to work through pain and fear.
So I asked myself.
“What if there’s no change? What if I’m BIGGER?”
“What if it LOOKS like I failed.”
I thought through all of those questions for a long time, and I was actually pretty happy with the answer I came up with.
“You keep doing what you’re already doing right now.”
Wow. JUST WOW.
There was no sense of panic, or fear, or failure. There was no sense of regret or grief or sorrow or shame. There was just “Keep going.”
THE SHERIFF. She is awesome.
To give you an indication of how much I’ve changed and what these pictures represent, I want to tell you what I did today.
I woke up thinking about the pictures and put on clothes without stretching them out first. I ate a largER breakfast full of protein and vegetables. I drank three giant glasses of water. I worked for a bit, then ran, then lifted. I drank more water. I started to get ready for pictures by moving furniture and putting on my bikini. (I actually OWN a bikini. That necessitates recognition.) I HAD TO TIGHTEN THE STRINGS on my bikini bottoms from the last time I took pictures.
I pinned up my hair. And I KEPT it up throughout the pictures.
At another time in my life I would have starved myself for a week to take these pictures. I would have been ashamed, and self-hating, and disgusted with the results no matter how hard it was to get them. I would have worn my hair down (notice the first set of pictures?) because I hide behind it. I would not have looked at the camera if I could help it. No matter what size I would NEVER. EVER. NEVER EVER EVER have stood in front of a camera face forward with a smile to say “yes, this is me.”
I have changed. My posture, my face, some of my body. But mostly my insides. My heart, and my head, and my everything-else-important has changed more than these pictures can possibly represent.
Last time I posted pictures I posted stats with them. Here is what I posted before:
Weight – 146.5 lbs
Pants Size – 9 (although if I’m being honest and dressing feminine it’s probably an 8)
Number of binges – about 5460
Number of purges (not counting restricted diet) – about 585
Number of meals skipped on purpose – at least 7696
Length of time with WLR – 12 days
And here are the new ones.
Weight – 145.5 lbs
Pants Size – 8
Number of binges since last progress post – 2
Number of purges (not counting restricted diet) since last progress post – 0
Number of meals skipped on purpose since last progress post – 2
Length of time with WLR – 70 days
In these numbers there is progress.
I want to talk about the numbers, and the parts that should read “zero” but instead read something else. I want to talk about the number of binges I’ve had, and the number of skipped meals. If I’ve failed that’s where I’ve done it.
The binges I don’t know count as REAL BINGES. It’s the WHY that matters most, I think, and I’m not quite sure WHY I ate like I did those couple of times. The two binges in question toed the line between “binge” and “splurge.” I ate late, and I ate by myself, and I ate more than I probably needed to. I’m counting them as a binge because during each of the incidents I thought to myself “I probably should stop,” but I big fat didn’t. I didn’t WANT to, and I still don’t know if I kept going because of an emotional compulsion or because I was hungry. I’m counting them as binges anyways, just to be sure. Just to be HONEST.
The good news is I really think Mia is gone for good. THAT is progress. She hasn’t visited in a while, and the last time she did I was able to cope without giving in and without much effort.
As far as the skipped meals, though… I’m not doing as well with those.
Have I missed more meals than those two during the day? For sure yes. Was it because I did it on purpose? Nope.
Were those two I mentioned done on purpose?
Ana is still hanging around.
I know for sure those were intentional, and purposeful, and my way of coping at the time. I remember what caused each incident and how I dealt with it after. I also know that Ana is on her way out. I’ve made it a goal to say goodbye to her by the end of the month.
She goes next.
Progress isn’t always what you think it is.
In the second group of photos I’m actually HAPPY.
My goal in the next two months is to see MORE progress, and some of it more visible.
I’m saying goodbye to Ana, finding closure with some childhood baggage. I’m finding my joy in bigger things, upping my game with workouts and moving to Phase 2 of the WLR program. It’s time to start building a healthy relationship with food, and to build a healthier relationship with myself.
Also. Also I’m ready to get ripped.
Blessings to all of you that read and follow. Thank you for your time, and for walking with me on this journey, and for speaking up when you feel you can. I so, so, so appreciate all of it. I so appreciate YOU.