Monday, May 27, 2013

I didn't realize how much I was hiding

Things have been going great with cutting out gluten from my diet.  Actually, it feels sort of weird because some of the issues that have been absolutely plaguing me for months, maybe even longer, are gone.  If the medical tests determine I don't have Celiac disease, which would be hard for me to accept given how well my body is reacting to the change, I will still continue eating this way.  I was feeling so good today that I was actually dancing as I was making my dinner.  Chopping onions and shakin my booty!

One of the other changes I made recently is that, at my annual eye exam, I decided to not get new glasses
and opted for contacts instead.  When I was a teen, I tried contacts but I just could not get them into my eyes for the life of me.  I guess something coming up into my eye makes me want to blink it away.  Besides, weren't we told as kids to be careful or we'd poke our eye out? 

I told the doctor that I might be a challenging patient.  He suggested I give it a try and then if it doesn't work for me, I certainly can go back to glasses.  I work on computers all day long (in fact I have two computer screens at my desk that I look at simultaneously) as well as needing vision correction for distance and for things up-close.  Given that I already have bifocals, the doctor said I could have multifocal lenses.  My vision did change from last year, so I'd have to have a different prescription anyway, and so I was pretty sold.  Besides, I've secretly wanted to get rid of glasses for years.  I can't tell you how annoying it is to always have them on my face.  Even when I work out, if I want to watch whatever show is on any of the screens at the gym, I have to wear my glasses.  Given that sweating happens with working out, I have always detested wearing the glasses while exercising.  The cost of glasses is crazy, especially when I have one pair for indoor use and prescription shades.

After my exam was over, I was taken into a room to be trained.  The person helping me reminded me that I need to be as patient as possible.  That was the best piece of advice ever because I kept putting too much pressure when inserting the lenses or having them fall onto my cheek.  I thought I was in that room for an eternity, but they told me I did really well.  It still took me 15 minutes to put them in this morning, but nowhere near what it used to take me when I was younger.  It'll probably be quicker in time.  And, oh my gosh, the prescription is definitely stronger.  It's hard to describe, but at times I feel like I'm walking on air because of different focal levels. 

Surprisingly, a lot of feelings have been coming up around no longer having eyeglasses on my face.  I never realized this but I used them as a way of hiding and keeping myself distant from other people.  I also really saw that I didn't recognize my weight gain as being as significant as it was because I always felt the glasses hid some of that.  Of course they didn't, but that's what I thought in my head.  All of those feelings I have had over the years of not being pretty (my perception) or the flaws I see in my skin seemed to be pronounced without my glasses.  I look in the mirror and  see the skin around my eyes, wondering if there are wrinkles that the glasses used to hide.  Actually, I don't have wrinkles around my eyes.  I can thank both of my parents for their good genes.  My mother is 63 and she doesn't have wrinkles on her face either.  Yet, without the glasses, I almost feel naked in a sense.  It's the whole idea of being comfortable in one's own skin, which obviously I have a lot of work to do in that regard.  This is a very good thing for me, though.  Those glasses don't define me ... they're just glasses!  I have to be able to look at myself in the mirror and not look away in mortification.

That's pretty harsh, isn't it?  For right now, that's how I feel about myself.  The weight gain has broken my heart and I desperately want to turn things around.  I see my friends, whether in person or online, who have lost their weight at the same time I was working on that in Optifast and it just absolutely kills me to see them looking so good and me not.  Don't get me wrong, I'm so thrilled for them.  I know several of you read my blog so I'm not directing this at one person in particular.  It's really more of a collective whole.  Even among those friends, some treat me differently, almost as if my weight gain is going to rub off on them somehow.  That's not true for everyone, not at all.  There are others that love me just as much now as they did when I was at my smallest and have really been super encouraging. 

The thing I really need to look at is why I am having such a hard time loving myself.  When I had my commencement ceremony last weekend, I was incredibly proud of this huge accomplishment in my life.  At the same time, I was very uncomfortable in my seat, I was wondering if it would collapse under my weight and I really felt like I looked awful.  Part of me didn't want to walk in the commencement because I knew pictures would be taken and I would appear on that gigantor jumbotron.  I focused on those petty, selfish things more than what I was actually there to do, as well as the many friends and family members who were cheering me on.  This is all a part of my process, though.  Losing weight is not just about the physical, but there's a huge emotional component that deserves respect if I don't want to always be battling my weight.  And that's something I don't want to do.  I would much prefer to be healthy and happy.


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