The Difference of 10

… I don’t think I’m ready for this jelly…

In the past few posts I’ve alluded to, and stated that, during my 2.5 month hiatus at Jesus Camp, and even a little bit in Barbados, yours truly gained 10 pounds. Now if you’ve ever seen me in real life or in pictures, it doesn’t really show – at least that’s what everyone keeps telling me. But when I’m all alone and the clothes come off, I start to understand one of the most discouraging issues that are facing young girls, adolescents, and young adults in the year 2007: The Body Image Crisis.

At 22, almost 23 (holy moly!), there are many things I’ve come to accept about my body that will never ever change – my height, for example. I’ve been a towering 5’2 since the 7th grade with a tiny frame and face to match. My feet – however – look like they belong to an average height girl of 5’6. Aaaany way… my point was that throughout my early and late teens I came into an understanding that I was never going to be the tall, leggy Victoria’s Secret model stunner that (back then and still now) I look at in admiration with a dash of jealousy. I resorted to the goal of a fitness level that would give me the results to make me feel like a VS model in my skivvies – with the bonus of a brain for science and a personality fit for Cirque du Soliel.

On that note – I’ve been exercising at my gym since 2000-2001. My first few months saw a massive fat meltdown; I dropped from a size 4 and 120-odd pounds to a size 0 (more like a 1 really) and 110 pounds. At 17-18 years old that was pretty phenomenal. I kept that weight around 110-115 pounds until my 3nd year of university when I jumped to around 124 pounds; however, the weight gain was easily explained by my newest addition to my workout routine: weights. My appearance remained that of someone 110-115 pounds and I giggled every time someone looked shocked at my actual weight. “Muscle weights more than fat!” I’d say as I flexed my two tickets to the gun show – and until the summer gym life was good.

I traveled to Europe with Vegas and – with the amount of walking we did (a lot) and the amount of food we consumed (a little; c’mon I was on a budget!) I dropped from 126 to around 121 and kept that weight off even in Barbados until I headed to camp… I was warned by a few councilors that weight gain was a great possibility – alas, I took that advise as I would from a doctor when speaking of birth control; some people gain weight, some people lose weight, and some people remain at the status quo, the latter being what I hoped for during my 2 ½ month long tour of duty.

Now as we all know that didn’t really happen. I climbed from 121 to 131.5 in 2 ½ months – roughly gaining a pound and a bit each week. Not surprisingly, considering the food that was served to me each day. The healthiest option for the main meal was a chicken Cesar wrap that contained mostly wrap with a hint of lettuce and Cesar that I am convinced the cooks used a garden hose to dress the salad with. Breakfasts consisted of bacon, sausage, toast, pancakes, English muffins, with the occasional cereal option – sometimes I ate, depending on the freshness of the milk. 8 times out of 10 the milk had expired 3 days before the shipment arrived. Lunch was heavy – goulash and lasagna and subs that were mostly sub-buns with translucent pieces of meat and lettuce. And don’t even get me started on the desserts served after each lunch and each dinner; mud pudding, cupcakes, butter tarts, ice cream sandwiches, canned peaches that bathed in sugar… This is what I ate for 2 ½ months – I’m honestly surprised I didn’t come back weighing 151 pounds!

I exercised when I could – tops maybe 2 times a week. I’d run and do weights, but 2 hours of exercise is simply not enough to combat the arsenal of fats and carbs, the same 2 food groups Morgan Spurlock was introduced to in Super Size Me – one of my most favourite documentaries I saw twice in the theatre and own in my personal collection. The food was cheap (a huge factor considering the nature of this camp), filling (again, another factor) and familiar. Grilled cheese? Everyone likes grilled cheese! Apples? No… these are kids; they don’t want apples for dessert, they want cake! Water? Milk? No… juice crystals are far more appetizing. Who cares about dehydration and calcium intake? They still have a few more years to build up reserves before their bones widdle away starting at the age of 20!

But… that is another topic for another time.

After Angelica’s wedding I made the mistake in weighing myself – and the number at the scale solidified my growing (ha-ha) fear that I was indeed packin’ on the pounds. Seeing the cold grey scale stop at 131.5 hit me like an éclair in the face – or was it seeing my stomach stick out further than my 34 D breasts? I don’t know, but either way the damage had been done and now seen, the pants a bit tighter, the shirts not as flattering as before. The summer of sweatpants, scrubs and flip flops had turned it’s ugly head; it was now I who was secretly sneering at fit and fabulous girls walking past me in the mall. And then did I start to understand this overwhelming feeling of inadequacy – the sensation of being ‘fat’ when really in perspective of North America – I am still under the average weight because I’m not ‘obese’. I’m overweight for my height and body frame, but not ‘fat’.

But boy do I feel like I am.

I’ve been home for about a week now and so far I’ve lost 1 pound after a week long binge of fresh fruits, vegetables, water and healthy carbs and lean meats. But one week of eating well simply won’t un-do the 2 ½ months of eating unwell, neither will the 2x I’ve exercised this week. There is a saying that it takes 3 weeks to form a habit and 1 week to break it, which is why I guess I’ve been having so much difficulty returning to my old routine of 4-5x a week at the gym.

The one good thing I’ve been able to extract from this psych-science experiment I unwittingly found myself in is, well, now I understand where the other side is coming from. How hard it really is to motivate yourself after being sedentary for so long, how easy it is to make up excuses for not going to the gym or to order dessert after 2 pieces of bread with butter, filet minon, 2 glasses of red wine and a hot chocolate. In fact, that’s what I ate last night and I was ‘too tired’ to go to the gym this morning. Gee… not to mention feeling repulsive because my clothes don’t fit and on that note, feeling the uncontrollable desire to purchase a pair of Spanx.

My Camp Detox plan, so to speak, consists of doing everything in opposite of what I was doing at camp. That means not working for 18 hours a day – I’m going for 12 -15 hours tops (hey; I’m in my last year of nursing, let’s be serious here). I’ve never craved fruits and vegetables so much in my life as I did the weekend of Angelica’s wedding, where fruit and veggie platters dominated the tables. Coffee remains my life saver, but water and fresh juice are also welcome. The occasional soda and candy bar is allowed, as the occasional apple and vegetable was served at camp. And exercise… well, that’s going to be the challenge until I fall back into the routine that going to the gym is my reward. 3x a week is minimum – 5x a week is maximum.

Now if you’ve survived this post for THIS long a) thank you, b) congrats, c) you MUST be bored, and d) you’re probably wondering why the hell I am writing about this. Well – at Jesus Camp my boss had assigned us to what she liked to call ‘accountability partners’, except for Jesus Camp the accountability partner was there to make sure you “took time for God”. Anyway I’ve decided to make YOU (yes you) my accountability partners by telling you what I’m planning on and am doing. So hopefully in 2 ½ months, so roughly around 2nd set of midterms in November I’ll be writing as a fitter, healthier Carrie; and hey, if she weights 125 lbs, 120 lbs or 115 lbs, whatever – so long as she’s healthier. Oh, and can fit into the awesome fall collection that will have gone on sale by then.

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~ by Carrie on September 4, 2007.

24 Responses to “The Difference of 10”

  1. Hurray Carrie!

    I think “accountability partners” are awesome tools in getting yourself to where you want to be. That’s why Elle and I drag each other to the gym – no one needs to suffer alone! 🙂

  2. I hope you feel better about all this soon, and that you can enjoy the process of getting, and feeling, healthier. I think your idea to do everything in the exact opposite order of how you did it at camp sounds like a good one- it sounds like it was part Jesus camp part feed lot!

    Just don’t over do it on the gym, losing weight is a slow and steady thing and if you start going 5 times a week your body may not recover fully between visits – but since you’ve been going to the gym for forever I’m sure you know that ; )

    By the way, your “accountability partners” sounds a lot like the accountabili-buddies from South Park Season 11, and it made me giggle really hard – I just hope it wasn’t that kind of camp!!

  3. @ Bre ~ Thanks Bre!!! I used to have a gay-gym-boyfriend but he left for Montreal (which is 2 hours away)… but either way I’m going!

    @ Kyla Bea ~ There is NO way I can go to the gym 5x a week right now… maybe in 3-4 weeks after going 3x a week I can up the ante. And – I mean, I gained the weight slowly, so there is no reason why I’d lose it quickly… at least no healthy reason why I’d lose it quickly.

    And HAHAHAH to the accountabili-buddies.

  4. Great post- and I think it comes at a great time of the year. I think a lot of people can relate (myself included). Summer is a time for fresh fruit- but also a lot of patio drinking (which always leads to 2am food eating, and really, if you have been patio drinking for awhile and then eat at 2am, chances are you are not counting calories/fat intake or anything of the like). I like the idea of accountability partners. Here’s hoping that it works the way you want. I’m rooting for you girl!

  5. your right it won’t happen in a week but you will do it, it’s hard to stay on track when you are forced out of your routine.

    23 holy moly you say?? girl please don’t make me smack you.

    and when I was in nursing school I gained a lot of weight to the point where I now associate weight gain with school and that’s why I will never go back LOL. I am on a night shift right now sick sick sick but I am here – my the force be with you when you start nursing – I’m cranky right now so I won’t say any more.

  6. @ B ~ hellooo nurse! Why DO the night shifts seem that much longer than days? And yes… being the student nurse at Jesus Camp and at school didn’t/doesn’t help with the weight; 18hr + days and on call nights don’t give a lot of time for working out, let alone sleeping and preparing your own semi-healthy meals… and school? Yeah… you know.

  7. First, thanks for visiting my blog. Second, I had some weight I needed to lose a few years ago. I concentrated very hard on reducing my food intake (hal portions, using salad plates instead of dinner plates, smaller bowls etc) and I walked or exercised every day. It took a lot of self control at first, but then I got used to it, saw the pounds start to go away and that was the biggest motivation of all.

  8. @ Michael C – You’re welcome! Thanks for stopping by! And thank you for the advice: when I started to ‘get angry like a guy’ – ie be super mad at the time and then let it go – I became a lot more calm, cool and collected… oh and less crazy. So perhaps if I ‘lose weight like a guy’ it will be as beneficial…

  9. Hey sweetie…I love the buddy system here, good idea! So proud of you for doing this getting back in shape thing the healthy way, you’re such a good example! I think I shall do it with you actually. Here’s to your good ideas!

  10. @ Ruby * We can be accountability partners!! Yay!! Everything seems so much easier when you have smiling faces (or words-whatever) to cheer you on. Here;s to you girl!!

    PS: Since Vegas moved to T.dot I may have to take you up on the coffe-chat!

  11. Healthy – that is the objective!!

    I have no doubt you will be a healthier, stronger Carrie sooner than you think.

    Seriously, I think that getting the mind behind the motive and objective are often the most difficult parts.

  12. @ The Exception ~ Healthy is the main goal; I can’t promote it if it clearly doesn’t show on me. The motive and the motivation… you’re right – that’ll be the most difficult part.

  13. Not only are you (1) pretty (2) a great writer (3) have a tongue in cheek sense of humor (4) going to be a nurse (I love getting sick just for that reason) … but (5) you’re a health nut too … do you have an older sister?

  14. Oh my gosh. I have been there! Almost exactly. (Minus the gun show)

    I’m also a victoria secret model stuck in this 5’2″ body. 🙂 And after a breakup about a year ago I gained 10-15 pounds. Which, of course, only made me feel worse about myself.

    It’s taken some time but I’m back down to 115. But just last night I was noticing that whole muscle weighs more than fat phenomenon (but from the undesireable side of the equation). I am in serious need of hitting the gym and toning up. Blagh.

    So here’s your accountability — keep writing about how good you’re being about going to the gym and hopefully it will motivate me too 🙂

    By the way, I love your confidence in writing about this. I remember when I was feeling like that, I could hardly admit it to myself.

    You’re one heck of a woman 🙂

  15. @ UC ~ Hurrah for the 5’2 ladies!

    And wow – you HAVE been there almost exactly. It’s so nice to hear that you’ve succeeded; that’s amazing and hopefully in a few months I can say the same.

    RE: muscle – I go to Goodlife and do the Body Pump class; I toned up ridiculously fast because the class is meant for muscle endurance instead of bulking up so to speak. I guess that’s why it’s mostly women in the class…

  16. weird that i read this post today because i decided to weigh myself this morning … and was definitely NOT happy with what i saw. it’s happened before but this is the first time that i actually want to fix what the scale says for myself and not for anybody else. i don’t care if it’s losing a pound a week, or a month. losing weight and getting fit should be a marathon … not a sprint!

  17. @ Brrrr – that’s a great way of looking at losing weight – being a marathon and not a sprint, because really once you’ve lost the weight you have to maintain it… so it really is forever. But best of luck with that – we can also be accountability partners!!

  18. Looking forward to the coffee chats!

  19. I love this: “I still believe that if I am telling you about my sexual escapades – you best believe you’re abso-fuckin-loutely special to me and not just some random I met half an hour ago.” You are so right. They are making something special into something vulgar and stupid…I’m so sorry you went through this. I’m a pretty vocal-when-I-should-be-diplomatic-person and I too would have been silenced by the sheer tackiness of the game. I’m so sorry you went through it but it sounds like you were extremely classy in the way you handled it. I’m impressed.

  20. @ leiselb ~ Thank you; I tried to play along without making my discomfort so obvious… but I doubt that I’d ever play again… at least now I have warning!

  21. Just like you, I don’t think I’m a prude that left my wits in some convent. But I totally understand your hesitations and reluctance in admitting and regaling your thoughts about sex. I stand that sex is a very intimate subject that only the boldest can talk to their closest friends about. And it should be so because it’s a very intimate act shared by 2 people. I don’t understand how some people can just take it so lightly… and make it sound so simple and quintessential like getting water from the tap.

  22. […] admin wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptI kept that weight around 110-115 pounds until my 3nd year of university when I jumped to around 124 pounds; however, the weight gain was easily explained by my newest addition to my workout routine: weights. My appearance remained that … […]

  23. @ princess banter ~ thanks girl. I can’t understand it either really… which is why it didn’t serve well as an ice breaker because it just made things all the more awkward for yours truly.

  24. When you feel let down because of the striking amount of time it requires to discover what you are looking for, cheer up because you’re one step closer to your goal.

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