Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Artist's Impression

Although I am by nature first and foremost a writer, I can actually draw. I'm not particularly good at it, although that's not why I rarely do it these days. It's more that while I can manipulate words to say exactly what I want them to, I can't render a picture with the same skill. It always falls short of what I want it to be, so I don't tend to draw unless I'm in a headspace where a mere shadow is acceptable. But I was thinking of drawing today, and that was just because the last few days I've been really noticing the change in my body shape.

I have a decent knowledge of anatomy for a couple of reasons -- partly it's because I have drawn since I was small, but it's also because of my training as a pharmacist. But I haven't seen the shape of the bones beneath my skin in a very, very long time. This is interesting mostly because when I drew people before, I knew all the little tricks for showing musculature and the definition of tendons and all that sort of thing, when it was necessary, and for the first time? I'm starting to see these things in myself. Like, my collar bones are becoming prominent. I can see the major tendons of my neck when I turn my head in profile. My hips are starting to look...well, not square, exactly. Never that. But I can see the actual shape of my hipbones and pelvis. Even my infamous thighs are picking up the line of the quadriceps. There's an actual skeleton, overlain with muscle and tendon and ligament, underneath all this skin. And now that the fat is leaving, I'm starting to really see myself in a way I haven't since I was very young. It's like coming out of hibernation, perhaps?

Or maybe it's more like the false colours being stripped from a canvas, revealing the simple initial sketch beneath. Sometimes, that's where the true beauty is -- in the simple things.

Day Nine - What are your co-workers’/friends’/family’s reactions to your weight loss? Positive or negative?

Again, this is a hard one for me to accurately gauge. I mean, I can tell you stories, but...I don't really know. I get both positive and negative feedback, certainly. I'm still quite confused about my parents' reaction to it all, to be honest. My father left the country before I'd started and my mother several weeks later, and they never really said much about it. My mother said the diet was not giving me enough food, although in her defense in those first few weeks? I was eating...not very well. I couldn't quite work out what to do with what I had. It was a couple of months before I really settled into a decent routine with really good food to eat. But she was shocked at Christmas when I told her I was a size twelve.

Still, right before I went to Australia on holiday in February, everyone at work kept saying my parents wouldn't recognise me -- I'd lost almost twenty kilograms, after all. "They'll be so shocked!" And yet when I stepped out of the customs area, I...didn't get much of a reaction at all. There was a time when I was trying on togs in a store that my mother actually said to me: "God, you're skinny!" but aside from that? They didn't say much. My parents both agreed that losing weight made me look much more like my sister, but...yeah. I don't know. Other members of my family generally agree that it's a good thing -- particularly at Christmas, one of my aunts was proud -- but a month ago my mother and her two sisters were making comments about getting too skinny and gaunt and whatnot when I said I was going back on-plan for a couple more months. But it's not as if any of them have told me to stop. And I was amused by my uncle's manner of looking at my pecan pie that one lunchtime before eyeballing me and saying: "Don't they say, never trust a skinny cook?" <3

Friends...have been by and large supportive. Again, I do tend to get the odd comment about "Surely you're thin enough now?" but it's not accusatory. It's curious, mostly. And given the fact that most of my "regular" deviations have been cake at my monthly spec writers' group meetings, they've been quite blasé about my not eating a thing at the most recent games and meeting nights. That helps keep me strong; it's much harder for me to accept that I don't need to eat to be "normal" or to "fit in" if people are making me feel that by not eating, I'm not being one of them. I suppose it helps, however, that I make the cakes. I'm not insulting anyone by not eating them, although I do think everyone is always a little suspicious that I don't. But that's human nature! ^_~

As for workmates...well, one of my workmates had a beautiful shout at work today, and I wished I could eat it...not because it looked delicious, although it did. I just felt terrible because she'd gone to so much trouble and I couldn't show my appreciation! The best I could do was thank her profusely for making it for us, and I discussed the recipe of the cornflake/Kremelta slice with her. Because yes, I have turned into the kind of person who loves talking recipes. But overall, my workmates? Have generally been supportive. There's been the odd moment where they've obviously lost patience with the strict nature of it, but when I explain that "one little treat" is actually one big drawback, they tend to accept it. I think it's helped, though, by the fact that one of my workmates (who has recently moved North) had started doing body challenges a year and a half back, and then last year spent most of it getting ready for a body sculpting competition. It was her dedication that inspired me most in the beginning, actually, but because of her trail-blazing? People were already used to having someone around who didn't eat sweets or cakes or everything on offer. So, it made it much easier for me to do the same thing.

They do have some trouble working out my headspace sometimes, I think -- the baking thing weirds them out slightly, because although they like what I make, they do find it strange that I can make these things and then not eat them myself. I also feel bad sometimes because one of my workmates is quitting smoking and she's eating more because of that, and I don't want to feel like I'm enabling that when I myself have the ability to say "NO" and not do the same when I am stressed. But...yeah. They do occasionally ask me when I am stopping, although now that I've given them a solid end date they've quietened down on that front. They're also very good for putting up with me in that I do get tired and frustrated more quickly than ever before, but...yeah.

Speaking of that, I had such a hungry day today. I was also exhausted by the end of it...well, actually I was exhausted well before the end of the day. Oops. We had a massive order in first thing that took hours to sort, and it sort of sapped all my energy for the day. Really looking forward to my bed, even though I do need to do some study tonight. Balls. But yeah, it's probably just another sign that I am getting to the end of things, so...

Oh, I am reminded of one thing about my workmates -- most of them are very good, but there's one I have a personality clash with at the best of times. He really pissed me off the other day, though; I came back from lunch, and he says: "Good lunch?" and I was all: "Yeah, it was fine." He then said: "Oh, did you bake a batch of biscuits and eat them all?" I just...um. Yeah. He guilts me about taking my lunchbreaks as it is, but to make a tasteless joke like that?

Well, in the end, some people just aren't worth it. I'm doing this for me. It's my self-portrait, and I like what I am seeing. And that's that.


  1. Mum was the same when I lost lots of weight. The only time she really made a comment was when Diane said something to me and Mum piped up with "She's just wasting away." I didn't think Mum really wanted to acknowledge it with me. Also, it's probably a bit of envy thing too.

  2. Yeah, Mum only really made direct comments about it to other people in my hearing, rather than to me myself. Dad also never really said much, although he did comment on what I was eating in Australia...which is probably not surprising, as I was eating some rubbish then...bloody nougat factory!

  3. Of course you're good at drawing, you silly girl. XD Where on earth did you get the idea that you're not?

    Anyway, the whole nobody saying anything about weight loss? Man, I am envious. :D My mother likes to give me daily reminders that we all need to go on a diet. And then to the gym. While eating large quantities of potatoes, of course. Sigh.

  4. Oh, my brain doesn't really like my drawings -- as I said, what's in my brain doesn't often match what my hand produces, and they get snotty with each other over the discrepancy. XD

    No-one's ever really told me to lose weight, to be perfectly honest. My doctor would hint at it, but she never said anything directly. Certainly no-one in my family ever said anything to me, although my siblings and I often mocked each other's weight. As siblings do. Er. (Your mother somehow reminds me of Lucille Bluth. "Sometimes the best defense against criticism? Is a diet." O_o)