Dilemma

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Life is full of dilemmas, I know. Some are relatively easy to resolve, some others may not even have a winning outcome.

This one is on the easy side of the spectrum. But it’s a dilemma, nonetheless.

In the months after my big surgery in January… wait… Oh, fancy that, a year yesterday… anyway, in the months after the surgery, I went from size 2 to size 6. That means that 1/3 of my clothes are now fitting really tight and the other 2/3s I can’t zip up anymore. That includes gorgeous dresses and skirts and pretty much all of my pants.

I have avoided buying clothes because I figured it would be a matter of time to shed those extra pounds (15). I haven’t done any kind of dieting. I have never been on a diet in my life and I wouldn’t even know where to start. Well, I exaggerate. I do know where to start, I have an MD degree for crying out loud, but I like being dramatic for the argument’s sake.

I figured that just being back at training would suffice so I didn’t worry too much despite being uncomfortable with the whole issue.

Well, it didn’t.

In all these months, I bought a pair of pants, that I wear almost every day, a couple of dresses, a couple of shirts and a whole bunch of camis because well, I had to wear something. Oh, and a bunch of bras because none of the pre-surgery ones fit anymore. Grrrrrrrrrr

So, before you start scolding me, I am not saying I have a weight problem. I am not saying that I’m fat or that I need to lose weight. I know I still look good. And 5’5″ and 140 lbs is still healthy.

But this is the thing. I reached my pre- surgery weight at the age of 14 and then I stayed like that until last year. That means I had the same weight (125 ± 3-4 lbs) for 29 years. Same dress size, same pants size, same bra size for 29 years -except for the two pregnancies, that is. If anything, I tended to lose weight easily so I had to be careful not to get skinny. I was 115 lbs a couple of times. Not because I was sick or anything. I just did a lot of sports and went regularly to the gym. And I’m very absent-minded, sometimes I forget to eat.

Now, when you’ve been/looked/felt the same way for 29 years, you get used to it. It’s comfortable, it’s your home base. And when all of a sudden you are/look/feel different, it’s not fun. It’s alienating.

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1986

CM-algonquin2

2001

Me in 2002

2002

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2004

2011

2011

2 weeks ago. Note how much rounder the face is and how much thicker the arm is. Also note the um... change in the chest circumference

2 weeks ago. Note how much rounder the face is and how much thicker the arm is. Also note the um… change in the chest circumference

I don’t like it. I want my comfy old self back. Besides, I get tired a lot more with the extra weight. I feel heavy and my back, knees and feet hurt more that usual.

But at this point, I’m thinking that if I didn’t lose those extra 15 pounds in spite of training regularly, perhaps I am never going to lose them. Perhaps this new me is to become the permanent me, the home base.

When I mentioned this to my doctor, he said that it had been reported that women who undergo total hysterectomy tend to gain weight and stay there no matter what. Now, scientists are wondering if perhaps the uterus produces some sort of substance that regulates weight cause apparently this weight gain is very consistent. I don’t know.

Whatever the reason, I seem to have reached a plateau. It’s been the same weight (138 ± a couple of lbs) for the last six months. Only reason I know the weight is because I have been annoyingly sick for a long period of time, which means going frequently to the doctor. But even if I didn’t know the exact number, I’d still feel it. All I need to to is get something from the closet and put it on.

So my dilemma is this: Do I give up losing weight, give away all the clothes that don’t fit and start working of getting a new wardrobe little by little? Or do I hold on, continue to wear the same pair of pants for the rest of the year and see if maybe by next Christmas I’ll be back to my usual size?

I don’t want it to be the former. The woman that looks back at me from the mirror doesn’t look like the me I’ve known and love all my life. I know that in the big scheme of things this is nothing. But I liked me very much and I miss the old me.

One thing to consider is that I do a lot of competitions and events so I need to have more than 4 outfits I can wear. But it took me years of careful budgeting to get where I am right now with my wardrobe.

Besides, I love the dresses, skirts and pants I own – but can’t currently wear. Plus rebuilding a whole wardrobe is very expensive. Plus I much prefer the old me.

Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

I know, first world problems, right? The whole thing seems juvenile. And yet, I do want my old self back. And to be able to wear my pretty outfits.

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28 thoughts on “Dilemma

  1. Ruby Tuesday says:

    I understand and sympathize wholeheartedly. It may not seem like much to most people, but when you’re used to your body being a certain shape, it feels so uncomfortable and alien. My boobs recently got huge (post to come), and I don’t like it. My weight issues have all been medication-related. At 5’7″ (um don’t know the metric conversion offhand), I have been a size 00, and I have been a size 14. I have more weight on me than makes me delighted right now, but since I am still no bigger than an 8, I feel like I can’t complain, I’m not allowed.

    (Sidenote: I never weigh,myself or let any of my doctors do it, I think for me it’s unhealthy, and I go by how my clothes fit.)

    In any case, I have never dieted in my life, and have no intentions of beginning now. I’ll get back to kickboxing when my back/hip heals, but in the meantime, I have two pairs of jeans (actually, one, because I can’t wear heels right now), a lot of shirts (those I got on sale, thank heaven), a mess of new lingerie

    • Ruby Tuesday says:

      . . . and all these super-cute dresses I can’t wear!

      But fortunately, I don’t need much in the way of everyday going out clothes. So, right now, I’m still holding a belief that with time and exercise, I’ll fit the dresses again.

      My only worry is these pesky boobs. . .

    • SummerSolsticeGirl says:

      Oh, good! It’s good to know I’m not being just silly. It does feel uncomfortable and alien, right? I hate it.

      I don’t weigh myself either, don’t own one of those thingies (forget the name). But they did have to weigh me for the surgery – anaesthesiologist requirement. And then they had to weigh me again this year but I don’t remember why.

      The one pair of pants I wear every day were super cheap, from Old Navy and they are actually size 8. But yeah, I do feel like I am not allowed to complain either.

      • Ruby Tuesday says:

        The word you’re looking for is scale. I understand them getting your weight for certain medical reasons, but most of them are rubbish, and I won’t let them.

        There does some to be an unspoken rule about women who aren’t really overweight being able to complain, doesn’t there? But weight gain (and loss) can affect us every bit as much as it can someone who gains 100 pounds. It’s all about feeling comfortable in your body.

  2. Lunch Sketch says:

    Hey. I know you are not looking for compliments and I get (as much as a dumb guy can) what you are saying here. I just want to correct a wrong of mine.
    In your ‘Elated’ post, you looked really amazing in the competition dress. I wanted to comment on how good you looked at the time, but didn’t know how to say it without sounding creepy or sleazy … so I left it unsaid … well, until now.

    Doesn’t help with fitting into those pretty dresses I know, but thought you should know :)

  3. Sandee says:

    I think you should buy clothes, not many, maybe just a few generic black pants, basic tops, etc. to fit your new frame, and just continue to exercise with maybe some minor adjustment to your diet. Since you had been very fortunate with your metabolism, I imagine you were able to eat perhaps a wee bit more than others who might have more trouble burning calories. So maybe you could cut out any extra. You aren’t at an unhealthy weight so you could be relaxed about it. Don’t feel bad, this is a dilemma. Considering buying a new wardrobe to fit a new frame is a big deal. In my lifetime I’ve been size 0 to size 12 — hahaha! At least you do appreciate that you were lucky in that way. You looked fab in those photos I tell you what! Good luck cutie!

    • SummerSolsticeGirl says:

      Yeah, I’ve been really lucky all my life. First, I love to exercise while most people have trouble finding the motivation. Second, I have a good metabolism. However, I am convinced that it is mostly the amount of exercise I always do because I do have hypothyroidism and that makes you gain weight. I trained regularly for two hours every day whether it was the gym or the dojo or the rollerskating. Plus I did religiously 300 sit-ups every night before going to bed.

      And you’re right. I eat a lot more than everybody else. A lot! But also, until I moved to Canada, I ate only home-made food. All fresh, no preservatives. I find that I have to eat less to keep my weight here in Canada.

      I think you’re advice is very sensible. However, pants are not good for competitions, unless they are vintage-looking (think Katherine Hepburn) and those are hard to come by and very expensive. I so wish I could own at least one pair. They’re so glamorous and oh-so-perfect for Balboa :)

      Thank you so much for the advise and compliments, my friend. Very much appreciated!

  4. No Blog Intended says:

    It might seem a first world problem, but seriously, you can’t only care for the people who can’t afford food and stuff. Though I’ve never really been in this situation, I know what you mean. But I would feel a bit bad if I said ‘lose weight’ because it would make me feel a bit rude :). Else, I’m not so good at advice of this kind…

  5. purplemary54 says:

    Do whatever feels right in your bones. You may be able to lose some of those pounds, but I’ll bet you never get rid of all of them. If you’re healthy, and relatively happy, then who cares? Ask your doctor about some safe supplements or something relatively natural. I’m sure there’s something else you could do.

    • SummerSolsticeGirl says:

      I am healthy and relatively happy but I know I’d be a lot happier with my old self. My old self was comfy. This one, not so much. And my old self was easier on my dance partner whenever he had to lift me. I’m sure he’ll be very happy to lift a a 15 lbs lighter me :)

      Being lighter makes all the acrobatics a lot easier on all of us.

      But if this is how it’s going to be then well, I’ll just have to get used to it

  6. saradraws says:

    It IS a tough place to be. I STILL have a few of my favourite pre-pregnancy clothes…and that was 70 lbs ago. I too wonder if it’s detremental to always be reminded about how I am not the size I used to be. Women’s bodies are a treacherous topic…
    Finally, after three years of not being able to fit into my favourite things, I got rid of almost all of it. I’d rather feel great in the body I have, and dress that way, than deal with the constant corrosive reminder of everything being too small.
    I took three years. You could wait out another 6 months? 15 lbs isn’t a lot to me, on my frame, but I can imagine it’s different for small women. Either way, do whatever makes you feel good. xo

    • SummerSolsticeGirl says:

      Yeah, it has to be bad to keep looking at them and feeling bad about ourselves.

      And yes, 15 pounds are noticeable on me. Not everywhere but definitely the face and the arms. Not to mention that my waist is gone. Completely disappeared.

      I think you’re right also about waiting a little bit longer. Besides, it’s not like I’ll have the money to replace all those pretty competition costumes any time soon

  7. Bill Speidel says:

    Claudia, it was about 15 pounds and a suit size ago that you took my birthday photo of me in Quebec City. After 3+ years I’m still down 45 pounds from where I was at my maximum but there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t worry that I’m going to suddenly balloon back up and where I don’t feel guilty for not exercising like mad for an hour to avoid it… and where I don’t miss being in the shape I was when I was doing the double P90X workout routine… but I’m afraid going back to working at a desk 9 hours a day instead of working on a loading dock is going to require some nutritional and lifestyle adjustments… and a little diligence.

    You’re not alone.

  8. Natalya says:

    I can understand your dilemma. I’m also a small woman and used to being thin. Unfortunately, I had an eating disorder and a 00 was loose on me for awhile. Now I’ve gained weight and am a bit too heavy for my size 2 pants but a little too small for the size 4. However, I decided I prefer being comfortable so am okay in size 4 with it a little loose on me. These are perhaps first world problems but they can still cause us distress. Lots of my clothes are tight now so I had to give in and buy a few pairs of pants and tops in a larger size. Too bad my chest hasn’t grown hardly any! Still an A, gah :P For the record I think you look nice in all of your pics but you must do what feels best for you.

    • SummerSolsticeGirl says:

      Oh, I would gladly give you some of mine. I do not like at all being a C LOL

      When I gain weight, it goes first to my boobs and waist. Like, right now, my waist is non-existent. Then my tummy, arms and face. I hate it. When I have been a little too light, my butt disappears. I can never win… :P

      • Natalya says:

        LOL, I think my boobs are the last place to “benefit” from a weight gain. I’ve never been larger than an A and I buy padded bras to help. Usually my weight gain is fairly evenly distributed…except for the boobs! :P lol

  9. Stacie Chadwick says:

    I think you’ve hit on an issue that vexes a lot of women, if not all of us. I saw that you “liked” my post (thank you SSG!) about finding beauty on the inside, but vanity is still an issue, and a relevant one at that (and when I say “vanity” I don’t mean it in a negative way). I’d agree with your instinct to give it some time. A hysterectomy has to be brutal on every part of your body, and those costumes can’t be cheap!

    • SummerSolsticeGirl says:

      Thank you. Yeah, I did like your post. It made me think a lot about my daughter, but I’ll get I write my musings there.

      Yes, the costumes is the tricky part. Like I said, it took me years and they won’t be easily replaced if I do decide to give up losing weight. By I’m gonna follow everybody’s advice and I’m going wait a bit longer and try a little harder

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