Friday, July 21, 2006

Sibling Rivalry

I think I've figured it out. For now at least. Eating and exercising is going well and I'm losing. I think my sister is having a hard time with it. I've mentioned her before here, and you probably know that she also struggles with her weight, but we've always sort of struggled together. I mean at least for the past three years, but probably more like our entire lives, we've sort of lost and gained weight on the same basic cycles. Sometimes she'll be more dedicated and focused while I'm just sort of so-so, and sometimes it's vice versa. At one point about a year ago she was kicking my ass and I felt like shit. It's not really that we're competitive, but there is some sort of mutual cheering/jealousy thing that goes on. It's never overt and we both want each other to be happy and healthy, but it does bum me out when she's looking happy and thin and fabulous and I'm feeling crappy and fat and sad. And I know it's the same for her.

Here's a pic of us from this past Christmas (I'm on the left). You would know it from the pic because my face is so bloated and round, but she weighs about 15 lbs more than me in this pic. My weight is distributed fairly evenly across my body, including my face, while hers resides mainly in the lower half of her body. She's so freaking pretty. Currently I weigh about 18 lbs less than I do in this pic (yay!).

The one thing that's really separated us over the past year though is our differing feelings on exercise. I've been very dedicated to exercising, especially since I started with the trainer in January, while she's just never been able to get excited about it. She hits the gym occasionally, but never seems to really get into it. Even when my eating has been crappy and I've been on the verge of gaining or plateauing, I've been lifting weights and riding my bike and attempting to run. It's something I've finally learned to enjoy, and now I can't imagine my life without it.

Anyway, my sister and I are really close, best friends really, and I know she's having a hard time right now with the weight situation. She's back to where she started in January and I'm on a roll with my new approach to my diet. She made quite a few nice comments on how I was looking tonight which makes me happy, but it also makes me sad because I know she's beating herself up inside thinking that she should be looking the same way I do. I can just tell she's having the mental struggle that I've had so many times. She just seems bummed.

Tonight at dinner I didn't drink, ordered the salmon and had frozen yogurt at the ice cream shop instead of ice cream. I watched her waver back and forth, but ultimately she chose a salad and frozen yogurt as well. I was proud of her, but I know she didn't do it because she wanted to. She did it because she felt like she had to make good choices because I was making good choices, and she was afraid people would judge her if she decided on something else. That sucks.

It sucks because I love her and I want her to make good choices because it makes her feel good to make those choices, not because she feels obligated to. It sucks because I know she didn't even like her salad and she probably feels screwed out of a nice dinner. It sucks because the truth is, no one at that table would ever judge her for the choices she makes. We love her and want to see her happy and healthy, but damn it if she wants a cheeseburger I want her to have a cheeseburger.

Ultimately I just feel stuck between a rock and a hard place on this one. I want us to find that groove where we're both losing and confident and happy. I want to cheer her on and motivate her and have her do the same for me. But she's just not ready for that right now and if I push it to hard she'll just get annoyed and frustrated. Sometimes I'll suggest going to the gym together or making a healthy dinner and she's all for it, and sometimes it's like she just gets annoyed that I'm even bringing it up. I don't know how to handle it because I suck at the fine art of compassion. Even when I intimately know the struggle she's facing, I just want her to do what I'm doing. I'm trying, but maybe I'm just rotten on the inside. I don't know. It's a fine line, but I guess I just have to walk it. I love my sister and I want her to be happy with herself no matter what she weighs. I think she probably needs to confront some emotional stuff, but I'm the last person to help with that because I need to confront that shit as well. Sucks.

Anyway, I guess I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing and try to set a good example for her and my dad and my mom. Things are going well for now, so let me do my woo hoo carrots part of the post.

I'm down 1.5 lbs this week for a total of 5.5 lbs in 4 weeks of the challenge. I'm stoked about the loss and am going to continue to abstain from alcohol for as long as possible, even though I died a tiny bit inside when I couldn't have a glass of wine at dinner. Okay not really, it was actually fine, but still that's the hardest part for me. I just love a good night out to dinner with some wine, ya know? I've worked out seven times this week so far with a run planned for tomorrow with the boy to make it eight. I did have pizza for lunch today and some chocolate earlier in the week, but I've kept my portions small and think I'm well within my calorie range for the amount of exercise I'm doing. I'm a little tired from it all, but here it is 10:20 on Friday night and I'm getting ready to go to bed in a little while. I'm such an old lady.

I hope things are good with you all. Keep it up and stay focused!


Kim said...

First of all, you are doing an awesome job on the challenge! Keep it up. :)

Secondly, what you wrote about your sister really hit home for me. I have a sister and we've both had weight issues. We've both been heavier and lighter, but it seems that we are usually on opposite ends. She lost a lot of weight last year, right when I had the baby and while I was so thrilled for her, part of me wanted to curl up and die because I couldn't find that inner determination that she had. Like you, she seems to have embraced exercise more than I ever did. She's a huge motivator for me, and helps keep me focused on the bigger picture. She's currently training for her first 5k. Anyway, my point is this - you are doing right by your sister. You are loving her no matter what, but exposing her to your healthy lifestyle. Hopefully she will find strength in that, and eventually come around to enjoy the work out bit. :) I'm afraid it is a necessary evil!!

The Venus said...

Yay on the loss and the avoiding alcohol!!

I do know how you feel about that "I wish I could drink" feeling. I have it too many times when eating out. Red wine just makes Italian food for example. But...when you see that loss it makes it all worthwhile.

Sorry about your sister issues. I'm an only child so I can't really relate, but I do get comments from friends sometimes on what I eat. Not mean, just like that I'm making them feel bad for what they are eating.

alea said...

I can totally relate to what you wrote about your relationship to your sister. My sister is the one enormous willpower, so whenever she decides to lose weight, she is able to really stay strong ALL the time and say no to chocolate and such. I have to admit that as much as I love her, it does make me feel a bit inferior and jealous sometimes. I can't help it.

I think you are a GREAT sister! And the fact that you are so aware of all that's going on between the two of you shows that you really care for her and that you by no means suck at the fine art of compassion as you put it.

YAY for your loss so far - you're obviously doing really great in the challenge! Keep it up!