March 12, 2011

Big sister

A lot of my weight issues and anxieties stem from my childhood and my relationship with my family members. Interestingly, though, I find that as I continue on my weight loss journey and make progress on some of my older issues, I'm also developing some new ones.

I'm a big sister to three awesome kids. I have two sisters who are close to me in age (two years between Lisa and me, and two between Lisa and Katie), and a little brother who is just over fourteen years younger than me.

halloween 2010
They live about nine hundred miles away from me, and I miss them so much, even though when we all lived together, it was crazy and chaotic and we fought a lot. Not seeing your family every day does that, I guess - you learn to appreciate the time you have together a bit more. In spite of the arguments, though, I've always loved being a big sister. I love being the trail blazer, the role model, the one that they go to when they have questions or want someone to talk to (although with Lisa, that's only recently ... I just wasn't cool enough before I moved away).

In addition to being the oldest sister, I've also always been the biggest sister. At 5'6", I'm the tallest - and at 345 pounds, I was certainly the heaviest. Despite my weight being beyond unhealthy and my height being beyond control, there has always been an odd comfort in these statistics. They're physical reminders that no matter how far away I am, I am still the big sister.

Except that now ... I'm not.

When I left Connecticut in January, I weighed the same as Katie - and now, I'm 32 pounds lighter. I'm only a few pounds heavier than Lisa now - five at the most. And with puberty on the horizon, Dan's going to get taller than me within the next few years. It's another big part of my identity that I need to reshape - redefining "big sister" strictly in terms of age.

Some of my recent anxieties have been related to the idea that I will weigh less than Lisa soon. I know it's not right to make a comparison, and I would never bring it up with her, especially not in a mean or hurtful way. It's more of a shock for me than anything - you see, Lisa was an absolute twig growing up, and while she has gained weight in the past few years, she has never been big the way Katie and I were. Lisa was always the skinny sister, and since I still have issues with not being able to completely visualize my weightloss, knowing that the numbers on the scale for Lisa and I are almost the same makes me a little nervous. I still see Lisa as so small and me as so big.

I guess the anxiety comes not so much from knowing that I will be the smallest sister, but from being forced to visually recognize and come to terms with my physical changes.

so friggen cute
I tried on this dress while bra shopping and fell in love a little ... the 14 was a little snug in the chest, but the 16 fit perfectly. I'm thinking I'll wait a month or two and get it as a welcome-to-onederland present, if it's still available. The best part, though, was that I took advantage of the full-length mirrors and bright lights to try and soak in the image of my smaller body. It's taking a lot of getting used to.


Delliemcc said...

You look INCREDIBLE in that dress

I say screw waitin - get it now, in the 14, cause clearly the 16 will be too big for you soon :)

Seriously - you look amazing - CONGRATS

Amy said...

I am so happy for you...and I can understand how that is weird for you, in the same way weighing the same as my boyfriend has been so weird for me.

The other day we were walking into our apt. with groceries and I was struggling, and he had most of them and he said, "I bet pound for pound I'm stronger than you" and I just looked at him and said, "ummmm we weigh the same, so yeah!" It was funny, but it still doesn't feel good.

You will get used to your new body and your old body will become something of the past - something of another time, another stage of your life. Once you get closer to your goal... and you get used to being smaller, you'll become comfortable in your new body, and see it as the new and real matter what your sisters weigh.

Shannon said...

Great post! And, wow, love that dress on you!! You look wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Nice dress. You look great and it reminds me that Spring is almost here. You must buy it.

Spoonful of Me said...

You look great and the dress is really pretty. I would buy it now and not wear it until you reach onederland.

Pretty Pauline said...

Lovely dress! I dream of getting to a point I would show my arms... And yeah, families can be weird. I was recently talking to one of my little bros (19 years younger than me and far, far away) and found out he didn't even know I was raised with a brother and sister. I'm still processing that thought...

Ann said...

That's awesome that you've grown so close to your siblings, as of late. I have noticied that the older I get, the more the mutual respect we have for eachother. When I go shopping, I love taking pictures of myself and it's an awesome reminder to visualize how I actually look. Congrats on your progress!

Anonymous said...

Love the dress and you look awesome! I'm also the "Big Sister". I have one sister who is 23 months younger than me. Growing up, we were always close and always competitive. But I was always the chubby or overweight one and she was very thin and athletic. Now the tables have definitely turned and she is much bigger than me. She works a very demanding full-time job and has a 10 month old, so she has huge stressors that I don't have. I know when my babies were little it was just impossible for me to focus on myself. I am so proud of her because she is an amazing mother and a wonderful person. Aww. You made me miss my sister. Good thing my boys and I are going to visit her (and my baby nephew and BIL) in two weeks!

Unknown said...

Love that dress and you look AMAZING!! Congrats on all your success so far!! I'm on my own journey to lose 91 more lbs (only 9 lbs lost so far) and love being Thinspired by blogs like yours!! Feel free to leave me more motivation anytime at

Anonymous said...

I can totally relate. I am the oldest of four kids, and there is a 10 year difference between the youngest and myself. We too are three older girls and one little brother! I too will always be the BIG sister. :)

Life as a Caterpillar said...

Mary-doll, i am sorry i can't relate to the issues you mention, but what i do want to say is how unbelievably different you look right now.
Without knowing you before you started your weight loss, i have a certain picture in my head of what you look like, and every time i see a new photo of you, looking smaller, looking more confident, it really blows me away.

I am always cheering for you. You are incredibly pretty and it is just so wonderful to see all these smiling photos of you

Much love