Wednesday, November 18, 2009


of the friends that i have known that have lost significant amounts of weight (i.e. body transformations), very few of them have kept it off. 

i've been thinking about that lately, i think in the back of my mind, because i am afraid to be one of those people. especially once musicboy and i decide to have a baby, when i know my body will change, i don't want to be backslide so much that i end up where i was before.

most of you didn't know me then.  i look a lot different now than i did. but more than that, i think i approach things differently. i used to eat when i felt bad about life, used to use food as comfort. it was my go-to way of dealing.  stressed? ice cream.  sick? carbs.  depressed? bake something...and then eat it all.  i don't think i ever COMPLETELY got over that, but i think i learned to rein it in and be very conscious of that tendency.

except for last week. when i was feeling SO SICK that i didn't want to eat anything, all i wanted to eat was crap.  so i decided that i would just eat whatever i felt like eating because in the end, because i was eating so little, it would be fine calorie-wise.  when i started trying to eat more, more regularly, i didn't change what i was eating.   and i found myself wanting to eat cookie dough when i was feeling sad or down, and that scared me a little.

don't get me wrong.  i understand that we all cope how we cope and the fact that i was worried about it in the moment, and recognized old, well-worn paths of behavior in the moment even if i chose to still eat spoonfuls of dough, speaks volumes about how aware i am of my habits.

but the fact that i am somewhat afraid to weigh myself right now also tells me a lot as well.

today i saw some recent pictures of one of those people who had been inspirational to me as i embarked on losing weight myself.  i'm not judging in any way--i have gained my fair share of inches over these past four months of stress and newlywedded, cookie-baking life--but i was just sad.  i so want it to be easy. i so want everyone to be successful.

to a certain degree i don't understand why it's so difficult to keep it off.  except when i realize that it takes every day effort and life doesn't always afford that.   it takes everyday dedication and sometimes life just makes us feel too tired to try to dedicate our whole effort to all of these things.

but that worries me.

i've been thinking about all that's coming in the next semester.  in the next six months, i will finish my dissertation. it will be the end of a six-year journey that began when i came to collegetown 130 or so pounds heavier and a lot less clear about who i was.  over the past few days, as i've realized that these are the months before the big stuff starts happening, the new chapters in life that will bring with them so many new challenges, i've been wondering if now is the time.

i have been stuck at this particular place in my fitness and weight for about eight or so months.  i'm okay with that--it's how i kept off the first 90 pounds for a year and a half before the second round came--but i'm thinking that if i don't do it now, i won't do it.

after seeing the pictures of the friend, i read the blog of another friend. she is probably one of the few who has kept the weight off, but she doesn't seem content. her last blog post focused on wanting to finally get where she had been trying to get, her goal weight, instead of trying to be okay with what wasn't really okay with her.

the reality is that, as much as i wonder if this is my happy weight, that my body likes because it seems to want to stay here (or in a 10 pound window of here), i feel the same way.  i never got where i wanted to get. i stopped just short.  i'm still 12 or 13 pounds away from where i desperately want to be, and about 20 or 25 away from where i would LOVE to be. 

those i tell about the end of the dissertation talk about it in terms of a marathon.  what a great parallel and this next section that i'm gearing up for is the equivalent of miles 23 through 26.  i'm far from a marathon runner, but essentially? i'll be pushing through, around, and past all of my walls. 

i think i'm at the same place with my weight and fitness. i can either go for it, believe in myself, make sacrifices to do what i know i need to do now or i can always wonder if i could have done it and didn't. 

a friend of mine is considering joining the expensive gym in town, the one that has three locations and is open 24 hours a day.  i normally would say that it's too expensive, that i can do it on my own.  the reality of these four months has taught me that i can't.   it feels like a great extravagance even still.  we can afford it, right now at least, but even if it meant pinching pennies hugely, i wonder if it would still be worth it.  i think there's a greater cost without it.

i don't want to say that i will weigh 30 pounds less in six months. i don't want to say that i will go to the gym every day and that i will manage to do all that i'm doing now and add dissertation and working out into the mix.  the reality is that i don't think either of those goals are actually attainable.

but the more i've been thinking about this, the more i'm realizing that i have the opportunity right now to prepare myself--physically, emotionally, and in every other way i can think of--for the life i want to lead.  it's going to take being selfish a little bit, learning to not feel guilty for letting musicboy contribute, learning to take time for myself and be okay with it, learning how to dedicate myself, at once, to personal and joint goals. 

it feels like it's time.  i think i'm ready again. 

1 comment:

  1. oh weight. how nobody likes you. I think I have several different things to comment about.

    one is something I read in Barbara Kingsolver's book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I love it. And she's talking about Americans' relationship with food and how we are taught to fear the dreadful pint of ben and jerry's or mcdonald's hamburger or twinkies and how natural it is that we should fear these things because we are so removed from their creations that they are foreign and strange to us. I have been thinking about that. About how, if I eat a burger and fries from mcdonalds I feel fat and gross but if I cook that same meal at home, I feel proud and satisfied.

    I kinda wish we did live in the days where the sheer effort of life kept you trim, where you burned all the calories you ate in food in the actual process of preparing it.

    That is my random food ramble for the day.

    On a different tangent, the thing I love about eating right and exercising is that it is never too late. Even the elderly could start a walking program right now and still get to see the health benefits of it. How wonderful that we can always go back. Everybody slips and falls and eats a whole pack of golden chocolate oreos in one day *cough*me*cough*, but we have each and every day in front of us as a chance to correct those mistakes. Granted, I'm not saying you should just not care about eating the whole pack of oreos, just that goals don't have to be met right now for you to be a success. I was reading this bio of a DU social work graduate who was in her forties and considering going to graduate school but hated the thought that if she did it part time (since she had to work) she wouldn't receive her masters until she was fifty. But then a friend told her, so what? you're going to get to fifty anyways, wouldn't you rather have a degree when you get there? and I love that idea. it might take us years to reach a goal, but those years are going to pass anyways so we might as well try.

    This might not have made as much sense or been as inspirational as I had hoped. Hmm.