I just came in from spending a good 30 minutes out on the treadmill in my garage. Yes, I said “good.” Those of you who know me…well, I’ll give you a few seconds to pick your jaws up off the floor.
All my life, I’ve been fat. At least, in my head. Here’s me in high school:
See how fat I am? (BAHAHA, oh, teenage brain.) I was pretty consistently a size 8, and 135-145 pounds. But when you’re 16 and most of your friends barely crack 100 pounds or even fit into junior sizes, well, you do feel huge. I felt fat every day of my life, and that is no exaggeration. It didn’t help that I was told that nearly every day of my junior high career, but that’s a whole other story.
Here’s me a couple of weeks before I got married.
It was the skinniest I’d ever been in my life. I could fit into a size 6, on occasion. I believe I was 132 pounds. I looked pretty rockin’. And I knew I looked good. However, I’d been subsisting on saltine crackers and a little Pasta-Roni for about 6 months. I occasionally had a 1 oz bag of Chee-tos and 32 oz or so of Diet Pepsi for lunch. I couldn’t believe I was staying in “such great shape” while eating such crap food; I laughingly called it the “Chee-tos” diet. Guess what? I was eating about 1,000 calories a day. So, shocker.
But I sure wasn’t exercising.
Let’s be honest: I have always despised exercise. I took ballet classes for years as a kid, but I was no prima ballerina, and really, in high school it was just another excuse to feel fat compared to my peers. I discovered as a teenager that I was great at weight-lifting, but somehow that seemed like a sure way to repel boys. At home, I was surrounded by great examples of exercise: Mom and Dad worked out daily and were the kind of people who “missed” working out when they had to skip a couple of days. Who the bleep misses exercise? I couldn’t figure it out. I just did not enjoy it.
As a result, I spent most of the time in between those two pictures boomeranging between being thin (still “fat!”) and about 50 pounds heavier, and it just got worse after I got married. I put on 40 pounds of “Oh yay, we’re married and happy!” fat. Then I got pregnant. I clung to the 20 pounds of extra weight I was left with after pregnancy #1, and just for kicks, I threw on another 50. Keep in mind, this did all take about 6 years to put on, but…yeah. In the end, I was more than 100 pounds overweight.
After a while, I did manage to lose about 35 pounds as the side effect of a medication I was prescribed. It was great! I was on a roll! And then I got pregnant again. Haha. The joke was on me.
I have to be straight here: I am OK with my weight now. I am OK with my body. It is not beautiful, in a fashion/glamor sense, but it is beautiful in the fact that it’s generally healthy and really quite strong, and I am so grateful to have this amazing machine. It’s been several years since I have wasted any time feeling badly or insecure about how I look. I know how I look, and I don’t bother comparing myself to others. I know how to dress myself to look my best, and my face is as pretty as it’s ever been. So I don’t worry about it much.
However, there is a part of me that’s just…over it. I’m kinda tired of looking this way and not the way I do in my head. You know? I’m not the least bit interested in how others perceive me–it’s just about being more healthy and more strong, and not being the 30-something overweight mommy anymore. I’m ready to be the best version of me. That may not turn out to look anything like the pictures up above. I don’t think I’ll ever be 132 pounds again, and I am so alright with that. But I’m ready to do the work I have to do to be better. And I think this is the key.
I am almost 35 years old. I know everything there is to know about dieting, and honestly, what it comes down to for me is calories in and exercise. I have known that for a very long time, but the long and short of it is: you have to be ready. You have to want to do it, and there is no outside motivation on earth that can help you or push you or encourage you if you are not there yet. I have been overweight for almost 10 years now, and it’s only now that I can finally say: I’m ready. I’m willing to do it. And here’s the shocking, amazing thing I have learned: I. AM. ACTUALLY. ENJOYING IT.
Let me know when you’ve picked yourselves back up off the floor. 🙂 Hahaha.