Ok, haven't mentioned it yet because I'm not sure that I want to turn this into a weight loss blog. However, weight loss/healthy eating has become a large part of my life, and didn't want to just ignore something that I deal with everyday.
I've never been the skinniest person. I've never considered myself thin. I'm always the bridesmaid that secretly is wondering what size she'll have to wear for her bridesmaid dress...or, worse...if the dress even comes in her size. Although the pool doesn't bother me that much, there is more than your normal amount of self-consciousness that accompanies me whenever I trot down there in a swimsuit.
I've always considered myself the fat girl. Stationary, unchanging. I thought I would always be "that" girl. The girl that's the biggest among her group of friends. The one that can't swap clothes or borrow them from her girlfriends because they don't fit. Yes, I realize everyone's bodies are different and women come in all different sizes. Still. I'm sure the woman reading this blog (if anyone is??) understand where I'm coming from.
However, something clicked for me at the beginning of this year. I think it came from a few different things. 1) I'm about to start law school. A fresh start in all sense of the phrase. 2) I'm (finally) moving on from the past two relationships that have followed me around for a better portion of the past year. No more crying, no more what if's. No more thinking I'm not good enough. 3) I have a crazy-fit roommate that keeps me accountable.
Due to all three of those things, I finally just sucked it up and said the scary words. I want to be thin. I want to be strong. I want to be able to run 3 miles and not be out of breath (training for a 5k this fall). I want to look normal when my picture is taken with a group of friends. I want to feel healthy, have energy and stop feeling so tired all the time. So, I finally committed to it. Joined the gym, got a trainer, and started shaping up my eating. And...
It's not so hard. Shh, don't tell anyone I let you in on the secret. It was hard at first. The cravings came like crazy and I, a self-proclaimed sweet-aholic, took my time in learning to resist the urge to have a piece of cake. Or stop by McDonald's on the way home for dinner. Or get out of bed and hit the gym in the morning when all I want to do is hit the snooze button on my iPhone and fall back into glorious slumber.
Fast-forward about 5 months later. My entire outlook on eating, exercise - actually, my life - has changed. Instead of allowing eating to compensate or make me "feel better" about something (I am/was a big-time emotional eater), I look at food as a way to fuel my body and allow me to do other fun, non food-related things. Food is not evil. Food gives you energy and helps your body to survive. That's all you need it for. Granted, there are some times that I want (and have) things that I know will make me feel sluggish, or greasy, or just crappy in general. And I call these meals 'cheat meals.' Totally normal to indulge every once in awhile. This outlook takes you from the "diet" mentality to the "lifestyle" mentality. This healthy eating thing won't stop when I reach my goal size. I'm in it for life.
As for exercise, it's still hard to get out of bed in the mornings and do my weight training or cardio, depending on the day. However, instead of calling this day a wash and telling myself I'll start all over tomorrow (while stuffing my face with bad food), I know that I always can make time after work to go to the gym. The gym is the place I go to when I feel stressed, or sluggish. People know me there, from seeing my sweaty face all the time. I have a group that I feel accountable to. My roommate, my trainer, girls I exercise with and, most importantly, myself. These people all count on me to make good exercise choices. Plus, exercise is fun! Well, some exercise is torture, but you cannot beat the high that you feel when it's over and you're all sweaty and you know a shower awaits you. However, I genuinely look forward to exercising after work now. It's nice to know there's a place I can go where I plug in my headphones, don't have to answer to anyone, and can just scoot it out on the treadmill/crosstrainer/stairmaster (depending on the day). It's a nice transition from work to home, and I love it.
And, if you want to "cut-to-the-chase," as people say, I've lost weight. Enough to know I'm finally, FINALLY doing something right.
I feel bad for neglecting this portion of the blog post. My original intent was to talk about the prevalence of sugar and the marketing of it in our culture. But the back story is so important!! There must be a part 'a' before there's a 'b'. And I probably should get off the computer and go live my actual life now. ;o)
Part 2 to follow.