Getting old is no joke. And this is especially true when it comes to your weight. I feel like at the point I’m at in my life now, if I so much as walk past the bakery department at the grocery store I gain 4 pounds. I wonder when this crap started. And I know exactly when. 30. It was all downhill from there.
I should have listened to all my friends or family members who told me to enjoy it while it lasted. I thought I had it all figured out. I can eat what I want. I only have to workout a little. Yeah, well, I was wrong. Totally, totally wrong.
Back before I worked 40+ hours a week and had no kids, I had more than enough time on my hands to focus on things like my weight. Now I am so damn busy there are days I wonder if I remembered to shower. This is a sad but very real reality. Throw a career and a few kids in the mix and you have yourself a recipe for “what the hell is a diet I’m just trying not to lose my damn mind” lifestyle mentality.
In the midst of the torture, here’s what I looked like working out sometimes twice a day because my life was controlled by the number on a scale:
When I went on full-time again a few years ago, juggling diet and exercise and three kids wasn’t always the easiest task. I made it a good year before I got so burnt out and fed up I just didn’t have the mindset for it anymore.
Why am I killing myself? Who am I trying to impress? I am not a model or a celebrity, no one is going to jump out of the bushes at Walgreen’s to snap a photo of me. I am just a regular person. I can look like a regular person and no one else will notice.
Me, when it comes to “dieting” or “clean eating” or any of that other nonsense that makes me feel deprived of food…
I learned to stop focusing on the outside so much and started focusing on the inside. And, within a year, I put on 25 pounds. I see numbers on the scale now that I haven’t seen since I was 8 months pregnant with my third child.
Mentally, it messed with my mind. And bad. What am I doing wrong? Why am I gaining so much weight? Is there something “wrong” with me? These questions consumed and plagued my mind and well-being.
But the truth of the matter is: I am actually enjoying my life now. I am not getting my happiness from a size of clothing that I am able to squeeze my body into.
Yeah, sure, I could stand to lose a few pounds, but who couldn’t? I spent so many years depriving myself to attain something that wasn’t realistic. I finally get that now. My metabolism didn’t physically leave my body. I was only the way I was because I walked around eating kale all day and exercising to the point of obsession.
And you know what? My body doesn’t crave kale, sorry. It craves tacos and pizza. It doesn’t want to feel hangry and moody as hell from lack of food and sore to the point of fatigue from killing myself working out.
A photo of me, April 2013. This was at my lightest point, far below the 25 pounds I’ve put on since I’ve started enjoying my life, a year after my second child was born. I looked this way because I hardly ate and over-exercised to the point of obsession. My body broke down, as well as my spirit. As sick as it sounds, I loved hearing how “skinny” I was. It fueled my obsession even more.
I went to bed hungry so many nights because I was trying to be something that I am not. I am 5’10”. I will never weigh 120 pounds on my own without starvation being the reason I got there. That is not real life, unless that is how you naturally are.
I’ve learned from this two things:
— DO.NOT.WEIGH.YOURSELF.EVERY.DAY. This, by FAR, is the hardest for me. But I’ve finally learned to do it. Now I weigh myself maybe once a week, if I feel like it. And the odd thing is, now some of those pounds are starting to come off because I am happy and not obsessed. It’s more like, oh, wow, okay. So I can do this without killing myself.
— If you don’t “feel” like working out, don’t do it! Do not force your mind or your body to do something it’s not committed to. Sometimes it serves as good stress relief, but if you have real life heavy stuff weighing you down and exercise feels like torture, then do not do it. Listen to your body and the cues it gives you to take things from a 12 to a 2.
We are not all the same person, but we are all human beings. We deserve to be happy. And we deserve not to kill ourselves to find it.
Me now, liberated and enjoying life, food, and of course, alcohol: