That's how long I've worried about my weight.
24 years....and I'm only 36
And I think if you ask anyone who's known me for any amount of time they would tell you that I really didn't have a serious weight problem until after my first pregnancy. Discounting the second pregnancy and nursing phase, that's maybe 5 years that I should have worried....perhaps 6ish if we count the end of college....
Does anyone else think that's just crazy?
You would really think it was crazy if I showed you pictures from my teenage years when all of this really kicked into overdrive. Perception and reality have never been so far apart, and those years - along with some family issues - set me up for what would become a life of self-cruelty that's quite frankly disgusting.
And I just can't - and won't - live that way anymore.
Several weeks ago, I told you about reading Molly Wizenberg's book A Homemade Life, describing how profoundly the book had affected me. Around that same time I went in for my yearly Wellwoman exam and had a long conversation with my doctor. I've been hinting since then that I'd made some decisions....and here they are.
- I will not be dieting anymore. Period, end of story.
- I will not be weighing anymore.
- I will be listening to my body more carefully.
- I will be paying more attention.
- I will be focusing on exercise - which for me is the great "I can."
- I will be doing what needs to be done to deal with any emotional junk that may come up.
And just to be specific, when I say there will be no more dieting that means that I will not be:
- Weighing or measuring my food
- Tracking it on My Daily Plate or in any other place
- Restricting foods in any way
- Making anything off limits
- Doing any more research or reading on food/nutrition
It's only been a couple of weeks, and already I've learned:
- That I'm not going to go crazy and eat everything in the house if I give myself permission to eat what I want.
- I feel best with an oatmeal/fruit breakfast, a big salad with protein for lunch and a carb dinner...with a fun afternoon snack.
- When I fully give myself permission, a much smaller amount satisfies.
- Cooking is more fun when I don't have to worry about the nutritional break down of what I'm preparing.
- For that matter, food is a lot more fun when you don't have to weigh and measure anything - or when you are not feeling guilt because you failed to weigh and measure it.
- That I like myself a whole lot better when the scales aren't a part of my daily life.
- I don't actually like some of the foods I used to binge on.
- I can have a bag of pretzel M&M's in the house and only eat a few every day...or not.
- That I do truly love exercise...and now that my head is in a better place the happy endorphins are back when I work out, leaving me feeling great the rest of the day!
I'm definitely a work in progress - and I have a long, long way to go - but I feel that this is a good place to start. And I promise, we won't be discussing this all of the time. In fact, hopefully we won't ever have to discuss it again.
So here's to living life OFF of the crazy train...
Heck, here's just to living.