I took a little break from writing to focus on another project I’m starting while quarantining: my weight. Ugh. That ‘oh so touchy’ subject that no one wants to talk about but EVERYONE has an opinion about. From as far back as I can remember, I’ve been overweight. Genetics, poor eating habits, environment and my depression have really played a role in me being my absolute heaviest. I weigh almost 350lbs. Like what in the entire fuck is going on with me right now. I saw myself sideways in a mirror recently and was like, “Oh My God! I look terrible.” I’m 34 years old and have a shit ton of health problems and back pains that rival those of labor pains. If you’ve ever given birth, you know exactly how painful this is.
I’ve started and stopped diets more times than I can count. But honestly, my heart has never been in it. For my own weird reasoning, I always talked myself out of it. And the thought of sweating is absolutely disgusting. But during this quarantine, I’ve come to realize that life is way too short and I want to make the most of whatever is left for me. I’ve completely shifted my focus on just making better choices. And don’t even show me a scale. I’ve decided that I want to do this my way. I’m looking for non scale victories. I hit my first one the other day. I was able to touch my toes. For me, I’ve been so stiff for years and not as limber and agile as I once was as my weight began to creep up. But being able to touch my toes after days of stretching and trying. Man, that was the best feeling.
So now, the next goal is to be able to wear those cute ass wait beads that I be seeing all over social media. My confidence and body has got to match. For the longest time my confidence and how I looked at myself was based on other people’s opinions about how I looked and my depression. Some days were better than others…let’s just say that people are not always kind. You’d be surprised, or maybe you wouldn’t, at the amount of shit people talk about you when you’re overweight. Everyone has something to say about how you got to be so large and ‘you should just stop eating and work out more.’ Yes Suzie, thanks for that. I definitely couldn’t have figured that out without your insight. *insert eye roll*
Generally, most people mean well. Since I’ve started walking, I’ve found the biggest support from perfect strangers. As I’m out there doing my laps, strangers have been cheering me on and offering their words of encouragement. That part has been super refreshing and unexpected. My son has also started encouraging me and telling me how proud he is of me. That’s a high that I don’t think I’ll ever come down from. He is a football player and is also overweight. When I thanked him for encouraging me his response blew me away. He said, “Mom, when I started football two years ago you and daddy were always telling do it and to keep going. So now it’s my turn. You can do it mom. Keep going.” This kid sure knows how to apply pressure, but in a good way.
This is me starting small. I’m not in a rush and want to do this at my own pace and my own way. I rather enjoy working out alone. Is that weird? Maybe because I’m not absolutely loving working out yet. So I really don’t want anyone to talk to me. Let me do my thing so I can get this sweat off of me. No one ever told me that the after workout shower would be love. It’s better than sex. Okay, that’s a lie, but you get the picture. It actually feels good. My entire life my mother suffered from some undiagnosed depression that caused her to ‘parent from bed.’ That meant that she was constantly in bed, in her room, isolated from me and that often meant that I was left to fend for myself. The realization that my own depression had gotten that bad was the beginning of the turning point for me. I didn’t ever want my kids to feel slighted and that they didn’t have the very best version of me.
I’m also exploring intermittent fasting. I’ve read a bunch on it and decided that it was something that I could feasibly do in my everyday life. I’m starting with 16:8. That’s where I fast for 16 hours and eat 2 smaller meals and a snack in my 8 hour eating window. I’m not like starving, because most of those 16 hours I’m asleep. Womp Womp. Hey, whatever works. During that 8 hour time I am consciously making an effort to eat a better quality of foods. Definitely a lot more color on my plate and no soda. Pepsi, I will miss you. But I’ve replaced you with water. Lots and Lots and Lots and Lots and Lots of water. Jugs and bottle and cups galore. I bought some cucumbers and lemon to try and spice it up a bit.
I feel like mental health and fitness go hand in hand. I mean fitness of the mind and fitness of the body as essential to living a well rounded life, in my opinion. Although I haven’t quite gotten back on my mental health regiment, I do acknowledge that in order for this to be a lasting lifestyle change, my mind has got to be as clear and demon free as possible. So I guess I need to call my therapist. The sayings are absolutely true though, you’ve got to WANT to do this. When the time is right, you’ll know. You’ll figure it out. This shit ain’t easy. I’ve seen my friends lose mad weight and it just looked so effortless for them. It’s just so damn hard. But I’m not giving up. I’m not giving up on me. And hey, that’s the best start to have.