Thursday, January 21, 2010

Lost in layers of fat...

Yep, it's true, I have and lost myself under my layers of fat. I, like many, struggle with weight and body image issues and wish I could say that it is stubborn pregnancy weight. But, I can’t. Before my pregnancies, I was overweight and not in shape. Throughout my life I have never been into sports or working out and during high school and college, I was blessed to be relatively thin. After graduating from college, slowly, I began to gain weight. I didn’t pay attention to my nutrition, and exercise was not a priority. Although I yearned to be thinner, and attempted various weight loss plans, I was never able to persist and succeed. After getting married and having children I became motivated to be healthier. Since the birth of my second son, I have improved my health and wellness. And even had some remarkable (for me) successes including, following Weight Watchers and losing 36 pounds, running a few 5k races, and last year, days before turning 40, I completed a sprint Triathlon – something that I never imagined that I would do.

Even with these accomplishments, I continue to struggle with maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Recently, I have regained most of the 36 pounds and I am consistently inconsistent with working out and healthy eating. As you can see from a triathlon picture, I am not thin. In fact, during my training, one of the best resources I found was a book by Jayne Williams called Slow Fat Triathlete: Live Your Athletic Dreams in the Body You Have Now.  A great book that encouraged me especially when I doubted myself or felt self-conscious about my weight.

Why am I overweight? Why is it such a struggle? I don’t know. Throughout the past 20 years I have had many thoughts, including:
  • Being overweight has clearly allowed me to hide and blend into the background – a place that I feel very safe and comfortable in. So comfortable, that I don’t take risks or try new things. If I try new things, then I might fail. A fear of failure, perhaps?
  • When I was dating, I wanted to marry someone who liked me, regardless of my weight. This gave me the perfect excuse to not lose the weight. I thought self-righteously, “If I am losing weight to meet a guy, then I am not losing the weight for me”. So I rarely even bothered trying.
  • At various points I tried to believe that I was meant to be fat and that it was just genetic (not considering that neither my parents is drastically overweight). Again, another perfect excuse to not even try.
  • Or, after hearing Dr. Phil say “Are you doing what you're doing today because you want to do it, or because it's what you were doing yesterday?” I wondered if I had just gotten in a rut and needed to “simply” do something different.
All of these thoughts, plus many more, ring a bit of truth. But each is also a wonderful excuse. They are road blocks to what I really want – to be healthy and fit and that includes losing weight.

So in the theme of Health and Wellness, I plan to first focus losing weight – and as everyone knows, that means I have to move more and eat less. I guess the next step is to figure out the details. I am excited to learn more about myself, as I finally persist and succeed, and become a healthier me!

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