Monday, April 02, 2007
I have always been a big girl at 5 foot 10 inches and of good Polish stock. I started off small and kind of pointy-looking, then around the 4th grade, as so many girls do, I became this chubby pre-pubescent girl who got teased all the time. I stayed sort of fat through middle school, and then was told I "got pretty" in high school, though I was still extra-large.
In college, I went on a hate-rampage against my extra fat: exercising, counting calories, walking 2 miles three times a week with a friend, drinking tons of water and doing a super-slow weight lifting regimin with dumbbells. It was great! Very hard work, but I lost 60 pounds over the course of a year, and I felt like a fulfilled person for once. My boyfriend at the time, and a friend from high school both motivated me to actively pursue exercise on a daily basis. I kept that weight off for years, and lost more once I became a vegetarian and cut meat out of my diet.
Then, about two years ago, I was diagnosed with panic disorder, bipolar disorder, and severe depression. I had been having panic attacks my entire life and had no idea what they were. I've got family members with other mental issues, and it was very scary for me to face my own issues and feel like I couldn't control them.
Figuring out what was wrong with me included going to therapy, seeking support, and being prescribed tons of medication to find something that worked. Unfortunately, in the process of changing my body chemistry with medication and everything that goes along with that, I gained EVERYTHING back--all the veggie-friendly pounds I shedded naturally, and all of the weight I lost with the blood, sweat, and tears of an honest, old-fashioned exercise regimin.
I'll admit, it is better that I gained weight and straightened out my emotions, instead of doing something more destructive to myself. Now that I've successfully overcome those mental challenges (though they were physically exhausting!), its time to start treating myself right, again.
At this point, I am generally healthy, but overweight. Certainly the medication process was necessary to get my emotions and mental health on track, but how disappointed I was as the numbers went higher and higher on the scale! Of course, I don't regret seeking treatment! I am a totally different 100% more awesome person now, but I have to admit that the weight gain is depressing in and of itself!
I know that a lot of my issues around food are my lazy habits, and a general emotional tie to food. I grew up in a family of six children with not a lot to go around, and you were meant to clean your plate no matter what. I have this constant feeling of being deprived, and a need to feel "taken care of" by having a lot of food around. I eat when I am stressed out, and I don't like to exercise: I would rather read, write, paint, draw, or play music than get sweaty and have to take an extra shower... because in my mind I am thinking, "What a waste of time! One workout won't do anything!" Oh, the excuses that shape my own laziness...
Everyone has their own issues. I'm proud of the fact that I got mine figured out, and I'm ready to admit that being overweight is something I really can change without losing control or going back to being depressed... Exercise is going to be my key. I know its going to be hard work, but I can't let that hold me back anymore.