When were you your healthiest?
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
I have been a size 20 and I have been a size 3.
I have weighed 180 lbs and I have weighed 105 lbs.
Sometimes I feel very discouraged by the shape I am in. It's not that I'm fat. It's that I have been in better shape. It's that I hurt my knee sometime last week and it freaking hurts and I can't push myself like I want to. It's that I get tired. It's that I'm so moody. (I morphed into Bridezilla last night and almost again today.) It's that I sometimes have to ask for help lifting something heavy or reaching something high when I used to MacGyver my way through things.
Then there's the other side to this.
I was in my best shape about five years ago. I lost 15lbs in six months through diet and exercise and extreme self-discipline. Extreme. I may have talked about this before but it is a defining point in my life. I was living with my ex in the middle of nowhere. Now, I grew up in the country but this was so far out that it was a 45 minute drive to the nearest WalMart, which was also in the town in worked in. I was working 30 hours a week, plus any extra I could get, and working on my master's full time online. My ex was gone five days a week and I took care of and trained his puppy while he was gone. I was responsible for cleaning and groceries. It was understood that the house would be clean and the fridge would be stocked when he got home on the weekends. A few times, it wasn't. Once, when the dog tracked on the white carpet, he sat me down, paced in front of me, and yelled at me until I cried. He told me that I had no pride in myself and no pride in the house, HIS house.
In retrospect, it was a rough life and that is probably a large part of the reason that I managed to get fit. I was broke, or I remember thinking that I was broke, and during the week I ate cereal, soup, and a microwaveable meal EVER DAY. For snacks I had vegetables and at night I indulged in some Doritos, which I was addicted to for YEARS and refused to give up. Every day I got up, wrote, checked my e-mail, worked out, showered, ate breakfast, did my hair and makeup all before 8. Then I did homework and housework until I had to go to work. After work I went home and did any strength training I had to do for the day while I caught up on CNN. Then I turned off the TV and did homework until I went to bed.
I was lonely. I was stressed. I was afraid to be alone in the house, even with the dog and the gun my ex left me. I spent more and more conversations defending my ex to my friends and family and defending myself to my ex. I was miserable but I went on with it, working constantly and consistently, not having time to think about how great a burger would be and I didn't have the money for one anyway.
But at the same time, something wonderful was happening. I had energy. I had muscles. I felt physically wonderful. I fell in love with my body. I was amazed by what it could do. But being thin didn't make me happy.
Now, here I am 5 years later. I have my master's degree. I'm working full time in a job I love. I own my own house. I bought it on my own. I have three cats that are mine. I am in love. I am getting married. I NEVER let my fiance put me down or lecture me but it has NEVER even come up. I don't have to defend him and I don't have to defend myself. Everyday I get up with the expectation that I am going to make it through alive. I am going to laugh and have at least one great conversation. If my house isn't clean, I'll get it next week. If the fridge isn't stocked, someone can stop at the store. I am happy. I may not be my fittest and that may frustrate me, but that's not the worst thing in the world and I can change it.