I wonder sometimes if we aren't causing more problems for ourselves weight-wise and fitness-wise by obsessing and focusing on weight as in pounds and fitness as in exercise.
Let me explain what I mean
I never had a weight problem until I was in my 40's. I was on diets as a teenager, but didn't need to be. I got into running short distances in my late 20's because I felt like it and was living with my brother who was doing it.
I didn't even have a weight issue after my daughter was born.
So what happened?
I moved from a city-based lifestyle where I walked every day. I walked to the subway. I walked home from the subway. I walked up 3 flights of steep stairs to a 3rd and 4th floor apartment. And down again. And up again. And to the market. And to the park. I was constantly walking to my favorite café and then a bookstore. Etc.
Before that, I lived abroad and walked. I had fun going to the cheese store for cheese and the bakery for fresh bread and the Saturday markets for fresh fruits and vegetables. I remember the one in Brussels where they had huge signs proclaiming the arrival of white asparagus with giant letters and exclamation points.
Before that I grew up in a small time where..... You guessed it. I walked to the store and took a bus to the closest small city where I would wander the streets and look at shops (my early indoctrination into the world of having fun doing nothing but wandering).
Then --- almost 12 years ago, I moved to a suburban location. Not because I wanted to move to the suburbs but because that is where the housing market took me. I am still in city limits but there is no bakery to walk to, no bookstore, no farmer's market, etc.
And the pounds just crept on. I lost the sense of wonderment at the world around me. I shopped in the same grocery stores that everyone else did, driving to them and then back home again.
When I started trying to lose weight a year and a half ago, I yo yo'd around because I set myself up to feel deprived. Couldn't eat this, couldn't eat that, couldnt drink this or that. Inevitably I would slip off the wagon and then I would be discouraged and remorseful and gain back every pound I had so painstakingly lost
Then I entered what Dov Seidman called The Valley of Confusion. I read a lot of books - Bittman, Pollan, the women who wrote The Happiness project and Why French Women Don't get Fat. My dad got sicker and sicker with his oral cancer and died in front of me in April. My mom got sick and I stayed with her in her from in the hospital for a week. My brother in law died of brain and lung cancer. I read and thought and started to play around with a camera and new lenses my husband bought me. Little by little I started to wake up from what seems like more than a decade of detachment from what really matters to me and what I want to do with my life
I want to be kind to myself. I haven't been. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I made every morsel and sip that went into my body COUNT!!! Why then could I do that for another human being - the baby inside me - but not myself?
I want to participate in all of life's subtle joys. You can't do that from a car. I take pictures everywhere I go and started making photo cards that I send to friends and family. I took hundreds of photos in the house at was in my family for almost 100 years before we sold it, and used them to make memory books for my mom and sisters and brothers.
I started going to different shops for different foods again. No crappy fruits at the local chain And I treat myself on Saturdays to a sunrise special combo of grapes, pineapple, strawberries and oranges smoothie that I used to tell myself was too expensive. I would buy something that cost more than that for someone else but not for myself.
If I focus on the ways to be kind to myself and appreciate as many of the incredible things around me - music, trees, flowers, bridges, movies, books, etc - I find that food and drink start to take their proper place in my world. Not something to obsess about but to enjoy in moderation and have fun finding the things that are best for me. If I am walking with my camera or driving to a small town and spending a couple of hours wandering the streets looking, I find that my exercise makes me more engaged with my world, not detached from it
Anyway, that is where I am at. I will let you know how things progress for me.
If this is helpful to anyone, I am glad I shared!!
| Pounds lost: 11.2