Body Image (Day 23)
Sunday, March 17, 2013
I'm reading the book "Body Clutter" by the Flylady. It is not the easiest book I've read, but so far, it is the best *diet* book I've ever read. They take a look at this whole weight loss and body image thing from a whole different perspective. Now, I really can't get into exactly what the whole book is about because I'm only on chapter 2, but the fact that it is having me take a good look at myself and my views of myself...both as a person and my image of myself.
What I'm learning is that I've had a skewed view of my weight for a very long time. Even when I was fit and healthy. Yes, there were a couple of years where I exuded confidence in how I looked, but that was a long time ago. I've struggled with my eating habits for a long time, too...switching from anorexic to binging (never purging). I can honestly say that the majority of my life has been spent in the healthy end of the spectrum; however, the last 4 years have been my unhealthiest years.
The way I see myself has been molded and shaped by the people around me. My grandpa used to tell me that I needed to lose my baby fat. A modeling agent was interested in me until I told them how much I weighed (at that time 120 lbs...she told me I was overweight...enter anorexia). I had a boyfriend who told me that if I gained weight he'd break up with me (he broke up with me anyway). I've always been told I could always lose a little weight.
What did that translate into? Endless hours in the gym in my 20s. Eating like a bird...especially when I had braces (just couldn't eat with those things in). I did everything I could to lose a pound or two. Then, I went back to college. I gained the freshman 15 and about freaked out. So, I started to go to the co-rec to work out. I did it as often as I could, until I became a live-in caregiver. When they caught wind that I went to the co-rec for 30 minutes before coming home, they let me have it. Apparently being healthy wasn't in their vocabulary. So, I turned to working out to Jane Fonda VHS tapes and GAIAM yoga VHS tapes. The lady I took care of would laugh at me as I did my workouts.
But it wasn't enough. I had a nervous breakdown because of the lack of freedom that comes with being a full time caregiver. I left the job and went back to work at an insurance agency. I did okay and even took exercise to music as a class my senior year in college. But still, I had gained and it wasn't coming off.
I juggled back and forth with the weight for a good 10 years, but it wasn't until 4 years ago that I just packed it on, and packed it on quickly. You see, I started dating someone who seemed to have the favorite past time of eating. And, unfortunately, I joined him. We ate out all of the time, and I didn't pay attention to the foods I was eating. Plus, it didn't help that I suddenly was hypothyroid.
The next thing you know, I'm at 242 lbs according to the doctor's scales, and 238 on my home scales in the buff. A far cry from the 165 I was comfortable with. So, here I am, trying to figure out what happened and regain the person I once thought I was. Or am I. The book says I need to live in the present and to let go of the past. To be comfortable and happy where I'm in the moment.
Not as easy as it sounds. But, for now...I'm 25 lbs from where I started last summer. 13 of that this year alone. I've got my eyes focused on ONEderland while I try to understand my how I view myself...my body image.