Dieting sucks…Quite frankly, I suck at it. Don’t poke my eyes out when I say this, but there was a time in my life when I simply couldn’t gain weight. It didn’t matter the amount of junk I consumed, I wouldn’t budge from a size two. I would giggle when people asked how could I stay so skinny and eat ice-cream for dinner. Secretly I thought God had blessed me with a metabolism that would never change. Obviously, this gave me a false sense of freedom to eat what ever I wanted, when ever I wanted. Allowing me to ingrain poor eating habits free of consequence.
It wasn’t until the last 7-10 years or so that the weight started creeping on. At first, I was okay with it. I thought I could use a little weight on my body. Then my thyroid decided to quit working and I gained 20 pounds. That is a lot on a small frame. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a big girl. I’m just a girl who is not happy with my weight. I once heard Oprah say when she looked back on her life, she thought she was fat at a size 8. Now, she would kill for a size 8. It made me wonder if women are ever really happy with their body. Or is it only in hindsight that we realize that we looked ‘good enough’?
Exercise, over the last three years, has become my pesky friend with whom I have a love / hate relationship. I’ve come to realize that I NEED to exercise. Even thought I hate every minute of it. It hurts and I’m not one that enjoys pain. However, some where in the midst of my training, the act of exercise eclipses my mental state. I’m then focused on the movement, the pain in my muscles, the reps and counts until it is over, and the stress of the day falls away. There simply isn’t enough room for it. My mind is quiet. It is for this reason my body craves time in the gym. Although imagine my shock when I learned that two cookies are about 150 calories. This is the equivalent to running a mile on the treadmill. You simply can not exercise enough to compensate for bad food choices.
The secret to success truly lies with will power. Something that hasn’t been flexed much in my life, at least not over food. It wasn’t necessary until now. When I hear “no popcorn on this diet”, my mind immediately translates this to “I NEED popcorn”. Even if I haven’t had it for the six months prior. THIS is the voice I need to silence. She behaves like a reckless teenager, never seeing the long term consequences of her short term desires. She is loud and obnoxious. She pouts, stomps her feet and slams doors until I reluctantly give in, shoving handfuls of calories into my mouth. She is a major pain in my ass, one I would gladly get rid of, if only I knew how.
With no other choice, I’ve decided to let go of the image of the young, skinny me. Although I really liked her a lot! Competing with her is futile. Instead, I will turn my attention to being a healthy 37 year old version of me. With age, you learn to walk away from things that no longer fit. It is one of the few privileges given to those that are growing older. There is a peace that comes with the understanding and acceptance of things you can not change. I will continue to push myself in the gym, not only for my body but for the relief it brings to my mind. I’m hoping that when I’m 60, I won’t look back and think I was to hard on myself. Conscious of this, I will strive to enjoy the moment, the now of today. However if you find a pair of earmuffs strong enough to silence the insufferable young lady taking up residence in my head, I’ll buy them from you. That is until I find a way to evict her. She doesn’t even pay rent.