Saturday, March 23, 2013

the one where i got fat...

I didn't plan on getting fat.

Audience reaction: Wait, what did she just say?

I didn't plan on getting fat.

I didn't wake up one morning and think, "Man I'd like to pack on some pounds."
I didn't think, "You know what I need? Some insecurity. My middle could use some jiggle that makes me nervous and embarrassed."
I didn't think, "I wanna wonder if that guy doesn't want to go out with me because I'm not as skinny as the girl next to me."
I didn't wake up one morning and want to have a wardrobe of black because it's slimming.

Audience reaction: This is very un-politically correct...her using the word fat. She should say big boned, or voluptuous, or broad...not fat.

But I am. Or at least I was. That's the cold, hard truth. It's like have to knowledge your problem, and own it.

I don't think anyone of us has ever woken up and had these thoughts. But I'm willing to bet that some people have woken up and thought "who cares, I'm alone already." Or "who cares, I've already put on the weight." Or "who cares, it's just one piece of cake...or chocolate...or ice cream. It won't make a difference." Or "who cares, I can't change anything about it."

No one remembers the day they started to get fat. But most people remember the day that they decided to do something about it. Most recently for me (this past January), that day came one evening when I was cooking in my kitchen. I was standing at my stove and I went to shake the frying pan and my whole middle shook. "What was that?" I remember thinking to myself. I tried it again just for good measure to see if I was imagining it. Nope. Shake shake frying pan. Shake shake Andrea. That was the day I decided something needed to change. I looked back at my pictures from my 29th birthday a few weeks prior, and they confirmed it. Since completing multiple races and a triathlon last summer, I had put on weight. Stepping on the scare really confirmed it. I was about 10 pounds heavier than my last race in October, and it certainly wasn't muscle. (Side note: If you're reading this in the Milwaukee area, my last race was the Lakefront Discovery Run along Lake Michigan in downtown Milwaukee. It was awesome and will definitely make it onto my list of yearly races.)

Time to make a change and stop donating money to the WAC (my gym, the Wisconsin Athletic Club). Time to get my buns out of bed and make some returns on the $30 coming out of my paycheck every month.

It's not easy. Massive life changes never are. Because if you really want to lose weight, keep it off, and be healthy? It's a lifestyle change. And it has to be practical. For example, I live in Wisconsin. There is no way on planet earth that I am going to eliminate beer and cheese from my diet. It's just not going to happen. Could I chose not to eat beer and cheese? Sure. Do I want to eat beer and cheer? (Is that even a question?) Duh. The change comes in how much. And what kind. You don't have to completely eliminate the things you love. (Especially since I love food.) Healthy choices. Don't eat the whole bag of cheese curds. Divide the bag of cheese curds into Ziplock snack bags (this size bag is totally your friend). Buy sharp cheddar instad of mild. If you want to drink beer, first ask yourself why you're drinking. Are you actually enjoying it, or is it merely for social reasons and to have something in your hand? For me, I enjoy sitting down with a good beer. But I've found I don't need to have four of them to enjoy the beer and/or the socializing. Slow it down...truly enjoy what you're drinking...and four quickly turns into one or two.

You know what other day I remember? The day I could buy running shorts for the first time. (Yes, there was a time about two years ago when I didn't fit into the running shorts at the store. Now I wear a size large...and proud of it.) The day I realized I had extra space in my winter coat. The day my sweater hung off my body. The day I bought jeans that made my lack of butt look amazing (I'm working on the butt thing...somedays it feels a bit like a lost cause...hopefully some hardcore leg and glutes workouts will help this!) The day I was cooking grabbed the frying pan, and nothing jiggled. The day I bent down and my core lifted me up. The day I outran my running shoes. The day I swam a mile straight. The days I had a runners high. The day I first saw definition in my quads. The day someone commented on the definition in my arms. The day I did more sit-ups than the last. The day that the scale reflected my hard work. The day my body naturally woke up at 5am, ready to work. The day my collar bone popped out. The day I saw it in my face. Those are the days that make the days that totally suck worth it.

Gaining weight is a reaction. To something. And sometimes to lots of things. Stress. (Too many plates spinning in the air...) Insecurity. (Everything is going to stare at me and judge me...) Depression. (I'm just not motivated...) Overcommitment. (I have too much going on right now...) Lack of self confidence. (I don't know what I'm doing...) Budget. (I don't have enough money for a gym emembership...) Convenience. (There's not place close by to work out...) Priorities. (I just have so much that I'm trying to get done...) Injury. (I hurt my *insert body part here* and I need to rest...) Resources. (I can't afford workout clothes or a membership...) Equipment. (I don't have decent shoes...) Exhaustion. (I'm just too tired...) Employment. (I have too much going on at work...)

These are reasons, not excuses.

Don't use the reasons as excuses. Start to figure out solutions. Maybe that means re-prioritizing some aspects of your life. Maybe it's trying something you haven't done before. Maybe it's saving funds. Maybe it's just starting.

Please allow me to be very clear about one thing though. Being fat doesn't make me un-beautiful, it makes me un-healthy. And there's a difference. I am who I matter what the numbers on the scale say. But I'm the best person I can be when I'm being healthy. Notice I didn't say when I was skinniest...or when I weighed the least. It's not about a number on a scale. It's when I'm being the most healthy. Regular exercise, balanced diet, positive attitude. That is the recipe to be healthy, happy, and unfat. And than my outside matches my inside.

It's not easy. Nothing worth getting ever is. But you can do it. You can make good choices. You can find solutions to the reasons. Not every day is going to be perfect. No one is asking you for perfection. But all you have to do it try. One day at a time. One step at a time. Don't be discouraged by the days you take a step backwards. It's all the more reason to wake up and take two steps forward the next day.

A work in progress...that's me. I definitely still have my work cut out for me. day at a time, one step at a time. Day by day, note by note, mile by mile.

1 comment:

  1. I really liked this post. I can pretty much identify with everything you said. It is true, you don't remember getting fat. I had no idea I was fat before I first started working out several years ago. I do remember when I wanted to change and making the effort to do it. Great job getting healthy and doing it in a Wisconsin conducive, beer loving, cheese eating way.