|August 9, 2013||Posted by Carrie under binges, body image, support system|
It’s been 4 years since I made my health a priority. It started with a journey to lose weight. I remember a friend asking me how much weight I wanted to lose. I never had a number in mind. I had a range that I wanted to get to, and actually a pair of pants that I wanted to fit. It was just about 20 pounds that would get me there. It took about 4 months to reach that goal.
But, then I wanted more. I got seduced by the number on the scale and the smaller clothes and all the compliments. I found that I could restrict my calories even more and continue to make the number on the scale go down. I started recording everything. Including my vitamins – I counted every single calorie that went into my body.
And I lost weight.
I lost a total of 40 pounds. I was skinny. I could wear a size 0 in almost any store.
But, I also started binging. When no one was around, there were times that I would stuff my face with everything I could think of.
This would happen at least once a week.
I would look in the mirror and still criticize the flabby parts. The round parts still looked round.
My period also stopped. For almost a year.
It took a long time to realize how my over restriction was causing the binge cycle and the stopped period.
When I finally let go of the overly controlling calorie restriction, I gained weight. I had bought clothes at my skinny point and they no longer fit. That messed with my head. Thoughts of failure, of the need to be ‘skinny’, horrible body image and self doubt.
I weigh more now than my original goal range of weight loss from 4 years ago. I don’t like the number on the scale.
But, it’s just a number.
A few months ago, I started to count calories again and try to get back into that ‘ideal’ in my head range. The pounds weren’t coming off. I was starting to get obsessive about the calories again.
I’m working on being focused on being healthy, I ditched the scale years ago because it wasn’t healthy for me. Then, I picked it back up again and learned that it still wasn’t healthy for me.
I am a totally different person than I was 4 years ago. I’m okay with that.
I’m also heavier now than I was 3 years ago. I don’t wear a size 0. I working on being okay with that. Some days are better than others.
I’m working on being okay with fit and healthy and not skinny. When the world is telling you that skinny = fit = healthy, it’s difficult to learn that the first part isn’t always true. I was skinny. And at that point, I wasn’t healthy. Now I am fit and healthy. This is a conversation that goes on in my head on most days. It takes a lot of reminding.
Here’s why I consider myself to be healthy:
I eat healthy foods. Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. I aim to eat a variety of food. I eat plenty of healthy fats and I eat very little artificial anything – especially artificial sweeteners. I indulge my sweet tooth when I want to and I enjoy wine on plenty of occasions.
I exercise almost every day. I do strength training at least 3 days a week. I’ve got muscle definition in my arms. I’ve run 5 half marathons. Exercise is important to my day and is always something that I am happy to get done. The time I dedicate to exercising is a gift that I give to myself. It’s never a chore – it’s never something that I *have* to do. It’s always something that I *get* to do.
And, I don’t know how much I weigh these days. I know it’s getting to be a little on the higher end of where I’m comfortable, so I’m trying to keep my portion sizes smaller and make sure I’m eating plenty of fruits and veggies and make sure the desserts are reserved for special occasions. I’m not counting calories and I’m not getting on the scale. Neither of those numbers matter to me at this point.
What does matter to me is that I am a healthy role model to my kids. I promise to never criticize my body in front of them (and even quietly to myself). I will never ever call myself fat. I will never ever refer to any part of my body as being fat. I will value strength and I will value confidence and I will lead by example. I will always treat my exercise routine as a gift and pass that attitude on to them.
I don’t always like everything that I see in the mirror. But, I love my body and where it has gotten me. I take care of my body.