Every day I worry about gaining weight. Almost 4 years ago I lost 80 pounds and to this day, I worry about my weight.
This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness (NEDA) Week. Eating disorders are serious. Many people suffer in silence which is why eating disorders are the “silent killer.” I have never had an eating disorder nor have I ever known anyone who’s had one, but I believe body imagine plays a role in eating disorders. It’s no wonder with the emphasis in our society on being thin that we all think we’re fat. I want to know what woman out there doesn’t think she’s fat? The media doesn’t help either with the constant criticism of movie stars and singers physiques. While the emphasis on looking a certain way can inspire weight-loss, it can easily turn into an obsessive behavior or worse an eating disorder. It’s a fine line.
Looking back 4 years ago when I lost 80 pounds, losing the weight was easy. Being in maintenance mode has been so much harder than losing weight ever was. I am in constant fear of gaining weight every day. I know it’s not realistic to think I will gain 80 pounds back overnight; however, when you lose that much weight it’s hard to see yourself the way everyone else does.
During my weight-loss, I meticulously counted calories, tracked what I ate and exercised daily. Today I still count calories and weigh myself daily as if I were still losing weight. I’m a size 2, sometimes a size 0 and yet, I look in the mirror and see the size 14 girl with ginormous thighs. It’s not because my thighs are big. It’s because my body imagine is distorted.
I still envision myself as this size 14 girl.
Today I still track my daily calories and maintain a food log. Matter of fact, I won’t eat unless I see the nutritional facts: fat, serving size, sugar, sodium and calories. Over the past year, I’ve become more lenient with my eating. I used to eat on a regimented schedule and never allowed myself to deviate from that plan. Now I listen to my body and eat intuitively. If I’m hungry at 11am, I eat. If I’m not, I wait. Learning to listen to my body has not been easy.
Through my weight-loss, I fell in love with exercise & being active. Fitness is something I enjoy, a stress relief and a hobby. I couldn’t imagine giving that up. I exercise daily with an occasional rest day here and there. I know rest days are important for my body, but I’m not able to do them without anxiety. To give my body reprieve from exercising daily, I mix up my trainings such that I follow a high-intensity workout day (i.e. spin class & weight train) with a low-intensity one (i.e. walk & swim). This way I’m being active, yet giving my body rest. Not to mention, I sit on my tush for 12 hours a day at work so being active in some form daily, in my opinion, is necessary to balance sitting.
With my foot injury, it has been difficult for me at first to not be as physically active as before. I had to accept that my body needed time to heal and that doing lower impact activities like swimming was best for my recovery. As a result of being less active, my hunger changed. I had to listen more closely to my body and adjust my eating habits.
My injury has been a blessing in disguise. It’s taught me about balance and acceptance. I used to weigh myself every morning when I woke up and get my head wrapped around the number on the scale especially if it was a pound or two higher than normal.
It’s been 5 weeks since my foot injury and I have not weighed myself. My focus now is on how I feel. And guess what? My clothes still fit. I don’t need to weigh myself every day and obsess over a few fluctuations.
Yesterday I had the courage to wear my skinny pants to work. Before I was scared they wouldn’t fit.
Every day I’m learning to accept the new me and my body. I won’t lie it’s a battle. I’m not sure I will ever get used to people saying things to me like “you’re so small.” Huh? Are they talking to me? Those things may never resonate with me. Thankfully, I’m at the point in life where I recognize I’m always going to hate my thighs and I’m not going to starve myself or cut calories to try to change that. But I need to continue to learn to love myself and my body.
Everyone has insecurities even the person you idolize most. My advice is find the positive and make that your focus. Remember you’re not alone in whatever struggle you may be faced with.Linking up to Amanda @ Diary of a Semi Health Nut
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