Day six of my cycle today…
I feel weighed down by my thoughts and by the number that would currently show on the scale IF I weighed myself today, which I won’t, because I am not ready to see what that number might be. More like, I know numbers can play games with my mind and I would rather not be thrown into a downward spiral of self-hate by seeing something larger than my mind finds “acceptable.” That is yet another unwanted side-effect I have to deal with from my weight loss journey. When I was constantly losing weight, the numbers mattered because they tracked progress. But now that I am attempting to maintain within a small range/size, the numbers hover somewhere between helpful and evil. Stay the same size, and all is good. Lose a little bit and I feel great. Gain….. well, that’s a whole bunch of mess wrapped up into three digits on a scale :: disappointment, anger, frustration, sadness.. Failure.
I am sure anyone struggling with their weight can empathize with that feeling. How this all ties into the Baby Thing, is that I am not the size I wanted to be when I got pregnant. I wanted to be _ _ _ pounds and I am something more like… twenty pounds over that, to be honest,which amounts to twenty pounds gained in the past year. (which by the way, makes me feel like a complete failure, among other things..) There are many things I can blame for my weight gain; the first year of marriage, three moves in the past year, adjusting to a different lifestyle after college, a full time job, no car, a puppy.. but ultimately I know there is nothing to blame but myself. My doctor wasn’t worried about my weight at my preconception appointment last month, because I am just at the top of my weight range, but it’s not where I *like* being. This isn’t the size I feel best about myself. I am scared at the idea of starting a pregnancy at this weight, knowing full well I will probably gain 20 pounds or more.
Seems like there would be an easy solution, right? Just eat less and move more like before.. but I tried that while my hubby was away for seven weeks and barely lost five pounds! It didn’t work. Yesterday I spent some time thinking about this all…and looking back at old photos of myself I fear that I was forcing my body to be a smaller size than it would naturally maintain. I was too busy to eat very often and working out six days a week for a least an hour, scorching close to a thousand calories at a time.. my body fat percentage was in the athletic range, you could see my collar bones from a mile away, even the smallest clothes in my closet fit..
It’s torture seeing old pictures.. It was a mental hell trying to “stay small,” obsessing over calories and always feeling like I needed to be at the gym. I was under a ton of stress back then, taking twenty plus units on a quarter college schedule, planning a wedding long distance to my fiance and the gym was my outlet. That lifestyle is something I can’t mimic here. I don’t want to work out six days a week and obsess over every last calorie. I don’t want to be _ _ _ pounds again and STILL feel not good enough like I did back then. But I don’t want to be this size either.
I am scared. I am a black/white person. I don’t see the world in shades of grey. It’s black or white, yes or no, true or false, right or wrong. It is really hard for me to find balance in any aspect of my life, and especially so when it comes to my weight because of the, this or that mindset. I didn’t just gain five pounds, I gained twenty. I didn’t just get a muffin top, I had to go up an entire pants size. I went from seeing faint shadows of my ribs to looking like I could be a few weeks pregnant already. It’s black and white world through my eyes. I am passionate and focused and driven when I am on the ball, so to speak, because I am a perfectionist; but I am also excellent at ignoring the symptoms of a problem because of the way I see the world. I don’t know how to settle for good enough. I don’t know how to have pizza for dinner one night and wake up the next morning and go to the gym and not care how many calories I burn; and just go for fitness. I care too much. I pay too much attention to the details. I really do like working out. I like the way it feels when my heart rate gets into the 170 beat per minute range and my lungs burn and expand to take in more oxygen. I like 1,000 calorie workouts because they are a challenge, because they take at least an hour and a half of basically beating your body into the shape you want it to be. Food just trips me up. Weight loss is 70% what you eat and 30% how much effort you put into working out, and in my mind, if my diet is total cr@p, then I just “forget” the gym because 30% gym effort can’t make up for a bad day of eating.
I need help finding balance. I need to get back to intuitive eating. I need our real, full-sized refrigerator to get here so that I have space for all the random foods my body “tells” me it wants. I want Graham to be fully vaccinated already so that when my legs say “MOVE” I can take him on a walk around this brand-new (to me), gigantic neighborhood and make a mental map of all the streets and side roads.
I want, I want, I need to train my mind to see the world in more than just two colors. Black, white and grey; yes, no and maybe, but I don’t know where to start. Just goes to prove that whenever you think your journey is over, you are forced to realize it has just begun; you have to pick yourself back up and start all over again.