Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Beginning tomorrow...

I've set tomorrow as the date to begin working on the physical aspect of the life transformation I'd like to attempt. I decided at the beginning of the new year that I really needed to start focusing on self improvement, particularly in the health area. I don't just mean I want to drop weight or look great, though I want to accomplish those things too. WHat I really want is to change my lifestyle and feel really really good. Currently, I feel lousy. My knees & feet are wrecked. I have constant sinus issues & absolutely horrid headaches . I don't sleep well. I eat completely unhealthily which leaves me feeling bloated & awful. I have aches & pains I shouldn't have at just 34 years old. Most of all I feel horribly stiff & lethargic. Normal movement is awkward & uncomfortable. This I attribute mostly to the fact that I spend every day in a room the size of a shoe box & my only movement is from sitting on the bed watching television to sitting at the computer (honestly, no exaggeration). These things can not continue or I will be dead or an invalid by the time I'm 50. Again, I'm not exaggerating because poor health & short lives seem to be an epidemic in my family. I lost two uncles recently who were just beginning their 50's. My real father died at 30. Most of my grandparents died in their 60's or early 70's & all of them were in rough health for at least the last 10- 15 years of their lives. I do not want to end up like that, but that's where I'm heading. I have to get off the bad health train. I have a husband I really really love. I want a long life with him. And I want that life to be full of interesting activities. I don't want to be held back by weight issues or health issues. So, tomorrow I start making changes.

I've done the diet/ exercise yo-yo thing. I've obsessed over my weight & body since I was a little kid, 8 or 9 years old. I don't want this to be about all of that. I want it to be about breaking nasty habits & finding a path I can live with for the rest of my life. I want to change internally even more than externally.

I dieted off and on from about the age of 12 years old, dropping a few pounds & gaining them back plus a few extra. Probably had I just focused on adding a bit of exercise instead of dieting I wouldn't be where I am now. Back then I ate fairly healthy, until the dieting started. I ate 3 meals aday. Mostly blanced stuff, not a lot of junk. Pretty average really. I just didn't get any real exercise after I hit about age 10 & started puberty and became self concious about my body. I stopped playing outside, riding my bicycle, running about. And so I gained a little weight. I also shot up to my full height of 5 ft 5 by the age of 13, & had a woman's body with actual hips & a 34b breast size(that just continues to grow, currently falling out of my 42DDD bras!). I loathed my body. I didn't look like the 85 lbs, 5 ft 1 inch flat chested and hipless girls in my gym class. I had the body of a much more mature girl which also got me attention from older guys, which I liked but also made me feel weird. Boys my age didn't like me at all, but I routinely got hit on by grown men. I remember at 13 meeting a stunningly cute 26 year old at an art store. I actually gave him my phone number. I'm sure he was quite shocked when he called my house & my mom told him my age. I was intrigued by the attention yet freaked out by it as well. And so I gained a few more pounds. And really really became a couch potato doing nothing more strenuous than sitting on my bed & reading. A habit I still embrace. Just before my 16th birthday something clicked inside of me & I decided to change. I weighed about 163 lbs. & decided I had to get thin. I wanted a boyfriend. A boy my own age. I wanted to look like the girls around me. I went vegetarian. I began riding our exercise bike for hours on end. I bought this blue rubbery weight loss belt that you were suppose to suck your gut in, wrap around your midriff & evercise while wearing. It was suppose to help sweat off the pounds as well as force you to hold in your tummy & tighten the muscles. I wore it while exercising. I also slept in it each night. I ate about 700 calories a day. I dropped to 125 lbs in just a few months. I continued losing over my junior & senior year. I got the boyfriend (more's the pity, ntohing but hearache there) & obsessed even more about my looks. Everyone around me worried I was bulimic or anorexic. Looking back I believe I was. I didn't eat. If i did eat it meant another 200 situps & a third hour on the exercise bike each night. My lowest weight was 103 lbs. I looked like a walking skeleton. I also got quite sick. Finally I just sort of collapsed. I slept alot. My boyfriend forced me to eat when I was awake. I gained 4o lbs in a little over a month, & continued gaining. It was at the end of that relationship and the depression from that breakup helped me to pack on the weight. Since then, my early 20's, I haven't been under 200 lbs. Around 1995 i hit 260 lbs. I lost 60 lbs by starving on slimfast drinks but gained it all back & an extra 60 lbs for good measure. In late 2001, at 320 lbs, I started dieting again, still with very little exercise. I dropped 100 lbs over about a year. I maintained that weight until about 6 months into my marriage and since then have begun gaining again. It's time to put an end to all of this. I'm sick of not being in control of myself & of not being healthy. I can't blame it on being unhappy in my life anymore, as I once did, because I am happy now. The problem isn't external. It's just plain ME. I'm full of laziness & bad habits, combined with a horrendous metabolism due to a family history of thyroid problems & the issues I caused by starving & yo-you dieting. It's no wonder I feel miserable & weigh so much. I am not very nice to myself. In fact, if I treated another person the way I treat myself it would be considered abuse. It's time to stop it. I don't want to lose weight for a man. My man loves me as I am, & will love me regardless of weight gained or lost. I don't want to lose weight for attention & acceptance. I just want to feel good. I want to be proud of myself. I want energy & flexibility when I move. I want not to have to worry about dying young because I'm so unhealthy.

And so, I'm beginning again. And this time I'm going to do my best to make it a lifestyle change, not a quick fix or a diet. That's why my first step is to start exercising. Just begin by moving my body. Starting tomorrow. Tomorrow is the 15th of the month. It's exactly 6 months until my 35th birthday. By my 35th birthday I want to feel better & be firmly on the path to good health.

As a way to help 'fix' myself up I also bought a TON of vitamins. We eat very unhealthily. Mostly microwavable dinners or restaurant food. I doubt I get the nutrition I should. Years ago my doctor told me I should take a regular vitamin supplement as well as extra selinium, magnesium, calcium & chromium (to help my sluggish metabolism). I was also told by my knee doctor to take MSM or glucosamine to help my knees. I didn't take either doctor's advice back then, but I'm ready to now. Two days ago I bought the vitamin supplements and started taking them. It's about 12 pills every day. Ugh. It may not make a huge difference, but then again it may help. At least it's a simple step towards trying to take care of myself.

So, that's about it. I'm determined to make changes. Determined to improve. It seems like a good time to do so. It's six months till my birthday. It's spring. Also I'm beginning college classes again. A time of metamorphasis.

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Also want to mention I've dyed my hair a darker color. I'd had it a dark strawberry blond for awhile & it was just too hard to maintain. Either the intense California sun bleaches it out to a very light blond or it turns brassy. So, I'm trying to get it back to my natural shade, sort of a dark blond/ light brown color. This is a bit darker than that goal, but since my hair doesn't hold color long I know it will fade and in a few days will be close to the color I want.

I like instant gratification and since I'm in the mood for changing, what better place to start than with my hair :)

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