So I worked out today for an entire 30 minutes, which is more than I’ve worked out in one go in … probably five years? I know it’s less than a decade, but not by much. When I crossed the 260lb mark, and found that every attempt at regular exercise caused me to eat an absolute shit ton of food in response, and that every attempt at dieting caused the same with a side dish of self-loathing, I pretty much accepted tired, fat, and out of shape as my new normal.
Seen above. Nana and what I had accepted as normal for myself. Christmas 2008.
In mid-2009, my husband lost his job. That … sucked. We crunched the numbers and knew we wouldn’t be able to keep the house, so we moved into a rental, and when attempts to sell it were fruitless, the credit union that held the loan foreclosed on it. His unemployment lasted for about 15 months, despite a decade of working for the same company, and a good degree. But this post is about what my normal became. Sad shit can be sad another day.
By the time we’d moved into the rental house across town in July of 2009, I’d gotten up to roughly 280lbs. I’m tall, so the picture above is a pretty good representation of what that looked like. Something crazy happened when all the things I was terrified of realistically happening (job loss, foreclosure, etc) … happened. I slowed down. Became less afraid. And, for the theme of this post, I started tasting my food. By tasting it, I needed less of it. I started breaking my emotional connection to eating.
By the next year, my new normal was a bit different:
That’s me at about 220, a little less than a year later. Since then, I’ve pretty much hung out around there. Better about my eating habits, but ultimately afraid to negate all the progress I made by tricking myself into old bad habits by trying to exercise. I already knew that traditional dieting was a big food trigger for me, and I was too afraid that I would lose how much better I felt if exercise caused me to start overeating again.
I decided last week that I was ready to try. I finally have a friend who prefers to work out with a buddy, and talk the whole time, so as of today, we started doing workout videos in my living room. It was hard. It was hilarious. And it didn’t make me want to shove food into my mouth as fast as I can. I really hadn’t given myself enough credit for breaking my emotional ties to eating. Or maybe I’m just now ready. It’s really hard to say, and ultimately doesn’t matter.
I still don’t have a weight goal in mind. I’m trying to adopt the more positive, proactive version of what I’d done when I had given up. Every day gets to be my new normal, as far as my body goes. But every day, I want to strive to make my normal better in regards to energy and strength.
Is the post long? Check.
Rushed in the ending? Definitely check.
But this is my brain on exercise. Have a beautiful night.