Well, “after” is a bit premature. And not entirely accurate. I am, by no means, done with my healthier eating and exercising. I really feel like I’ve learned a lot and am now able to make more rational decisions about what to do when the crazy, body issue voice starts shouting.
Around the time that I started grad school, my weight and health in general went completely haywire. Part of that was to be expected. I simply didn’t always have time to exercise or make the healthiest eating choices. Part of that was just coping. I found it very comforting to spend the time that I was wasn’t working, parenting, or studying curled up on the couch, watching TV, and eating whatever I felt like eating. I don’t regret it. I did, after all, survive grad school despite the odds being against me. And for all of the things that upset me about the husband and I deciding to return to school, I can’t say that I didn’t deal with it the best that I could.
But that’s over now and like I said the other day I can only work on changing the things that I can.
Around this time last year, I was reaching my heaviest weight ever, which was alarmingly close to my 9-months-pregnant weight. You know, when I had a full-grown baby inside me. I did a lot of thinking about how I really felt about that, since my kneejerk reaction was, of course, “You’re a terrible, unhealthy fat person.” That’s the body issues talking. Was I okay being that weight? Was I okay with possibly getting heavier?
At the same time, I realized something very important: I did not want to diet ever again. Never. I had been dieting off and on since I was a little girl and I had had enough. I hated feeling hungry. I hated thinking about every bite of food beyond, “Will this taste good and is it a good thing to eat?” So I started working on changing my eating little by little to an overall healthier approach and figuring out how I was going to squeeze in some exercise.
It’s been (and still is) a very slow process. I’m still figuring out how and when to get more exercise in.
Numbers-wise, I haven’t lost a ton of weight. And I’m not worrying about it. But I feel a lot better and I look differently. I think I was getting to a point where I was willing to accept the body that I had, but separated the getting healthier from my weight, if that makes sense, and wanted to see where that took me.
So, about a year ago, I posted this picture to Twitter. The occasion was that I’d had a haircut and was really not sure how I felt about it. So I took to the internet for reassurance.
My shirt was obviously working pretty hard, but I wasn’t thoroughly unhappy with how I looked. I just wasn’t very healthy.
The other day, I happened to be wearing that shirt again and decided to do a comparison. Pardon the markedly crappier hair.
I like this version of my body, too, and I think it likes me back since it doesn’t complain quite as loudly as some of the previous versions.
So, there. Progress. Interesting to see, no?