It’s going to be a 2 post Tuesday today. But that’s just because I have so much that I want to share with you.
It’s Change the Way You See, Not the Way You Look Week, in honor of the release of the Operation Beautiful book. Caitlin over at Healthy Tipping Point has asked for bloggers to write posts about a variety of topics, that range from getting fit, to finding your healthy weight, to accepting yourself.
As I said in one of my first posts, I’ve been overweight for most of my life. I’ve heard every name in the book, thunder thighs, fat ass, I’ve been called a whale, and I’m sure many other names that I was fortunate enough to not catch people whispering under their breath.
I know the pain of attempting to find clothes in my size that make me feel good about myself, and don’t look like something my grandmother would wear. Because lets face it, when you’re overweight they don’t make “hip” clothes in your size. I didn’t want to wear elastic waste velour pants, with a matching sequins top. I wanted to wear the clothes that kids my age were wearing, but they all seemed to stop well before my size. I cried in my fair share of fitting rooms because I couldn’t wear the same clothes that my slimmer friends were wearing. And it got to the point where I stopped clothes shopping all together. I would just make my clothes last as long as possible.
But you know where I would go after those failed shopping sessions? To the nearest fast food place, or to the fridge. I would attempt to eat away the pain, and it would help for a little while. At least until I realized how much food I ate, and then felt disgusted with my lack of control. It was an ugly, vicious cycle. One I wasn’t sure how to break.
Over the years I just kept getting bigger and bigger, and it only made me more depressed. Then when I met my husband, way back in high school, I realized that I needed to change. He was, and still is, active. He skateboards, he does yard work, and when he isn’t doing those things he’s trying to get me to go on hikes, or bike rides, or take a walk.
When we started dating, I couldn’t keep up. I got winded before we could even get to the end of the road. I would force myself to go on these outings with him, even though I was ashamed that I couldn’t go for a hike and carry on a conversation at the same time.
Shortly after we got married, nearly 5 years after we started dating, I realized that if I wanted our life to be a quality one I needed to make a change. If I wanted to be able to look at myself in the mirror and be happy with what I saw I needed to do something. I didn’t want to have to worry about finding clothes that fit me, I wanted to be able to walk into any story and find my size.
The husband swore up and down that I didn’t need to change, that he loved me just the way I was. And I believe he did, and still does, but I wasn’t happy with myself, and I wanted to make sure that our lives together would be as good as we could make them. But I knew that my weight, and overall lack of health, was cutting our years together short.
That’s when I joined Weight Watchers. And little by little I began to shed the extra pounds, and my pants size got smaller. My asthma practically disappeared, and my thyroid condition started to get better. But something even greater than a physical change was taking place.
I was beginning to look at myself in the mirror and be happy with what I saw. I didn’t spend time obsessing about what to wear to camouflage the less-than perfect parts. I accepted the fact that I would never be the size 0 that some of my classmates were. I stopped comparing myself to everyone around me.
I started to run, and run far. I realized that my body could do things I never thought possible. I learned how to take care of myself so I could keep doing these amazing things. I stopped caring as much about my weight, and what I looked like.
I went kayaking! Something I never would have done before because I was always so self-conscious about how I would look wearing the life vest and sitting in the tiny boat.
I’m not saying that I don’t have negative thoughts about myself. But now instead of catering to those negative thoughts and heading for the fridge I try to appreciate how far I’ve come. I can go for hikes and carry on a conversation, and I don’t shy away from going out.
After 22 long years, I’m finally beginning to accept who I am, and realize that there is more to me than the way I look. And let me tell you, it feels awesome.
Question for you:
What started you on your journey to getting fit? I guarantee that you are beautiful, and that there is nothing you cannot do if you put your mind to it. Thanks for reading.