Sunday, April 18, 2010

Battle of the Bulge

Well perhaps "bulge" is a strong word, but a battle it is becoming.

Weight is a very sensitive subject, I'm not even sure yet that I'll actually post this, but its on my mind and that's what this is all about. I am not going to pretend that this has been a long road for me or that its been a problem I've had all my adult life because quite frankly, this is all new to me. Despite what anyone may think, I've never been what I would consider 'skinny', but small and certainly not with any extra weight to shed. I started all three pregnancies at the exact same 118 pounds and was back in my regular jeans by the time the babies were a week old. I've always taken for granted that I didn't have to give a second thought to what I ate, although admittedly I always ate relatively little, and I have been known to have the same clothes in my closet for several years and never once have to worry about whether or not they will fit me the next season.

So imagine my surprise when this year I go to throw on a pair of last summer's capris and I can't even get them done up. All of a sudden I am stepping on the scales and dreading the results, quickly jumping off and staring at the numbers in disbelief: I weigh more now than I did at the end of any of my pregnancies. How has this happened? What am I doing differently? How the hell am I going to lose weight when I've never had to before???

I know all the logical answers: eat a well-balanced diet, exercise, blah, blah, blah. I live with probably the most health-conscious, athletic, physically fit person I've ever known - believe me I know eating well and working out. The thing is I already eat well. As for exercise - I do the best I can to make it to the gym when I have some free time but if I'm being honest: I hate it. Exercise is my nemesis. It sounds like an excuse but after a long day of work/kids/driving little people all over town/groceries/cooking/cleaning/you name it, I have zero interest in packing up and heading to the gym. I do it as often as I can, but I'll be the first to admit its not as often as it should be. I have recently acquired a "gym buddy", she and I have been meeting there to walk the track and navigate the TRX system whenever our schedules allow. I am learning this the best way to find motivation to go, as I am too embarrassed to back out of an already agreed-upon meeting and so is she! Together we have spent many mornings sweating our way through that gym that we would have undoubtedly otherwise spent doing housework or the family shopping. Important things yes, but things that can wait until we've spent some time on ourselves.

And yet, I am still gaining. At this point I am beginning to realize my problem is not the amount of food I am eating, but with food itself. If you know me well, you already know that I don't particularly like food. Of course I have some favorite foods that I enjoy now and then, but over all, eating has always seemed like a waste of time to me. Its necessary, I get a headache if I don't, but I would so much rather take a pill full of vitamins and nutrients and get on with my day. The blunt truth is that although what I do eat is almost always healthy in nature, low fat, low sodium and full of vegetables - I am a terrible eater. I do not eat at regular intervals, I don't remember the last time I was able to stomach anything other than tea before lunchtime and the majority of the time I eat only because I am sitting down with the family and the kids would question why I wasn't. In fact, they have. So I nibble toast while they're getting ready for school and together we all eat a full, healthy supper. Thankfully all my children are fairly good eaters by now - they all had their moments as toddlers - and I want it to stay that way. I am fairly certain my food issues come from my own experiences growing up so I am trying to break that particular cycle.

So this Spring I join the millions of men and women out there trying desperately to shed those extra pounds in preparation of bathing suits, tank tops and shorts. For us bathing suit season started the moment we got our hot tub. However now as we're beginning to have more and more friends over to enjoy it with us, I am starting to get nervous. I have been told countless times, "it must be nice to be skinny", but let me tell you this: a "skinny" person never feels skinny and as soon as that label doesn't fit anymore (pun intended) - we're lost.

Here's hoping I find myself soon, the warm weather is surely just around the corner...


Mandi said...

Welcome to the club my friend! Although I certainly never thought I would be here myself, I am playing the game, know how it goes. Well actually you don't, but for some reason I think you are learning. Keep up with the healthy eating, and going to the gym. I am with you, I hate it but I have learned that it works. When I am faithful to the gym, the scale is faithful to me. When I ignore the gym, the scale reminds me of this fact and I must go back. We can do this, and we will WIN!!!!

SwedishJenn said...

Wow Michelle! So glad I found you again. Though I can't relate to you and Mandi ("skinny girls"), I can relate to your newfound lifestyle, "shedding pounds". I have battled my weight my entire adult life and let me tell you, it sucks. From the time Joseph was 6 months until the time he was 2.5, I was the "skinniest" I had ever been in my entire life, 149 lbs (right on target for my body type actually). I loved that short period of time. Because in that short period of time Michelle, I felt like you did your entire life up until this point. I didn't worry about this or that making me look fat. I threw on whatever was around. I didn't have to suck in my gut or worry about cellulite showing. I ran around in a bikini for two summers proudly. Ahhhh, I sooo wanna go back there, to that place of freedom. I'm up 10 or 12ish pounds from that coveted place and it so sucks. Though it's not as bad as the 184 I was rockn' in high school, I want 149 back. Atkins is what worked for me but though I am "sorta back on it", I'm not as diligent as I was the first time. Though I have added exercise recently and am feeling great about myself...not really great, but great! Because I know that if I keep at it, I'll have a pseudo bikini bod by summer. It must be our advancing ages girls. My BFF (think you may know her ;-) is going through the same thing right now. Skinny all her life and then, all of a sudden...a few rolls..ha! Though she is by no means to be classified as FAT, she is a few sizes shy of her glory weight. It must be so strange for you girls. Something you have never thought about is now preoccupying your thoughts. Welcome to my world (save those 2+ years). We can do this! Not sure if you noticed my Weigh-in Wednesday posts. Here's a post for some inspiration along our joint journey: And Michelle, your writing is phenom! You should consider opening yourself up to the entire blogosphere :-)

Michelle said...

Thanks for the support girls!
I am really not enjoying this new-found experience, I too was thinking it may have much to do with getting al little older and all that comes with that process. Also the stress of our schedules and now fixing up the house and selling it - I don't feel stressed but maybe this is how I am showing it! Or maybe they're all convenient excuses and I just need to take responsibility for it, who knows? I am perhaps over thinking and need to take action, this was my personal wake up call.
And thanks Jen, I have been considering opening it up but to tell you the truth this has been hard enough! I have always been very private about my writing and this is my first step in gaining some confidence in that area.
Glad you are enjoying my ramblings!