Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Don't Ask Me if I've Gained Weight

      I created this album to record the journey of becoming a healthier person, and the lessons I learned along the way. Before my 40th birthday my weight hit an all time high at 168 pounds (I am 5'7"), I felt ugly and uncomfortable, so I decided I needed to do something about it. I began by taking little steps, eliminating pop and working out with the Wii fit, this helped me lose about 10  pounds. I still felt as though I needed to lose more, so after we returned from our vacation in March I began to run, I could only run about 30 seconds a time, but over time I was slowly able to increase my time and distance. On July 4th I ran my first 5K, and my weight was at 150 pounds, but I still felt like I needed to lose more weight, so I added mountain biking, and increased my distance running, and I was able to continue my weight loss, by the end of summer I had reached 131 pounds. Now time to be honest, I had developed an obsession over my weight, and I was far from the happiness I was searching for. It is hard to admit this, but my weight and appearance became my main focus. During this time I was determined to maintain this weight, but to do this I had to work out two to three hours a day, and turn down ice cream, birthday cake and pizza. Even though I was at a weight society considers beautiful I was miserable. I continued at this pace until a medical condition forced me to stop for 6 weeks. It was agonizing to take this time off, and after two weeks I started to run again and I caused the condition to worsen, so now the doctor let me know I would be out for a couple months. This forced me to slow down and I actually started to reflect on what the goal should actually be.
       The initial goal was to become healthy, and lose weight so that I would be happier. I felt that if I could achieve the goal weight I had set in my mind everything else would fall into place. In reality my health actually began to suffer from lack of rest and pushing too hard. Also, my relationships seemed to suffer because I didn't have time to devote to them, and the problems that I had in other relationships didn't improve with my new look. Finally a light bulb went off and I knew that this was not the change I wanted, so I needed to try a different approach. When I was able to exercise again I didn't return to my previous regimen instead I started by decreasing the amount that I was running too 3 miles, three times a week, and one longer run a week that is about 5 miles. I will occasionally run a 5K race, but I am not obsessed about my times I do it for the camaraderie and the positive energy. I still try to eat a healthier diet, but I am not turning down pizza or cupcakes. My weight did increase, it settled at 148 pounds which does not give me cellulite free legs, or a completely flat stomach, but I feel healthier, my hair is no longer falling out and my skin looks better. I also am more balanced, I have time to spend with my kids, and enjoy other hobbies. I am proud of the races that I finished that summer, but I also look back and I realize they came with a cost.
   Today I am definitely curvier, but I am also happier.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Vanessa, thanks for sharing this. I really needed to read this today. It was a good reminder that I tend towards believing that if I weigh the number I have in my head I will have a happier life. So not true!