For the last month I have made an effort to NOT focus on my weight. For the first time since I was 10 years old, I didn’t think about the number on the scale or the size of my pants or whether or not I was the heaviest woman in the room. This month, I was just Jamie. Not fat Jamie. Not even “fat and happy” Jamie. Just me. And guess what? I wasn’t turned away from playgroups, no one asked me to stop talking to them at the park, in fact, in the last month I’ve met some really cool people and hopefully began some new friendships and it seems no one really gave a damn at all about the fact that I’m fat. This actually is news to me because I thought that it was EVERYTHING.
As enlightening as this month has been, and as great as it is for my self esteem to separate my fat from my personality/identity, the fact of the matter still remains. I am overweight. Though I am healthy now, I am not as healthy as I could be.
But I don’t want to go back to being a slave to my scale. I don’t think I have to be. I don’t think I have to even weigh myself. If I just do what healthy people do, eat what healthy people eat, it would follow that I, too would be healthy. Right? So what do healthy people do?
Exercise. Of course. But healthy people exercise for the sake of exercising. Because it’s good for their bodies. I’ve heard healthy people actually ENJOY exercising. When I exercise regularly for any extended period of time it is always to burn calories, to loose weight, to “earn” that cookie I want to eat after dinner. I think, at least to start with, I need some sort of non-weight related goal to work toward. Something that will get me working out regularly and maybe experience these mythical endorphins you healthy folks are always going on about. This brings me back to my old goal of running in a 5k race.
I know, I know, some people are out there training for MARATHONS! And believe me, I am hugely inspired beyond belief by them. But let’s face it, I’ve got like 100 pounds on some of them and much more of me is flopping around as I do my interpretation of a jog. So to me, running a 5k race and finishing while still maintaining the ability to walk upright and breathe is nearly unthinkable. 5k might as well be 50k when I can barely manage running around a quarter mile track.
I’m going to take a page out of Linda’s book and challenge myself to do something I don’t think I can do, in fact, something I’ve failed at in the past. I am going to work out a training schedule, I am going to lace up my running shoes, and I am going to get out there and jog with the goal of running and finishing a local 5k race this Spring.
As for eating like a healthy person, well, I know how to do that, but let’s face it, unhealthy food tastes SO GOOD! Somehow, I need to learn how to eat healthfully just because it’s healthy. I need to completely change my thinking about food. Look at it as fuel for my body instead of a source of comfort. I’m not sure exactly how to accomplish that. I have to completely reprogram myself. Usually when we celebrate something, like our favorite soccer team winning the MLS cup, we celebrate with food! If we’re upset about something, like my husband losing his job, we drown our sorrow in food. If I’m anxious about something, like will our house ever sell? Ice cream is required. What do people who have a healthy relationship with food do?
Changing the focus from losing weight to becoming healthy is much more motivating. Sure, I can go on a diet and I can loose a few dress sizes, but if I don’t make a real change, I’ll just end up continuing to yo yo forever. If I take care of my body and make healthy choices and really commit to healthy living I will be modeling a healthy lifestyle for my children and maybe they’ll never have to struggle with food issues and weight problems as they grow up and what is more motivating than that?