This whole eating healthy and exercise thing I’ve been doing these last few weeks is leaving me both tired (trying to fit in the time for exercise before it gets too freaking late at night to drag my chubby carcass off the couch) and struggling to find interesting things to eat (in small portions mind you when I’m eating alone) for dinner that don’t take take forever and a day to make in the rest of my non-existent spare time.
I mean breakfast and lunch are easy-peasy. The cereal and milk in the morning…although I would hardly call Golden Grahams the breakfast of champions (baby steps!) is a far sight better than the muffins, bagels or worse I’ve been cramming in my cake hole for years and oh don’t get me started on the bad lunch choices in the past oyyy.
It is not like I haven’t been very fit in the past and I know I have totally brought this on myself but man it is SO not as easy to work this shit off like it used to be. My middle-age spread is hanging on tooth and nail to EVERY.SINGLE.OUNCE. of fat stored, but my effort is slowly but surely showing some results. Encouraging yes. If I didn’t see anything after all this hard work I would curl up on the couch this minute with something very sinful and then berate myself with the inevitable surge of guilt that would surely follow. But alas, dear body, you have decided to throw me a frickin’ bone. Bless you.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not fool enough to starve myself, nor do I have unreasonable goals. I don’t count on ever being truly skinny again, nor truthfully do I want to question everything I ever put in my mouth for the rest of my life and I’m not super big into denial. I just want to be healthy and a little happier with the way I look and feel. Not too much to ask no? I’m trying hard to find the balance.
In my past I have done some pretty big extremes trying to please everyone BUT myself. My wonderful husband Tom loves every fluffy inch of me and would never try to change me, this time is all about me baby.
Once in one of my more questionable periods I had gone to a diet clinic to lose weight to get into some seriously skinny jeans before a trip. This place, had they not been just after my money should have sent me packing as I was NOT overweight. They put me on a 1000 calorie a day diet restricting even healthy food and didn’t actually encourage exercise.
Of course now I understand why, as muscles actually make you put weight ON (but help you burn calories better) but this was a numbers game it was all about watching them go DOWN. It was a 5 week program and then a 4 week maintenance program. I had to go in and weigh-in every single day and if I didn’t lose at least a half pound A DAY I was questioned by the Nazi consultant as to what I had obviously indulged in that day (when I had stuck to it religiously!). It got to the point where I confessed the ONE small Smartie that my Son so kindly gave me when he saw me slobbering at it from across the room. One Smartie in five weeks! I lost 27 pounds in five weeks. Way way too much. This put my on a bit of a downward spiral towards an eating disorder. It taught me the wrong thing and I lapped it up enjoying the fact that hey! my ribs were sticking out and even better my hip bones! I blew off the maintenance and kept losing instead.
My doctor who when I went in for my PAP had a long talk with me about how I was looking (and feeling) and set me straight. I started to gradually put a little more food in my diet and adding exercise to my regime. Of course being the obsessive compulsive I am, I went to the extreme on exercise as well and used to work out on average 2 hours a night 7 days a week. Moderation? Pfffff. Of course this meant I could add some more of the bad stuff back in. I mean I was working it off right?
I eventually got pregnant again and started to panic that I would once again put weight on and I increased my work outs and cut out the crap completely again. By the time I gave birth at 7.5 months along (I was enduced due to preeclampsia) to Sean I had the heart rate of an athlete (according to my nurse who was most impressed) and almost a completely flat stomach 2 weeks later. In fact when I went to visit him in the special care preemie nursery they made me show ID cos they didn’t think I had given birth recently. That made me feel GREAT!
The bad news was the high blood pressure didn’t go away right away and the doctor advised taking it easy, meaning no strenuous exercise only walking. It was like cutting a junkie off cold turkey. I was NOT happy. I was walking regularly with my ex-Step-Mother-In-Law (which I had also done when I was pregnant) but she eventually quit and I ended up quitting even that. I was given the all clear about 4 months later but by then the siren song of the couch had grabbed hold but good. I have struggled ever since going up and down like a yo-yo. The last few years have been more like just the yo.
So, yeah. I’m trying to do this the right way and not make it all about the scale. Frankly I can’t take that kind of pressure along with the pressure I’m already under when it comes to my work life. I’m trying to keep a sense of humour about this and if I feel like having a glass of wine and something just a little sinful now and then, goddamit then I will.
Balance, it is all about balance.