I’m 34 years old, and I’ve never really used the F word before. It’s crude, and it’s intended to evoke negative emotions when you use it. But you’ve been reading about my struggles with chronic illness, mental illness, and all sorts of things over the past few months, and now I can’t avoid it any longer. So here it comes…
My family and friends will tell me I’m no such thing, but the God’s honest truth is that I put on about 20 pounds in less than two years. A friend turned me on to MyFitnessPal last week, and I decided that tracking my food and exercise would help get me back on the right track. I was already aware that my weight in pounds was far more than I wanted it to be, but there is an optional section for measuring yourself in inches.
For the first time in my life – third trimester of pregnancy excepted – my waist is bigger than my chest. And I’m fairly well-endowed in the breast area. (I count them as my best physical feature.) I could fit into Tom’s old pants, and he’s never been a small man.
Update March 11: I was still pretty baffled by this, so I did a search for [how do you measure your waist] – and I found I was doing it wrong. You measure at the smallest part, not necessarily right over your belly button. This makes a six-inch difference for me. I still need to lose about two inches for my pants to be comfortable again, but my body image has changed for the better with this revelation.
So this isn’t like those times I said, “Oh, I feel fat” when I’m bloated and PMS-y or after over-indulging at Golden Corral. This isn’t a temporary state of being. As the Wii Fit BMI monitor reminds me daily when I do my Body Test, I’m halfway through the “Overweight” section, tipped slightly more toward Obese than Healthy. And since I’m so out of shape, I’m not one of those people who has more muscle than fat or anything. My BMI is an accurate indication of the level of my unhealthiness.
I am doing something about it. I’ve been making sure to exercise every day. I’ve only missed one day so far in my Wii Fit routine, but that was because I burned more calories grocery shopping and doing laundry on Saturday than I ever do in yoga and step aerobics. And tracking all of the food I eat actually makes overeating a deterrent. If I have to think about putting something in my food diary, I have to consider whether or not it’s worth that extra effort. Most of the time, it’s not.
So far, I’ve lost a whopping two pounds. That’s actually pretty impressive for only about a week, although I know that the weight always comes off fastest in the beginning. Most importantly, I’m not gaining anymore. That’s the direction I was going in before. I will not be happy until I lose at least three inches off my waist – and that’s just a start – but I know this takes time.
I’m not looking for people to tell me I’m not fat, or I look just fine, or any of that. What I really want, what I really need, is encouragement. A little cheering squad for my attempt to get healthier. Support from others who are struggling to do the same thing.
I don’t want to still be using the F word this summer.
(P.S. I don’t use that F word either.)
Tags: body image, health, weight, weight loss