Today finds me tipping the scales at 150 pounds.
Most people are very surprised when/if they find out how much I weigh. I have always carried my weight well. It's pretty evenly distributed. Plus, I have a lot of muscle left over from my many years of dance lessons and waiting tables.
But the fact of the matter is - I am 5'3". I have a small frame. I am what most would refer to as a petite person. I have always had narrow hips, small boobs, and a pretty flat stomach.
I still have the narrow hips and small boobs. But my stomach is a whole other story. It's become this whole other entity. I see myself in pictures and I cringe. I look pregnant a lot of the time. And that would be okay - if I was actually pregnant.
I have become so frustrated with my body, with my overindulgence, with my fatness. I don't really think that I am fat, per se, but I think that, like most Americans, I am a huge consumer. I buy things I don't need, eat things that are bad for me, and waste my precious time doing mind-numbing, habitual, meaningless things.
Today finds me tipping the scales at 150 pounds - and searching desperately for change.
I need to change. I am not a terrible person, but I have some really self-destructive habits. I want to be better. I want to be healthy, centered, kind, and positive. I want to be a good wife, friend, daughter, sister, employee, etc. I want to be a good person, the kind of person that people are proud to know.
So I have decided to change some things about my life. Perhaps I will change in the process. Or maybe I don't need to change at all. Maybe it's all about attitude.
The changes have actually already begun. But first, a flashback.
Last quarter, I was consumed with school work, stress, and general feelings of negativity and resentment. At the same time, I was also thriving and learning new things and feeling extremely happy about all of it. It was an odd place to be, full of tension.
I let a lot of things slide. Going to school four nights a week while working full-time forces one into pure survival mode. Our house was dirty, the dishes often left unwashed. Our laundry rarely got put away. Both of us stopped cooking and instead began eating out all the time. I began drinking soda every day, a habit that I worked very hard to beat back in the fall. There were many nights that I didn't sleep well, as insomnia has always been an issue for me. There were many days that I was just generally cranky and negative.
Now school is out, and I have my life back. And it's time to take control of the mess (not just the physical mess, but the emotional/mental messes as well) and clean it all up. It's time to purge.
Here are some of the ways I've begun to purge and cleanse:
1) After almost two years of being a member of the boards on the knot and the nest, I deleted my account. Both of those websites have operated as a safe haven for me to have fun, make friends, and blow off steam. Sometimes blowing off steam takes the shape of pure, unadulterated drama. I have found myself in the midst of a few dramatic episodes. They are usually fun at the time, but after the fact, I begin to feel bad. I am just not a person who can be nasty and not feel badly about it afterwards. At the same time, I often feel justified in being direct about how I feel concerning a person or situation, which can sometimes translate to nastiness.
I got involved in a particularly dirty exchange of words about a month or so ago. To me, it was harmless fun. It didn't mean anything to me. And then it began to get very personal. It didn't hurt my feelings, because I could see straight through my attackers. (The very things they were attacking about me would have been embraced by them if they actually liked me.) But it was a little unnerving to me to be involved in something with people who obviously take themselves very seriously.
I thought the situation over for a couple of days and then came to the conclusion that I should delete my account and stop visiting the boards. I'm not a chicken shit, but even though I hate drama, I am sometimes likely to get involved in it. Deleting my account removes the temptation of getting involved at all. Let's face it, I have too much of a guilt complex to be mean and then not feel badly about it - no matter how much that person may have deserved it.
Also, there's the fact that I have spent the last year or so going back to the boards because it's just a habit. I don't even really have a positive association with most of the regular boards I used to visit. Many of the members annoy the crap out of me, and there are too many cliques. So, why keep going back?
So I deleted my account, and I deleted all my links to all the different boards I used to visit. And frankly, I don't miss any of it. I miss some of the people, but it's easy enough for my friends to get in touch with me.
The act of deleting is very cleansing. I feel good about this decision (but I hope all you knotties and nesties who read my blog will keep reading, because I actually like you guys).
2) Roy and I have spent this week going through all of our stuff in preparation for the yard sale we're having this weekend. Wow, we have a lot of crap. I would love to have the courage to go totally minimalist, but right now, I don't. I was able to part with about 10-15 pairs of shoes and a whole lot of clothes and books, though. My goal is to hopefully not buy any more books for awhile and go to the library instead. Also, this summer I plan on making more space in our apartment, which may mean getting rid of more stuff. At the end of the quarter, I literally could not focus at home. The mess and clutter really got to me.
3) For the past month or so, I've had a standing date to go to the Farmer's Market with Mandy and Paul. Every Saturday morning, we walk there and buy our produce. The produce is delicious and cheap, and buying it there really helps the local economy. Going to the Farmer's Market is a small step towards becoming a more environmentally conscious person and family. I would like to either carpool to work or find a job closer to home so that I could walk or ride my bike. I would like to use cloth diapers for our future children, make our own baby food, and have flower and vegetable gardens. I really just want to give back to the world that has given so much to me. As issues associated with our overconsumption increase, I really feel that this is an issue that we can no longer ignore. (To give myself some credit, I have been a religious recycler for years. I have also talked about global warming to anyone who will listen. Most people don't, sadly.)
4) This week, I stopped consuming fast food, sweets, and soda. I have always been a terrible eater. And yet, up until the past year or so, I have been able to maintain a healthy weight and appearance just by having a high metabolism. Now that I'm married, off the pill, chained to a desk all day, and approaching 30, it's become apparent that I need to be diligent about diet and exercise. Yes, I have said all this before. Yes, it will be hard. But yes, I can do it. Yes, I can stop looking pregnant while not being pregnant. Yes, I can feel better in my own skin. Yes, I can change my habits. It can be done.
So here I am, weighing in at 150 pounds, really wanting to slim down in all areas of my life, except love and happiness and prosperity. I will accept all of those in abundance, naturally.
But before all the rewards comes the work. I know this, and I accept it.
Consider this my real summertime manifesto. I hope that I can meet the challenge.