I’ve been a little quiet on the blog this summer. Part of that is due to a slow down in reading, but another part of it is focusing on some other areas of my life. This one is specifically my health and fitness. I would like to warn you that this was an emotional post for me, and it’s long. So feel free to skip it.
I don’t really like to talk about my weight or my body image issues. I can be really sensitive about it. I used to be very thin. It defined me in a way as “the skinny one.” It even led to some scary times in high school. But I kind of wrapped my head around the fact that I was unhealthily skinny, and I needed to figure out how to be healthy. College came and I put on quite a few pounds, but was still pretty thin. But then something happened, and I became happy with my friends, with school, with life, and I gained some more. By the time I left college, I weighed about 140 pounds, which was up 40 from when I started school. That sounds like a lot, but I think I was healthier than I had been before. I ate fairly healthily (emphasis on fair) and worked out about 3 days a week.
Long story short: a desk job, stress, poor eating habits and less activity have all led me to about 160 pounds (cringe). This is certainly an unhealthy weight for me. I knew because I felt awful. I was turning to food for comfort from stress, and it wasn’t like I was choosing apples. Emotional attachment to food is a real thing. And it can be a dangerous cycle. I knew I was unhealthy because I was feeling really sad about my weight and the way my clothes fit, and I was turning to thoughts I had left behind as a teenager. I also realized that I would never be that skinny again, because that’s not what worked, but I needed to get back to somewhere where I felt good again. I figured most of that out on my own, but it didn’t help to hear hurtful comments about my weight from family and family friends. It’s really a sensitive issue and I wish people would think before they speak about someone’s weight.
This has been a hard post to write. All of these emotions are raw and real, and I still feel them, but I also feel better. And here are couple of things I did on the exercise side to start the process of finding my way back to healthy. Running is not one of them. I used to run, but I hate it, and my body hates it when I run, rebelling with injuries and asthma (that I never had before). So, I choose not to run. I might go back, but not for awhile.
Jillian Michaels’ DVDs Ripped in 30 and Yoga Meltdown – I have a few of Jillian Michaels videos, but these two are my favorite. They’re fast-paced and they hurt, but I always feel good after doing them. But just like anything else, you have to keep up with them and get yourself on a regular routine of working out.
Barre Fly and Zumba – I have been interested in dance-based workouts for a long time. I like doing something that doesn’t always feel like working out. I joined a gym in Pasadena that offered both of these classes along with other dance-based classes. The studio, I have to admit, is pretty Hollywood: attractive trainers, a blend of different types of exercise in one class, and a juice bar outside. But, I like the vibe. They have classes from 6 AM to 9 PM, and for me that works. I actually go the 6 AM Cardio Barre classes two days a week, and I go to Zumba one night a week. And I love my morning classes! I worked out and I don’t have to worry about it for the rest of the day! And there are only a few students, so the trainer is able to give individual feedback. Since it’s at 6 AM, we’ve sort of built up a camaraderie around being up that early to work out by choice. Barre is also great because I can do most of the exercises in a hotel room when I’ll be traveling all fall. It’s the best money I’ve ever spent.
So, I started taking care of my health and activity and I was monitoring my calorie intake. That has to be a good thing, right? But the scale wasn’t moving. Then, this post from Jenna at That Wife really struck a chord with me about food. So, I knew I had to tackle my eating habits. And that’s a post for next time (maybe a little more lighthearted, too).
Do you struggle with your weight? What are things you do to keep active and to keep your body happy?