Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Not Where I Want to Be

So, the truth is out. I blog about family fitness, write articles about healthy living and guess what, I’m not where I want to be. I used to feel guilty about that. Really guilty. Almost to the point of being ashamed. How can anyone listen to anything I say when I’m not the perfect model of health and fitness? What if people find out I’m not a size 4? What will they think?

Well, the truth is, it’s been a really, really long time since I cared about what people think of me. Like, since I was a senior in high school. And I learned that lesson pretty fast. People who think less of me because of what I say, do or think, or how I look, aren’t really worth my time. Harsh? Maybe. But unabashedly true.

And then today it hit me that agonizing over not being where I want to be is subscribing to that same defeatist, all-or-nothing mentality that vaulted me up to the 200+ pound mark in the first place. And now look where I’m headed … again.

People always say I don’t look like I weigh what I weigh. For starters, I’m 5’9”. That’s five inches taller than the average U.S. woman. I got me a little more frame to fill. And—oh, how to say this delicately?—I’m sorta on the chesty side. I once read a medical chart that said I should weigh between 120 and 145. And I thought, “120? Sh*t, I have that much in my bra!” (Subsequently, that was the last time I paid attention to a medical chart.) I lost 55 pounds a few years ago, took 9” off my waist and only 4” off my chest. My jeans dropped from a size 18 to a size 10, thisclose to an 8, and I still have to buy an XL top, or shop at Lane Bryant for bras. (*cringe*) The girls are here to stay, no two ways about it.

But regardless, I could be doing better. In order to make progress, I think it’s necessary to revisit the past. What were my successes, and where did I fall short? My top weight, at least the top weight I admit to, was 229 pounds, just before I moved to Idaho in June 2004. (OK, don’t tell anyone, but just before I delivered my daughter, I was closer to 250. Linebacker size. Two weeks before she was born, the nurse weighed me and told me I was 248, and after that I told her not to tell me my weight anymore. But that’s just our little secret, K? All right, thanks.) I’m going to really go out on a limb here and post the picture, taken in August 2004. OK, look. What do you see? A fat girl, right? A fat girl with a bad haircut. (Short? What was I thinking?) But that’s not all I see. I see a girl who was really unhappy and unhealthy, just reacting to life, eating anything and everything because it was available, losing her temper a little too often and feeling very sorry for herself. Misery personified.

Now check out the next picture. That’s me just one year later, in 2005, 55 pounds lighter and much happier and healthier. That’s a girl who said “Eff you, misery! I got stuff to do. I deserve a better life than this, and I’m gonna fight for it!” That’s the girl who met her friend at 0:Dark:30 every morning to hit the gym. And then made time to lift weights at night when the kids went to bed. That’s the girl who stopped buying cookies because she figured out she couldn’t eat what wasn’t there. (Duh!) That’s the girl who found a way to be active no matter what, whether it was going out to play soccer (which she hates) with the kids or shoveling 49 yards of dirt out of the driveway to put in the backyard, busted ankle and all. She made it a workout, whatever it was.

So where is she now? Somewhere between those two pictures. Not where she wants to be. But she has come to the realization that it’s not all or nothing. It’s day by day, and each one is a new opportunity. And if she falls, she’ll get back up. It’s only a failure if you refuse to try again. So I’m officially dropping the guilt today. It never helps anything anyway. No matter what size pants I’m wearing, I know a lot about health and fitness. I have much to say and share and do. And I still want to help others achieve their own success, one day, one pound, one good decision at a time. Because THAT is where I want to be.


workout mommy said...

i love this post because I can so relate!

Keep up the momentum! :)

Family Fitness Files said...

Thank you! I appreciate the support.

Courtney said...

Great post! I am a girl who is not perfect, not in perfect shape, but who strives every day to improve. I reached my goal of doing a sprint triathlon even though I'm not skinny minny, and now I'm testing for my ACE personal training certification. Thanks for the dose of honesty and inspiration!
Check out my blog for my story Adventures in Tri-ing

carla said...

thank you for writing this.
for sharing.
for your HONESTY.
and for the normalizing that no matter the struggle it's OK not to be where so so so want to be & that we are enough where we currently are.

Brianna said...

Good job dropping the guilt! You know where you want to be, you have the tools & moxie to get there, AND you have the desire. Guilt be gone! You're embracing yourself in the present and looking forward to taking yourself one step at a time to the future. Who could ask for anything more?

Joanna Sutter, My Favorite Things said...

Awesome, open, and honest. I applaud you.

Family Fitness Files said...

Thank you so much! The shin-kicking irony is that I set aside time to work on this project this week, and, right on cue, my son got sick and stayed home Monday. So I got to it on Tuesday. MOMENTS after publishing yesterday's post, husband called to say he was coming home sick from work. Put the rest of my work aside to care for him. And then today, he went to work, saw the doc, got a prescription for antibiotics, and came home. In the meantime, it looks like I've got it, too. He'll be home at least through tomorrow, maybe longer. So my momentum is on pause, but it's there! And I'll definitely feed off of all of this. Thanks again!

Marisa (Trim The Fat) said...

Thanks for being so honest and sharing your story!

It's only a failure if you refuse to try again. LOVE THAT!

Family Fitness Files said...

Thanks for your feedback, everyone. FYI, in general, I usually reject comments that are ads for someone else's service/product. That's just my personal policy.