One of the biggest regrets of my life is that I have been chasing the elusive "normal weight" for the better part of my existence. Other than the fact that I no longer have any detectable metabolism whatsoever...I've discovered that well...GASP!...I just like to eat.
I like to eat the way some people like to shop, hunt, exercise, play golf, or watch SEC football. As in...passionately and as often as humanly possible.
Last year, I was fortunate enough to drop some weight and really enjoyed the benefits. I felt better...healthier...and actually happier. I don't know if it was the fact that I just felt more comfortable with myself or if I just liked having that mantle of worrying about my weight lifted for awhile. Whatever it was...it was wonderful. What it cost me was the intake of most carbohydrates. It was a small price to pay at the time. It honestly still is.
But I made a pledge to myself that whatever I weighed on my birthday this year was going to be what it was. I wouldn't hide out from people and make excuses as to why I can't or won't attend this or that. After all, I'm 48 years old. I've made choices. Some of them were good choices...and some of them were more along the lines of Ben & Jerry's, Krispy Kreme, and Five Guys.
I've been to Rehab (Weight Watchers) and I learned how to work the system. I have been on low-carb, no carb, no meat, and all meat diets. I've worked out, not worked out, walked in two 60 mile breast cancer walks (and trained for both) and tried everything from pilates to step aerobics to yoga to weightlifting. I've been disciplined, undisciplined, skipped meals by replacing them with something ridiculous like a cup of yogurt, a shake, or a bowl of cereal, and I've tried the six meals a day plan. I've counted calories, tried every plan written...and even tried to pray off the pounds. The bottom line...all of them worked...just not for long enough to get me down to a size that I can actually maintain.
Don't worry, though...I am not giving up on myself or settling for being "Big Me." I'm just not going to beat myself up for it anymore. I'm not going to be uncomfortable (other than being hot in the summer which in Alabama is actually weight-neutral) just because I don't look like I want to look nor am I going to use my newfound freedom from worrying about it to allow myself to just eat an entire box of Girl Scout cookies just because I don't have to write it down in a diary.
This year, I didn't even buy any Thin Mints. I thought of that as progress, by the way.
I think that a lot of my weight issues center around the fact that I have never really felt comfortable in my own skin. Maybe nobody does. I hardly know. But I think I'm ready to get over whatever it is and just enjoy my life instead of waiting for it to start when I lose "x" number of pounds. That may never happen. I hope it does...but I have to accept that it may not. I just have to love me anyway and assume that there will be a faction of the citizens here on Earth who will love me as well.
I don't necessarily think that being "Big Me" is only limited to weight, though. I like to think that I have a big heart, big ideas, and big dreams that are part of who I am. And the fact that these are "big" actually doesn't bother me at all.
I don't know what the future holds...but I do know that I'm now able to say that I'm watching what I eat for the sake of my health with a straight face. Somehow, saying that at age 35 seemed a little disingenuous at best and way too full of myself at worst. But with my "baby" graduating this year...I think I've finally crossed over into the realm of middle age.
What? You think I should go kicking and screaming across that threshold? Hardly. I'm just happy to still be here and doing a lot of things that I love with and for a lot of people I care deeply about. Plus, I'm a whole lot smarter than I was when I was young and slim. About a lot of things, anyway.
Maybe it really is true...you know...that e-mail about the reason why women gain weight as they age. It is blamed on years of wisdom, knowledge, experience, memories, and love that collects within us and makes us heavier. I'll hold on to that little strand of denial as it totally works for me.
But in the meantime...I'm going to try to let "Big Me" not define me...or at least represent me more in personality and love than in actual physical size. It is time. Actually, it is way past time.
And that's okay. As a sweet friend tells me..."the past is the past...look forward." And so I do...and I will.
Wish me luck in this endeavor...I'm back in the saddle again. Maybe I will be successful...and perhaps I will not. Whatever happens...I'm still me. Even if that is "Big Me."
Yes...I'm actually okay with that.