Taking Off the Blinders

On May 1, 2012, I weighed 174.2. I don’t remember my exact weight in June or July since my blogging died out and thus it wasn’t recorded, but I do know that at one point in July I got down to 172.6. Then I accidentally-on-purpose decided to stop weighing myself. This decision coincided with a lack of exercise that lasted about a month. I told myself that I’d been maintaining all summer so weighing was pointless, and after exercising for 60 out of 62 days in May and June, I deserved a break, right?

Truly, what I deserved was a swift kick to the tush. I weighed myself last Monday, August 13, and I weighed 178.6.  That’s over 4 pounds higher than my weight in May and 6 pounds over my lowest weight in July. To put it plainly, I got lazy and apathetic. I felt stuck, and a lot of the time I debated if I even wanted to keep trying to lose weight. My body seemed determined to stay in the 170s, so why not just let it stay there?

And honestly, if these last 20-ish pounds that I want to lose were solely about the way my clothes fit, I don’t know that I would keep going. I’ve grown accustomed to how I look and have mostly accepted the fact that I will never be a size 6, or even a size 8. Losing 20 more pounds will not put me in a bikini or remove the cellulite that has permanently attached itself to my thighs. Losing 20 more pounds will not put me on the cover of a magazine. Losing 20 more pounds will not change who I am.

So why bother?

I think I lost sight of the reason why I should bother, but the reason is this: I want to be healthy. And I’m not healthy at this weight. Not simply because of the number on the scale, but because of the habits I’ve allowed myself to develop. The snacking at night, the dessert after lunch AND dinner, the too-frequent visits to Dairy Queen, the obsessing over food in general–all have kept me from losing those last 20 pounds, and all have contributed to the unhealthy state of my body.

Are weight and health intertwined? Not always. I would venture to say that I’m healthier than some women who are smaller than me because I know some who can’t even run a mile, much less finish a half-marathon. I also think that I was probably healthier when I was 200 pounds pre-Charlotte than I am right now because that Erin was making healthier eating choices and getting a lot more exercise. But I also know many women who are a healthy weight precisely BECAUSE they make healthy choices and worked incredibly hard at it.  I know that healthy choices often lead to weight loss, and I can’t keep lying to myself and saying that I’m healthy when I eat junk and slack on exercise and then wonder why my pants feel a little tighter.

So what now? I’m going back to the basics:

  1. Counting calories on SparkPeople.com. I started this last week and did really well for 4 days and then slacked off right in time for the weekend. I’m trying to stick to 1700 calories or less per day, but I am also trying to develop the habit of simply logging everything I eat, whether I stay in my range or not. I know the more I do it, the more inclined I’ll be to skip the junk food and go for the carrots instead.
  2. Exercising 4 times a week for a minimum of 2 hours. This is a very doable amount of exercise. I’d love for it to be more, but I’m trying to be realistic about the time that I have. 
  3. Paying attention to portions. My trusty food scale has gotten more use this past week than it has all year, and I’m proud of that. I was eating portions that were completely out of control. I don’t plan to weigh my food for the rest of my life, but for right now this is what I need to do to have control. 
  4. Praying. I’ve known for a while how much of my struggle with weight and food is a spiritual matter, but I’ve failed to spend considerable time in prayer asking God to help me win this battle with food. I’m trying to change that by praying every day, even if it’s just a minute, about my food issues. I also want to find some Scriptures that encourage me in this issue and commit them to memory. 

If I can do all these things, I know I will be healthier. Even if I don’t lose those last 20 pounds, if I can accomplish the things on this list on a regular basis, I know I’ll have won.

What about you? Do you think health and weight are intertwined?

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5 thoughts on “Taking Off the Blinders

  1. For me, it is intertwined. I've recently been injured and told to not exercise for a bit to give my body the proper time to heal. I have been stretching, but barely. I need to lose the rest of my weight to take the pressure off of my knees and back. Thank you for this post. I know I can't control the exercise at this point, but I can control the food/

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  2. It's true that health and weight are NOT always intertwined! You are definitely healthier than I am even though I may technically be “smaller.” I bet you are way more toned than I am, too. I was tracking diet/exercise on the LoseIt app for a while, but I ended up in a mindset kind of like yours – I've plateaued, so what's the point? This post has inspired me to get back on the bandwagon and start exercising and eating right again.

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  3. Health and Low-Weight are not the same. Weight is a number on the scale – which, if you are me, fluctuates according to time-of-the-month, salt-intake, breathing and I don't know, the way the wind blows. Health is about energy, vitality, peace. It's do I sleep well, can I trust my body to do what I need it to do (like, walk down stairs without my knees failing), do I feel icky inside or peaceful, etc. I'm happy to see you making the choice to be healthy! ~ L

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