For most of my adult life I’ve been about twenty pounds overweight. Which isn’t a lot and mostly I fooled myself into believing I looked okay. I was never thin anyway and after a couple of kids weight gain is normal, right? That’s what I told myself anyway.
But here’s a fun fact about aging: if you don’t take care of your body, you will be sorry. In fact, that’s probably true at any age, but aging makes you pay the price even more. I watched my parents become old and weak and swore I’d try to take better care of myself. God’s policy is one body to a customer, so you better take care of the one you have.
I was always interested in exercise and nutrition but I had some truly bad eating habits. Do not, I repeat DO NOT put a bag of potato chips (or Cheetos) anywhere near me because I will eat them all and your hand as well if it comes too close. A few years ago I told my doctor I had the diet of the average 13-year-old. She was reading the results of my blood work at the time. She sent me to a nutritionist who taught me how to eat better and I lost some weight but then I kinda sorta went back to my old habits, but not to the same extent. I was better.
Last year I decided there was no reason I couldn’t weigh what I did on my wedding day. Which would mean I’d have to lose those twenty pounds I’ve been carrying around for thirty-plus years. No problem! I pointed to my friend who lost 40 pounds on Weight Watchers and kept it off. She runs so I got running shoes and started wogging. I weighed myself daily and wrote down everything I ate. I had to give up wogging because even interval running makes my body hurt. But I walked. I rode my bike. I did my version of working out. Plus I still work part-time and I’m on my feet every shift. Six months later? I am discouraged because my weight hasn’t changed.
My daughter asks, “Don’t you think maybe you’re at the weight you’re supposed to be? Especially since it hasn’t really changed in all these years?” She says, “I think you look good.” But in my head I hear what I think she’s not adding to the end of that sentence which is “for your age.”
I think I have let body image issues creep into my mind. Slowly, gradually, and who could blame me? We are surrounded by magazines and television telling us we aren’t thin enough, not in good enough shape and we’re not eating the right things.
Then my friend Lynn posted this on her FB page. What Really Causes Heart Disease. And I thought: what am I doing?
I went swimsuit shopping yesterday. That’s never fun but all my reflection made me think is “What happened to me? I used to have a decent figure.” Where’d my waistline go? Most of my excess poundage seems to have settled there.
It’s time to stop obsessing about my weight and figure. I’m healthy. I exercise regularly and although it’s been a slow process, I eat “healthy” most of the time. I know there are things that aren’t good for me and that if I buy them I will eat them, so I just try not to buy them.
Processed foods are my enemy. I’ve read so much about the effect they have on health and weight I now make a conscious effort to avoid them for the most part. Even if I don’t lose weight I feel better.
I’ve decided to stop putting myself down and all women should just stop with the negative body image thing and stop beating themselves up every time they crave a chocolate bar. At the same time we can all encourage each other to make healthier choices.
#bodyimage #diet #weightloss #aging