My mother in law snapped some family pictures for us yesterday in the back yard. I'm determined to send out Christmas cards this year....something I haven't done the last 2-3 years.
I was feeling good about finally crossing this item off my 'to do' list. And, I was feeling pretty spunky and confident in some new clothes I was wearing. I had just received the skinny jeans & new black boots I had ordered. And, I also had a new (to me) black sweater tunic I had purchased at a consignment store to go with those skinny jeans.
I was thrilled to have something a bit more fashionable to wear and I was feeling pretty confident about how I looked. I was excited to have something fun & funky. I've been feeling really blah & frumpy lately...and old. So, I felt more youthful...and maybe even pretty.
My contentment lasted until I saw the pictures. I was shocked. Who was that fat woman? Am I really that big? While I certainly am not blind to the fact that I'm overweight, I still look different in my mind's eye...and even in my bedroom's full length mirror. But, pictures don't lie, do they? The truth is, I'm heavy....a lot heavier than I realized. And, my fun, funky outfit didn't look nearly as fun & funky as I thought.
I felt like any joy I had felt just crashed & burned. And, it's been a hard fight for me to find joy lately. Lots of things have been weighing me down - mainly areas where I feel like I fail. Failure as a mom. Failure as a wife. Failure as a woman. Failure as a productive member of society. Failure to keep my home well. Failure to manage my time well. Failure to be grateful enough. Failure to be spiritual enough. Failure. Failure. Failure.
But at that moment, the most pressing failure was my failure to manage my weight. It has always been a struggle for me. My weight has yo yo'd up & down ever since my teens. In my 20's I had managed to stay fairly slim (although at the time I still thought I was fat). But, with age & having children & sometimes feeling aimless & as though I'm drifting through my life I feel like I have lost any semblance of control I had over my weight. It scares me.... this loss of control. I just haven't been able to get a grip. And, I keep getting larger & larger.
So seeing those pictures, I felt defeated & hopeless. I actually typed this into google search...because I needed somehow to iterate what I was feeling..."Am I destined to be fat forever?" Surprisingly...or not surprisingly...quite a few results popped up. I clicked on the first one.
It was from nerdfitness.com. In an article there they talked about a study that had been done that showed that once people reach the 'obese' stage (which I now fall in that category according to medical charts), they are highly unlikely to lose weight & keep it off.
Great! I thought. Really encouraging. But then I kept reading, and basically what he was saying in his response to this study, is that there IS hope. In it he talked about moderation, not beating yourself up, working on being happy with yourself, changing a mindset rather than finding more willpower, and living a healthy life as opposed to following a 'diet'. He talks about failures, accepting that they happen but not allowing them to derail you.
Ok. Good stuff. But, probably all stuff I've heard before. Stuff I should know by now. But there was something different about this site. First, I didn't feel like he was trying to sell me something. Second, it just seemed real...like a real person...not some flashy website followed by millions of people. And, not one that was going to say "You're ready to get started? Awesome here's a 40 minute workout to get you going. Eventually you can build up to our 2 hour workout, but we have to start somewhere." In other words, it didn't seem overwhelming. It seemed to understand how large a hurdle even the smallest amount of exercise or change seems to me right now.
So I signed up for their email updates. And, the first one I received, asked me to do one thing. That day. Take a 10 minute walk. If it's cold, he said, put on a jacket. If it's raining, take an umbrella. Just 10 minutes was all he was asking.
At first, I was like "Yeah, yeah. Ok. That seems easy enough. I could start that tomorrow." I stopped myself. No. This is today. He's asking me to start this today. So without thinking or agonizing over it too much more. I got up & I went out for a walk.
And that's when it got interesting.....