I used to be thin.
Wear a bikini, walk around naked, clothes looked cute on me, THIN.
Now, NOT SO MUCH.
When I was 23 I moved to Boston to be with my husband, who went to college and medical school there.
I had been a pastry chef for 4 years. I worked long hours. It was VERY physical. And, I would often go for hours on end without eating. Such was life in the culinary industry.
I was thin and muscular.
When I moved to Boston I got a job managing a cafe/chocolate shop. They were famous for their hot chocolate. I had a hot chocolate for breakfast every morning (I made it with soy milk because I thought I was being healthy, but I didn't take into account soy milk's fat content). For lunch I often had a bagel with egg salad.
Between that and eating the typical college food that I was surrounded by, I gained between 10-15 lbs that year. The freshman 15, at age 23.
Because I had been so slim to begin with, the extra weight by no means made me fat, it just made me average.
The next year the stress started. I wish I was one of those people who can't eat when they were stressed out, but I am the opposite- food is comfort.
In 2000, my beloved grandmother died. A few months later September 11th happened (it had a HUGE impact on me, but that's another post). Two months later my now husband then boyfriend asked me to marry him.
During the next six years- my father was diagnosed with melanoma, and had two surgeries to remove the growth in his cheek. We got married. My father had two shoulder surgeries, prostate surgery, and spine surgery. Someone very close to us (sorry-can't mention who) was diagnosed with lung cancer, had two surgeries to remove tumors, and had chemo. We moved to NYC. I had career ending shoulder surgery. My father was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma, which resulted in two years of treatment, and eventually his death. Someone else close to us (who also wishes to remain nameless) was diagnosed with congestive heart failure (on the SAME DAY I found out about my dad's cancer spreading), had a hip replaced, had prostate surgery, and has had pneumonia several times. I ruptured a disk in my back, I lost two pregnancies. My mother passed out while driving and was hospitalized. I had a horrible pregnancy that finally resulted in a healthy baby. We moved to the suburbs. I re-injured my shoulder.
Stress, stress stress. Eat, eat, eat.
Right before I had Willa I went to a trainer for three months. My BMI was in the high end of healthy.
I gained a respectable 35 lbs. when I was pregnant.
I lost all of the pregnancy weight by the time Willa was 4 months old- taking care of a newborn and your dying father=very busy and no time to eat.
So, I had lost all of the weight, but my body looked so different. Everything was distributed differently.
I always had an hourglass figure. I always had a sizable ass and hips, but now I have a belly.
My entire wardrobe revolved around my old figure. I have no idea how to dress now.
I feel like I'm in a stranger's body.
Then we moved out of Manhattan- the city of walking.
The move was so stressful. It's so hard to get anything done with a toddler around. My husband's job is not what he expected- he's working a lot more. I rarely get a break.
And I've been in so much pain lately.
I want a cookie.
So I've had a few cookies.
And since we've moved I've gained about 8 pounds. I am the heaviest I've ever been (with the exception of being pregnant). My BMI is 26.35.
I am miserable.
This isn't about how much I weigh, or what size jeans I wear- it's about how I feel.
I feel like crap. I feel depressed. I'm tired. I'm not sleeping well.
I hate my body. My husband tried to talk to me while I was in the shower the other day, and I made him leave. I don't want my own husband to see me naked. That is sad.
This summer my kid missed out on swimming in a pool because I didn't want to put a bathing suit on. So, the way I feel about my body is keeping me from doing things with my child. That is unacceptable.
Now, here's the problem:
I can't cut back on calories. Let me explain-
I've never been a big eater. I spent years working in the culinary industry, rarely stopping to eat. I've totally screwed up my metabolism. When I keep track of my daily calories they are usually between 1,200 and 1,500. Not enough.
I actually think I need to eat MORE to lose weight so my metabolism can reset itself.
I also need to eat better. Here's what my diet looks like now- carbs, carbs, carbs. I go entire days without eating a single vegetable. And I'm a VEGETARIAN.
Now, I just need to figure out how to make the time to eat healthy. Taking care of a toddler does not afford me the time to prepare a lot of meals. I often just eat a handful of crackers until my kid is napping and I can have a proper meal.
The other part of the problem- lack of exercise.
First, I have a lot of physical issues that prevent me from doing a lot of things.
For instance, the last time I took a yoga class I had to sit half the class out because of my shoulder.
I really should have my exercise supervised by a trainer or a physical therapist, but I can't afford either.
Second, time. I have none of it.
At least 5 mornings a week I take Dexter for a walk while pushing Willa in the stroller. I walk briskly for about a half an hour for about 2 miles. Now, this hurts my shoulder, but if I'm going to get healthy I need to make sacrifices, and I realize that with my physical issues I'm going to have to deal with pain.
Other than the morning walk I'm not getting much exercise. I try to go to yoga, but I can't take a lot of the classes because of my limitations, and the husband is rarely home during the time they have classes that I can actually take, so I end up only going about twice a month.
I've thought about exercise videos, but I am concerned that I really should be supervised when I'm exercising, and to be honest, I hate exercise videos.
My husband doesn't get home until about 7pm, at which point I am exhausted and it's time for me to make dinner. If he gets home earlier I try to go for a walk, but that's rare.
I think the Wii Fit would be great for me, but I just can't afford it.
I really want to be healthy, I just don't know how to find the time.
I don't have unrealistic expectations. I don't expect to look like a celebrity.
I just don't want to dread getting dressed every day.
I want to feel strong.
I want to set a healthy example for my daughter. Show her that eating healthy and exercising should be a part of life.
I just want to feel comfortable in my own skin.
I just want to feel like me again.