Healthy living has become the biggest part of my life lately. I’m on a constant tug-of-war with my weight, never hitting my happy weight nor coming to a place where I feel I am at my healthiest.
Hello, my name is Stephany, and I’m a yo-yo dieter.
|Oh, those shoulders!|
I would say I was at my “healthiest” (using that term loosely) in the Spring-Summer of 2007. I was living on my own at college, going to the gym most mornings, and using Sparkpeople to plug in my calories. My college had a Subway on campus and I would usually head on over there after spending a morning working out at the gym. By the time May rolled around, I was down 10 pounds. And by August, I was a svelte 125 pounds. I still felt like I had about ten more pounds to lose but then Fall came. It was my first time working while having a full load of classes. I also had my first teaching experience, working one day a week in a first-grade classroom. Needless to say, healthy living took a back burner to life. I didn’t gain a lot, but also didn’t lose anything.
2008 was the year it all fell apart. I started another teaching experience (twice a week in a fourth-grade class) that was hell, ended up quitting my job in March, and gained almost all my weight back. It was a rough year for me, especially since I was realizing I was pretty awful at this teaching thing. It wasn’t a great year for me and I think gaining my weight back (and slipping back into old patterns) was just the icing on the cake.
2009 was a year of new beginnings for me: new job, new major, and a new way of living. Yet the weight stayed on. Every once in a while, I’d rejoin Weight Watchers and lose some weight, but fall back to old habits and gain it all back. It’s been a constant cycle for the past two years.
Sometimes, I think to myself, “Maybe I’m just not ready. I haven’t hit rock bottom yet.” My mom? She was ready. She had a medical scare and realized she needed to do something quick before she was put on medication because of her weight. So she did. She lost 80 pounds and has kept it off for over two years. While I don’t feel like I have hit rock bottom yet or gotten a health scare that snaps my butt into gear, that is such a scary statement to make. What do I mean “I’m not ready”? When will I be ready? When I have a heart attack? When I can only fit into plus-sized clothing? When I get put on diabetes medication?
If I start now, I only have 35 pounds to lose. I can turn my life around when I’m young and not wind up 200+ pounds at age 25. (And for someone who’s five-foot-two, that’s a lot of weight to lug around.) It doesn’t matter whether or not I’m “ready”, it matters that I start fighting for my health now.
Completely changing your life is not easy and for me, I’m holding onto my old life with tight fists. It’s a little terrifying to think of how much my life needs to change and there’s a big part of me that doesn’t think I can do it. And that’s the part that’s holding me back the most: that little voice inside my head, telling me I’ll always be fat. And while I’m trying to accept myself as I am (i.e., being skinny will not solve all of my problems), I know that finding my happy weight and living a healthy lifestyle will do wonders for my self-esteem, confidence, and overall outlook on life.