My four year “fit anniversary” is April 1! Wow, four years! I guess this has become my new normal. I’m still trying to find that healthy balance without tipping one way or the other. I love being fit and feeling like I am capable to do anything. The last four years I have done SO much I never would have done in my old body. Little things like going on long walks, swimming, public speaking to bigger things like sky diving, hiking and running kind of long distances. For sure I love being active!
(Thanks for reading this – I really put myself out there online. In person, I probably would not show these photos other than to my husband and family. The internet is strange and wonderful!)
One thing I wanted to talk about quick is on perception. Obviously, I spend a large chunk of time at work and I have many friends and acquaintances there. As with many workplaces, a lot (most?) of our events revolve around food. I think many people here know I strive to be healthy and eat well. I really try to practice everything in moderation. I actually feel a lot of pressure when it feels like every time we sit down together people are asking me about fitness or calories or running or fitness gear or what to eat/what not to eat. A gal here baked something and asked if I “could” eat it. I told her I can eat whatever I want, I just sometimes choose not to. I wonder – is this what people perceive of me? That my only thing of interest is food, calories and working out? It is a big part of my life, but I DO other things than go to the gym. Most days. Ha. The pressure I get then is that I should probably step it up and look/act more like a fitness or nutrition guru since people want to talk about that with me?? I probably failed when I gained some of my weight back? I don’t know? I am human after all. And I do seriously love food. It is honestly a compliment when someone asks me about getting started with eating better or trying to make it to the gym. But in a group setting with others I don’t know so well, I just feel pressure and super awkward. More awkward than usual which is general awkwardness 24/7.
I am not perfect or close to perfect. I struggle. Often. I eat pizza – lots of it – and chips and dips and cookies. I love to drink – I love to sleep. I am kind of an all or nothing gal and that goes for all areas of my life – good and bad. If someone wants an honest conversation or questions on things that work for me, I am an open book. But I don’t know what will work for you or how to live your best life. I am still working on mine. So when you see someone who you think has it all together, or even half of her shit together, trust me, she doesn’t. None of us do. I thought adults always knew the answers and had “it together”. But I am an adult and sometimes I feel just as lost as when I was a kid.
On the flip side of that perception is what some women perceive of themselves. I know because I have been and sometimes am still there. Social media has made it very difficult to NOT compare yourself to others. There are so many women who seemingly have it all and are perfect. How could I ever be like them or even attempt to be like them? Well, I am letting you know that I think you can do “it” and I have faith in you. If I can go and lose (and maintain!) a 75+ pound weight loss, so can you. Educate yourself and surround yourself with inspiring people. There will be ones that want to drag you down but believe in yourself. I know you can do it and you are worth it. Social media is super inspiring to me (I love Instagram – I’m on there as @FeistyEats) but it can get overwhelming so a break here and there is good, mentally. But you can see so many stories of women improving themselves with weight loss or biking or running, etc.
One thing I know for certain, is I am better off and a different person than I used to be. I need to remember that and give myself credit for that. I found some old pictures I wanted to share here from I am guessing around 2009 or 2010? I remember how I felt in some of those photos. I was having fun. I was with friends but I was also ashamed of myself. In the blue top I was at a Twins game and I remember how tight the chair was on my hips and how it would have been fun to wear a cute Twins shirt and not a skirt and shirt because that is all I had that fit.
For some reason I have a very bad memory and forget a lot easily. However, going through these scrapbooks, I can remember articles of clothing so well and if I was comfortable or not, having a “skinny” day or not and why I choose those clothes. Instead of looking at these events and the friends I was with, those are my first thoughts that come to mind. I still do that to this day. While I just shared earlier this week I have 10 lbs. I’d love to lose, and that is true…my one hope is to just become more confident and proud of what my body has done for me. Through weight gains/losses, physical fitness changes, biking, running, jumping, etc. I want to be proud of where I am today and now. I feel like a broken record saying these things, you know? Maybe this will be the year it “takes”. I do NOT want to go back to those large weight gains/losses (I am talking like 50 pound swings) but maintain and yeah going up or down 10 pounds here and there isn’t horrible. Life happens. But I want to stay within my comfort zone and in my healthy range.
I know that I want to feel fit and happy. Here is what works for me:
- Surround myself with strong women friends, a supportive husband and an awesome family. (Check, check, check!)
- Be active. Move.
- Eat well most of the time.
- Enjoy treats – if you are going to pig out, make it worth it. Truly enjoy that pizza or dessert instead of eating it in shame.
- Quality sleep.
- Keep in touch with friends that matter.
- Try to balance your body size by what fits and what doesn’t versus using the scale. Don’t slave too much over the scale. (Still a work in progress here.)
- Eat fresh foods. Limit packaged or processed goods.
- Enjoy those drinks.
- Talk to someone when you are down. They will listen.
- Do what makes you happy.
- Everything in moderation.
- Don’t get caught up in the hubbub. (I mean there are so many things out there saying what to eat, what not to eat, how to exercise, don’t exercise too much – just find what works for you and what you enjoy.) Bike, hike, run, walk, weights, yoga – so many options!
And with that, here is to a happy and healthy journey for me and you. I said this last year too but I’m not sure how long I’ll continue blogging. I have cut back significantly and I’d like to stay here a bit to recap any fun events or to even just type out words. I don’t really talk a lot (outside of in my head, anyway) and writing is therapy for me when things are on my mind. I’ve really gotten in the groove of cooking mostly healthy food, baking less and creating fewer recipes to share. So, I will keep checking in a bit here and there for a while as a time goes on and as long as it keeps making me happy! Have a great month – remember it is never too late to start living the way you want. And thank you so much for listen to me ramble on! Thank you to my family for their never ending support – especially Mark, Jodi and Mom.