I say, “I don’t care what I look like (Really. No. Really, really.) but I am sick of being ‘fat’.” Do you believe me?
My story of how I am in the process of changing my life.
You know, New Years day comes around and everyone and their aunt, and their cat, and their aunts cat start up some New Years Resolution that they will never finish. I mean, they say they will, and then you ask them in a year, New Years 2017 specifically, and they will have excuses or just say — “I forgot….” Some may look guilty, some may have big doe eyes and just blink, others will have looks of a well-worn soldier shrugging off an everyday thing, another battle lost.
Well. I am one of those people. Physically I am 5'1 (on a good day) and at in the beginning of the year I was almost 180 lbs. I wanted to be 150. I think every year since I was a freshman in college I said I was Going To Lose Weight™. I was going to organize my life. I was going to do something.
I was going to do it. No. Really. I am.
So, I went to the gym, you know, like for a month and than just stopped. This happened as a yearly kind of thing.
Do the thing. Fail at doing the thing. Stop. Repeat. Every year in February it was back to business as usual.
Well, I did that again this year. Except, about a week or so into the year, I looked myself in the mirror and I asked myself: “Why?”
Why do I keep doing this? Why am I so wishy washy? Why can’t I commit?Why do I keep saying I am going to do one thing and then completely ignore myself? Like I am hiding from myself?
My mom always told me: Let your Yes be YES and your No be NO.
Well. I decided I wasn’t going to just sit there and keep being so contradictory I was going to let my yes be yes.
So, beginning of January 2016, I started actually giving a crap about myself. I started this diet. The Slow Carb Diet by Tim Ferris. I didn’t buy the book because the book really wasn’t necessary. The Diet had really simple rules and even simpler steps. Meat, beans, lentils. No fruits, no white foods, and if you really wanted it a diet soda a day or a glass of red wine. I stuck to water. I didn’t exercise. When I did, I didn’t lose weight.
Step one was eat one ‘on diet’ meal.
Step two was eat two ‘on diet’ meals.
Step three was to be deep in the trenches of change.
Now. This isn’t just a success story. Okay? It’s half a year. It’s half my year.
For the first week or so, it was tough. I craved bread and fruit and sugary things like any good AMERICAN™. The first cheat day came and I binged on bagels, on snack foods, and on cookies. Not a staple diet, and I regretted it immediately the next day when my newfound excitement and energy vanished. Then, the next week I would get back on track, slowly lose my craving for the food I had just binged, and return to normal. Then cheat day again. Same scenario, but this time donuts, sandwiches, and ice cream. Repeat of horrible first day, followed by a good week.
This would continue to be a thing.
Its now the beginning of July and I have changed. I didn’t stick to the diet all the time, I did for the first ~two months pretty religiously. I lost ~15 lbs by the middle of April. April is my families birthday month though, with close to 5 birthdays back to back, as is June (with six), so you can see my problem area already. I went from 179lbs (at my absolute heaviest) to 162lbs. I went down a dress size, in some cases two. I had more energy, but it didn’t change who I was/am. It didn’t. Not really. I didn’t crave bread all that much anymore, I still sat on the couch and watched tv with my brothers, I still wrote and basked in the sun whenever possible. I snuggled with my puppy. I didn’t have some life changing moment after deciding to change.
I just ate better.
And I finally decided to read the book. The 4-hour body by Tim Ferris, the book that was where the Slow Carb diet originated.
I asked myself: “The diet worked, so why not read it?”
I had no excuse and really, if the diet had changed my life, what would the book do?
Well, that settled it for me.
I’m not very far into the book. I will readily admit it. In fact, Tim says you should take the book in chunks; so I did. I’m jumping around, learning things about stuff I never questioned, not taking it all that seriously.
I learned that I had my ‘HARAJUKU’ or ‘ahh ha’ moment that January day (what seems like a lifetime ago) when I looked in the mirror and found myself lacking. I learned how you should live in cycles, the example was in calorie intake for a body builder, but I am taking it more as… I should live as changing as the seasons. As changing as the fruit seasons, as changing as the snow, and the wind, and the rain. Consistent like the ground but being pelted by change.
Have a foundation and know yourself.
Well, I learned a lot about myself in those four chapters I’ve read. I learned that with that simple diet, with that simple lifestyle change, I was more aware than ever of my body and what effected me.
Dairy didn’t settle well with my stomach. Bread and other wheat products, especially highly processed, upset my whole day, sucked my energy, and gave me headaches. If I don’t drink at least 32oz, bare minimum, I got headaches. Also, if I don’t drink that much water, I get horrible acne, dry skin, and what not. My cheat days were experiments on how far I could push it before my body just…. hated me. How much ice cream is too much? How much cookie dough? How much water is necessary to drink with something like a sandwich? A donut? A steak?
And then. I started asking myself the important questions after all this. Just this last month, before my twenty-fourth birthday.
So what if I don’t lose twenty whole pounds? What if I never go down to a size 6? I mean, in the grand scheme of things, nothing. Right? But. In the grand scheme of things, maybe it changes everything. I’ve seen what change does to me. It makes me better. I don’t care what I look like. I mean, I just don’t. I’m not that kind of person. I look at life like its a rollercoaster, why would I stop to put on makeup? Or to buy extra product simply to be ‘pretty’.
I understand nail polish, and haircuts, and smooth skin. I understand liking pink, and d’awww’ing over cute animals. I understand the thoughts and feelings behind them. I like all those things, but they are not a priority to me. And then it hit me. I finally realized where my ‘ahh ha’ moment had come from. I had to ask myself, all those months ago, what was a priority?
On that first week of January, I think I looked into a mirror and didn’t see anything. I found not nothing, but something emptier than I was used to seeing. Not totally empty, though, I mean, because I am a confident person. It’s never bothered me what other people have said. Mostly. And I have Jesus. So spiritually, I was fine. I was good. That part of my life has never affected me negatively.
There was something else. I think, because I don’t remember what I was thinking, I think I found myself lacking something fundamental. And for the first time in a long, long time… I think I actually cared.
I found myself saying: “It’s all on me. Its MY change. It’s on me to care. Not someone else.”
So. I am choosing. Choosing to lose weight.Choosing to gain flexibility, something I used to pride myself on. Being flexible. Being pretty unmoving, but now I recognize I was pretty inflexible about a lot of things.
I am choosing to lose statue-rose, stone-rose, and I am choosing life. In whatever capacity that is.
I am choosing me, in whatever way that turns out to be.
I am choosing, and, well… I guess I’m kind of terrified of that.
So… I’ll ask the question again:
I am fat, and I don’t care what I look like — but I do care about what’s inside my body, and what that could affect my life with , my health with— do you believe me?
[To be continued…]