Many of us have issues with our bodies. Either that keeps us fit or causes us to slip off the diet deep end. I’ve struggled with my weight and eating all my life, even more than my money issues. They seem to be heavily connected.
For starters, I was raised with the notion that it’s the worst thing in the world to not finish all the food on your plate. Leftovers are ok, but my family always overate so leaving any food on the plate just seemed odd. So I grew up somehow assuming that restaurant portion sizes (and parental portion sizes) were what I should be eating. Of course I know better now, but it’s hard to change that mindset.
After spending a week at home with my father calling me fat about 20 times, it continued to upset me when he’d also comment on how I should have “half” of his dessert when we went out to eat. My father, morbidly obese throughout his adult life and now dying of cancer among other things, surely had good intentions — he doesn’t want me to be fat like him. But the way it comes out of his mouth always feels like an awkward jab, not to mention his constant oohing and ahhing over how “good” my sister’s figure looks (girl isn’t exactly healthy but she eats one meal a day, so she’s much thinner than I am.)
What hurts me the most is growing up with no idea why I was gaining so much weight – especially around my mid-section. Whether the PCOS caused my fat or my fat caused the PCOS is a chicken or egg discussion that’s null. The fact of hte matter is my father took me out every week for McDonald’s where he’d let me get two cheeseburgers, supersized fries and a supersized coke, he wouldn’t push me to exercise (“we just aren’t an athletic family”) and then he’d constantly make comments about my weight. It’s sad to think that although I knew my candy and fast-food eating ways weren’t the healthiest, I had no idea HOW unhealthy they were, or that a certain number of calories would make you gain weight. I don’t want to think about how many calories I was eating when I was 6-11 years old, the years I ate those supersized meals.
Regardless of all that, my challenge is facing my eating issues (just as I’ve faced my money issues) without letting my parent’s voices get in my head. Even if it feels like I’ll be losing the weight for them, it’s really for myself — I’m the one who, long after their gone, will be struggling with tons of health problems from all this built up, artery clogging visceral fat. This is really a change in my lifestyle that I needed to make years ago, but I think as I approach 28 (and the curves on my body start looking like they belong on The Biggest Loser) the change is not an option.
Luckily, my boyfriend – also overweight – is committed to getting healthy as well. He’s not going to play any games about it. If I ask him to run with me, he runs (unless it’s in the morning!) I also met a new workout buddy through Craigslist who is getting married in a year, which is great motivation for us to stick to our workouts (I have less than 4 months to lose 40lbs for my high school reunion.)
My commitment for the next month is as follows:
- Walk/Run *at least* 2 miles 6 days a week
- Aim for 4-6 miles a day 3 days / week
- Basic muscle toning workouts 2-3 days / week
- at any given meal, eat half what i’d normally eat. leftovers are my friend.
- minimize gluten intake and cut out all sugars except limited whole grains
- try to eat 5-6 small meals per day (really small)
- drink 3-6 glasses of water per day