It's New Year's Eve and while I don't make New Year's resolutions, I just happened to read an article this week that has given me information that I think will make 2012 a better year for me.
According to this lengthy - but definitely worth reading - article in the New York Times, once you've gained weight, and kept it on for a substantial length of time, your body alters metabolism in an attempt to regain the weight. You should read this...really...and then click through the slide show for the Bridges, a couple who goes to great lengths to maintain a healthy diet. The obsessive food measuring, calorie counting, and exercising? I've been there.
And everytime I'm NOT doing all of those things, the weight creeps back. Like...there is no "normal" for me where I can eat what I see thin people all around me eat, and not gain back every pound.
I have been a pescetarian or vegetarian for 20 years now. I don't eat fast food, much processed food or very many sweets (I rarely eat dessert and never drink sugared soda). I consume - because I've tracked it - about 1500 calories a day, (yes, including cocktails.) And while I don't exercise every single day anymore, the only times I have lost weight have been when I've been doing something significant (like walking five miles, five days a week or biking 10-12 miles a day, five days a week), I instantly gain 15 pounds. And there I am, back at the 40 pound total I'd like to lose.
That 40 pounds should not be the end of the world. I am a meticulous groomer, always always always made up and hair done, always well-dressed. Whether I've been a size 4, a size 16, or everything in between (and I've been up and down the rungs on that ladder a dozen times in the last 15 years), I've always looked the best I can for that size. I'm confident in that.
It's tough...my sister is a beautiful size 4...she's been an unhealthy 0 or 2 at times, but I think she is at a good, healthy weight now and on her very small frame, a 4 is fine. My Mom, even at my sister's thinnest, thought she looked great. But then, my Mother hasn't told me that I'm pretty or beautiful - not even on my wedding day - since I was in my early twenties. That is the last age at which I was effortlessly thin. She did tell me a few years ago that I looked better...that she wouldn't say I was "big" anymore. Before you think my Mother is cruel, please don't...she is just giving the the brutal facts that sometimes my Mom is (and my late dad was) famous for. It's okay. It's her truth and I don't have to wonder what she is thinking or if she is being honest...she is.
So, I guess my resolution for this year is to use the information in the article to get heather and thinner this year. I want to. I know I'd feel better about myself and I know I'd be healthier closer to my desired weight. I know it's going to mostly mean more exercise, and that it's not going to be a temporary thing.
But damn, it feels good knowing that I wasn't doing anything "wrong"...I am not a closet Ho-Ho eater! I'm not a slob or lazy. My body has just been fighting me. And now it's time to kick it's ass.