Monday, May 14, 2012
This morning I stepped on the scale and much to my surprise I weighed about 4 or 5 pounds more than I had at the beginning of last week. I tried to chalk it up to “water weight” (though I’m not sure why this would be the case, but it made me feel better). Then I put on my jeans. Nope, unless water weight attaches to ones rear end and thighs exclusively – I don’t believe it does, for the record – then this was definitely plain old weight gain.
Overall, I'm a petite-ish person, and at just about 5 foot even, five pounds makes a big difference – as in it changes my clothing size. Being small, I get a lot of the ‘oh but you’re so little” when I complain about weight gain, and this drives me crazy. Weight gain is weight gain, and very few people enjoy it, regardless of their size. My specific difficulty is the feeling of lack of control. I did nothing out of the ordinary last week. I wasn’t on vacation nor did I dine at the all you can eat buffet every day (just one, and I didn’t quite eat all I could have). So why, suddenly, were the pants that were loose last week now a bit tricky to squeeze into?
I’ve touched on my body image and eating issues in the past, but I haven’t gone into a ton of detail. I don’t really think it's necessary for the purpose of this blog either, so I’ll give the cliff notes version. I’ve had body image issues since I was about 16. I’ve always thought I was larger than I apparently am, and I’ve never had much body confidence. I have a tendency towards extremes (this is a common characteristic in people with mood cycling disorders, I’m told) and when combined with a pretty bad fear of lack of control, this can put me in a dangerous place when it comes to my eating and exercise habits. I can get into a situation where I push myself further and further on these, eating less and working out more, which is a self-perpetuating cycle. In addition, I have a history of a pretty severe stomach condition which can genuinely prevented me from eating much without experiencing terrible pain, and this condition gets worse as my eating habits decline - there's a long list of things I'm not supposed to eat and drink, which I follow loosely when I follow them at all. I know, bad idea.
What I’m wrestling with now, given this sudden “shrinking” of my pants, is the need to improve my eating and exercise habits, both to fit back into said pants and to appease the increasing pains in my abdominal region. I’ve been admittedly terrible and not paid much attention to my food and drink consumption at all and this needs to change. However, I do not want to fall down the familiar slippery slope, which takes you more quickly than you would expect, from healthy to obsessive (and probably really obnoxious to everyone around me). As a side note, for those who feel that body image disorders are out of vanity, they are not, I promise. They stem from a lack of confidence, and in my case, a lack of control over other aspects of life. When one can’t always control their brain, it’s easy overcompensate by taking too much control over areas, and ones body – including dietary and exercise habits – are an easy target. For anyone that would like more detail on this, I'm happy to expand on my experiences privately.
So I have decided to use this blog as my pledge, to be kinder to my digestive system and my body by eating better and exercising more frequently, while truly staying healthy by keeping it balanced with the rest of my life, and not letting it take over my psyche or my personal life. I would love to team up with others (virtually works fine too!) who are looking to be a little healthier in this aspect of their life, to help motivate and encourage each other. If you’re interested, by all means let me know!