Okay, so I read a lot of those “New Year’s Resolutions” posts, and I always enjoy them. But, I try to avoid sharing mine because, hey, that’s the cool thing to do, and I don’t like being the cool kid.
But, I think of life as this wonderful gift we must enjoy, and whenever you get an itch to make a change, it’s time to do it.
I’ve written about my eating issues in the past, and will continue to do so in the future. I don’t think I’ve ever shared my real story of weight gain and loss (and gain and loss and gain and…you get the picture). In honor of new beginnings and self-love, it’s time to out myself a little bit more.
A Chunky Childhood
When I was really little, I wasn’t a big girl. I was, however, wild and adventurous, and always on the verge of getting in trouble. From Day One, I was a very sensitive individual, and that often means that I don’t know how to handle my emotions, perceptions, and thoughts.
I grew up in a military family, and we moved every few years. When I was 6 or 7, we made the long haul from Washington state to Virginia (the town I live in now, actually), and I found it rather difficult. Instead of being the teachers’ golden student and a bubbly, chatty kid, I felt uncomfortable, nervous, and ostracized.
I turned into this nay-saying, know-it-all of a child, and never really learned how to get out of it.
Food was always there for me though, and I relied on it like a friend, entertainment, and comfort blanket. Just imagine how dangerous that mentality and behavior is. Through middle and high school and now college, the weight continued to add on. I use the passive voice here because it never really felt like something I had control over. It happened to me.
That passive way of thinking is part of the problem, but it also expresses just how unaware and ill-prepared I was to cope with the untold stresses of my little life (including many more moves and, you know, puberty).
My Weight Loss Journey
I think the first time I tried “dieting” was at the age of 13 or so at a Weight Watchers in Florida. I was so excited at first, only to later feel like a lame, pathetic, dolt of a being with nothing fun to eat.
I’ve tried Weight Watchers (three times), Curves, and even a British program called Slimming World. As a meddling thinker, I always found ways to trick the system. “I can have any fruit I want? I’ll have 20 pieces!”
Therapy, mindfulness meditation, and other practices have helped in some ways, but I’m always right at the verge of just breaking down and freaking out. Seriously, just writing this makes me unhappy. How can I promise my readers that I will do as I say if I’ve never been able to promise myself that without breaking it?
How will I stop this cycle of unhealthy thinking and eating that I’ve had for nearly 20 years now? 20 years of obesity, binge eating, and dangerous living. 20 years of self-loathing and shame. 20 years. I’m only 25, yet the one thing I’ve done for two decades is abuse food.
That’s okay, though. That’s what I’m working on.
It will not be easy. I know this thanks to countless past experiences and numerous therapists who remind me that breaking such an unhealthy relationship food is not a simple process whatsoever. It never takes a break.
I have this dream, and I’ve always had this dream. I want to be a runner. I want to be able to feel that “runner’s high,” and come home dripping in sweat but feeling great. I don’t want exercise to feel like a chore; I want to flock to it naturally as if it was a second home.
Plus, I want to feel comfortable in my own skin, not excessively large and unhealthy. I want to look on the outside like how I feel on the inside. I just hope I can hold onto my sanity long enough to make that transition the right way (note: perhaps I should out my very long and painful history with depression and anxiety sometime in the future).
My Dad and I found the right type of running shoe last year, and I’ve been able to end all history of shin splints through minimalist running. I get into the habit, and then fall out of it, but I know this method works for me.
What I need to do is get back into the habit, and start the program. Put the shoes on, and leave the house.
My plan is to become a runner.
I know this will be hard, perhaps one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I almost don’t want to share this, but I also know that there’s at least one other person out there barely coping with self-loathing and discomfort. I’m not a pretty, easy, or simple story. This will be messy, and that’s okay. Even us messy chicks are worth self-love.
I will go for a walk around my neighborhood every single day. Some days, I might just walk. At least three days out of the week, I’ll run according to the Couch to 5k Plan.
Last year, I lost 25 pounds before gaining them all back and then some after a few harsh emotional realities hit. I’m sick of redo-ing the same work I did in the past, and know I have over 100 pounds to lose.
Brutal honesty is the only way through this, so that’s what you’ll read. Actual numbers with actual feelings.
This is my life. This is what I want. I’m so tired of not living my life because I feel so awful all the time. I’m Rachael Cleveland, and I always do what I want. This my year.
Okay, so this is how it’s going down. I will do this and hold myself to it by posting a health update every Sunday morning and maintaining a weight loss log. I don’t care if it was a good week or a bad one, I’ll post my exercise routine, thoughts, and observations. This might not be the most interesting to all of my readers, but I’m going to use this blog as a standing point for myself this once.
Will you join me on this weight loss journey?
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