Quitting my job, still one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, has had one less than desirable impact on my life: I’ve gained ten pounds.
Before I write more on that, I want to say this: I happen to think that obsessing about a few pounds gained or lost is not a healthy place for women to spend their energy. I don’t believe in weighing myself every day, in “starting over” every other week on some new diet or plan to finally get to a goal weight I’ve never been able to attain. I don’t believe in skinny jeans or depriving myself of any type of food.
I believe my body is perfect no matter what size it is, that I look great when I want to look great, not when I weigh some “dream” number. I also believe that I exercise to be healthy and sane, not to drop pounds, that I eat well to keep my body functioning properly, not to stay above the yellow line (Biggest Loser reference).
It has, however, taken me years to get to this place of unconditional love and acceptance about my body and my weight. Since I decided to live this philosophy, it has helped me immeasurably in my personal life, my professional life, with my relationship – in every way. Self Love: The Brain’s Wonder Drug.
ANYWAY, I’ve gained 10 pounds. And I’m hoping to lose them because I don’t feel comfortable with them on my frame. I feel sluggish, I’ve noticed my level of fitness has diminished, I’ve noticed I’m reaching for unhealthy foods more often, I don’t feel like I fit comfortably into last summer’s clothes. And I know I can do something about that.
When I began to exercise regularly at the beginning of my weight loss journey at age 21, I did not stop doing so for eight years, more or less. I think I could count on two hands the number of weeks during that time that I didn’t work out and I’ve practiced every kind of imaginable routine. I believe exercise is fundamental for health, well-being, and if you’re trying to lose weight, it keeps your mindset in check.
So before I left my desk job, I used to daydream about the day when I’d be free to make my own schedule – I was certain it would, in part, include hours of exercise.
The exact opposite happened. I wanted to do other things instead. For the first time in almost a decade, working out took a backseat. Sure, I still exercised like I always have. But I skipped days more often, took it easy, did what I wanted to when I felt up to it. Frankly, that’s the kind of exercise routine I’d like to have for the rest of my life – a relaxed one. But in order to accommodate that without gaining weight, I would’ve needed to change my diet, and I hadn’t.
I kept eating the same things I’d been eating even though my exercise level went down. Plus, I went out with friends more, Kev and I had impromptu date nights more often. Again, that’s what I want for my life. But in order to have that, one has to make sure things are balancing out if one doesn’t want to gain weight.
So in almost 8 months of being self-employed, I’ve gained 8-10 pounds. About a pound a month of fun, relaxation and being gentle with myself. I will lose it again. But I kinda like that gained it. Does that sound weird?
It feels like I told myself it was okay to loosen the reigns a little bit, something I hadn’t done in a long time in terms of my weight. I told myself, it’s okay to live it up, eat pizza and tacos when you want to, and finally bask in this freedom that you’ve desired for so long. Now, I don’t need to bask in freedom with food and couch-time, not forever anyway. But for a little while is a-okay with me. The last time I battled a ten-pound weight gain was the year I started dating Kevin. And I didn’t truly mind gaining it then either. I enjoyed our first blissful year as a couple, dinners and drinks and all the rest, and I lost the weight the following year.
I also like it because I can always use extra practice accepting myself exactly as I am. When you are morbidly obese, you do not like yourself. I’m sure you could find people who’re exceptions to that rule, but I was not one of them. As I lost weight, I began to love myself. But I couldn’t help thinking, “Why couldn’t I offer myself this kind of respect and acceptance when I was heavy?”
This will be my third experience over the years of “Yikes, I gained 10 pounds back” since I lost the 115. But I always lose it again, and it also always helps me practice loving myself all the time, no matter what I weigh.
So if you see me, yes those are new jeans! Because the old ones felt too snug!
I was surprised at how wobbly I was upon re-entering the weight loss game last week. I haven’t been actively trying to lose weight for a few years, so it was strange at first. But soon I felt comfortable with my old methods, habits and tricks – and here we are!
In my world, trying to lose weight doesn’t mean much other than being committed to an exercise schedule, writing down what I eat, and actually saying no to certain tempting foods, instead of “Okay, why not?” If I enjoy anything, (I mean anything besides nachos, brownies, cookies, and pizza) I genuinely enjoy the process of losing weight. I know that sounds bizarre, but I lived as someone who was actively losing weight for years and years. I’m good at it, it gives me something to do, and it can even be fun – at least in my experience.
So that’s the update. I thought you might like to know that being your own boss and working from home, although wonderful, isn’t perfect. Unexpected pitfalls do arise. This one’s mine. Frankly, it was a shock for me that this happened, but now that I recognize how my patterns have shifted, and now that I’ve decided I want to comfortably wear the shorts I bought last summer, I’m re-balancing.
Oh also, I turn 30 in ALMOST SIX MONTHS. (MOM!) So that motivation doesn’t hurt.