This post will conclude my public review of 2011…come on; ya know I can’t share everything! 2011 has been good in many ways, professional growth, dealing with old demons and a host of other things. There is one area though where 2011 wasn’t quite as good and that’s my body! After losing damn near 50 pounds and keeping it off for several years, my weight situation came to a head in 2010 thanks to what turned out to be double hernia repair surgery. What was supposed to be a quick fix and move on situation, had me laid up damn near six weeks and for months afterward I was still physically limited. You know the song…I gained weight.
I pretty much gained the weight while laying around, relaxing on pain pills spending too much time indulging in bad television and snacking. I figured as soon as I was back to full mobility, I would drop the weight. It didn’t happen and somewhere along the way after years of being a devoted member of Weight Watchers, I got tired of the weekly weigh in drill and said fuck it! Weight Watchers can be a good program, but I feel that it’s a crutch, for me the idea of weekly weigh- ins and tracking every morsel I put into mouth for the rest of life is frankly depressing.
So for the first time in heaven knows how many years, I have seen very little of Weight Watchers this year. Yay for me! Or maybe not! I am approximately 15 pounds over my “goal” weight according to those handy charts that tell you what you should weigh and I am struggling. On the one hand, I seem to have stopped the weight gain, for many months now I have maintained my current weight, I strive to eat decently and occasionally even move my ass. I admit work and family get in the way of my desires to move. It seems the downside of living in a small town/city is that most exercise classes are pretty much offered in the evening, same time I am at home trying to get in quality time and dinner with the six year old.
I am a big believer in self-care and certainly taking care of my physical needs is self-care however as the parent of a small child, I am simply not comfortable being gone 1+ hours in the evening. Especially because on days I work from the office rather than from home, we have exactly 3 hours together. Some may say I am making it harder than it needs to be, but I know my child and considering her intensity, we need our time together. Instead I take a morning yoga class and try to sneak out for the occasional evening class but it most certainly isn’t weekly. Granted my yoga practice is more mental and spiritual than physical.
So I have been in a funk over the body, since this extra 15 pounds has gone straight to my ass, hips and lower belly necessitating the need to go up a few sizes. Growl. Lately though I have been pondering the mental issues of weight gain, why does my personal opinion of myself dip if I gain weight or soar if my weight dips. Am I not the same person regardless of my size? Mentally this makes sense but emotionally I am struggling.
I end 2011 not with the goal of losing this weight but with a desire to make peace with this body that houses my soul. To know that I am more than a set of numbers either on a scale or the tag of a blouse, to accept that who I am does not change just because I have a little more padding. I am tired of having my self worth tied into my appearance. Just as I struggle to accept my weight, it’s starting to hit me that I am aging. In my mind, I am still that lithe 20 year old, but that body does not exist. I admit in a society that prizes youth, accepting that one is aging can be hard. But again, am I not more than this physical container?
The older I get I am convinced that true wellness starts with our minds and rather than fretting over my physical state, I want to get my mind right and trust that my body will do what it needs to do when it’s ready to do it. In the meantime, I accept and acknowledge that it is a struggle. So maybe in the end 2011 wasn’t as hard on my body as I initially thought.