November 11, 2015
MyFitnessFoe: Je Suis Fini Edition
I've written 76 (now 77) posts under the label "Weight". It's true, I counted. That's roughly 9 posts a year on my weight. I turn 40 in 2016. I'm lucky to have friends in their forties (and fifties) who are kicking ass at life, and none of them are talking about their weight. You know why? Because they're busy running businesses, raising families and BEING INTERESTING. If their jeans don't fit, they buy new jeans. They don't sit around for 2 weeks wondering why their jeans don't fit. This? This is who I want to be. I want to be the person people talk to because I'm funny and have interesting things to say. I don't want to be the person people talk to because I lost a lot of weight.
I went off of MyFitnessPal in August, breaking an 890 day streak. Like a lot of things I've thrown myself into 300% (oh, hey, Ironman), calorie tracking evolved from a healthy habit to a borderline eating disorder.
It's real tricky when the thing harming you is "healthy", or worse, celebrated and envied. Now granted, when I started this, I weighed 200 lbs, which was heavier than I wanted to be as a 5'6" woman with a petite to average frame. I worked hard and lost 40 lbs. But when everything was finished, when I completed Ironman Augusta and when I went months without regaining any weight, I didn't move on. It's like I was taking medicine for an illness I didn't have anymore. (That's my therapist's analogy. I'm not that smart.)
So I quit taking the medicine. And yeah, I totally didn't need it. I haven't weighed myself in 3 months. Do I wonder what I weigh? Daily. Do I trust that if I weighed myself I'd use that information for good instead of evil? Nope. I still work-out, honestly probably too much. And I still pay close attention to what I eat. I've been counting calories in one form or another for 20 years. As much as I hate it, I have the calorie content of every food memorized. But it's the hard data that breaks my brain. That number on the scale serves one purpose for me: shame. And ain't nobody got time for that.
Around the time I quit weighing myself and tracking my calories, a magical thing happened. I started having ideas. Ideas about things I wanted to write about, people I wanted to talk to, new things I wanted to do, new things I could do. I felt like a whole new wing of my brain opened up.
Another thing that happened, albeit less magical, is a hypersensitivity to messaging. A lot of what I read online has an undercurrent of, 'hey girl, you could be skinnier' or 'hey girl, don't forget to be skinny'. I'll click on something about healthy snacks and 5 minutes later, I'm shaming myself for that handful of tortilla chips I ate, and thinking, 'man, if I just started eating radishes, my jeans probably wouldn't be tight anymore'. My shame is always on the side-lines, jumping up and down, begging to be put in the game. I have to be real thoughtful about what I let in, which is taxing when you just want to cruise Pinterest and watch Scandal.
I'm a lot of things. I'm a lot of conflicting things. But I don't want to be the girl who lost 40 lbs anymore. Lately, I've been interested in finding a hip hop dance class. Maybe I can be the girl who learns how to twerk in her forties. I don't know. I'm going to work it out. Rita, call me.