I haven’t written about myself in a while. In all honesty, I haven’t wanted to – which, for me, isn’t usually a good sign. In this case it’s a mix of both bad and good – I’ve had a fantastic time traveling and enjoying Europe, but at the same time, long-term internal struggles just don’t go away that quickly.
I know this cycle: talk about things that bother me, actively work on making it better, forget about it after a while, the positive changes slip away but I still convince myself I’m doing well, and then break down. No, I have not had a breakdown, I think I’m getting better at this. But I have dug myself into a corner, and it’s time to get out.
There are a million things going through my mind at a given moment. The biggest one, of course: body image. What prompted me to write about it? Unfortunately, it was this:
(Please excuse the angle.) Yes, I know my *one* pair of decent, wear-able jeans got ruined because I put them in the drying and they shrunk and lost all elasticity. But ill-fitting ripped jeans don’t make you feel good.
I’m not going to lie and say I’m perfectly happy with my body. I’m getting there. And closer to it than I have been in a while, but there are things still constantly in the back of my mind.
For one, I’m pretty sure I’m back at my heaviest weight – before I started on this whole health journey thing. (Of course I don’t know for sure, as it’s been months since I stepped on a scale) Granted, much more of that is muscle now, I’m much leaner and fitter than I was then. It’s like night and day, I couldn’t even run a mile or do a single push up at that time. I already wrote about my latest feelings when it comes to fitness. And don’t get me wrong, that still holds true. But fit does not mean skinny. And for me, I don’t think it ever will without being incredibly strict. Even at my absolute smallest, when I was not eating enough and over-exercising, I was still on the heavier side of the spectrum. I’m not built small, and that is that. I will never be tiny without working my ass off every single day.
(February of this year. Not a great photo – I don’t really take many photos of myself, because I don’t really like looking at photos of me. I’m pretty much the same now, with maybe a little more muscle from more consistent training)
I looked good, but I was fighting my body. I kept at it, because that was what I thought it had to be. Then, in moments of weakness, I would break down and eat. Eat like the fat-kid I was supposed to be. Food was comfort. Yes, I’m sure I’ve written the story before, but I feel the need to share it again. Bear with me here.
(December 2010 – hard to tell, this was my skinniest. Those leggings don’t fit quite as well anymore)
A large part of my initial weight gain (before attempts to make healthy life changes) was due to food as comfort. I don’t know when it happened, but before I knew it, I was eating away my emotions and boredom – and I don’t think that ever went away. Which is why I haven’t been able to stay at a consistent weight or body mass since. Yes, I know, bodies change all the time. This I’m okay with. But fluctuations of clothes not fitting, then fitting again bother me.
(clean eats, good portion size. not too much, not to little)
There is my problem. I do really well for a time – clean eats, great workouts, etc. Then eventually I reach a point where I feel like I’ve done enough, and eating a little more won’t hurt. Before I know it I’m eating easily way more than I need to, and all self-control has gone out the window. I then vow to clean up my act, and thus the cycle begins again.
And nowhere in there am I content. But I’m on the way there – slowly but surely stepping closer to balance.
No more under-fueling for workouts. No more over-fueling for recovery. Eat to train, eat to live. I’m tired of worrying about not eating enough – then going overboard. And then getting down on myself and hating myself even more for it.
Love and balance. That is all I want.
Every day I look in the mirror and tell myself I am beautiful. Do I believe it? Honestly, no. But I will, someday – and this is a start.
Starting with an impromptu 6k race I’m running tomorrow.
I’m going to fuel properly – just right. I’m not going to overdo the carbs, it’s only 6km. I’m tired of un-doing all my hard work.
But that’s not what this post is about. It’s about feeling good. It’s about being in a place I can maintain. About feeling comfortable in my own skin, feeling beautiful. I will feel beautiful. I will get there.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on maintaining fitness/balance, and being happy with the result.
Is it do-able, even for those of us who are not naturally built slim?