October 30, 2008

The Whole Body Image Thing

As witnessed here and here, I am constantly trying to motivate myself to get into better shape. Part of this desire is a feeling of inadequacy, remembering what I used to be able to do. As a child, I attended the requisite dance school and was just generally really active. In junior high and high school, I channeled this into track and soccer. Track soon fell by the wayside, but I loved soccer. I was decent at it and one of the fastest girls on the team. My senior year of high school, I applied to attend the Air Force Academy and was accepted, but chose not to go. And then everything just stopped. I played a few intramural and club soccer games here and there, but was so disappointed by how out of shape I was, the game was just not the pleasant experience I wanted it to be. Six years ago, I could run two miles in 16 minutes (hey, I never said I was awesome, just that I could do it), do fifty sit-ups, and thirty push-ups without even wiping myself out. Now, I struggle with one push up. It is a major accomplishment if I make it through one mile. And this depresses me. And I don't like being depressed, so I want to change this.

Another part is my husband. He is incredibly supportive and loving and has never said anything about my weight. Because he is also smart. But, he is also incredibly active. An avid soccer player, he is constantly running 5 miles and biking 25 miles to stay in shape for games. I want to be able to do some of that with him. Now, I know I will never be able to keep up with him, because at 6'4", he has freakishly long legs, but maybe we might be able to take the dogs for a jog together without me clutching my side in pain after five minutes. Plus, I can't let him be the pretty one.

Then, there's my job. My job supposedly requires equal field and office time. Currently, it is all sitting on my ass time, but soon, hopefully, my days will be filled with hiking hither and yon. I like that my job keeps my activity up, but I'd also like to keep myself in shape so I can get my job done in noticeably quick time.

There's always the family-expanding idea, too. I'd like to be healthy and relatively active during any and all pregnancies. Plus, when said baby does arrive and grows a little, I'd like to be able to keep up with it.

And, lastly, there's the vanity issue. I've never really kept up with my weight, just how my clothes fit and felt. At 5'9", I've always been able to hold a little more weight than what most of my friends announced was their target and still been happy with myself. And that's what has jolted me into my latest attempt to downsize. I visited my sister this weekend and stepped on her scale just to see. 162 stared back at me. I have never been that high. I don't feel that heavy. I didn't even notice that my clothes had gotten much tighter. I still thought I was hovering around 145-150 pounds. But I hate that number. I am not happy with it. And once I started to think about it, my body shape has changed. I have stomach rolls sitting down now. I have dresses that I don't wear because they're hard to zip. Same with pants. I even have some beautiful custom-made business wear that I haven't worn in 3 years because the buttons and seams pull. My wardrobe revolves around 3 pairs of "curvy-fit" jeans. And I didn't even notice. Or was in denial. Yeah, it was probably denial. I don't want to be in denial anymore.

So, with the purchase of a Wii Fit and the use of the yoga mat and balance ball that has been sitting my house for a year now, I am trying to make a change. I am changing my eating habits to cut out junk food and keep food like chex mix and granola bars at my desk for cravings between meals. I am eating smaller portions. Coming from a family that's dinner time motto was "Eat everything on your plate" this is taking some actual effort. I'm checking to see if I'm full halfway through a meal, if I'm actually still hungry or if it's just "it's so good, I want to eat more." I'm aiming for 15-30 minutes of workout time everyday. When we get some money saved up, I'm going to buy a bike. I'm doing triceps dips and squats at my desk. I am cutting back on butter!!

And you know what? I've lost three pounds!! My goal is 10 pounds in one month, and that's one of the biggest reasons for the Wii Fit. It allows me to keep track of everything and get some nice, computerized, non-judgey feedback. My overall goal is to get back to 140, with one 135 being my dream goal. And I want to be able to do 10 push-ups without the help of a forklift.

Has there been anything that you've noticed has helped to keep you focused? Different types of goals or different methods?

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