Monday, May 27, 2013

If For Nothing Else, Look at my Pretty Peas!

Today is Memorial Day, so let me begin with a thank-you to all those who have served or are currently serving in the armed forces, not just in the United States but anyone sacrificing to serve their country and their families.  Thank you especially to both my granddads.  My paternal grandfather was in the Navy, although since he died a long time ago I don't know much about his service.  My maternal grandfather was, to put it simply, a badass.  He probably wouldn't approve of the term, but really it's the best word.  I could go into detail but you never know, these days.  Just think Rambo meets James Bond meets 24 meets nice-guy-next-door.  No, I don't have an overly inflated view of my granddad.  Why do you ask?

What I really wanted to talk about today is how happy I am.  I know I've been saying this a lot, but this one is going to be a juicy one I've been hiding for a while.  BUT NO MORE SECRETS.  I can't decide if I just have no boundaries whatsoever in almost every part of my life or if I can't keep anything to myself.  Or a combination of the two.  Whichever, the blogosphere was probably designed for people like me.

So, I was a normal little kid.  Oh wait, no, I had a heart condition.  Oops.  Well, one major surgery later, I was a normal little kid.  A couple years pass, and my dislike of P.E. has coupled with a deep enjoyment of all things nutritionally unsound.  Enter awkward pubescent period and chubby Karen.  Ugh.  It's embarrassing, to be frank, to look back at some of those pictures.  However, I try not to dwell.  College came and with it a distinct awareness of the food I was eating mixed with the inability to eat excessively due to financial constraints and the most slight amount of knowledge mixed with 7,000 ft. of general movement throughout the day.  To put it plainly, I slimmed down.

And I stuck that way.  Until about a year ago.  Then, I got married, got depressed, and got busy.  Before you think too much into this, the depression and the marriage are two different things.  I was depressed because I was out of work, and then when I got back into work I was depressed because I wasn't seeing my husband much (hello, didn't I get married to remedy this problem?) and because of weight gain.

This is my deep dark secret.  I gained 15 pounds in the first six months of our marriage.  And it sent me round the bend of depression.  I never feel worse about myself than when I feel like I'm not where I want to be with my body.  To be honest, I've had a long, long struggle with this, probably like every single other girl my age.  I have a couple of things going for me.  First off, parents and now a life partner who value my personality and intellect.  I know that if I get really fat and ugly, my hubby will still love me.  Woooo.  Secondly, I have spent a long time coming to grips with myself and what I look like, and finding the little things I like about myself.  For example, I think I have nice feet.  As far as feet go, which I find vaguely repulsive.  Hahaha.  I have excellent teeth and devote a lot of time to keeping them healthy.  After so much flossing, mouthwashing, and brushing, I feel like I have a right to be proud of my teeth.  And I'll say it, I like my butt.  This post is all about being brutally honest, so there it is.  I like my butt.

These were not enough to keep me happy, though.  Everything else in my life was alright -- my job, my personal life, even my reading habits were okay -- but I was distinctly heavier than I wanted to be.  So in January, I got out my little pen and paper and made myself a list of New Year's resolutions.  They were as follows:

1.  Eat better.
2.  Exercise more.
3.  Read more than 50 books
4.  Write down one nice thing per day in my diary.

Let's work backwards.  First, write down one nice thing per day.  Has not happened.  Ah well.  Next: books.  So far, this year, including things I've re-read, I've read 9 books.  Oh my.  Now, granted, it's the beginning of summer and I'm planning on reading a bunch of kid books (which go by super fast).  Note to self. . .make list.  Hmm.  Third: exercise more.  Well, I ran in my first 5k, began doing yoga again, and can now run basically two miles straight.  Does that count?  And lastly, eat better.  Still working on it, but I'm trying much harder.

Here's where it gets nice for me.  After the 5k, I had two weeks of kind of sitting around, being fat and lazy, and eating whatever I wanted (stupid teacher appreciation week. . .so many bad foods that are so tasty and you eat them because you like being appreciated. . .).  After I went back to the gym, I weighed myself and I was back at my highest, where I was in January when I started trying to be healthier.  I had effectively taken several steps back and made no real progress.  I'll admit it.  I cried in the locker room.  It was my lowest point.  Fortunately, once you've hit rock bottom, there seem to be two major options: either have someone throw you a shovel, or make footholds and start climbing.  I decided to start climbing.

I got an app on my phone which laid out a weight-loss/exercise plan for myself.  I set a taret amount of calories and number of times I wanted to exercise per week.  I set myself a weight goal and I'm doing it by my birthday.  This has opened my eyes to a lot of things.  One: the reason I was overweight is glaringly obvious.  Too many calories, not enough exercise.  Secondly: burning calories at the gym is super fun!  And makes you feel super good about yourself when you burn, say, 400 calories in a sitting.  Or, should we say, in a running.  Thirdly: things have way more calories than you would think.  And I was eating a lot of the wrong things.  Just because the pasta is made partially of veggies doesn't actually make it any better for you.  Pasta is just the bane of my existence.  I don't really care that much about bread, I found a delicious and low-cal ice cream option, and I prefer lighter meats to dark meats anyhow.  But pasta.  Oh.  Low blow.

I have been doing the app for one week so far, but I feel too good to keep it to myself.  I lost seven pounds in a week.  I feel great.  I look better.  I am WAY happier.  I am jazzed and excited and ready to be healthy.  I wish everyone could feel this great working out and not eating slop.  Again, I realize it's only been a week.  BUT I FEEL SO GOOD.

Feeling so good made me think about last year around this time.  I was unemployed, we were burning through our savings, I was depressed, and I was slowly being fattened up.  Now, I am thinning down and muscling up, I am employed for next year and ready to tackle planning and organizing (no, I don't get excited over making grammar worksheets and organizing them into a notebook so I can pull them out whenever I want. . pshhh. . .), I am possibly even more in love with my husband than I was a year ago, and I am just generally satisfied with my life.

Plus, my peas are growing SPECTACULARLY.  And I'm stupidly excited about it.  You should be too.  They're adorable and I love them.  Sorry this was so long.  Carry on.


1 comment:

  1. Karen, you are awesome! Good for you for making the changes YOU wanted to see to make yourself feel great!