There can be no other way…

Can I just say something? Why is it so surprising to people when I say that I lost weight by eating less and moving more? I mean, I can see why it’d be a bit of a shock when you’re someone that’s known me for awhile and, more importantly, has been in the same P.E. class with me or something, having witnessed my lack of athletic ability firsthand. But when it’s people who don’t know me at all, I can’t help but raise an eyebrow at their skepticism. Of course, odds are these are the same kind of people that would fork over money with nary a thought to some kind of miracle drug that could let them change absolutely nothing and lose weight.

I say “lose weight” because, unfortunately, that’s all I see in their eyes. They want to get thinner, not necessarily fitter, though they might seem like one and the same to people who are well over a weight that their bodies can comfortably tolerate. And, guess what? You do get fitter as you get thinner…until you hit a point where you’re pretty fit and you can do things that you never thought you could do before, but you find yourself kinda grimacing at that last bit of belly fat that has had the audacity to remain. That’s the point where the whole “gotta be thin” mentality can crush you. You only see the fat, not the fit.

I’m guilty of thinking like this, actually. It took getting rather frequent headaches and my iPod app reminding me that 1,200 calories a day was just a suggestion in order to correct my behavior. It’s not fun, y’know, feeling lightheaded just to fit into my jeans. Yes, you’ve got to eat less, but you’ve also got to eat something. You’re breathing, blinking, typing, your millions upon millions of cells are busily going about, keeping you going. You’re gonna need to finance all of those operations and energy from food is the currency, so to speak. Starve yourself and your body will riot! But pig out and you will languish. It’s a strange balance you’ve got to strike and no super diet pill will do that for you, as much as you may wish it to.

Why the hate on weight-loss products? Because I’ve tried them, been guilt-tripped into trying them by my mother. So, I was in my sophomore year of high school and, of course, I was in my little niche as the bookworm. That’s what I got made fun of the most, being a textbook teacher’s pet who took Accelerated Reading way too far, not my weight or even the fact that my neck was definitely a darker color than the rest of me at the time (it’s faded away bit by bit, along with the weight; still not sure what it is­, which bugs me because I want to know). I remember that I got called into the nurse’s office in middle school to check just what the hell was on my neck, but it was just my neck.

Anyway, Mom decided that I needed to lose weight and be thinner in order to make friends or whatever, bless her heart. Allow me to make this perfectly clear: I may have been the bookworm, but I got along with everyone. Okay, mostly everyone; I ignored or ripped on the people I disliked, but generally, I’d just ignore them and be on my way. So, in her quest to “help” me, my mom bought a box of a certain dietary supplement (let’s say it rhymes with Apoxyjut) for me to put into my water and drink everyday. So I tried it. What else was I supposed to do? She’d already spent the money on it, a sum for a pittance, and she did have my well-being at heart, so I decided to try it.

To be honest, I had hoped that it would work so that I wouldn’t have to do much else except drink the stuff and continue my usual habits.

Nope. A pox on Apoxyjut; it had this awful flavor and only served to make me feel ill. It’s a different feeling to what I feel right now, not to mention that whatever losses I had made were just as easily gained back. That’s the biggest reason I view any weight-loss infomercials with narrowed eyes and a magnifying glass: what happens after I complete your regimen? Or I finish that bottle of pills you want me to swallow? There’s got to be something more to your program than two months of balls-to-the-wall-oh-my-gods-let-me-die-oh-hey-I-got-abs-and-a-T-shirt. Where do I go after I’ve been to the edge? Do I just go back to how I used to be and do it all over again?

Sustainability. Balance. Paying attention to how you feel as opposed to what numbers are displayed on the scale beneath your feet or on that tape measure around your body. Measurements are nice and quantitative, but they’re rather generalized, don’t you think? According to my own body mass index, I’m still overweight because I’m above a thirty. But if I take stock of how I feel, I’ve gotta say that I’ve never been able to lift as much weight as I can lift or reach behind me and grab my elbows or touch my toes without bending my knees. I’m not the fittest, so don’t ask me to climb the rock wall in the gym or anything, but there’s no denying my fitness. And I can only get better from here on.

So, really, today’s entry was not to motivate you but to remind myself of how far I’ve come. Again, summer vacation paired with my mom’s cooking and the loss of my iPod (which is a really, really handy way to track your progress if you’re into micromanagement) has only served to kind of demotivate me from continuing my progress. I feel as though I’ve hit a bit of brick, that I cannot pass, that what I want is just right there but irritatingly, infuriatingly enough, I don’t have the strength to get past this. Maybe it’s ’cause I tend to think too much; I already know what to do, but I can’t help but focus on what I’ve not been doing for the past month and a half. I nitpick, yet do nothing. Perhaps a little less talk and a little more action is needed?

I’ll do it. This is to get fitter and, most of all, this is for my own sake. This is what I feel weight-loss essentially is: eating less, moving more, and getting stronger in every way.

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Filed under Summer 2012

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