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Shameless Day 12: a health struggle

November 16, 2011

So I have decided, again, for perhaps the 50th time, that it is TIME to lose weight. I know this is not a unique struggle, and that me and half the country share the same need (and some of us the desire) to lose weight and get in shape.  For me it has been a life long struggle. To be active enough, to eat healthy foods, to eat the amount of food my body needs (which is always less than what my body wants it would seem), to cast aside my sedentary preferences for something that gets my heart pumping – these are all things that I pick up and cast away like a toddler with blocks. Dedicated and focused at first, sometimes even a little giddy when I see it coming together.  But then distracted, and then totally done with that and back to my normal lifestyle. Which, has proven over and over again, will make me overweight and very out of shape.

Wonderful, loving and supportive friends always say “oh, but you aren’t fat!” or “but you love your yoga, don’t you?” or “yeah, but you eat all those veggies and whole grains and stuff.”  I love their well meaning support, I truly do. But it isn’t the truth. I am fat.  I do love yoga in my mind and heart but I don’t do it enough for it to truly benefit my body. I do eat lots of veggies and whole grains, but I like to put peanut butter and cheese and butter on them.  What I seem to love most (despite what I think or say, because actions really are the truth) is sitting on my kiester and drinking scads of coffee, and then later in the day, sometimes wine or beer or a G&T, and eating lots of carbs (preferably the kind that include butter and sugar) and things with bacon or cheese.

An unexpected side effect of being a mother (one who actually carried her child, though perhaps adoptive parents could feel this way too??)  is the new light through which I view my body. My body is capable of astounding things: like providing all that is needed to grow an entire person, and summoning epic strength to deliver said person from my inside to my outside, to providing milk that my child could be fed and be healthy, to moving as fast as a super-hero to catch him when my child is falling. In addition to all that, I now have a little person who absolutely adores me. He loves my body.  He wants to be near it, touching it, all the time. He doesn’t care one whit if I have on sweats or a dress, heels or slippers, or if my tummy is flabby and soft or toned and firm. He cares when I hold him, kiss him, smile at him, talk to him, hug him, rock him, feed him. It has rearranged my sense of self as more complex and amazing than I ever thought myself to be.  What a gift he has given me, and I think he will probably never know.

I hope he doesn’t know. The other side effect is wanting to be healthy, at least in part, to hopefully spare him this same lifelong struggle. To teach him that being active is as much a part of the day as sleeping and reading and seeing friends. To show him that apples and granola are foods we can always eat, and brownies and ice cream are delicious but rare treats.  So that these things are as ingrained in his mind as they are foreign to my own.

Today then is Day One. Again. But every day is a new day, right? Maybe better not to think of it as Day One but just A Day where I make wise choices that honor my body and my health instead of trashing it. No Day But Today, as some would say. 😉

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