A Story About Forgiving Yourself… Sort Of

This is a tough topic to bring up and I’ve decided to post my thoughts on it, raw and probably circular, on the internet.

I feel some serious frustration towards myself for letting myself become overweight. I’ve pushed healthy food professionally and personally for so many years but I didn’t commit to what I was preaching. I blamed the catering life for a while. How could I say no three cheese mac or coffee-cacao rubbed brisket?

A life-long, turbulent relationship with food and body image has brought me here. The reason I am overweight is because I have been saturated in denial about being in control of the issue.

2016-03-08 11.06.18
March 8th, 2016. Somewhere between 176-181lbs.

I know I’m not huge but I’m uncomfortable. I feel it most when I’m active but I can feel it even when I’m sedentary. My back has next to no strength to support itself and my poor hips and knees are achy.

When my brother decided to move forward with his weight loss surgery, I decided it was my turn to get serious about making some changes. So on January 6th, I started counting calories and slowly incorporating more activity into my day.

2016-03-23 11.59.27
Ow ow ow ow ow ow

Fast forward to today. I’ve lost about 9-10lbs. With the sun shining for the first time all week, I went for a run and I was slow (14 min avg pace!?!?). I was beginning to beat myself up for not being able to go longer or faster. Why didn’t I jog more? Why was this so hard? I wanted to give up halfway through the mile but I couldn’t. As a personal philosophy I don’t give up until I know the returns will be zilch.

I know this is going to be a long and slow process. I did the math- I would have to eat 1200 calories/day to lose 1lb/week to which I said, “Oh HELL no.” I love food and all of its complexities. Giving up my connection to food would be sacrificing a part of my identity (see personal Instagram tagline: Data nerd, Brooklyn biker, vegetable pusher). What I need to do is kickstart my relationship with food.  I don’t need to eat all the snacks because they’re there but if I want a donut, I should have a donut. And I should plan for that donut. I should savor that donut and all of its doughy sweetness. And then eat a giant bowl of vegetables when I’m hungry.

I’m trying to forgive myself for treating my body so badly all these years. Hundreds of days of endless drinking, mindless eating, and minimal movement that have damaged parts of me I didn’t know I had. I don’t know how to do this but I need to start somewhere. So I’ll start here, telling you about how like every other person struggling with their weight, I am mad at myself. The only way I can move forward psychologically and physically is to identify it, acknowledge it, and then let it go. Let self-love repair all that I’ve destroyed and salvage the few parts of me that are still ready to do this.

I’ll keep counting and restricting calories until I’ve reached a healthy point but I will not let anger fuel my desire to get there. To all of you sharing the same struggle, do yourself a favor and forgive yourself for failing time and time again. You’ve only lost when you’ve given up.

Also, get yourself a mantra. It helps.

Mine? Be strong, but gentle.

 

Author: 2birds1scone

My name is Shayla and I talk about food. A lot. I live in Brooklyn, NY where I work as a data nerd in the startup world. As much as I wish I could say I've been a healthy vegetarian for the past 8 years, I can't. I started off as many veg's do: eating primarily processed soy products, pasta, and pizza. I also brought meat back into my diet when I started a job in catering. When I realized that cutting out meat didn't make me feel any better and I was still gaining weight, I decided I needed to make some major changes. I started experimenting and researching; I found that the fresher the food was, the more I enjoyed it. I believe we are what we eat. How we feel and what we eat is so profoundly interconnected. It's impossible to exclude factors like diet and lifestyle when you are trying feel better overall. I understand how difficult eating (or just finding) healthy food can be which brings me to this blog. I aspire to help people make healthy living easier. 2birds1scone is a place for suggestions, inspiration and shared information. It's about bringing healthier perspectives to every part of your life. Please feel free to submit your thoughts and recipes! Namaste. "One choice at a time, with intention and compassion for our selves and our planet, we can eat clean and live well." -Terry Walters

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