I do not normally talk about personal issues on my blog, and I especially try not to talk about my weight. But I’m feeling compelled to share some recent struggles, so here we go.
Confession: I did not gain the “freshman fifteen” in college, but I have already gained 10 pounds since I’ve graduated. Yikes! This is pretty significant weight gain for my small frame.
Five of these pounds came on during my running injury so I thought that they would naturally come off after I started running again. Nope….I gained more!!
I don’t ever want to be the girl who freaks out over the number on the scale or whines about gaining a few vanity pounds. But the truth is, I don’t think that my lifestyle has been as healthy as it was in college, and that needs to change.
Okay, so what has changed to cause this weight gain:
- I am working out a lot less. Yes, I can now run again, and I am doing pretty well getting back my previous endurance. But I was triathlon training for my last two years of college, which was a lot more exercise than I am doing now. Before triathlon club, I was doing workouts with the rowing team 5 days a week plus running on my own. Actually, this is the first time since before high school that I have not been involved in a competitive sport.
- My days have no consistent schedule or structure. I thought college was crazy with different class and practice times everyday. But although my schedule was inconsistent, there was always structure — I had very specific windows of time when I had to schedule my meals. Now, I wait tables during normal meal times and have the rest of the day to myself. I’ve been snacking so much and not eating real meals, and this leaves me feeling unsatisfied. I eat more this way, and I also eat less healthfully. Some people can do the “5 or 6 meals a day” thing well. Its not for me.
- My fridge is in my bedroom. Dangerous, dangerous, dangerous! Can you say night eating temptations??! But I have no choice, I’m living with boys, and the fridge is stuffed full and nasty. I must have my own in my room.
- I spend a lot of time by myself. I used to live with my best friends. Now they moved, and I’m still here. It’s okay, I’m not too lonely, and I realize that this is a very transitional period in my life. My point is that I do a lot of mindless eating when I’m by myself.
- Post-grad depression? I miss college. A lot. And I don’t know what my next step is right now. I’m scared therefore I eat to not think about it.
Alright, I’ve identified some causes, and now I need a plan. This is what I will do:
- Get a better career/life plan. I have sent out one internship application. That was a huge weight off my back. But I need to do more networking, work on my resume, and most importantly, decide if I need to apply for grad school. If I’m going to go, I want to go in January, and I need to apply ASAP!
- Keep exercising. I’m actually not going to change a thing here. I exercise regularly, and I do not need to workout like a crazy person to lose weight! There were times in college when I was probably overdoing it. I’m not going to go there again.
- Stop snacking. Completely. I eat healthier meals and enjoy them more when I don’t snack during the day. That’s what I know works for me. Night snacking is also a very bad habit that I need to stop immediately. It doesn’t make me feel good before going to bed, and it makes me not hungry for breakfast.
- Eat more veggies. I love vegetables! I have no excuse to not be eating enough of them, but I’ve been snacking too much to crave them. Salads and roasted veggies, here I come! I’ve missed you!
- Control the sweets. Oh boy. I can’t give these up completely. What I need to do is buy pre-portioned desserts. (I’m sorry, environment! I will try to recycle the excess packaging!) Earlier this week I ate an entire pint of Ben and Jerry’s within 24 hours. This happens every time I buy ice cream, despite telling myself I will have self control. So now mini ice cream bars and individually wrapped dark chocolates will be my desserts.
This is what I will not do:
- Become obsessed with the scale. I will occasionally check my weight, but I will mainly judge my success on how I feel. I know what it feels like when I’m treating my body right, and that hasn’t been happening recently.
- Feel guilty about “splurging.” Maintaining a healthy weight has nothing to do with that one night you enjoyed a decadent meal at a restaurant, had wine and cheese after dinner, went to get pizza with friends on a friday night, or needed to try a piece of homemade cake. Its all about eating healthy 80-90% of the time, and then you can (and should) enjoy yourself guilt-free the rest of the time. This philosophy has worked very well for me in the past. I would never exclude myself from a social situation because of fear of not being able to eat perfectly or deny myself of a treat that is really worth it (i.e. homemade chocolate cake!).
- Negative self-talk. “I feel fat. I’m a terrible person for eating badly. All my clothes are too tight now and look terrible!” None of that. It makes things worse. If I need to, I will write it down, then tear it up.
Pheww! Sorry about writing a novel (are you still here?!), but it felt really good to write that all down. You all are probably thinking, “This stupid skinny girl is completely nuts/annoying for flipping out over 10 pounds.” But my worries are more about how I’m letting go of my healthy habits that took so long to form. The weight gained is just the tangible evidence. Yes, I really did eat that much ice cream…the scale doesn’t lie; no more denial.
When I started writing this, I wasn’t sure if I was actually going to publish it or not. My blog is supposed to be about “celebrating good food and fitness,” not stressing out about it. But I appreciate when other bloggers are honest about their imperfections (let’s face it, nobody is perfect!), and I’m hoping you all can relate in some way. I know that most women have had times in their lives when they have not had the healthiest habits, and I would love to hear about your experiences and how you get yourself back on track.
Thanks for reading,