Welcome to 2011! As promised, I want to lay out on virtual paper the course of last year. Lots of people seem to have had a tumultuous 2010, and I was no exception. (Trigger warning for diet talk)
First, flash back to late 2009. I was depressed and felt terrible about myself and desperately wanted to be in control of something and was convinced that losing weight would make my life better. So I started a restrictive diet and calorie counting, entering everything I ate into an online database and weighing myself every day. I drove everyone around me crazy with my food obsessions and talking about my weight and the diet constantly. By the time April rolled around I had lost 15-20 pounds, but then I got fed up with the restriction and obsession and stopped dieting. The weight crept back on, as always.
Then, I stumbled onto some of the fatosphere blogs, which helped me realize that 1) my body was okay the way it was and that fat is not a moral issue; 2) lots of people are making lots of money off of making people of all sizes feel horrible about themselves; and 3) it’s incredibly freeing to rid yourself of your internal body judgment! I saw that fatphobia is just another kind of body policing, and integrated this into my consciousness as a feminist.
This blog’s bolt of lightning struck around July, when I realized that I could work toward a personal dream and try to start running (thanks to HAES and c25k, and letting go of body shame). The c25k approach worked amazingly! It was terribly slow at times but it gave me freedom to go at my own pace and listen to my body and not get hurt. And hitting my own milestones– 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 2 miles… it’s been amazing and much better for my self-esteem!
My body hasn’t changed a whole lot on the outside (I’m still fat, despite running 6 miles a week now!) but I’m stronger now and have lots more endurance. I’ve gotten better at listening to my body, both knowing when I can push it a little harder, and also knowing how to give it what it needs to get stronger.
My sense of hunger is totally changed– if I’m hungry I eat, but I don’t overeat like I used to. For the first time in my life I can keep snacks around the house without eating the entire packet in one sitting. (I never understood how people could do this! Hi, disordered eating going back to my childhood…) And I have a much better sense of how foods make me feel.
So yeah, 2010 was a pretty transformative year for me! I’m not sure how I’m going to follow it up in 2011, but I’d like to keep doing what I’m doing (running farther and longer!) and work on some goals in my professional life this year. I think those will be tougher since I have less control over what happens in the workplace, but we will see what happens.
Happy New Year and here’s to making every year the best one yet!