Growing up, I was a very active child. I spent more time outside than inside when I wasn’t in school or sleeping. And summer vacations were either spent at the local swimming pool, or cruising around town on my bike or rollerblades. I played softball, basketball, volleyball. I went out for track (but stuck to high jump, long jump, and discus because I hated running). I walked to school, unless it was freezing or pouring rain, right up until I got my driver’s license my junior year of high school.
But even if I was fit and relatively healthy for much of my life, somewhere along the line, it all just went off the rails. It’s something I’ll explore much more in depth in my memoir project, but sometime during middle and high school, I developed a very deep and inexplicable loathing for what I saw when I looked in the mirror. During high school and college, that manifested as an eating disorder and some seriously self-destructive behavior. Looking back, I can only thank my friends and family, my team of therapists, and God for bringing me back from the brink of it. Left to my own devices, the end results would certainly not have been so pretty.
For years afterward, I shied very far away from any sort of dieting or fitness crazes. I had to. Once you’ve gone down the rabbit hole of anorexia and self-loathing, I don’t think you ever leave it behind, not completely. Instead, you have to stay vigilant, checking in on it now and then and making sure you’re doing what’s necessary to keep it dormant. But now, 14 years and 2 kids later, I’m a good 30 pounds heavier than I have ever been, and it’s really starting to get old.
I’m not looking to make any drastic changes. Those never seem to last anyway. But what I can do is get my butt in gear and incorporate some more exercise into my daily routine (which I started tonight with a little strength training and yoga), and to start making a few healthier choices throughout the day. I mean, it’s not like I’m constantly eating total garbage, but I do need to cut the cereal and ice cream habit that has carried over since my pregnancy cravings with Henry.
And just because I’m a goal-oriented person, here’s my awful “before” photo to give me a little motivation.
Let’s get this party started.