Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hey, so that's the color of the inside of my belly button!

As I sail through the last hours of my twenties (only 48 to go!), I find myself thinking about the past 10 years and how I've changed, physically, mentally, emotionally. I feel like I began my 20s in such a different space as compared to how I'm ending them that if I were to go back and tell my 19-almost-20 self, "Self, these are the things that you will do and see and experience in the next ten years," I wouldn't have believed myself. I've been all over the world. I've met the love of my life, and married him. I've seen an African-American man elected to the presidency. I've gone no farther with my education past a bachelor's degree. I've moved to Colorado. I've grown pretty happy with who I am and where I'd like to be. And I've changed shape so drastically (up 2 cup sizes since I was 19, for example) that I have about 3 articles of clothing from my teens that still fit (and I don't wear them, because they're too damn short - styles have changed, my friends, oh yes).

Every so often I like to take stock of myself. I stand in front of the mirror and look at myself, see what I look like, but also see how I view myself, for these things are very different. I'm much happier with my skin, and happier with my boobs, and happier with my physical capabilities (I can climb 14ers and snowshoe for hours and I ran in a marathon and I can lift a lot of weight). But I'm really quite unhappy with my appearance, and this was brought strongly to my attention this past weekend when I wore a dress I'd made a year before to fit me and it was uncomfortably tight. And then I saw the photos other people took of me and how much THICKER I am through hip and thigh (and belly, let's be honest). Though I haven't written about it in a long time, I've been faithfully spending 5-7 hours a week in the gym (this means most Mondays and Wednesdays I go twice) plus at least a couple of hours of some physical activity on the weekends. My meals are, for the most part, healthy and of proper proportions for my nutritional needs. So what gives? Why am I gaining weight (and it's not just muscle), when everything I'm doing says I should be losing?

It was time to take a much closer look at my habits. I am a creature of habit, as are many people, and I have addictive tendencies that I am aware of and do my best to curtail. When I get to work in the morning, the first thing I do is fill up my liter-sized plastic Black Eyed Pea cup with water. At 10:30, I pay a visit to a coworker who keeps a candy jar at her desk and grab a couple of pieces of dark chocolate (especially if I'm particularly tired that day, since caffeinated beverages seem to affect me so strongly). At 11 or 11:30, I have a piece of string cheese or fruit. Between 12:30 and 1:30 I go to the gym. When I get back, I refill my water and eat my lunch. At 3 or 3:30, I have more chocolate. When I get home (some days after my second gym session) I have a protein snack, a couple of pieces of turkey lunchmeat and 5 walnut halves. And then I eat dinner. After dinner, there might be a tasty beverage or hot chocolate or something dessert-ish, though not every day.

At my office, we don't have trash cans at our desks. Our building is very green-aware and we are encouraged to recycle almost everything - so food trash has to be deposited in special trash cans in our kitchen area. I keep my candy wrappers in a little container at my desk and when it's full, I empty it into the kitchen recepticle. I hadn't emptied it in a while and when I did so on Monday, I looked at all those wrappers - all that chocolate I'd consumed, that I didn't need. No wonder I was gaining weight. Even with all the exercise, there's no excuse for eating as much chocolate as I have been for the last six months. So I stopped.

This week, I ate no chocolate at work. And you know what? Once I told myself that it was a habit that needed breaking, I broke it. No problem. I haven't changed anything else - still keeping to the same workout schedule, same food intake, etc. I wonder how long before I notice a difference. I'd like to be a hott 30-something, not just a hott 20-something, and want to make sure I'm in really good shape before Project Give Dan's Grandma a GreatGrandchild begins.

1 comment:

tmjackson said...

Good for you! That kind of will-power is very impressive, especially since it's something I can never hope to even glimpse. Happy almost birthday - you've got a great decade ahead of you, I'm sure.