Monday, June 3, 2019

Living the Normal Dream

It's been 12 years since I began this journey. I remember once asking a WW leader, a woman who had been maintaining her weight for something like 20+ years, asking her if she feels like she has a "normal" relationship with food. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: after all this time, do you feel like you have a normal relationship with food?
Her: yes, I think I do.
Me: how long did that take?
Her: around 13 years

At the time I was 6 years into my journey, and 13 years seemed like a long way off. But as I inch closer to it, I'm taking notice of my relationship to food (who am I kidding? I'm always taking note of that). And not only my own, but others too. I'm a regular observer of the food-woman relationship dynamic, always curious about what women say about such things.

One of the things I've noticed is how many "normal" women (a category I define as women who haven't been hugely overweight) struggle with their food intake. I'm thinking of a woman I work with who is tall and thin and has never been more than a few pounds overweight. She and I talk all the time about our attempts to lose weight. She goes up in this 5-10 pound window, then loses it before vacation, then gains it on vacation, then loses it when she's back, and the same around the holidays, and on and on.

I'm doing a sort-of version of that. Though the 5-10 pound window I'm in is not cool with me. I'm currently right around 160. In the winter I got up to a startling, depressing, scary 173 before I broke that streak and did something to change it. I was down to 157 and hopeful about getting back to 145 (my original goal weight) but then started loosening up the food intake again. And so now I'm "focused" again. And so it goes. I've been open to the very real possibility that this might be it for me. That I'm never going to get back to 145, or even 155, but I've not given up just yet.

My point is not about the numbers, or about the fact that I'm 15 pounds over my goal weight, but more about this bouncing around. I'm realizing a lot of women live this way. And A LOT of women see their ideal weight as 10-20 pounds less than they are. And for me, those women always fell into the "normal" category, the one I mentioned earlier.

I guess what I'm saying is, maybe I'm becoming normal. Not quite though. I know my relationship with food remains a little "off". I still use food when I'm bored, or tired. Or angry. Maybe sad too. Probably happy from time-to-time. I sometimes eat in a way that leaves me feeling like crap, physically and emotionally. I still want that to change. I know it might never go away altogether, like it did for my old WW leader, but something less than what's happening these days would be nice.

Otherwise, things are going pretty well in my life. A little over a year ago I was so frustrated with my lack of regular exercise I did something I never thought I'd do. I joined a specialty group-exercise studio that charges what I think of as a ton of money; OrangeTheory. For a while I went 5x a week but I burned out and after skipping pretty much the whole month of December, I got back on the horse and now only go 3x a week.

I'm a big fan. All the classes are a mix of cardio and weights. The cardio tends to be a HIIT model, though not always. They are an hour long and I usually sign up in advance. If you cancel within 8 hours of the start, they charge you $12. Who knew $12 could be so much motivation?

But the thing I like the best, is that you I don't have to think. I show up, work my butt off for an hour, and leave. I just have to get myself in the door, and everything else falls into place. Of course this was true with the gym too, but I think I was bored with my routine. OrangeTheory is anything but boring.

In other news, the kids are good. I took them to the beach a few weeks ago and we had a blast.

Work is good. I started a new job about a year ago and I'm enjoying it. It's running a mental health program. Very challenging, but dynamic and interesting in a way that makes the challenge worth it.

So I think that's my update for now. If you're still out there, drop a comment and say hello!