Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Well-worn Road of Health and Fitness

Hi friends,

I have had a tough couple of months here, although I think I am turning a corner, finally.

This has been such a year of Highs and Lows. On the High side, I've learned and thought a LOT (too much!) about healthy eating, clean eating, Paleo eating, high-fat low-carb eating. I've hit some great physical benchmarks- completing my first and second Half Marathons, finishing 12 (will be 13) races in a year, loosing over 30 lbs, squatting more than my body weight. I've developed a regular gym habit, which I've sustained for over a year.

I have also struggled with a lot  of Lows this year. Over the past 12 months I have struggled with loosing my period (in February of 2013) and going through a series of tests & doctor visits to try to figure out what is going on, Getting down past my "Goal Weight" to a place that was not very healthy or realistic for me to maintain, a very tough transition of leaving a job at an organization I thought I'd be with for the next 5 years, intentionally having to gain weight back (and then some) in an attempt to regulate my period, and trying to make the transition to this new, great job as a normal, functioning employee who feels valued and respected. On top of all of that, I'm feeling ready and excited and even anxious to start a family with my hubs, yet I cannot do so because of the lack of a menstrual cycle.

The past 5 months, particularly, have been pretty low. Feeling like I have lost a lot of the physical progress I made due to intentional weight gain and then emotional eating. At first, I was gaining weight back to be at a body fat % where my period might return. Now I am definitely in a safe zone there, and probably heading back into the overweight category without successfully regaining my period. This has been a huge blow to my self-confidence and self-esteem. I'm now in the process, with the help of a counselor, of building my self-esteem back up.

I have learned some truly life-changing thing about myself in the past 12 months:

  • I have huge issues with  burying feelings that I can't manage and "dealing with them" through emotional eating. This "coping" mechanisms has been super destructive to my life in the past several years. 
  • I withdraw from friends and family when experience severe emotional distress, rather than reaching out, which is silly!
  • I have really missed music and  involvement in the Jewish community, two things I gradually, unintentionally stepped away from. I don't know how I became so disconnected from them, but I need them as a emotional and spiritual outlet.
While these two things are hard truths to bear, they will help inform my focuses for next year:
  • Reach out, connect, and put myself out there
  • Open myself back up to exercise- I can still have exercise goals without heading down a Disordered Eating pathway again.
  • Accept what comes next- if I get my period back, great! If not, we'll continue down the adoption path
  • My body is capable of amazing things- Running farther than I ever thought possible, lifting heavy things, and functioning on high efficiency when I treat it well
The summary of all this craziness is this: I can't and WILL NOT let fear and anxiety run my life any more. The best way for me to respect myself is to treat myself well. Fuel my body with whole, nutritious foods (with some treats in there too!), Get out and be active most days, and Continue to build and grow my awareness of myself and others.

Thanks to everyone who has supported me on this roller coaster of a ride! I'm looking forward to 2014 and renewing my commitment to this fulfilling journey I have started.

1 comment:

  1. Fitness isn't just a plan you embark on, along with a diet, to lose weight. It's a lifelong love of movement that will help you maintain good health and the physique you want.