Sometimes I think my obsession with food and exercise isn’t such a big deal.
Yes, I realize this is my blog about disordered eating, which in most people’s minds equals “bad,” but let me explain.
See, although it’s caused me a lot of internal strife, it seems as though my obsession has almost worked in my favor, in the sense that I’ve not allowed myself to gain more than a couple pounds from my lowest, attained in 2004.
True, I’m not “at goal” at the moment (teetering about 5-7 lbs from it still depending on that time of the month) but it’s attainable, and I am working on changing some unhealthy behaviors associated with disordered eating that drain me.
I really think the reason I haven’t gained more (or “let myself” gain more) is because even under the most stressful of situations (and I’ve had many over the years), I’m naturally hard-wired to be regimented, at all costs. So I still ate well and exercised–two surefire ways for keeping the weight off.
And in spite of the ugly behaviors that began since losing weight, I’ve still been able to maintain a healthy weight–and now I just want to do it in a healthier, happier way.
A new way of looking at this for me is, “If I weren’t such a meticulous, rigid person, maybe I’d be 30 lbs. heavier and still dealing with these issues.”
That would be a lot tougher to swallow now, wouldn’t it?
So, as Dr. G said the other night, maybe it’s ok to be a little obsessed with food and exercise…to a degree. Because there’s always a line to be crossed, and once you do, even a healthy obsession isn’t healthy anymore.
And sometimes, we don’t even need a trained professional to “wake us up” to our obsessions; our friends can point out something to us that just sets the lightbulb off and makes pure sense. Case in point: one of my best friends concerned about my obsession with my weight told me yesterday after reading the blog:
“I just want to make sure you know that if you gained weight, and I am not saying you will, but if you did — it would not be the end of the world, at all. Really. You are never going to go back to the habits you had before. You will always be healthier than you were before, and that is the important thing.”
She’s so right. I am much healthier than I was four years ago and, all things considered, I am physically healthy: per my doctor, per the trainers at my gym, per waist-to-hip ratio, per body fat %, per BMI.
Maybe I’m not getting the ‘A’ I got three years ago (by being at my goal weight), but maybe at this stage in my life, it’s ok to get an ‘A-‘. It’s still an ‘A’.
I’m learning there’s a fine line between “giving up” and “settling” or getting to a happy place. My nature is not to give up, and it’s keeping me from finding my “happy place.” So if I naturally settle, mentally and emotionally — as well as physically — at a B+, so what? It’s not like I’m giving myself permission to gain weight, but rather I’m giving myself permission to live a little!
I guess this means ultimately someone like me shouldn’t really fear gaining weight; so long as my clothes fit and I am living a healthy and happy lifestyle. That’s all I can ask for.
I think I needed to hear it from someone else, so gracias, mi amiga!
How about you? Do you think besides weight loss, there can be something positive that comes out of your food and/or exercise habits?