One of my goals for Sweet Orange Cottage is to use this space to explore issues I have about my weight. I think it’s unpopular these days to focus on weight loss as a specific goal. We should be working to love our bodies as they are. Intuitive eating, body acceptance and fat pride are things I strive for, but I’m just not there. I haven’t been able to let go of my life long hope(goal? wish?) to be thinner. I love seeing large women out and about doing all the things I felt I never could: wearing bikinis, showing skin, playing sports, eating what they like and just in general living the life they want. I love seeing them in cute clothes, but in my head I don’t look cute in the vintage fashions I love. At least in their “Instagram lives” they are doing it all, however when I visit Disneyland or attend day long events my feet ache and I run out of energy early on. I feel frumpy and limited be my size. I think, like so many things, the answer lies somewhere in the middle. I want to love where I’m at but work to get to a different place. I hope by exploring these feelings I can grow physically and mentally.
In 2014 I travelled with my two, adult children to Europe. We had an amazing vacation and it reignited my love for travel. I also realized that if I was going to have years of fun travel adventures ahead, I needed to lose weight. I couldn’t keep up with all of the walking let alone any truly challenging physical activities like climbing the Eiffel Tower. I wanted to take part in the activities, not just watch from the sidelines. I weighed roughly 225 pounds and got winded walking a block or climbing one flight of stairs. I started slowly when I got home, walking short distances and tracking my calories and weight. Gradually, I lost approximately 50 pounds from July 2014 until July 2018. Wow, that sounds like a long time!
I’ve been weighing in and making weight-loss plans for 50 years, so you would think I’d have this down by now. Nope! Not even close. I love making plans, starting new projects and first days, but this feels ridiculous. I realise that continually starting fresh is addict behavior and I need to just keep trudging forward. Starting in the morning(or Monday, the first of the month, January 1) is a mindset I need to put aside. Also focusing on where I’ll be and what I’ll weigh in a week, month or year is not helpful. It’s natural to try to jump ahead and envision the benefits of sticking with it but life is lived minute to minute. Being content in the moment is a good goal for me. I’m not sure how to reconcile this with what I believe is a very effective strategy for losing weight: Jerry Seinfeld’s advice on accomplishing goals by not “breaking the chain.” For today, I’m going to put aside these thoughts and focus on the moment. At this moment I weigh 188.3 pounds and have gained approximately 10 pounds since last May. I’d like to change that and at the same time be comfortable with it. So, how is that possible? If you’d like to come along for the soul searching and introspection, I’d love to share.