I'm going to do the hard part first and share some photos of myself.
They range from around 2008 to 2011 or so.
I'm smiling in every one of these photos and yet on the inside crying and hating myself.
It was a horrible vicious circle for me. I would spend time with friends and family; knowing that photos were going to be taken to help capture the moments. I'd smile for the camera. I'd be putting on a happy face.
I'd then spend the evening alone up in my room devouring everything I could get my hands on.
Each day repeating itself.
My clothes were not fitting. I wasn't able to hide the rolls and double chins.
I was having back issues. I was having knee issues.
Watching the number on the scale just keep climbing higher and higher.
Then something changed. I didn't even really see it coming which makes me laugh when I think about it.
I started seeing my ex husband.
Shocked? haha You thought I was going to say I went on a diet, didn't you?! ;)
We had been divorced for MANY years. In part of my ongoing personal steps of moving forward with my life, I was contacting people from my past and letting go of the anger, angst, hurt or whatever issue it was that had me tethered to them. I contacted my ex husband. We started talking again. Some time passed and next thing I knew, we were becoming serious with each other again.
With that change to my life, came changes that I wasn't even considering that the time; that were going to alter me for the better.
He lived in the old farmhouse that had belonged to his parents. It needed lots of TLC and work to happen to it. Much more physical activity became part of my daily life. Old walls being torn down; new walls being put up in their place. Wood needing to be cut, hauled and stacked to keep the farmhouse warm during the cold weather. Gardens to be cleared out of years of neglect and brought back to life. Driveway that needed to be cleared of snow since I do happen to live in a place that gets snowfalls and having to do so with a shovel. In the warmer weather, reclaiming large portions of the yard and fields so mowing became part of my routine. I'm not talking a ride on either. Push mower and HUGE areas being reclaimed.
He loves to cook and eat.
He also loves fresh vegetables, spices and fresh herbs. Processed foods are few and far between for him. Eating out doesn't happen a lot. Fast food places are not where he likes to grab a bite of food.
I was introduced to food with whole new eyes.
"Just try it"..... was something I started hearing quite a bit.
Things that I'd somehow always rolled my eyes at and said no thanks to..... were somehow now on my fork and being eaten. WHOA....and I was LIKING IT!
Soon the combination of moving my body more and eating food differently started shifting something in my brain and with how my body looked. A few pounds were falling off here and there. Nothing drastic but noticeable to me. My clothing was fitting me differently. My body didn't ache in the ways it had. I had sore muscles from the work I was doing but it felt good. I was sleeping better then I had in years. Working around the farmhouse and being outside felt good.
The relationship for him and I was better then it had ever been. Working as a team on this home we were building. Spending time together in the kitchen, trying new recipes wasn't a chore. It was becoming quality time together that extended past the act of cooking a meal. We ate together and talked about our days and so much more. We were connecting again.
I started keeping track of my body changes.
Just writing down things I noticed into a small journal for my eyes only.
A smaller size pair of pants.
Being able to wear a belt for the first time.
Needing to buy a bra in a smaller size.
A drop in pounds here or there.
One of my double chins going away.
A roll of fat getting smaller.
Looking in the mirror and seeing my cheekbones again.
It didn't happen overnight. I've been working with this new mindset and game plan for a number of years now.It is something that I will have to work at for the rest of my life.
It's not a perfect game plan and there will be moments where it needs to be worked on.
I still have moments where I eat something off the not so good for me list.
Having finally got to a point in my mindset of not fretting about it and spiraling down into self hate and regret over it really makes such a difference.
I will never be a "skinny" person.
It's not in my makeup. I don't allow myself to become obsessed with the number I see on the scale.
By the standards of society, I will be considered a large woman. I think it's wrong, but I'm not going to fight to squeeze into a standard I don't believe should even exist.
I will carry stretch marks on my body.
My body will not be rock hard and firm and that is something I'm fine with.
It wasn't a goal or need that I was going for.
I wanted a body that didn't ache so much.
A body that I could feel comfortable in.
That I could see myself in a photo with friends and family and my first thought would be the moment of togetherness that had been captured instead of thinking horrible thoughts about myself.
That I could walk past a mirror and think you are doing pretty good.
That a smile would happen when I'd see my reflection.
This is the new me.....
Happy with her body.