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40 by 40

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

In a little over 40 weeks, I turn 40. After a few years of excellent health (and corresponding healthy weight) I once again find myself 40 pounds overweight. I know how I got here:

1) My stress and depression got out of control enough that I had to go on medication. I have had to relearn how to slow down and relax. I've had to give up control over a whole lot of things. In an effort to find a mental middle ground, I've stopped thinking about the body my mind lives in. The medication itself also plays some small role in the weight gain - and unfortunate side effect of trying to not go crazy.

2) I'm hypoglycemic and have chronically low blood sugar. The condition is fairly easy to control with diet but the diet isn't much fun. I went off the diet completely for a few years, which messes with my metabolism. The weight went up with each cookie I crammed in my mouth. Now that I'm paying attention to blood sugar again, I'm eating the 8 or 9 times a day I'm supposed to and I'm completely avoiding excess sugars. The problem is, those 8 or 9 meals are supposed to be small. Mine are not. I need (small) amounts of protein many times a day so I've been on an all-you-can-eat cheese, meat, and peanut butter buffet.

3) I have a wobbly knee. There are basic stretches that strengthen the knee and prevent exercise related pain. I have a tendency toward shin splints that can also be avoided by stretches. Out of laziness, however, I don't do my stretches and therefore, I have pain when I exercise. When I feel that pain, I stop. Added to the mess, I love wearing cute but unsupportive shoes. Choosing to exercise means time consuming prior steps and wearing less than fun attire. And while I'm admitting my vanity - sweat does frizzy things to my curly hair.

I considered making bullet points about taking care of the house or homeschooling but I know that neither of those actually have any impact on my health and weight. I have lived this very lifestyle under healthy conditions - and frankly, enjoyed it a whole lot more than I am now. The reality is, I have done this to myself willingly and maliciously.

It's time to stop. Or start. Or maybe to change. It's time to work for the healthy balance that I had just a few years ago. It's time to love myself wholly and completely.

By my 40th birthday next year, I will lose 40 pounds.
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