With temperatures on the rise, I decided weekend-before-last that it was time to pack away my winter sweaters and pull out the sundresses. And because I’m OCD and can’t be part of a project that takes me less than half a day to accomplish, of course I chose to use this as an opportunity to do some closet organizing. I don’t wear half of the items in my summer and winter wardrobe, so why keep that clothing around? I was also pretty sure that some items no longer fit, so I opted to be a real glutton for punishment and try on everything that raised the question, “I wonder if that still fits?”
After the initial sort-through, I cranked up my Journey|Toto|Foreigner Pandora station, stripped down to my skivvies, and got to work. After a short time, I had developed quite a pile of “Oof. Maybe…wait. No. Definitely does not fit. Definitely not” items.
I texted Chelsea to figure out what to do. (Chelsea is full of wisdom and never acts like I am crazy for asking her weird questions.) She, in turn, asked some very good questions, one of which was “Were you at a healthy weight when these clothes fit?”
I can say with 100% honesty, I’ve never been at an unhealthy (too thin) weight. When I was younger, I was a toothpick who ate everything in sight, never thought about it, and never gained an ounce. In college, my body began to change (i.e. grow curves) but remained pretty thin, and I still rarely worked out or limited my food intake. Getting married to a fitness geek was when I began caring about being in shape — not just for looks, but because of the way it made me feel. When these clothes fit, I was both running (couple of miles per run) and doing yoga several times per week. I was eating well, but I didn’t deny myself ice cream or wine — or anything, really. I felt great. I had my curves, but they were toned. I was healthy.
By the end of the day, the pile looked like this. I cracked open a Blue Moon to soothe the pain, vowing that it was my last non-light beer ever, or at least until these shorts fit again.
And now, I’m torn. Is this weight I’m not supposed to have? Something in me says yes. I mean, I’m busy. But I’m only going to get busier as time goes on. It’s only going to get harder to keep weight off. Do I at this point – childless and 26 – say “Eh, good enough”? Or do I take a deep breath, start using My Fitness Pal again, put down the Oreos, and get my butt to the gym? I don’t have money to buy new clothes right now, so do I throw these clothes away and wear the 5 items I have that fit? Or do I lose the weight and increase my summer wardrobe without spending a dime?
I guess my question is: At what point is it okay to have gained weight and at what point do you do something about it? Do you stay on top of it after a 5 pound gain, or do you wait until it gets to 20 and is that much harder to lose? Is it unhealthy for a diet/exercise to be at the top of the mind of someone who most people consider thin?
I’d like to get back to where I was: running, doing yoga, and eating better but allowing myself a splurge here and there. The question is, how do I accomplish that with a healthy mindset? How do I make this a lifestyle and not just a way to fit into these clothes? What would YOU do? I’m looking forward to hearing y’all’s thoughts and feelings.