Sunday, March 23, 2008

Age 36

I never had a body image problem growing up. I was a runner and a year-round soccer player. My mother cooked balanced, healthy meals that included a salad, vegetable, meat and a starch. I drank (and still do) skim milk and water. I don't like soda much at all. Never did. I do like the occasional alcoholic beverage. I do like some sweets now and again. The point is, is that I was a healthy teenager and 20-something, which has carried on into my adult life.

When I reached my mid-30's, I gained 30 pounds within a year. I've always been an athlete and worked out at the gym 6 days per week, until I met and married my husband. Circumstances were such that I stopped going to the gym and began working 10-12 hour days. My eating habits changed to match that of my now husband, but they still weren't terrible. However, without the workouts, I gained and gained until I hit 30 pounds extra. Then, I hit depression and self-hatred. I almost didn't fit into my wedding dress. Can you imagine the horror I felt when trying to squeeze into it? I kept my veil on the entire night to hide my bulging back and thick arms. THIS is what I remember from my wedding...

Three years later, I am still struggling to lose the 30 pounds I've gained; it's beginning to creep up to 40 pounds extra now. I work out at the gym 5-6 times per week and do watch what I eat. I started running last fall for another 1/2 marathon, but once I reached 8 miles I began to have knee problems and had to drop out of training (I blame this on my extra weight). Which, by the way, I never lost a single pound in all my running and I was weightlifting and bicycling as well. I was and still am under the care of a physician and a personal trainer (I have had one for 3 years now).

I'm obsessed with losing this extra weight. It consumes me and I don't want it to. I know it's very petty of me. I think it's even more strange that I never cared about weight until now, but in thinking it over it's most likely due to the fact that I'd never before had a problem. Why can't I just be happy with the way that I am? My physician husband thinks I just have this in my gene pool (my maternal grandfather was obese and died of a heart attack; my maternal aunt is obese; my mother is obese, even though she has lost substantial weight with working out over the last few years; and my younger sister was "mildly" obese as the doctor told her. She has since lost around 60 pounds through diet and working out. She looks fantastic even though she feels she has more to lose). There could be truth in what my husband says, but I don't want to place blame. I just feel the need to lose the extra weight. I want to fit into normal sized clothes and feel good about myself once more. My husband tells me I'm beautiful and I believe him, but only until I look into a mirror. He loves me, I know this. I am 5' 9" weigh 186 pounds and wear a size 14. I want to feel happy with these statistics. With who I am. Who I've become.
I am not.

I hate my body. I don't want to do so for the rest of my life. I am destroying what little I have left of my own inner spirit.