Sunday, 24 June 2012

A Thousand Little Lies

I moved in with my fiance in my early 20's. Until then I'd lived at home with my family. My Mom had struggled with weight issues for most of her life and worried about me. I felt like everything I ate was watched and measured, that if I ate just a little less... weighed just a little less, I'd be so much better. I found it overwhelming and was relieved to discover my fiance simply did not care what I ate. Tub of chocolate frosting for dinner? Go for it. It took me years to realize that not caring was not a good thing.

The novelty of eating a tub of frosting wore off pretty quickly and I soon began pouring though easy recipes. I'd become a vegetarian in college and was basically learning how to cook from scratch. I grew up in a home where meat was the centre of the meal and veggies were an afterthought, boiled and placed on the side of the plate. I've always been interesting in cooking healthy food and soon worked out several recipes we enjoyed. Nevertheless I slowly grew fat under the weight of a thousand little lies.

It's easy to lie to yourself. Easy to let things slip past. I'm young, I don't need exercise. I'm busy chasing after the little ones all day, that's enough exercise. I deserve a treat after the day I had (totally ignoring the fact I'd already had several "treats" that day). I'll exercise tomorrow. Sure I've gained weight but it doesn't show. It's just PMS weight, it'll be gone soon. A life without chocolate isn't worth living. Maybe my life will be shorter but it'll be a good life with food I love and enjoy.

My favourite treat was milk chocolate. I'd buy a bag of milk chocolate chips to mix into brownies. Then I'd have a little bowl as a treat... and another... and another. Within a day or so I'd need to buy a new bag so I could make brownies. Days later, when I finally made a pan of brownies, I'd have to buy yet another bag. But the brownie mix made two batches and, while I only needed half a bag of chips per batch, I'd usually snacked enough that I needed another bag in order to make the second batch. And so on.

My daughter commented once that brownies weren't a treat when we had them all the time. At the time I was annoyed because I still felt they were my treat but she was right. A treat is supposed to be something special and out of the ordinary. I was making two batches of brownies every single week. And eating other treats besides.

Then came more lies. It's just that one pair of pants that don't fit. Elastic waistbands are more comfortable anyways. That photo was simply taken at an awkward angle (same with that photo and this one). If I stand at this exact angle with my head tilted just so, I look fine.

There's only so long I could blame the camera and/or crop photos so that all of me wasn't in the shot before admitting it wasn't the camera, it was me.

Now I'm working at telling myself the truth. The more exercise I do, the better healthy food tastes. I crave junk food less when I take care of myself more. There is time every day to exercise. We all have 24 hours and it's not hard to squeeze in 15 minutes to a half hour. Cooking a pot of rice, lentils, garlic, and herbs while tossing a salad takes just as little time than popping a frozen pizza into the oven and is infinitely more satisfying. If you have 15 minutes, you have time to cook a healthy meal. If you routinely don't have 15 minutes, you need to organize your time better.

The one I'm struggling with right now is exercise. Now that I've moved, I need to leave for work just over an hour in advance. I start as early as 6:30am and, when I'm up at 4:30am and walking out the door just before 5:30am, it's hard to get up a half hour earlier to exercise. And it's equally as hard to come home and exercise after working on my feet all day. Plus I need to be in bed around 8:30pm those nights, leaving little time to work out after dinner. This week, however, I start at 7:30am every morning. I'm hoping that a solid week of daily workouts will help get me into a routine of regular exercise again.

As for today, I've been out for a walk, exercised with the Wii My Fitness Coach, and am heading downstairs for a half-hour on the treadmill before dinner. No more lies, no more excuses. It's time to shape my life and be the me I want to be.

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