A work in progress

2 Aug

One of the blogs I really enjoy reading is Caitlin‘s. Not only does she make awesome looking food and is a fellow dachshund owner, she’s a great role model for every woman. She’s also a published author – her book officially comes out tomorrow! As part of the big release, Caitlin has named this week “Change the way you see, not the way you look week”, and I think that sums up something that can apply to a variety of struggles people (namely women) face today regarding body image. Obviously, I think this is a wonderful idea and I wanted to put in my two cents and share my story.

If you’ve read for awhile or know me well, some of this stuff won’t be news to you, so please just bear with me 🙂

Naturally, I have a pretty slim build and I’m also on the tall-ish side (5’9″). This was revealed around the start of high school when I started playing tennis. I played  mostly year-round until fall of my senior year, and that kept me relatively fit, or so I thought. I was never great at tennis because I didn’t try as much as I could have, but that’s another story for another time.

I inevitably gained weight (15-20 pounds) my freshman year away at college. Lack of exercise combined with late night fried foods…you know how it goes. That summer, back at home, I made the decision to become a vegetarian, but I didn’t do it to lose weight, and it never even occurred to me that I would. Over the next year, I gradually lost the weight I gained and then some. Luckily, I was still at a healthy weight for my build and height, but I wasn’t happy. A lot of things happened over the next two years that caused me to take a step back and reevaluate if I was really where I needed to be, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

It was this combined with some other extraneous variables (whoa, psych talk) that caused me to make the decision to transfer to the university in my hometown. Though the majority of my high school graduating class attend this university, it still feels like a fresh start for me, which I definitely needed. Most importantly, I wasn’t living a healthy life and coming back home was the first step I needed to take.

At my old school I lived in a sorority house with a cook who specialized in comfort food – lots of butter, lots of oil/fried food, etc. My body was not fond of these foods and I often felt sick after a lot of meals. Along with the fact that I wasn’t eating well, I wasn’t getting enough exercise. I went to yoga or pilates classes sometimes, but that was about the extent of it. When I came home for good after that last quarter at school, I was miserable, to say the least. I needed to make a change. I was still maintaining the weight loss, but I didn’t feel the same way I looked, and that really bothered me.

Fortunately my diet at home has always been pretty healthy and incorporating that back into my life made a huge difference. I also cut corn out of my diet because I found that really didn’t agree with me. I also began exercising a lot more regularly (4-5 times/week as opposed to, well, never) and -surprise,surprise- that helped, too.

I’m still not where I want to be in a lot of areas in my life, but I know I’m a lot happier and feel so much better than I did before I made these changes at the beginning of the summer. I still have days where I don’t think I’ve gotten anywhere in my attempts to change things. It’s a work in progress, though, and I know it’s only going to get better from here.

This may have just sounded like a bunch of nonsense – I’m really not sure if what I just wrote truly expressed the point I was trying to make. I just hope at least one person reads it and is able to relate or take something away from it 🙂

Tomorrow I’m making dinner again, so if you’re curious about what it will be, check back tomorrow night!


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