I’ve been delaying writing this post, because I am embarrassed to share this information. I don’t want to admit it to myself and I don’t want to admit it to others: I have gained 30 pounds since last year.
Of course, when I first noticed this trend, I looked for someone or something to blame. I first picked my anxiety medication. After all, I did start it about one year ago. That couldn’t be a coincidence, right? I talked with my psychiatrist, who assured me that it would be incredibly unusual for it to cause that much weight gain, but we could switch my meds to be certain. We did. It wasn’t the meds.
Next I was sure I had a thyroid problem. After all, they do run in my family and are related to weight gain. My psychiatrist didn’t think it was this either, but ordered a test for me anyway. I felt disappointed when the test came back normal. I had run out of excuses and realized, disturbingly, that I would prefer having a medical problem than have naturally gained weight. Who wants to have a medical problem? Just someone like me- someone who didn’t want to take responsibility for themselves.
It’s so easy to blame other people or things for your problems. If it’s not you, you don’t have to take the responsibility to fix it. But if you do blame everything but yourself, you’ll never be able to fix your own problems.
I’ve been really sensitive about weight gain and eating and especially after reading Beauty Sick. I’ll admit that a part of my motivation for eating right and exercising now is to lose weight, so I can fit into more of my clothes. But I also want to be healthy.
I’ve been trying to find ways to keep active that I enjoy. I recently went to a boxing class at Title Boxing Club (https://titleboxingclub.com/) Boxing is not something I ever really saw myself doing. But there was this gym I passed on the way to my house all the time. Plus I had just finished watching Season 2 of Sense8 and, let’s be honest, Sun is a huge bad-ass. I wanted to be strong, like her, and she boxes. So I figured I would give it a shot.
It was not what I was expecting. We started with 15 minutes of “warm-up” which was basically cardio and actually the hardest part of the workout. 4 minutes in, I was pretty sure I wanted to quit before we had even touched the bags. I toughed it out and enjoyed the 30 minutes of beating up a punching bag. The last 15 minutes of core were pretty tough too, but I think the adrenaline had kicked in enough at this point for me to not feel like I was going to die. The coaches gave me just the inspiration I needed to keep going, shouting things like “hard work pays off” and “we’re all in this together.” It was probably the hardest workout I had since my high school swim practices. But I felt AWESOME. I felt this huge sense of accomplishment- I had wanted to give up 4 minutes in, but I finished the whole hour. I loved the workout, and I usually hate anything that involves physical exertion. Importantly, I felt good about my body. That was the feeling Renee talked about in Beauty Sick. I loved my body in a way I hadn’t in a long time.
So. Take responsibility for yourself and your problems. Life is too short to be spent cowering in fear of them. Find what you love and makes you feel good and do it.