Sunday, August 11, 2013

Health and Fitness

One of the reasons I've long been absent from this blog is that much of my free time has been spent trying to meet a different sort of goal--becoming healthy and fit. These goals don't coincide very well with any sort of sedentary activity, as crafting and blogging tend to be. I've been working out (almost) daily for six weeks, and I'm making progress toward accomplishing my goals.

Week One                                   Week Four

But after six weeks, I'm still struggling to find a balance between work, working out, spending time with family and friends, writing, painting, and crafting. Although I am disappointed by this realization, I understand that my health has to be a higher priority than it's been in the past. Without my health, I cannot do anything else I wish to do and do it well.

I'm noticing small changes here and there that let me know I'm making progress. I'm getting stronger. I sleep better. I have an overall sense of well-being that I don't think I've ever had. Although I am trying to lose weight, I am happier and feel better about myself than when I was thin. Feeling good about yourself has very little to do with what you look like; it comes from what you do to take care of yourself.

I was an overweight child. I was active--I took dance lessons for eight years and played outside--but genetics and a poor diet meant that I was always fatter (and taller) than other kids my age. I was self-conscious of that fact then, and I still am now.

When I was sixteen, I became ill. I lost 70 pounds in six months. People who didn't know I was sick told me how great I looked, but I didn't see it.I still saw a fat kid when I looked in the mirror. I wore clothes that were too big. I still avoided pictures that showed anything other than my face. I could count my ribs, see my spine, but I cried because I thought I was fat. Body dysphoria is hell. (No, I did not have an eating disorder.)

One of the few pictures showing anything other than my face. Ignore the fact that I was trying to be a burlesque model.

See that collar bone? It gives me chills now.

And here I am now. I think I even look happier.

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