The past week has been filled to the brim. Beer events, flights, Portlandia, work, Fat Tuesday, and that pesky sleep thing. You know, one of those weeks where you sometimes forget to breathe. The dust is starting to settle, though, and I figure it’s time for a post about something that’s been flitting about in my brain for a while.
It’s been almost 2 years since I made the biggest lifestyle change of my 24 (and a half! I’m officially 6 months from my birthday!) years of my life. I decided I was going to lose the excess weight from my body, resume the exercise that used to be a central focus of my life, and stop eating crap. My family couldn’t have been more supportive. In fact, my mother’s Weight Watchers account was probably my most frequently visited website on a daily basis. My brothers were huge inspirations to me, as they’d both sculpted their bodies through P90X, regular visits to the weights rooms, and diet changes. Every time I came home, I was greeted with hugs and compliments. Of COURSE it felt great. And it fueled my fire, and it made me hungry for more progress. I don’t believe I ever visited the land of Eating Disorders, but I definitely regulated my food intake more than most people I know. It just worked for me that way, so I stuck with it.
I’m not sure when it happened, but despite the fact that I’ve maintained my 40-45lb weight loss for the past year and a half, the people closest to me started to have different thoughts. No longer were the comments your basic “Wow, you look great!” or “You’ve gotten so fit!” but sounded a little more like, “Oh, come on, just eat the pizza!” or “You don’t HAVE to go to the gym every day do you?” “Do you really write EVERYTHING you eat in that little book of yours?”
It may have stemmed from the weekly weigh-ins.
Maybe it was the decision to give up drinking soda this year.
Perhaps it was the choice to go Pescatarian for Lent this year.
But they started to worry about me. Now, I’ll admit, my family is pretty basic when it comes to eating. I don’t think I even have a vegetarian cousin or uncle. The idea of pescatarianism strikes them as outrageous, as a huge difference from the norm. After researching the lifestyle for a while, and looking back on my own regular eats, it isn’t that much of a stretch for me to attempt pescatarian eating for 40 days. And I don’t want anyone to worry about me. I’m still going to work out, but I take rest days. I’m still going to blog about my food and exercise, but I’ll never post about everything I eat. And yes, sometimes my methods may seem a little “out there” to the average Joe (or Josephine), but I know how my body works. I know how my habits work.
My brother brought up a good point when we were talking about all of this, and that point is that you should be able to enjoy something if you really want it.
For me to make a serious life change, I need to go drastic first, and then temper it. When I first started Weight Watchers, I tracked every bite of food and drink that went into my body. And now, I know a more general idea of what eating healthy is about, so I don’t have to know the points value of those Cheez Its I just wolfed. I won’t drink soda for the next year but, after that, if I want a soda, I’ll have one. And if I don’t, I’ll know it’s because I lost the taste. I won’t eat beef, poultry, or pork for the next 37 days, but I’ll be with you if you want a steak dinner on Easter. I like to challenge myself, it helps me learn what I can or cannot do, and what I need or do not need. Two years ago I learned that I don’t need an entire frozen pepperoni pizza for dinner. Now, it’s time to learn something else.
It’s important to have family, friends, romantic partners, etc. to be there and act as the occasional check and balance when you’re starting something new in your life. But it’s also important that you stick to your goals (your well-researched goals that will not endanger your life). And if I ever make a decision where I can’t eat pizza, please, someone, slap me.
Asiago flatbread topped with herbed goat cheese, parmesan, mozzarella, sugar-free sauce, spinach, onions, and Morningstar spicy “sausage”. Hell to the yeah.
Has your family or friends ever been worried about your health following decisions you’ve made? How did you get past it?
(SIDENOTE: My family and I have spoken about this at length and they’re not worried anymore, as I explained myself, my decisions, etc to them and let them know I wasn’t just jumping into some trendy fish-eating fad diet! All is well, don’t want anyone to worry about THAT!)