The Downside of Spring

It’s that time of year… birds are chirping, buds are about to burst open with fresh green leaves, we are seeing more of the sun, snow is melting, temperatures are rising, and people everywhere are pulling out their spring/summer gear. That’s where the fun of spring ends… I am guessing that many people had the same experience I did. I was so excited to pull out that first pair of capris for the year only to find, they didn’t fit so well!

Alert: This blog is about to get brutally honest… it may not be appropriate for some audiences!

What went wrong??
I got fat! That’s what went wrong!! OK, by most peoples’ standards, I’m not fat… here’s what I know: when I step on the scale, the number is significantly higher than I would like to see. I try to just not step on a scale at all. That’s how I avoid that problem. As much as I’ve been to the Dr. lately, I’ve had to see that number more times than I care to! If I’m gonna keep getting sick, can’t I at least lose some weight from it? Apparently not!

Then, there’s the issue of the mirror… when I look at myself in it, I don’t like what I see… yes, I had two children. I know the “Mom Pooch” is normal – doesn’t mean I like to see it. I really don’t like to see it growing!! I had to buy bigger jeans mid-winter just because I couldn’t stand to see how much fat was hanging over the sides of my regular ones! I saw a picture of me from the side, dancing at Jason’s company party. I was wearing this fabulous form-fitting dress… I truly couldn’t believe what I saw. That same dress that looked amazing a year before, now made me look about 5 months pregnant!!!

The final way I know I’ve gotten “fat”?? When I wave to someone, and my arms go flapping behind… ICK!! One of my co-workers touched my arm and commented on how soft I was… I told her I hoped she was talking about my skin, not the muscle tone! haha – that was supposed to be funny! Along this same line is when I was trying on wedding dresses; I had bunches of skin in places I shouldn’t have!

I don’t understand!!
The summer I was going through my divorce, I WAS skinny! I was proud to wear a bikini! I ate TERRIBLE (mostly cookies, chocolate, and caffeine, mixed with a lot of fast food). I was probably 25 lbs lighter than I am right now. I was so skinny that my massage therapist would jokingly ask if she could offer me a sandwich! I was super thin, and had absolutely no right to be!

Forward to this past year. Most of the fall/winter, I was sick with various GI symptoms. You’d think that would have helped me (in kind of a twisted way). I am now eating better (kind of, this past week not included), drinking more water, walking 2.5- 5 miles 4 times a week, taking multivitamins and probiotics… I am noticing my waist getting smaller, and my face thinning out. Yet, for some reason, my capris still didn’t quite fit me. The number on the scale is not going down. My energy level is not increasing… It’s very discouraging!!

An interesting trend:
I am noticing women all around me are going on diets (or non-diets). Most of these women are not women you would typically look at and think they needed to go on one. In fact, I would guess these women are hearing some of the same things I am.

People mean well, in fact, they mean it to be a compliment when they say, “But you’re so thin.” I hear all the time how little I am, how great I look… I know people don’t have anything but the best intentions in mind when they say such things. I can’t help but think (and sometimes say out loud), “Yeah, but you don’t have to look at me in the mirror with no clothes on. I have cottage cheese thighs, fat that hangs out too far…” YUCK! Sometimes I say “Thanks, clothes hide the fat well.” It’s hard to take the compliments people intend when all they see is how well I’ve hidden it all!

What’s interesting to me, is that even though I know how hard it is to accept that other people see me as “little”, I sometimes think the same thing about other people! I’ve seen on twitter, facebook, and heard in conversations with friends, etc, LOTS of people who are suddenly on diets. I often think, “You don’t need a diet.” Then, I remind myself, I don’t have to see them naked every day… I’m guessing these people are going through the same pain of trying to fit into last year’s capris, and NOT succeeding as I am!

What are you going to do about it???
The other day, my neighbor posted the following comment on my facebook page:

I loved the walking, cutting out pop, drinking more water, and eating 5 small meals a day. My Mom has been doing the small meals thing, and had quite a bit of success losing weight! I HAVE been walking a ton as part of my training for the 3-Day Walk. My Mom was kind enough to give me some resistance bands that attach to a door, so I can work on my upper body. Walking is melting some of the fat around my middle, but does nothing for the arms… I’ve been trying to drink less pop, and drink more water. I go through spurts with my success in this area. I am also trying to make better choices with what I eat. Again, some days, I’m more successful than others. I blame my insane schedule lately, but really, the fault is my own…

If you are trying, and NOT succeeding at fitting into your summer clothes from last year, don’t go on a crash diet. Do what you can when you can. For most people, chocolate and cookies will not make you lose weight. Make better choices on food selection and portion sizes. Drink more water. Get some exercise. The days have been gorgeous! Get outside, go for a walk! Your kids, your dog, and most importantly, your body, will thank you!

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