I don’t usually do a lot of “before and afters” anymore because, well, after almost 10 years of maintenance you realize “After” is more a state of mind than a moment in time where you happen to look a certain way.
Today I made the following side-by-side image on a whim when I was looking for an old photo to post for Throwback Thursday on Facebook. The photo on the left was taken in 2004. I was married, no kids and, if I remember correctly, regaining weight after yet another attempt at low- (no) carbing it — Remember how HUGE Atkins was back then?
The photo on the right is me, this Sunday in the dressing room at Old Navy. I spied a dress that was half off and it looked perfect for my 20th high school reunion coming up in a few weeks.
I’m not the skinniest I’ve ever been. My old “after” photos no longer even seem relevant to me, like this one –
– Yes that is the 9-Year-Old!!
This photo was taken September 2006. I was 138 pounds. I’m just under 5-foot-9. I don’t think I’ll ever see that weight on a scale again. I’m not sure I’d want to anyway because I know what I would need to do to maintain it.
Back then I dieted myself thin. I didn’t eat much and I’d portioned everything out.
I didn’t run. I didn’t lift weights. I was simply learning how to mange my eating, which was a HUGE hurdle for me.
I’m not going to lie, I felt great back then. I was definitely on a skinny high. For the first time in my life I really felt thin and it really was all that I expected it to be. Don’t get me wrong, I still struggled with the mental and emotional crap I felt before I lost the weight. I still had body-image issues. I still fought with inner mean girl. I still had fat thoughts.
So basically, I was dealing with all the same crap just in a smaller body.
Over the years I started to get more interested in exercise, not to lose weight because I started at my lowest, but because I had more energy. My walks seemed too basic. I also knew that if I wanted to maintain my loss long term I was going to have to increase my activity level. Especially if I wanted to start adding back some of my favorite foods and eat a bit more than 20 points a day (old Weight Watchers folks will know what I’m talking about).
Today there is no way I could fit in the jeans I’m wearing in that photo. I’m at least a size bigger and to be honest, it nags at me. My inner mean girl is convinced I’m not “skinny” unless I am back at that super low weight, and you know being “skinny” is all she really cares about. She doesn’t care that I’m the fittest I’ve never been, training for a marathon and making progress on my lifts. She sees no value in running around the field with 12 10-year-olds while assistant coaching my son’s soccer team (had our first practice tonight!), or carrying the 3-Year-Old on my shoulders while I walk him to preschool, or being able to keep up with The Husband in a game of tennis (even though he kicks my butt).
She just keeps screaming in my head over and over:
“YOU’RE NOT THIN ENOUGH.”
I really, REALLY wish I knew how to shut her up because I feel freakin’ fantastic, I look great, I have more energy then I’ve ever had, AND I’M LIVING THE LIFE I WANT TO LIVE.
In my photo I wrote,
10 Years, 2 kids, countless 5ks, 5 half-marathons, 1 marathon, 7 Tough Mudders, and 3 CrossFit Competitions later…
I may have started out seeking skinny but what I discovered was my strength.
That was a message to myself because inner mean girl WANTED to say…
10 Years, 2 kids, countless 5ks, 5 half-marathons, 1 marathon, 7 Tough Mudders, and 3 CrossFit Competitions later… AND YOU’RE STILL NOT THIN ENOUGH!
Seriously, what is her problem? Why am I wired this way?
I’m so over it.