Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Exercise is my new comfort food.

In the past when things got hectic or I would get into arguments with people that left me feeling less than super I would turn to food for comfort, especially chocolate. I would eat those emotions knowing that I wasn't doing anything good for my body, but just not caring at that moment. Now that I have had to limit what I eat (no gluten, no dairy, no meat, no caffeine) I do not have the option to comfort eat, nor do I want to. Now when I get frustrated, angry, upset, or just need to clear my head before making rash decisions, I go walking. However as I discovered recently walking when you are angry can be more difficult afterwards than it is while you are doing it.

Emotions have been running high in our house and it seems like all of us adults have been dealing with PMS or some sort of emotional baggage the past couple of weeks. Short tempers and irritability have led to a few conversations that have ended on a sour note. Sunday was one of these days. The hubby and I were in a disagreement over what seemed like everything and I reached my breaking point of wanting to just throw in the towel. I laced up my walking shoes and took off out the door. I only took my phone and my house keys with me and I was going to walk until my mood got better. This led to me walking a total of 6.85 miles. I've trained my body to do 5 miles easy, however that extra 1.85 miles was quite an effort, especially since on the way back home I had this huge incline to go up and my legs were starting to give out on me. After I got home I felt exhausted. I was drinking water and making sure I was replenishing what my body had used. I had pulled my back muscles the night before so forcing myself to walk that far was a bit much but I didn't care. I needed to do something. I needed a distraction so I could refocus and be able to have an adult conversation that wasn't flooded with emotions and hormones. I walked not to escape the situation but to allow myself the time I needed to be able to confront the situation with a clear head. That in itself is a huge deal for me, those that know me understand this.

Food is no longer my go to for anything other that nourishing my body so I can get stronger and healthier. I will admit that I did buy some soy dream gluten/dairy free cookie dough ice cream and it took me 2 days to eat one of the small containers of it. Normally in the past I would have devoured that whole container in one night without a second thought. I may not have followed the 4 servings per container rule (it was only 2 servings for me) but the fact that I can put it down and only eat a certain amount that is less than I normally would have consumed shows me that I have made steps and gained willpower. Last night we got Chinese food for dinner and I only ate half of it. I ate slowly and stopped the minute my stomach said to. I love Chinese food and at one time would have eaten the entire portion of dinner and then eaten dessert, then probably a "snack" before bed or while watching TV. Now I eat to nourish not to comfort. Even though there is a very different kind of comfort in eating right and nourishing your body. Goodness knows that I have experienced the benefits of this and I love how being healthy makes me feel!

The benefits of being healthy and watching my body change are unreal. I'm so impressed by what I am able to do now and how much my body can handle. The other day while I was jogging I looked down at my stomach. I was thinking about how amazing my stomach looks when I'm engaging my abs muscles and holding it in. Then I realized that I wasn't holding it in. Without tightening my abs my stomach no longer hangs over the tops of my pants. I cried a bit when I realized this. My legs and abs no long flap when I jog and my thighs are barely rubbing together anymore. I can wear shorts to work out in and tank tops and not feel the least bit self conscious. Guys stare at me when I jog by and it makes me blush because I know that they are enjoying the view but it's hard for me to believe that I have become in shape enough that they would even want to look. It makes me giggle inside when I notice it (especially the older men). I am wearing a size 14 pants now and a large size shirt. I no longer have to shop in the plus size section and sometimes I find myself still trying to grab those extra large clothes out of habit then I realize that it's way to big for me and that I need to get a smaller size. The only time I am bloated is when that time of month rolls around and even then it's not near as bad as it used to be by far. I remember when I would get on the scale during that time and I would have 3-5 extra pounds on me from water weight or something. Now I gained 1/2 a pound and that went away quickly. Cutting dairy out of my diet has helped tremendously and I'm glad that I finally decided to make that decision.

I'm going to be 37 years old in a couple of weeks. There was a time when that number would have terrified me. I'm getting old, I'm going to start getting ugly and wrinkled and OLD. Now I realize that age is just a number and it does not define who you are or how you look. If you allow it to get into your head and control your outlook on life then yes you are going to age poorly. I am in the best shape than I've been in since high school now and I'm improving little bits every day. I don't look my age, I'm not wrinkled or old at all. I feel amazing and I'm hoping that the coming years will be the best because I am taking care of me for a change and not ignoring myself because I'm putting other people first. I have time enough to take care of everyone but overall I have to do what I need to do for myself first and foremost. I'm looking forward to getting tattoos once I've lost a little more weight, I'm also looking into getting some more piercings. I've always put this off because I was overweight and I didn't want the tattoo or piercing to look distorted or stretched on my big girl body. Now that I am comfortable enough with the healthy path I am travelling I don't have to make excuses anymore to not do the things that I want to do. Don't worry I'm not going to go totally crazy with it but I need to express who I am. My inner personality would like to come out and introduce herself to the world, she has been locked away for so long and I think it's time that she make a grand entrance back into the land of the living.

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