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I think it’s time to get real. It’s time for you to know where I started. I know I’ve told you that I started working out in January and that I was never an active person. But here’s the post where I give you the full picture.

I’m getting real with you because I want you to know the real baseline for fitness that I started with. I am hoping that you’ll find a bit of inspiration here and see that working out (especially in PUBLIC) is not just for people who are already fit. And I want you to know that I’m totally in touch with how painful (or maybe numbing) it is to not have your body look the way you want it to.

I don’t know how much I weighed at my heaviest. I refused to step on a scale. The only time I weighed myself between the brief stint with Weight Watchers after DaughterOne was born and when I found out I was pregnant with DaughterTwo was … never. I relied on my clothing fit — which was awful (the fit I mean). When I stopped fitting into my regular clothes, I bought a few pairs of “yoga pants” from Target in different colors and started to wear those. Every day. For those rare times, I had to wear something other than my fat-mom clothes, I’d slink over to a department store, try desperately to fit into anything (anything!) in the women section so that I wouldn’t have to admit that I needed to buy clothes in the “big girl” section (which is what I called it at the time with a level of distain). I would not buy anything that wasn’t really really inexpensive (and consequently cheap and thusly ill-fitting) because I didn’t want to invest a lot of money into clothing that was a size I was so unhappy with. It was a size I didn’t feel like reflected my permanent self.

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Let’s get real. Where am I now?  I’ve lost 15 pounds from whatever weight I was when I finally started allowing myself to weigh myself… which means I was probably lighter than my heaviest. I’m 2-3 clothing sizes smaller than the largest clothing size I ever allowed myself to wear.

But I still have a lot of work to do still. And I’m not cured. I still don’t buy much clothing in the size I am.  I’m aiming to lose another 15 pounds before I reassess my goal weight. I’d like to lose it by the middle of January which would be 30 pounds in a year. Doable. Still very impressive. Even as I re-read this (like my bikini of 2014 vow), I’m worried I won’t achieve it.

So let’s get real together.  Weight loss is really difficult. Finding time (and money if you want to join a gym) is difficult. Life offers real challenges to weight loss, weight maintenance, and fitness BUT I can’t allow those challenges to permanently dissuade me or define me. If I don’t achieve my January goal, I still deserve to keep working toward being healthy (and happy!!!). You do too, you know. In case you didn’t know. You deserve it too.

Why am I getting real with you? You know it is not because I’m proud of pictures of myself when I was heavier. I scoured my iPhoto library looking for full-body pictures of myself and came up with very few. There are a handful of neck-up pictures because I either erased the photos I found unacceptable or never let them be taken in the first place.

I spent a lot of energy being unhappy. Can you imagine how unproductive that is? I could have spent energy learning a new sport, checking out a new hiking trail, joining the gym I currently belong to, not feeling sad and embarrassed and sorry for myself. Instead my mental energy was sapped by trying to cover myself up and making sure this wasn’t documented (because if it isn’t on Facebook, it isn’t real, right?). I still carefully scrutinize photos I am tagged in on Facebook — my poor husband posted a picture of me recently that I thought made me look enormous and I couldn’t even bring myself to tell him I was annoyed he posted it. But he posted it because it was a beautiful moment in that picture and he thought I looked beautiful.

So I guess my point is, I’ve seen it. I’ve been there. I’m there now still. Maybe you, Dear Reader, and I don’t have the exact same struggle but I’ve been in some dark places and I’m just trying to sprint around the track without falling.

As always, Merritt and Mary would love to hear from you — feedback, personal struggles, issues you would like us to discuss. If you want to contact us privately, feel free to private message us through our Facebook page. 

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Mary Galioto
Mary Galioto is the founder, publisher and editor of MercerMe, and a lawyer. Originally from Brooklyn, Mary has progressively moved deeper and deeper into New Jersey, settling in the heart of the state: Mercer County. Formerly the author of an embarrassingly informal blog, Mary is a lifelong writer and asker of questions and was even mentioned, albeit briefly, in the New York Times and Washington Post. In her free time, Mary fills her life with excessive self-reflection, photographing mushrooms, and misguided adventures in random hobbies. Mary also works as the PR Coordinator at the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, serves on the volunteer Board of Trustees of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT), serves on the Hopewell Borough Board of Health, is a member of the Hopewell Valley Municipal Alliance, and holds the elected position as the Hopewell Borough Democratic Committee Municipal Chairwoman.

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