For a few years now, Iíve struggled with my weight. No, I shouldnít say weight, because itís not about how much I weigh Ė itís about how I feel, how fit I am and my health.
If Iím to start with how I feel, in all honesty itís not good, and Iím not happy. I admit that Iím probably 35 lbs heavier than my ideal weight, which isnít stick thin or the image of ďa perfect body.Ē Iíve accepted years ago that Iíll never have societyís idea of a perfect body, and Iím quite okay with that because societyís perspective on womenís bodies is skewed and extremely unhealthy. In fact it makes me extremely angry and Iíve seen a few friends almost die from eating disorders.
While Iíll have moments of woe and weakness, I also have moments of strength and pride. Many women and I have a lot of things going for us aside from our bodies, and we should all pay a little more attention to those things.
But we also all have our moments where we know that things have to change, things have to improve and there can be no more excuses.
I accept that Iíll always have larger legs that are inherited by women on my fatherís side of the family Ė itís the Eastern European genes. My grandma had them, my aunts all have them, my sisters have them. Theyíll never be perfect or thin or slender and if I let it bother me, Iíll always be uncomfortable wearing shorts or bathing suits, but I wonít because I know thatís my body type and thereís nothing I can do about it except keep them strong.
What I wonít accept is the state Iím in at the moment, mostly because Iím a former athlete who used to pride
herself on her muscle tone and killer quads made muscular from volleyball and weight lifting. At 29 that girlís gone, and I miss her, and while I know Iím meant to have bigger legs, they should be muscular and healthy.
As a volleyball coach and even a sports reporter, I feel that I should have that athletic figure back and the fitness level that came with it. Years of a sedentary lifestyle due to graduate school and a back injury in the summer of 2011 have slowly taken their toll on my fitness level and figure, and a busy sedentary career makes it hard to get that back.
Iím not fit, which angers me the most. I canít do much cardio without getting winded easily, and I can no
longer do my once-regular weight lifting routine without either hurting myself or burning myself out. The worst part is I couldnít probably play a competitive game of volleyball at this point without needing a substitution, which used to be out of the question.
That should change. No, it has to change.
If I donít get a hold on this and continue to go down the path Iíve been going down since 2009, I fear Iíll continue to gain weight and gain the potential for heart problems, cancer and diabetes, all things that run in the family. I also have bad knees due to growing five inches in a year when I was 15, and my joints didnít grow quickly enough which led to lubrication problems. The heavier I weigh, the harder it is on my already damaged knees.
To put more pressure on myself to finally stick to my goal of being fitter, Iíve decided to commit to the Ernieís Fitness Challenge publicly, which means writing a column on my progress every week starting Jan. 4, 2013.
Iím going to do the weigh in on Jan. 3 and the weigh out in March, but I wonít weigh myself in between, which will be really hard for me.
Iím doing that for two reasons: 1) itís not about what the scale says, itís about how your clothes feel, and 2) I like surprises, like at Safeway when I make a big grocery purchase and give them my Safeway card to see all the money fly off the total. Itís like winning something.
I also wonít publicly say what I weigh next week because itíll be hard enough to deal with personally; I donít need it made public (also, never ask a women how much she weighs), but I will say ďI lost ______ lbsĒ in the end.
Every week Iíll write a column to talk about my progress, how Iím feeling, how the dieting (healthy dieting) is going and if my clothes are fitting looser. Iíll talk about the struggles, the bad moods and the accomplishments that come with making your fitness goals.
And if I fail, then Iíll fail publicly and deal with the shame, but I really hope I donít.
I hope that others can follow my journey in this, others that understand what Iím going through, and maybe see some encouragement in it.
Hundreds of people in town join these challenges, but if we do it together, itíll be that much easier to stay committed and finish it.
Whatís three months, anyway?
So join me in my highs and lows of finding a way back to fitness. Even if youíre not encouraged, Iím sure youíll be entertained.