I have an online expressive arts workshop called Body Love. When I created it, I was working out 3 times a week. My diet wasn't the best, but it wasn't the worst either.
Then I quit.
My excuse was grad school and returning to work after summer break, and my son transitioning to middle school. "Too much!!!!" I screamed. "I'll just take September off. I'll get back into in October."
Then it was, "I'll get back into when my research is done!"
Finally I said, "I'll get back into when my supporting paper is done!"
But I didn't.
Adding to this, my already less than ideal diet become officially bad. I just completely let it all go.
In 3 months, I gained 12 pounds. TWELVE!!!!!
Now, here is the thing. I don't hate my body or feel ashamed by my weight gain. I like my boobs bigger and I like my curves. I have huge hips no matter how much I weigh, it's just how my bones are. When I lose weight, my top half looks out of proportion, like I've borrowed someone else's legs, and they are the wrong size.
I learned in that year of working out that getting one of those hard bodies is a career. It takes much more than a daily hour-long work out to look like that. The benefits I got from working out had very little to do with my appearance. I loved feeling strong, and assertive, and having energy, and being able to run. I felt more confident in dealing with oppositional teenagers that are taller than me. I felt proud of the work I did at the gym.
But my clothes feel uncomfortable now, and I have a toe dipped in the pre-diabetic range, and that is not something I should be ignoring. I feel the weight gain in how I move, I feel less fit. I'll keep the curves, but I want to feel healthy again.
So I returned to the gym tonight, and had a healthy dinner. The beginning is always easy, the energy of recommitment and resolutions.
So...why am I telling you all of this?
Because, I know that the shine-y newness will wear off quick. I know that underneath my decision to quit is a deeper, bratty, rebellious little shit who is completely happy to sacrifice my long term health for short term cheap sugary highs, who is all to willing to avoid the work and tedium of working out. If I want to be active and healthy as I get older, I must, MUST make significant lifestyle changes that last longer than a year.
So that body love workshop I created? Now it calls to me. How can art help with this new ride on the roller coaster of self care? This is my next journey, an arts-based exploration of self love and self care, aging and health.