Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I'm Wearing a Coat of Armor. But Why?!

60-70 pounds is what I would ideally like to lose.  To friends or family that know me and see me regularly that may sound like a lot, but trust me: although perhaps I hide it well at times (since it’s all in the middle where clothes can do their best camouflage work), it’s legit.  That amount would simply put me at a very healthy weight for my 5 foot 8 inch frame, which is not even the lowest healthy weight option for that height.  I give myself full credit for being muscular and having a solid frame; I’m not trying to go all Kate Moss here, just healthy and athletic, and lean. 


After doing the math, imagining that I’m toting around an extra 60-70 pounds 24-7 is nothing short of horrifying.  Picking up my 5 and a half year old son and carrying him any distance is absurdly challenging, such that if he asked me to carry him somewhere I’d say hell no unless he was bleeding or vomiting (or maybe sleeping.)  AND HE ONLY WEIGHS 42 POUNDS.  Yet I’m toting around a kid and a half already, AT ALL TIMES!  Dear God, how can I continue to live like this?  Every Season on the Biggest Loser, once the contestants have lost a significant amount of weight, there is inevitably a challenge to either wear or carry the amount of weight they have lost during a fitness competition.  And every single time, every single contestant is rightfully shocked by how heavy and difficult it feels to do this, despite the fact that what’s left of their bodies is incredibly more fit than they’ve ever been in their lives.  I’m wondering if conducting a similar experiment in advance would help me further visualize what this is doing to me?  Perhaps I will pick the boy up in one arm and a 25 pound weight plate in the other arm, and try walking around a little bit, making a point to absorb more fully the impact of how much extra weight that is.


There are a lot of factors still holding me back from making the simple choice to get fit and finally lose it, but some feel more surmountable than others.  Getting an exercise program started, tough.  Stopping the habit of eating crappy junk food any time I want it, tougher still.  But figuring out what inside my brain has decided that from behind this 60-70 pound coat of armor is a safer, easier place emotionally to function from?  That is the crazy hard part to wrap my head around.  It can’t possibly be better to hide from difficulties and unwanted feelings, not at this cost.  Life is full of challenges, both day-to-day and in the big picture.  But being afraid of feeling it, and instead numbing myself and hiding from it is complete madness.  Why am I afraid?  What am I afraid of?  What feelings am I even hiding from?  I can’t seem to pinpoint anything on a conscious level that would be worth avoiding at this price.  I have a fantastic life, replete with a wonderful husband, a precious son that life revolves around, a loving and supportive family, priceless friends, a fabulous home, a decent career, and adequate financial means.  So I just need to keep chipping away at my subconscious, to bring it on board with the fact that life is good, and there’s no avoiding the occasional parts that aren’t.  Being heavy just drags down some of the good stuff and may shorten the whole thing.  Fear sucks, and I am tired of letting it run the show.  It’s time to retire the armor.