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No One Like You

I’ve been gone for a long, long time. The reasons have been many: lack of time, lack of energy. Mostly just embarrassment. I’ve felt bad about how little I’ve taken care of myself the past year. Trying to get my life on track academically and career-wise, I’ve lost track of myself. I stopped going to the gym a year ago to save money, but didn’t take up any physical activity that I could do on my own: walking, jogging, yoga at home…
I started eating loads of carbs again instead of proteins, the results being my stomach acting up do to all the gluten in bread and my iron-deficiency rearing its ugly head.

And so, in the year that’s past, I have gone from being proud of working out regularly and taking care of my body and hitting a 63kg on the scale, to not giving a damn, being tired, and gaining ten kilo. I feel horrible. Not because I don’t feel attractive (though I don’t), and not just because of what the scale tells me. And not just because my old clothes don’t fit me, though to be honest, it does have something to do with it (I like my old clothes and I can’t afford a whole new wardrobe).
I feel bad because I gave up on me. I feel bad because I’m tired, my body is tired from lugging around excess weight, my back hurts from always working in front of a computer and very seldom stretching out properly. I feel bad because I failed myself, and no one like to be a failure. And of course I know why. And I know what to do about it. It’s just the trouble of getting started, of setting a new goal and actively going for it.
But really, there’s no time like now, no day like today. So despite me not believing in New Years Resolutions (that shit never holds up), I might as well kick myself off the couch and start 2014 with a little bit more backbone and get to it.

Jenny

I know in my last post I talked about the importance of finding a balance that works for you. That there’s a big difference between keeping healthy and being skinny, as well as there is a major difference between accepting yourself for being big VS not dealing with obesity. They’re worlds apart, but seldom presented that way. Accepting yourself isn’t the same thing as letting go, as all skinny-tip mags seem to proclaim. The opposite in fact, cause accepting yourself and taking care of yourself at the same time needs discipline and energy. It needs motivation, support, and sometimes a positive role-model.

So I’m gonna post this picture of Jennifer Lawrence that I found online. I like her. She seems smart and funny in a genuine, relaxed way. And though she’s part of a very body image-fixated industry that certainly must have an effect on her, especially as the pressure is greater on young women who keep being scrutinized, she’s pretty in a way that seems healthy. She’s just young and athletic and seems to get that starving yourself for a couple of magazine photos just isn’t worth doing nor advocating:

Jennifer Lawrence

Sweet Nothing

I’m the kinda person who’s been thinking for years that I weigh too much. On one hand though, I am very much aware that I will never be skinny, and most likely, should I ever get to that point where I was, it wouldn’t even suit me.
On the other hand, I know loosing a stone would make me feel much better, not just by being more comfortable in my own skin, but health wise. I know my biggest issue is that I am too fond of sweets and that I don’t compensate this by actually taking care of my physique and trying to take care of myself through exercise.
So despite me not agreeing with the entire media-hype of ‘every woman looks her best if she looks starved’, I also am strongly opposed to the ‘all body-types are amazing and you can look however you want, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise’. No actually, just cause you can look anyway you want, it doesn’t mean that someone can’t tell you that starving yourself or eating your way to death isn’t OK.
Obesity it just as dangerous a way of body-traumatic experience as anorexia. But instead of being hyped by media and norms, it’s nurtured by the food industry, by the high fructose corn syrup lobbying, by the simplicity of being there and fitting in to our already hectic lives. In USA and Great Britain, kids have never been so fat. They sit indoors all day, parent’s are too busy to cook and fast food is just so cheap. And everywhere.

I am not saying never let your kids have a pizza. But I’m also not saying that letting your kid experiment with cooking a potato will kill them. Kids like to learn new things as long as it seems fun. Let them part-take in stuff. We need to urge the school system as well to make more of an effort. As a Swede, I see how kids here are growing fatter all the time as well, and we don’t even have the American corn syrup and Denny’s on every corner-problem. The body obsessing is reaching younger and younger kids each day, and though still mostly amongst girls, it’s not a small problem amongst young boys either.
The pressure of school and friends and media takes its toll. Either the kids starve themselves or start eating their feelings. And cut-backs are being made, reducing classes like home-ec (where we actually did at least some basic cooking) and gym class, leaving all the responsibility of the kids health on the parents despite the fact that the don’t even meet their kids for most of the hours of the day.

What I am trying to get to, is that change won’t come from just criticizing media or the sugar industry. Change comes from a place of education, where you inform generations of people that you won’t be less of a good-looking person if you decide to have chocolate cake for dessert twice a week, but it won’t kill you to put the computer down and go for a swim at the pool either. Or what the Hell, don’t drop the computer. If you can’t get yourself or the kids out, get the things you need indoors. Get one of those dance mats for your kids or a Wii and see them burn energy like never before. Find common ground for a middle-ground. Am I making any sense?

That middle-ground is what I’ve been trying to get to for years. With a gym card, with a protein diet, with this blog, with reading studies and learning how to cook more. What I’ve learned is that it’s OK to fail, and it’s OK that things take time. For example, it took me years to figure out that despite me loving bread, I can’t eat too much of it or I’ll get stomach ache. I also had to accept that I can’t live of candy the way I did at 15, now that I am 27. It makes me woozy and sick. Everyone has something they can change.
A friend of mine feels better than ever after discarding her old lifestyle and becoming a vegan for almost two years now. Another friend eats and drinks basically whatever she wants, but goes to the gym for an hour five days a week.

Find what works for you. Give it time. Give it some thought. Tell yourself it’s OK to start over. Tell your kids it’s good to try new things, like new sports or new foods, that chocolate wont kill them, but also no they can’t take the easy way out all the time even if you yourself wouldn’t mind switching from cooking to burgers 3 times a week just to save time. You can’t always save the cookie and eat it too, you got to compromise.
Tell kids it’s OK to fail and start over. It doesn’t make them hopeless, it makes them brave for holding up, for sticking to exercise when it’s no fun, or trying to cook again after they turned the last meal to burnt goo. Tell them that it’s important they find a balance that works for them, and makes them happy with their bodies. It’s the hardest thing in the world. But it’s never too late to start.

It took me a whole of five months to get a new battery for my scale at home. I think I was pulled between knowing the result would be bad and therefore avoiding it, and knowing I wouldn’t deal with it unless I actually saw the truth with my own eyes (you know, aside from feeling an increase in back aches or the fact that my pant don’t fit me no more. That proof isn’t obvious enough…).

Anyway, I got the battery yesterday. Today, the scale showed, black digital letters on pale grey background, that since January, I’ve indeed gained 3-4 kilograms. As if I didn’t know. But the thing is, despite everything pointing at it, you don’t know until you can’t look away.
Now a lot of people would say that gaining 3,5kg over 5 months is nothing. And yet, it’s not that simple. I already was a couple of kg too heavy, and not in the way of ‘oh my god it’s almost beach season and I’m only eating salads from now on’-heavy. More in the ‘those few extra pounds are already increasing my backache and when I go for long walks my knees hurt a bit cause my body is out of shape and week and seriously can’t handle the extra load without making me feel like shit’-heavy.

So summers here and I am not getting in shape for beach-season (I live in Sweden, it just might be too cold for the beach all summer anyway). But its.. me-season I guess. I cancelled my gym card, started eating food that disagrees with me again and obviously just let go. And now I wake up in the mornings and everything hurts worse than ever. My left knee’s been clicking when I walk stairs for 10 days now,and though it doesn’t hurt that stiffness can’t be good.

So yeah, we’re starting over, again. Let’s whip it into shape.

Black Sheep

I was sick for eight days, followed by a Thursday spent completely on studying (I was at Uni till 1.30am). Then came Easter weekend, spent doing a bunch of chores around the house, taking care of co-op work and actually having some quality time with the boyfriend, instead of falling asleep on his couch due to previously mentioned cold-and-fever-from-Hell.
It’s been so nice to see him, and let go of some stuff for a day or two and not constantly worry about school and work or feeling tired. Seriously, I still sometimes find it mind-boggling that I am in a relationship. It feels like I am constantly running from one point to another, and nothing in my life seems very stable these days. And in the midst of that I have him, and he just makes things calmer and better. I have no idea how it happened but I am rolling with the goodness of it.
Anyway, as the man left this afternoon and I got back to folding my laundry and eating anything remotely sugar-induced in the fridge (I baked this weekend…), I started a mental checklist for things that needed to be taken care of this week. Lo and behold, I managed to do some cleaning, e-mailing, paper-sorting, planning and then spiraled back into stress and miserable bitterness regarding my thesis. How a subject you find so interesting can turn out to be so off-putting seems to be the curse of thesis writing.

DSC02075 In the end, I just spent the past two hours curled up on the couch, catching up on ‘The Lizzie Bennet Diaries‘ and having tea or ice-cream or both. I really couldn’t deal with it tonight. I need some sleep and something less complicated on my mind at the moment. And then tomorrow, I can plunge right back into my regular daily routines again. Yippi-ka-yay…

Close Watch

We’re eleven weeks into the year. That’s a fifth of the year gone already and I can hear Marvin Gaye’s voice singing What’s Goin’ On in the back of my head. Seriously, what is going on? I don’t work out. I don’t eat well (at the moment I’m just happy I eat!) and I’m all on edge.

There’s so much that needs to be done this semester at Uni and I know, I just know if I get through this I’ll look back and be all “Wow, I got a lot of shit done in 2013, suck it 2012!” but I am so far from that point right now it’s not even worth getting into.

I feel like ever since I got back from Iran I haven’t gotten into good eating regimen. In the three weeks I was there, I went from drinking soup for days due to pulling teeth, to eating meals three-four times a day due to visiting my father’s side of the family (and you can’t say no to my grandma when it comes to food!). After the first week I was done to 63,5kg, that’s a first since like Easter in 2010. By the time I got back home to Sweden I was hovering around 64.5, and quite pleased.
I feel much heavier now. Also, tired and tender. Like my entire body has been pushed against and crammed and just needs to stretch out and relax, but it can’t. My muscles feel sore from lack of exercise, it’s crazy!
And I eat when bored. The past weeks I am to stressed to eat well on regular meal times and end up being fidgety and bored or distant-minded while studying, hence leading to snacking, which in turn leads to uneven blood-sugar levels and a bad stomach. I need to keep myself in check and get myself back on the right track. This week I am kind of detoxing and working on getting more proteins and less carbs into my system and daily regimen.
Hopefully, my plan on staying put and studying like there’s no tomorrow will lead to less eating outdoors with friends, which is o-so-fun but expensive and usually in my case, not the healthiest of choices.

Whatever could go wrong, right?


Unrelated fun fact: Despite this only being the third post of the year (which is bad), this happens to be the 100th post on the blog (which is great!)!
I actually didn’t think I’d have the interest to stick around for that long, but I like the fact that I was wrong.

Us

I never, ever, thought I’d say this, but I miss the gym. Just a wee bit. And mostly I miss having the alternative to go. And I miss Tuesday yoga. And I honestly wouldn’t mind going for a swim.

I’m reeling from the shock of this revelation. I’m not kidding. This must be what those ants that pick up parasites that change their hosts entire natural behavior must feel like.