Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My ah-ha moment this week...

Roni asked her question of the week - and it was "Why do you exercise?"

And in my response, I started to realize something.

A year and a half ago, I looked forward to my time with MY food...whatever it was. I obsessed about food. I continually thought about how it would taste and feel in my mouth. The creamy, crunchy, sweet, or salty tastes would have me salivating before I even got to the restaurant. I would leave work and after a particularly stressful day (read: any day that ended in 'y'), couldn't wait to have my time with my food.

And oh the special time that I would have with my food! No matter who was calling, I couldn't and wouldn't put my food down to answer the call. I had to be alone - focusing on the good feelings that I got from it. In the time with my food, I felt loved. I felt pampered. I felt important. Until, of course, the eating stopped. And then I'd feel bloated and guilty.

So when I started Weight Watchers and focused on what I *could* focus on at that point. And that was just trying to stay within my points levels for the day or week. At that point, with 112 pounds to lose, I didn't think about the healthy guidelines...or at least not much. I didn't focus on getting my fruits and veggies in - and healthy oils? Please! They were the last thing from my mind.

Then, after a few months, I realized that I wanted to eat more. I didn't want to give up my time with my food but the slower weight loss that I was experiencing wasn't cutting it. I wanted to lose weight faster. So I started exercising. Health and healthy behaviors really weren't my focus. Getting to eat more was.

And then, slowly (sometimes ever so slowly) I morphed into being the person that I am today. I no longer exercise to overeat. Primarily, I run to feel better. I feel the day to day stress build up in my body and I run or take a class to relieve it.

I exercise because it is MY time to concentrate on me. To shut out the rest of the world. It's my time to do something that I like...something that shows love to myself.

And that's when it hit me.

I exercise for the same exact reasons that I used to overeat.

Now, when I run, it's because the stress that I have gets worked through. I get highs - but they're different than the sugar highs I used to get. The chemical reaction that happens in my body when I exercise helps me feel energized and more optimistic.

When I run, I work through the issues that I'm facing. When I run, I listen to the music and I think about where I've been and where I'm going. I feel more focused when I'm done. And unlike the carb coma that followed binges, I feel like I can tackle the day.

My anxieties lessen, my spirits lift, and I feel good. And there is no phone call that I would even consider taking during that time.

I still look forward to good food. It's just that I no longer look there to soothe my feelings. I no longer feel the itch to go through three separate drive thrus to eat the "perfect" comforting meal.

I don't know when that switch happened, but it did.

My core identity is changing. I am no longer a person who eats to numb. I'm a person who feels emotions and then works through them.

Not being numb *is* more painful sometimes...but when I overcome some hurdle, it also feels much better too.


Sunkissed Cheeks said...

We are so alike! Every time a celebration came around first thought was "I wonder what yummy food will be to there to eat! How many desserts will they have" Now after I workout I feel prettier as lame as it sounds. I feel like I did something good. I am proud!

Kellie said...

THIS. This is one of the most inspirational things I have read in awhile.

Misspudding said...

Awesome awesome awesome!

I am so glad to hear this. It's absolutely where I want to be. You're an inspiration, Anne. :)

POD said...

I think you're cured.

Amy Pousson said...

yay anne!!! that's awesome. and where i want to be some day. i can feel myself getting there, but as last night showed me, still fall back into my old habits sometimes.

Jamie said...

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