Monday, May 10, 2021

Being a Better Me, For Me

I don't know if it's the anxiety from the pandemic or the series of losses we've faced since the middle of last year, but I've (predictably) gained some weight. I'm sure I'm not the only one, but for me this is a huge problem because I'm already not at all a small person. So, in an effort to feel better and lose some of the weight, I've started trying to eat better and am getting some exercise... voluntarily, because I actually want to, which is a first for me. Every other time I've tried to take weight off it's been for reasons other than my own personal desire to make myself better. 

And, you know, I feel a bit bad because it's taken me until I'm 42 years old to try to fix all the damage I've done to myself all these years. Losing my gallbladder when I was in my early 20s wasn't enough warning, the scale ticking up and up wasn't either. My husband's best friend dying at 38 of a stroke didn't do it. I have a scale and mirrors, I know what I look like, but until recently and despite all the things that should have encouraged me to get healthier, I haven't had the want or will to actually do it. Which, is pretty damn stupid, but I struggle with all the work it takes to actually get healthy. As much as I wish I was a person who was just naturally thin, that's never been the case and, as I've gotten older, it's certainly not becoming the case. And, being manic depressive doesn't help either.

But then, last month, my 39 year old cousin died. She had many issues and was an addict, and she didn't die of being overweight, but she was overweight and in the end it was a contributing factor. She had many health issues, many of them stemming from her weight. Being my first cousin, we share genetics. I don't want to put myself in a position where I die early because of my weight. Especially since this is something I can try to control. And, while I may not be able to undo all the damage I've done to myself, I'm certainly not getting my gallbladder back, I can undo some and prevent others.

So with that in mind, I've been taking myself for walks and eating better. Being vegan doesn't always mean what we're eating is healthy, even if it is healthier than the non-vegan options. So, I'm focusing on making better choices and, weirdly, eating more meals per day. I'm not doing anything fancy, just energy in/energy out (calorie and exercise counting). And, though I'm scared, I'm going to the doctor for the first time in seven years. Because, and this probably goes without saying, seven years is way, way too long to go without going to the doctor, especially when my grandmother died of ovarian cancer, my great grandmother died of cervical cancer, and my mother is a breast cancer survivor. I need to get myself checked out and see how my blood work is looking these days. 

But, I'm going to be honest here, going to the doctor when you have depression that makes it hard to get out of bed some days, anxiety that makes it hard to leave the house most days, and are overweight is hard. This is not an excuse, it's just a fact. I struggle to function some days, most days, and going to the doctor is terrifying for me. Getting a well woman check up is, frankly, humiliating and it's the #1 reason I haven't gone to the doctor. There has seriously got to be a better way to get this whole thing done than poking around up there, right? It's 2021, people, let's make this less traumatizing.

Cross your fingers for me and hope that I'm okay. Meanwhile, I'm just going to keep trekking along, trying to make myself better. So far, I've lost about six pounds, which isn't a lot but it's progress and that's what matters. I feel like it's six pounds now, but in a few months it could be 60 pounds. My goal weight is 165 lbs, for now. I'm looking forward to being lighter! 

Awful, vulnerable picture from a year ago... when I was 10 lbs lighter.

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