This post isn’t so much about any new homemaking/homesteading adventure that I’m trying out, as much as it’s about my new life, in general and an unexpected pitfall I’ve found myself having to address. Before I got married, I lived in a bigger city and worked full time at a job that kept me fairly active throughout the day. I was an assistant teacher in a preschool, and so in the mornings I could walk to work from where I lived (it was about a mile and a half away) and then I spent all day chasing the kids around, and walked home in the afternoon. Exercise was pretty much built into my day, and I liked it that way. I ate healthily, got in a fair bit of walking as part of my daily routine and found that I could maintain a pretty healthy weight, just by going about my life. Since I got married, however, that has changed.
I moved to a smaller town and, as much as I love SO MANY things about living here, there is one thing about city life, that I am beginning to feel may have been very healthy for me. Here, there is not nearly as much opportunity for walking, and so that healthy part of my lifestyle has been largely removed. I can’t walk to the grocery store because it is multiple miles away. Plus, I am shopping for two now, so there is no way (short of taking a pack mule along for the journey) that I could get all the groceries back with me. Secondly, I have been fortunate enough to have a job through my former professor in graduate school, which allows me to work from home part time. So, I am no longer walking the 3 mile round trip to work and back every day. Work for me now, consists of sitting on a couch or at a desk, in front of a computer for hours. Which, as I’m sure many of us can attest to, is incredibly less energy consuming than trying to keep up with 3 to 5 year olds all day. And though I try to keep busy around the house and find tasks to do to keep me moving around and keep me active, the sad truth is that in the two months since I’ve gotten married, I’ve put on, what feels on my body like, the “Marriage 10”. (Similar to the college freshman 15, just without all of the crappy dorm food and late night take-out.)
Perhaps for some people. this wouldn’t be that big a deal. It’s not that much weight, and in theory it wouldn’t take too long to make some lifestyle changes and slim back down to perhaps even healthier a weight than I was when I got married. But for me, it feels like quite the failure, because this is a battle I’ve fought (and won) once before. For most of my life, I had a weight problem. Beginning at the age of around 12, I was overweight throughout my adolescence and into early adulthood. I was fairly active in extra-curricular activities in high school that kept me at around 165lbs on my 5’6 frame, but there was no denying that I had a bit of extra meat on my bones. After high school, though, the physical activity that I had been getting was gone, and when I went to college, my weight skyrocketed, peaking when I was 20 years old, at around 240lbs. I was miserable every day and shut myself away from most people, never wanting to do anywhere or do anything in public for fear of being fat-shamed. In fact, my worst fear was for people to see me eating in public. Then, in my Junior year of undergrad, things began to turn around. I drastically changed how I was eating, and went into kind of a self-imposed exile where I focused only on losing the weight. And over the course of the next couple of years, I lost about 100lbs. And for the first time in my life, I felt good about myself and comfortable in my own skin.
So that’s why this set back feels like such a personal failure to me. I remember how hard it was to get every one of those pounds off. And it’s hard for me to justify letting the weight creep back on. But, I’m hoping that since I’ve become aware, I’ll be able to nip it in the bud and get back to feeling good about myself. The street that I live on does a kind of loop, that makes up about 2 miles and I’ve been trying to walk that at least once, most days. I’m also trying to fit physical activity into more parts of my day, as much as I can. I try to stay up and moving as much as I can, and do as many things standing or walking, as possible. I’m also getting back to trying to eat as healthily as I was when I had lost all the weight. I’ve been on a post-wedding “I can eat whatever I want now” bender for the past few weeks, so the comeback will not be easy. But it’s worth it. I just want to feel good in my body, and look good in my clothes, and be the happy, confident, up for anything woman that my husband married, again.