Friday, January 1, 2010

My body would never look like hers even if I starved myself.....

young female athlete

I used to think that thin people were more willing to pay attention to what they ate and how they exercised, because they had bodies that easily responded to eating well and allowed them to be thin. That is, I felt that I was hungrier than most people and would always have a big butt and thunder thighs so what was the point of really trying? In order to be thin I'd have to starve myself and run 5 miles a day. Or so I thought. Well I think in reality I was eating way more than I realized and agonizing about when to go on that run for much longer than the actual run took - and I did no weight training. I knew all these girls who could eat french fries every day and end up thin as a wisp and of course they didn't seem to try at all.

Well this may have been true in high school and college but it's rarely true anymore. And I think those girls probably snacked less and exercised more than I realized. Reshaping one's body seems impossible to face from the outset. It takes a the better part of a year, or at a minimum six months for a body to really change. I think my body continued changing through September, which would have been 9 months, and perhaps my skin even got a little tighter after that, although I'm not smaller in clothing size or pounds than I was in September.

I was never thin and muscular before. I think if I had been, I would have felt more inclined to try and get back to that place. Now if I were to gain weight, I would know what it takes to get it off and get my body back. It wouldn't be some abstract idea that seemed an impossible feat and not realistic for my particular body.

I don't know if I have a bigger appetite than most people or a slow metabolism. Some days I feel like I do and other days I'm satisfied eating 1400 calories pretty handily. I see how much more my daughter is focused food than are some of her friends-and always has been-it's not something she learned recently. Maybe I was born interested in food also. Now that I eat and snack less I think about and am distracted by thoughts about food much less than when I ate all the time. It does get easier.

I think people look at me now and assume I exercise 90 minutes a day or starve myself. I don't do either of those things. I exercise about 30-40 minutes a day - but every day. And I think I eat about 1400 calories a day but I don't totally count anymore. No foods are totally off limits but I don't over-indulge very often.

What I'm saying is, after watching 2 hours of the Biggest Loser and thinking about my own body, I think I was wrong back then. I didn't just have a slow metabolism or a big impossible-to-shrink butt. I may have been right that living the thin life didn't come naturally to me, but it wasn't out of my reach either. It just seemed so hard to achieve and to come at such sacrifice that I didn't really even try. But those girls I grew up with who had the naturally athletic figures always tried because they always knew what was on the other side of that effort. It was never an abstract notion to them. Now though we all need to do the work more or less.

But if you think you don't have a body-type that could ever be 'svelte' you're probably wrong.

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