This is a letter I wrote to myself when I was disheartened by weight gain finding myself at the low end of the yo yo diet cycle.
June 9, 2015
Dear Disheartened One,
I heard it happened again. I heard you regressed. I heard you’re “on the ups” as you call it. I heard you’re getting frustrated… your heel hurts, your back and knees; old injuries surface with weight gain.
I’ve also heard that you have recognized it. I’ve also heard about your progress.
I’ve also heard that you’re ready to get back. I’ve also heard about how positive you can be.
Well, here’s what you need to do, some simple reminders:
1. JUST START
Unlike newbies, you’ve done this before. That’s a huge positive. You already know what works, so do it. Take the little steps to reclaim your good habits. Baby steps, girl.
2. JUST MOVE
Exercise is key. Heart pumping stuff, Mich. You know that. Whatever you need to do to get yourself moving, you do it. Gym buddies. Scheduled workouts. Active solo dates. Reinstate the no TV unless you are working out rule if you have to! (Orange is the new black season 3 will get you fit!)
3. JUST BE EASY ON YOURSELF
Don’t brush this one off. Seriously, be easy on yourself. Reward the little victories and be forgiving with the failures. You don’t do well with others barking at you, right? So why would you do that to yourself?
Michie, you know the cycle now. You’re aware so you CAN beat this. Just know that if this happens again, you can always revisit this letter and start over. So go kill it and make me proud.
Love Absolutely and Always,
Michie, the positive you, the real you
June 9, 2020
The funny part about reading something you wrote at another time, especially a significant amount of time like 5 years, is that you may not recognize the words.
I remember writing this title, but I don’t recognize the words. “JUST MOVE?” Exercise? I can’t even see myself as someone who was not doing that actively.
Fat Michie wrote this for sure. This letter was written for one reason and one reason alone. This letter was because of stairs.
If you have ever been fat, you will always hate stairs.
The stairs to my third floor homeroom in high school will always be the thing I dreaded most in my young life. I would make sure my jacket was off and I had the least possible amount of clothing on before I went up. I would take them slow and take breaks, but sweating profusely was unavoidable. By the time I got up the stairs I was so uncomfortable, I would run in my classroom and turn on the AC and stand in front of it until I was comfortable enough to go to my seat. This was part of my normal routine in the morning even in and ESPECIALLY in the winter. I hated when a building was heated because I would sweat no matter what. I would wear tank tops to school or band t-shirts while everyone else had on sweaters. I would look at other girls like they were criminally insane because I was dressed for the beach and they were dressed for Christmas day. I would look at them sitting and relaxing before class while I turned on an air conditioning to survive before turning it off. Then I would head to my seat to quickly spray some Love Spell and hope to blend back into the scene.
By the way, thanks to my teachers who oddly never said one word about this. I truly try to think about this with my students, who seem to always run colder than me. I still wear tank tops to work so I can put the heat high and they can be comfortable. You cannot learn when you are uncomfortable.
Anyway, at this point five years ago I was having a lot of trouble with using stairs and I had reached such a high level of lazy that I couldn’t even recognize myself. Whenever I get that heavy, I always have this light bulb moment like “OH GOD! I need a scale.” When I weigh in, it’s like I can’t believe those numbers are real. I thought they would never exist again. 220, 230, 240, 2… Stop. This can’t be happening again. Once the number starts going up, it seems to keep going for some time. This is even when I recognize it. This is even when I start to change.
Once your body wants to gain weight, it’s like your body has a mind of it’s own and gaining weight is it’s only desire and purpose in life. In reality, my stomach increases in size and I have to eat to a certain point just to feel comfortable and energized enough for the day. A bigger body takes more fuel. That is just how it works.
I wrote this letter as a reference point. I wrote this as a note to myself to return to when I needed it.
Right now, I look back and know this is exactly what I did months ago. I recognized the problem behaviors I had developed in my nutrition and fitness. I talked to my nutrition coach, made a plan, and got back to it. I re-developed habits that I knew worked in the past and made me happy. I worked on coping skills and my mental health with my doctors since that is a huge factor in weight gain (maybe for a lot of other people too?) I did the work to get back. I followed the advice of my past self with a few ‘just’ statements, ‘just’ reminding me it wasn’t so hard if you give it the time and work.
- JUST MOVE
- JUST START
- JUST BE EASY ON YOURSELF
The beauty in the life of yo yo dieting is knowing you can and always will come back (if you do the work)
*JUST don’t forget, we are still loving our bodies NOW remembering we are beautiful works of art in progress*