GETTING BACK TO MY TEACHERLY ROUTINE
BACK TO SCHOOL!!
I am excited as the summer always fills my emotional tank enough to get back and pour it around the school. The beginning is the best.
Coming back to a healthy routine after yo-yoing is always easier for me at the start of the school year. Every year, this is more like New Year’s to me than January 1 itself. As teachers, our brains are wired to the academic year. For me, summer is a time of wild eating and perusing the world in search of new and exciting foods and places.
Without adamant watching and weighing and running,etc, this body finds itself where I am in weight and ability.
Up in weight, but not down in spirit.
I KNOW my body is still highly capable of so much and always capable of change. And as I always say, I’m still a big babe. I appreciate this big body because it’s hot in other ways. That skinny- tight- dress, no-bra, easy-to-find-clothes life last summer was amazing, but so is this busty, also-not-usually-wearing-bras, plus-size with pockets life.
Someone taught us all that big is not beautiful but I beg to differ. People just prefer different bodies, different brains. We are all attractive to different people and the most important thing is confidence in the body you have. They say confidence is sexy and that’s because confidence means you’re happy with you in the present. You can be happy with the you in the present and work towards positive change.
Now with the active running life– when I was running towards a 500 mile goal– I could hardly keep up with my eating. I could eat a mountain of food when I was running, so that amount of food became the norm and habits of eating came from that. I was running so much and then stopped dead, which is extreme. With that complete change in habits and behaviors, my body changed quickly. I gained weight so rapidly that, as usual with yo-yo dieting, I didn’t notice until I had gained enough weight that I was heavier than when I started the running to begin with. Habits created must be broken by active change, which I wasn’t able to do when I was so busy with other priorities, as I’ll discuss further.
CURIOSITY OVER ANGER
The thing is I’m not angry about it. That would be silly. Rather, it’s something I’m observing and understanding. I like to remain curious about my body because being curious means looking for ways to make it better. Curious means I notice things that change and I notice things that make you not feel well.
Curious does not mean I hate on myself for letting my body change. Our bodies are supposed to change. No one was supposed to just live forever and never look a day over 1. That sentiment is obviously ridiculous. And in this life where women are meant to, or can at least bear children, how could we not expect our bodies to change? Men are no different because we all lose some metabolism points and speed as life progresses, Mr. Beer Bellies.
That curiosity and expectation that this body can and will change drives me on this life-long self-love crusade
I prefer to use that curiosity to be an inquisitive participant in learning about my body and what makes it change. I call it body research. Obviously I see now what can happen with running an extreme amount. My body shed weight rapidly with extreme running no matter what I ate– it was truly hard to keep up with myself as far as eating as I said. I could eat WHATEVER I WANTED! No change in weight, no change in ability. I could literally just shove all my favorite food in my mouth and hardly had ANY stomach issues, something I have been drastically dealing with now.
Now what happened for that weight to come on?
Well honestly, life just picked up speed. COVID slowed things down at first with a shut down and work from home lifestyle. Then all of a sudden, it started back up. Expectations changed. We had to be in person, in masks at school. We had to teach kids online and kids in person. We had to, we had to, we had to do so much more. Every day felt new, like I was in a brand new job. Also, damn I felt old. My computer either actually hates me or I’m stuck somewhere in 2000 using whatever Microsoft Office had that paperclip man.
This whole lotta priority chaos caused me to just cease running at that level immediately after reaching my yearly goal. That goal was so impressive to me because a YEAR is just huge. Keeping up with a goal like that is very difficult and I am super proud I could accomplish that. Now, I’m finding myself back in the bracket of ‘newbie’, at least when it comes to distance and ability in my running. I can still be proud of my running goal being reached last year and understand that this year’s goal might be out of reach. This doesn’t mean I won’t be hitting the floor running (both literally and figuratively) this school year.
Hating your body is easy. Loving it is what’s hard.
Why is it so hard to love our bodies when they change?
I can go ahead and talk about society and the unrealistic expectations put on women and men too. There is immense pressure to look like Hollywood. This, however, is not my focus.
The biggest reason we hate our bodies lies within ourselves. As people say, we’re our own biggest critics.
What do you do when you have those lingering body loathing thoughts?
For me, the biggest question I come back to when I’m having issues with loving my body is,
“Michie, do you really want to spend your life hating this one body you have?”
The answer is undoubtedly no.
This is the body I got!
Continue to remind yourself of all the things that this body can do. Continue to remind yourself of all the people that love you EXACTLY as you are, all the friends who absolutely enjoy you and laugh with you at the present moment, at your largest or smallest. There is more to you than your weight, so goddamn much more.
Sure, this body might not do the things my athletic heroes can. Hell, it can’t really even do what it used to be able to do, but it can still do so much. Getting stuck on the loop of all the can’t dos is just no way to live.
The problem with motivation is you can’t possibly have enough for everything.
To exist and thrive, we must prioritize the things in our lives that are the most important at that time. I had many factors contributing to weight gain– a very stressful school year (my most to date), a new beautiful relationship with many fun foodie dates, homeowners things (leaks, cracks, and smashes, OH MY!)
In this life, fitness and nutrition are important– but sometimes there are LOTS of more pressing matters. Some would argue with me that our fitness and nutrition is the most important because our health is the most important thing.
I beg to differ.
In this life, nutrition and fitness is never more important than our family, our friends, our students, and of course our loves.
Nutrition and fitness are never more important than mental wellness.
Also, in this life, Oreos and Doritos, and a pint of ice cream will always heal a broken heart.
In this life, we must not rely on others to tell us what we should be our priorities. That part is for us to decide.
No one’s going to tell me the gym is more important than clearing my brain when I need to at the end of the day. No one is going to tell me to worry about the calories in a beer (really a cider for me) when I had an especially emotional day at work. Getting out for a run is just not as important as staying a little late to make sure I’m set for my next work day, especially when I haven’t graded something yet that week, or month, or yet this school year. Cooking instead of fast-ish, pickup food is never going to be more important than getting to a friend’s place to listen to them vent about that jerk they were dating and how they’re trash, and not the good kind.
The thing is we can’t spread ourselves too thin because then we can’t give the right attention to each thing.
We must put ourselves first always, whatever that means for you. Maybe for you, that just is getting to the gym or cooking, etc. For me, my body won’t work when my brain feels like it’s in a blender.
Keep yourself healthy by keeping yourself up there on the priority list.
You’re worth it even on the days you don’t feel like it– I am reminding you that you are. Thanks to a friend who reminded me of that recently when my brain momentarily broke and forgot that.
This is me at 32 working on loving this body day by day, yo-yo by yo-yo.