getting healthy: you just have to jump in


I have decided that my life needs an overhaul. All of my friends have quit smoking, are working out, and I have become “the fat one”.

Peer pressure: a terrible reason to get in shape, I know, but nonetheless effective.

The truth is, I don’t want to be fat. I’m not happy when I’m fat, and the stupid thing is that I’m perfectly capable of staying in shape and feeling totally fulfilled. I think my problem isn’t just a love of food, it’s an obsessive need.

I was diagnosed with a “mild major depressive disorder” while I was in the Navy, I was placed on antidepressants and sleeping medication, but one thing they never addressed was my severe anxiety, which anyone that knows me at all can see that I have.

I get overwhelmed, I stress out, and what do I do? I eat. Carbs, mostly. I freaking love pastries and bread and cakes and all that really bad stuff that you should only eat like once a month. I eat my feelings. It sucks. But it was the only thing that worked! I still haven’t found a better combatant to stress than eating something super yummy and super starchy. There’s a reason it’s called “comfort food,” mmmk?

But I’m sick of it, I’m tired of feeling like my only options are to eat, sleep, or die (seriously, if you’ve ever had a panic attack, you know the feeling, and if you haven’t – consider yourself lucky). So, I have made a little pact to myself: I will no longer smoke, I will do some form of exercise every day (except that went bust yesterday due to a sore throat and fever, and today’s not looking so good either, but we’ll see), and I will go to this mental health appointment I have with the VA next Monday and I will request something to help with my anxiety, preferably in pill form that I can take when I feel the stress building, I’m pretty sure I’m way past “talk therapy” and “breathing exercises”. I am just too freaking high-strung, I always have been, and it’s time to say “enough is enough, this is serious, and I need help.” Because it’s not just my mental health, it’s my physical health. I was over 200 pounds not too long ago. I’m 5’5″. That’s gross. I am so embarrassed, I don’t want to go anywhere, I don’t want to be seen by strangers who I’m paranoid will make fun of me, even if I can’t hear or see it, I know they are… I don’t want to be crazy thin (it would be nice, but that’s too hard, I’m almost 30, it’s just not going to happen for me at this point), I just want to get back into a size 10 or 12, and I’ll be okay with that, I think. Honestly, I’m hoping I’ll get addicted to working out like I did in A-School, just so that I won’t hate it as much while I’m exercising. Please, please let that happen again…

I’m also working on incorporating more fresh veggies into my diet, and I’m trying to figure out how I can cut back on the breads, pasta, and rice and not feel sad. I wonder if the boy would be down for just eating veggies and lean protein, I wonder if that would go over well. We can have our “cheat day” on Friday with our delicious pizza and wings, but the rest of the time would be all meat and steamed veggies/salad. I wanted to try vegetarianism, but I don’t think the meat is the problem, it’s the processed carbs, and my unwavering love for them. I need to go back on my standby diet of nothing but salads with different meats: tuna or chicken salad, ham, grilled chicken… The good thing is that if you put tuna or chicken salad on lettuce, you don’t have to add any dressing if you mix it all up, offsetting the calories of the mayonnaise, and the rest of the time oil and vinegar is delicious (yes, I know olive oil is fattening, but it’s good fat, and I’m Italian, let me at least keep some of my heritage, if I can’t eat the bread and pasta!).

The toughest thing is that I’m doing the diet, the exercise, and the quitting smoking at the same time, but I feel like doing stuff one at a time isn’t for me, it seems like it will take forever to end up where I want to be and I quit. So I figure I’ll just attack this all at once, and maybe I can stay focused long enough to say “hey! These jeans don’t fit! Let’s go shopping! And then to the pool, where I won’t feel gross in a swimsuit because I’m not a whale!”


2 thoughts on “getting healthy: you just have to jump in

  1. Jump on in! I can offer a bit of advice. I would recommend maybe taking baby steps and setting smaller goals. It can get overwhelming quitting everything at once and that is when most people throw in the towel. And as far as your diet goes, baby steps as well. Find healthier alternatives for the carbs. BTW- they have always been my downfall as well. Your taste buds are malliable. Give them time and they will learn to love and even crave the healthier foods. I have some healthier recipe options on my blog that you may find interesting. I am rooting for you!

    • Lena says:

      You know, I think 99% of the time “baby steps” work, but I’ve tried doing it that way and didn’t get very far. I think an all-out offensive is the way to go for me, and the awesome thing? My boyfriend is totally on board! So I don’t have to worry about him being sad when I replace pasta and bread with salads 😉

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