Today is January 1st, 2010, and I sit here struggling to come up with a new year’s resolution. There’s a good excuse behind this: I like myself. Yes, that’s right. You might be wondering what the big deal here is, but for me, this is huge. Because of my history with weight problems, I’ve spent the majority of my life never really loving myself, but the past few years, I’ve actually hated myself at times. This is hard to grasp for most people who have never struggled with issues, and likely for those who are still struggling and yearning to be thin. I’m going to tell you a little secret: for many of us formerly obese, the hardest part of dealing with emotional issues comes after the weight loss. Letting go of the “fat girl” identity and learning to be an average-sized person in an over-sized world is actually quite a challenge, and one that brought me down to some very dark moments. My mind talked in endless circles about the seemingly impossibility that people could actually view me as a thin person, and about how unfair it seemed that I will always have to expend much more time and effort than the “average” person to remain an average size. (All the time I spend meal planning and calorie counting and working out and planning new workouts is extremely consuming. Frankly, most people just don’t get why I need to do it, but they tend to be the ones who have never struggled to maintain a healthy weight.)
But finally, in late 2009, I started to finally get it. Something just clicked, and I not only felt at peace with my chosen lifestyle, but empowered by it. I am proud of what I’ve accomplished in the past few years since losing the weight, but more importantly, that pride has finally exceeded the pain. Since moving in with my now husband, cooking – and cooking healthy – has become my passion, and something I really feel I’m good at. To stay active and motivated after reaching my goal weight, I’ve taken on fitness challenges. I dabbled in running and completed a half marathon in 2008 (in 1:53!) and 2009 was the year I learned the benefits of heavy strength training and high-intensity interval training.
I have been trying to think about what kind of fitness goal I’d like to achieve in 2010. Running another half marathon in less time than the first, or running a whole marathon, would be fabulous accomplishments. But, effective endurance training and significant strength gains don’t exactly go hand in hand, and I’d like to continue with the strength training for now. One exercise that still has me beat is the full chin-up. I’ve worked on this a lot, and I’m finally able to do a few chin-ups, but not quite from a full straight arm position (more like 3/4 of the way down.) I know I’ll get there as I keep working, so maybe 2010 should be my year of 10 full chin-ups.
I could work on the chin-ups. And maybe come up with a target weight for my squat and deadlift. But really, those seem kind of trivial right now. Honestly, I’d be happy to just keep doing what I’m doing – that is, progressing on my strength training, maintaining my weight, cooking healthy food, and feeling GOOD about all of that rather than letting my efforts feel like a burden.
I’m considering that maybe a better goal for 2010 would be something that involves helping others. I’ve always been willing to give workout advice and share tips on calculating calories and eating the right things, and it’s one of the greatest feelings to hear that my advice has been helpful and appreciated. At 26 years old, I still wonder what I am going to do and who I’m going to be when I grow up, and though I still don’t know what that is, I really want it to involve helping others by sharing what I know. I’ve toyed with the idea of being a personal chef specializing in healthy meals, but maybe I’d like to be a personal trainer. Or maybe a cross between the two, coaching clients and delivering them personalized workout and meal plans. I’ve also thought about part-time careers that don’t have much to do with health and fitness or food, but that I think I’d enjoy for other reasons. But I still really don’t know.
I suppose until I figure that out, one thing I can at least focus on is getting back to my blogging, and coming up with more healthy recipes and ideas that you will enjoy as much as I do. But maybe you can help me too. What are your health, fitness, or food-related resolutions? Is there any way you think I can help? Any new directions I could take with my blog? I don’t want to be just another food blog, or just another workout blog. But I think this blog could benefit from a little renovation and it would be great to know what people are looking for!