As I was sitting in our university's nutritionist's office this morning, I suddenly realized that I haven't been completely truthful with myself lately. As I gave her one answer after another that sounded right, I wondered how honest I've been with myself lately.
Since Little Man's birth, I've been trying on-and-off to get back to my pre-baby weight. We knew way ahead of time when we wanted to start trying for a baby, so the year before, I had joined Weight Watchers and lost 18 lbs. I felt good then--I liked that I could go into my closet and find old clothes that my newly married euphoria had eaten me out of. I liked that I felt almost ok in a bikini at the beach. I liked that I felt healthier.
I was doing pretty well with trying to get back to that weight and trying to get back into those clothes. Until, at least, I stopped nursing. It seems like since late May, I've put on 10 lbs. I've been telling myself that I'm still practicing healthy eating habits, that I'm still living a healthy lifestyle, and that maybe my metabolism's just starting to slow down because I'm getting close to 30. I've also been telling myself that I am happy with my body and the way I look right now, and for the most part I'm telling myself the truth.
But part of my, I now realize, is lying...has been lying. It's no secret that I love food. No just food in the abstract, mind you-- really wonderful, delicious, and well prepared food. I haven't wanted to give up a bite of it. But yesterday, at a physical, I realized that my weight has now crept over the healthy BMI index into "Overweight." Sure, it's just a pound or two of overweight from Thanksgiving, but I don't want to make excuses about it. I want to do something about it. So, I made an appointment with the nutritionist, and as I answered her questions about my diet and my daily eating habits, I started to wonder just how honest I was being with myself.
It's not about looks--though, that does matter to me. It's about health. I come from a family where weight is an issue, but it's often an issue that no one wants to address or take action on. And it's not something that's talked about (except by my grandmother, who means well, but doesn't help with her comments). It's a joke that's made or an issue that's ignored, but my heart aches every time I wonder how much longer before that weight affects the health of someone I love in horrible and tragic ways. It's something that weighs on me, but I know that it's also something intensely personal, something that I cannot have an effect on, because I know--to a large extent--weight is a choice we make every single day, with every bite we take, and every meal we eat.
I can't do anything about the choices made by my loved ones, that much I know. But I can make the choice to do something about myself.
It's not much, those ten pounds. Ten pounds never is very much. Your clothes still fit, mostly. you still feel the same. But they can be a slippery slope. They can impact every aspect of your health. And as much as I would love to be back in a size 8, it's so much more important to me that Little Man never has to have his heart ache the way mine often does. I have a child to raise, and continuing to ignore this small issue, continuing to lie to myself about the reality of my daily choices is not going to give my child a mother who can run through a park with him or teach him to climb a tree.
But that's the problem with honest--it forces you to realize that the responsibility always was yours.