“Maybe I don’t care about being polite, okay? ‘Cause it’s a Wednesday night, baby, and I’m alive.” -Hannah Horvath in GIRLS
I am not quite sure why this quote resonants so much with me when I think about the last year, but there is something about the ring of it. Maybe it is because it is a quote from a character in a television show where the character doesn’t care what other people think about her body. In fact, you see the character, Hannah, naked several times on the show, and I love it. She is showing off to the world what a normal, healthy body looks like. A realistic body. A body that possesses love for itself. Something I keep aiming to do more of; love myself.
Last year, when I decided to make a lifestyle change and aim to live a healthier life I didn’t really know what my end goal or game would be. I just knew that I wanted to feel better. I knew I wanted to lose weight, but I didn’t really know how much, and I knew I wanted to track my food on MyFitnessPal for one year. I never knew that when I started this whole experience that I would lose 25 pounds and have the most energy I have had in a longgg time.
I have learned so much in the last 365 days. I can’t even say year because that makes it sound like it went by so quickly. When you are trying to change your habits in your lifestyle it can be a challenge. Challenge isn’t even the most accurate word to describe the experience though. For anyone that has ever used food as an emotional crutch they know what I mean when you are trying to change your habits, but all you want to do is drown your frustrations with ice cream, chocolate, or delicious, carb-loaded pasta. Here I thought the working out part was going to be the hard part! Wrong. It is all the mental battles that you have in your head that can really wear you down. Like, “OMG I want McDonald’s, but I know how many calories it is, but I want it”. Or still feeling hungry after you felt like you ate all day. These seem like small moments or not a big deal, but when you are trying to change your habits “permanently” (or for as long as you can) it can be really difficult.
Despite how hard I keep saying it was; it was totally worth it. I have learned how to listen to my body and what it craves. Sometimes it wants a huge bowl of vegetables and some tea and sometimes it wants ice cream and popcorn. I now know what a healthy balance between the two looks like. I understand which food items will help me feel strong and energetic, and which foods will make me feel sleepy and sluggish.
Sometimes, I wonder if people think I hated my body or myself before I lost weight. The answer is no. I loved my body for the shape, experience, and strength that it had. I own the changes and experiences that it went through. I stand by the body positivity movements that I support. The problem with that lifestyle was I wasn’t listening to my body. I wasn’t feeding it the nutrients that it was so desperately craving. Instead, I was feeding those cravings with unhealthy food and perpetuating the cycle. I was also an emotional eater. I still struggle with it to this day. But I am learning new tools to change those unhealthy habits into healthy ones. It is hard sometimes, but I keep persevering because I know I will benefit from these changes.
Do I have a six pack and a low body fat percentage? No. I love ice cream too much for that, but I do have muscles and I feel strong. (I know…what about when you were trying to open that jar last week?…let’s not talk about that, okay!) Honestly, I feel great and at the end of the day that is what I wanted. I wanted to feel strong and have energy. I am no longer going to track my food everyday. I want to ween myself off of relying on apps to keep me healthy. I want to learn to trust myself and stay in-tune with my body.
But most of all I want to continue following my mantra; “Be kind to yourself”. And live a little bit more like Hannah.
This post is dedicated to my dear friend, my Will to my Grace, Alfredo. You have been an amazing support system and constant cheerleader. I love you. -V