Sunday, January 18, 2015

*That* girl

Basically all of my life, I have been somewhat underweight.

I was a very short kid, my mom was a dietician and has a BSc in Nutrition, and I danced about 5 nights a week. I was lucky enough to be one of those girls who, during my teenage years, really didn't have to worry about what I ate. My mom made pretty much all of my food, and that was always healthy, and even though I complained about not getting the same kinds of snacks in my lunch as the other kids and not eating dessert at all until I was like 12 (seriously, dessert for me is still not something that is "required" after a meal), I know that it was just mom looking out for me and trying to keep me healthy.

Of course, now I am living away from home (and I miss home food terribly). The food in my building is good, that's for sure- lots of fruit and vegetables all the time, and meals at very regular times, which is something I appreciate- although I have become more picky about it and as a result, eat less and less of it.

Last semester, I decided that restricting myself from eating what I wanted was silly, as long as I didn't spend too much money. That did not turn out well for me. I mean, obviously I'm still fine, but since then I have decided that that mantra is not a good idea. Not only did I waste a shitton of money, I ate a lot of crap. Like, a lot. And I mean, I'm young, I'm in university, it's almost expected that I gain weight at some point. I think I've avoided that thanks to avoiding uni campus "dining halls" and meal plans, but I'm still kind of restricted in what I eat. The meal plan here is already paid for until the end of the year, so I can't really cook for myself that much.

This is why the whole "fitness movement" type stuff (especially "fitspo" etc) on the internet really bugs me, especially when it says "what's your excuse?" my excuse is that I live on a meal plan because I am a student, you twat. If I want to get good grades and maintain a social life and enjoy myself, it becomes very hard to fit in waking up at 5 AM to go running every day. Plus, I live in Canada. It's fucking cold outside. I know some people can run in winter, but that requires some kind of special workout gear or whatever. So if I want to do that, I have to invest time and money into figuring it out. And as for a gym- I'm too self conscious about my complete and total lack of fitness knowledge to even bother to go, since I wouldn't know how to use the machines, and I don't have a plan or anything.

Furthermore, eating healthy is expensive. Frozen pizza is pretty darn cheap, from what I understand.

And yet every time I think of these reasons why I cannot for the life of me commit to changing my entire lifestyle right at this moment, there is still a part of me that thinks "but those are just excuses. If you really wanted this you would do it instead of being lazy." Which I think is ridiculous. Not everyone has the money and time to devote to changing their whole entire life.

What I wish fitness movements were about was encouraging people to work to the level they are comfortable at. Like, maybe I can't restructure my whole entire diet. But I can try not buying extra junk food so much. Maybe I don't have the time to figure out how to make time for exercising every single day. But I know that if I leave a little earlier, I can walk to school daily, and I can take a very intense exercise class once a week. Those are all things that are good for my health, and yet I still feel like by the standards of Fitness Types Everywhere, I am failing.

This doesn't even include the standards of Beauty. Basically every kind of media I see- movies, TV shows (when I get around to watching them), shit, even some youtube videos (ESPECIALLY music videos) have girls that are tiny, with flat stomachs and nice cheekbones and all those other things I get self conscious about. Recently, that kind of stuff has really been getting to me, especially considering all the weight I have gained last semester and over the summer (when I probably bought chocolate pretzels from bulk barn at least once a week, possibly more).

I know these things are ridiculous. I know it is stupid, because I am smart and funny and kind and those things should matter far more than how much I weigh or whether or not I have "the right" cheekbones or cellulite. But they still get to me. Sometimes it is just in the form of "These pretty dresses I have don't fit me anymore!" which is like well, duh, you bought those two years ago and since then you've moved out and started university. Sometimes it is shopping for school clothes with mom and getting comments like "weren't you wearing (slightly smaller pants size) last year?" or something like that. Sometimes it is even just acknowledging that I know people who are very fit and in shape or who don't weigh very much (sometimes that is just by virtue of their genes or body type). Often, it is stupid fitness stuff on the internet.

I wish I could be satisfied with myself for making small changes within my life. I wish I could feel like walking more and eating less junk food and taking a TRX class was acceptable. There is still a big part of me that insists that You used to be so skinny. All your life, you have been a skinny girl. The skinniest. With a BMI that is underweight. What happened to you? Who are you now? and it's like without the identity of being the super super super tiny girl, I have to define myself by other things. I never had to worry about my weight or what I was eating before. Ever. Never in my life have I had this stress. I don't like it. I miss being able to just eat whatever I wanted and still have a BMI of like, 17.8 because that was how I was, and I don't like this new realm of motherly advice consisting of weight-related things.

But I feel like the only way to go back to being the way I was is to be that girl. The girl who denies herself everything, who says "no cake for me, thanks" or "I don't really do dessert" or "can we get something else instead of pizza?" or "I'll just have a salad" (I have nothing against salads, but there is something about saying "I'll just have a salad" that implies restrictions) or who makes herself go running and works out every single day and never, ever, ever touches a cheeto or a potato chip or a brownie. I do not want to be that girl. I don't want to deny myself food because I'm scared of being fat, I don't want to work out every single day for a flat stomach and a thigh gap, and yet I feel shitty about it.

I don't want to be that girl, I don't want to be fat, I don't want to be unhealthy, I don't want to continue to get comments from mom about "don't let your thighs get lumpy and ugly" or "you're growing out and not up now so you have to watch what you eat" or "do you really need that size of jeans now?"

I don't know what to do beyond continue on my present course of baby steps because it's still better than doing nothing. My relationship with food has clearly become very complicated and annoying. I don't want to analyze everything for its nutritional value before eating it. I don't want to feel guilty for eating junk food, or carbs, or sugar, like by doing so I've done something wrong. But I don't want to look the way I do now, and that seems seriously fucked up to me because I'm pretty sure I am within the range of normal health right now.

yer pal,
swegan :S

Thursday, January 1, 2015


Since 2014 was kind of a blah year (school, work, 1 week of travel, more school, and I guess maintaining a relationship that was an ldr for 1/3 of the year), I kinda wanna try to make 2015 more exciting. Just by trying to do more than just school, work, and relationship.

1) Improve study habits. I feel as though more regular review might help me boost my GPA up 0.1 so that I can apply for more scholarships.

2) Improve spending habits. I just need a solid way to track them. Saving receipts and putting them in a spreadsheet is good for seeing what I've been doing, but not for seeing how I AM doing at any given moment in time.

3) Exercise more. Just, more. I have free Tuesday mornings this semester and I plan to try... THE GYM. I think my university has some kind of "workout buddies" program which appeals to me greatly. Also, I know this resolution is stereotypical, but I'm starting to see that if I want to continue to eat the way I do (which is really not that badly) then I have to do more than just walk to school every day.

4) Get a different summer job. I've been at the same place the last three years, and if that is the way the cookie crumbles I will go back there again. I just want some different experience, and to be honest, unless I work under somebody else, I've kind of done all the things there are to do there that I can do with my current knowledge.

5) STOP BUYING JUNK FOOD IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WEEK. Just the middle of the week. I figure this way I still get to enjoy delicious junk food, but not so often so I stop wasting so much money (seriously, this one is more financial than anything else).

6) Stop turning down invitations to go out.

That is really all I can think of. That, and the usual ones to attempt to be a kinder person and whatnot (I basically just make those every year).

We'll see how it goes. I predict 3 will be the most difficult to achieve. I do best with exercise when I have a class to go to rather than just relying on myself. In fact, I also learn better when I have a class to go to. If I've signed up for something that occurs at a regular time and place, especially when other people are showing up and expecting me too, I am like 5000X more likely to actually go. Which is why the workout buddies thing appeals to me: if someone else is counting on me to be their buddy, I am more likely to actually show up.

yer pal,