Recently a blogger movement has come about called Things I’m Afraid to Tell You. The posts from participating bloggers have been so uplifting. I really admire that the risk everyone has taken by sharing very personal aspects of their life and putting themselves, 100%, into the blogging community.
For a long time, I was too nervous to put myself 100% into anything because I thought my anxiety would become wholly overwhelming again. So I went way too far in the opposite direction; I became complacent about my life. Living every day holding back. Recently, I’ve come around. I know I’m strong enough to give my all without anxiety breaking me. No holding back anymore. Not in life, not on this blog. Which leads me to the only thing I am truly afraid to tell you:
I gained a lot of weight in college, due to various circumstances combined with just plain awful habits. I need to lose 55 pounds to be at my heaviest high school weight and the highest range of a healthy BMI. That number seems truly unreal to me. I never thought I would be the type of person who put on a large amount of weight and then spent years trying to get rid of it. I still don’t feel like that’s the type of person I am, but somehow that’s the situation in which I find myself. I have been unhappy with my health and appearance for years now, but have not taken strong action to change it until recently. I don’t know why. Not too much in my life has actually changed. There wasn’t a massive catalyst, at least not that it felt like. It was a series of small events: reading an article that made me realize I have (and always have had, even in high school at a healthy weight) weird and unhealthy habits with food; an article that made truly understand the science between anxiety and exercise; a friend honestly telling me how much weight she estimates I gained based on my appearance alone; coaching swimming in the same pool I used to race in and wanting to be a good role model for my swimmers; a Jenny Craig commercial that said “When you don’t feel like yourself, you don’t take care of yourself”; realizing my unhealthy habits passed onto Madison. MADISON. MY DOG. She trusts me to take care of her and I messed up. I know my unhealthy habits affect my daily life and therefore my interactions with people, especially those I live with and spend the most time with, like my family, Dan, and best friends, sometimes in disastrous ways. But for some reason, realizing my bad habits hurt my dog, who never did anything but love me and depends on me to take care of her, was the lowest point of this years-long…thing. Not struggle, ordeal, battle, journey…all those sound way too complicated or difficult or self-important for what has been going on with me. My life is not that hard. I have extremely supportive, accepting, and loving family, fiance and friends. I have a place to live rent-free as long as I need. I have a job I enjoy. I have a college degree. I have a car, a phone, a computer. I have health insurance that I’ve never had to use for anything worse than a torn ACL when I was 15. To not be as healthy as I can potentially be, and use my good health and the blessings in my life to be the best person, daughter, fiance, friend, neighbor, teacher, coach, pet owner, etc. makes me feel so ashamed. It is flat-out unacceptable. And I have known for years that it is unacceptable, and have tried to fix it with many false starts. But this time is different. Because this time, I’m finally not afraid to tell you the whole story.