In two months I will attend my 10-year high school reunion. Back in February I made a commitment to myself that I would whittle myself down to HOTT, as HOTT as I could get in that time span. I go to the gym at least 4 days a week, lift weights at least one of those days (usually 2), and try to get some form of cardiovascular exercise on the weekends.
Then on Friday when that car hit me I got kind of scared. Especially now that I’m a few days in to the whole “whiplash” fun and games, I’m totally scared that I’m going to lose all the progress I’d made toward HOTT. Looking in the mirror right now, I know I look good. But not only do I want to maintain said progress, I want to look BETTER. Lose a little more fat, tone up a little bit more. And now I don’t know what kind of cardio I can do (besides gentle walking, which WON’T get my heart rate up – I’ve got to really be sweating to get the heart rate up at this point because I’m in really good shape) to maintain this svelte me and even get me a little smaller.
I’ve been doing most of the work thus far by working out a lot. I watch what I eat to some extent but I’m not starving myself by any stretch of the imagination. My plan all along was to mostly do this with exercise and then cut my calories some for the last six weeks before the reunion, so when I go shopping for that dress I will really like what I see in the mirror. Now – I don’t know. I don’t want back/neck problems for the rest of my life, like my mom has since the time she was rear-ended in her early twenties. So I know I need to take it easy. But I know how soon I can backslide and put five pounds back on. It’ll happen in a week if I’m not exercising enough. Or if I don’t cut 500 calories a day from what I’m eating now (go down to about 1200-1300 from 1700-1800). And as the Hulk can tell any of you, Unfed MLE is one of the least good kinds of MLEs there is.
I’m also scared that if I do start cutting calories drastically, I’ll slide back into my old pal the borderline eating disorder. That form of control is so powerful, so tempting. I find myself slipping into it some days without really noticing – it’s 12:30 and I’m hungry, so I say I’ll go another hour before I go home and eat lunch. And then I don’t eat ’til 2:30 or 3. Just to have an hour or so of good, punishing hunger. With my blood sugar issues, I *know* that isn’t good. Or I’ll go to the gym at 1:30 to miss the lunch crowd and not eat anything until 3 when I’m finished working out.
The biggest thing about the disordered eating is that for me, the negative consequences never got drastic enough to outweigh what I saw were the benefits – I got thinner and thinner, and because I was swimming for hours every day I was cut and lean. My family basically told me I *HAD* to stop starving myself because they didn’t like the bitch I’d become (honestly, neither did I, much). But I never got to the point of looking anorexic; never got bony or grew weird hair, and since it was summer I wasn’t cold at all. Rationally, I can look back and see how unhealthy I was, especially since my personality changed. But there is a power in hunger, a power in making your body conform to the look you want it to have. A power in lean muscle defined because of a lack of body fat. To know the pull of that power, all you have to do is look on TV, at a movie, at the trash celebrity magazines. The people who are powerful in our celebrity-obsessed culture are the people who look like that.
I’m already itching to go to the gym, even though I can hardly even move my neck. My mom has spent much of her life battling a weight problem while having back and neck issues, and it’s been really difficult for her. The weight I gained from that BCP two years ago is finally mostly gone and I never want it to come back. But the only ways I know to do that are to exercise vigorously on a regular basis (as I’ve been doing) or eat a lot less. But I also need to heal, and I don’t know how well that jives with the goal that I’ve been working toward since February.