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Sticking one hairy foot out the door at a time

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I'm coming out of the end of a solid decade of depression that had me kind of afraid to try anything new or acknowledge that I was good at anything. This year I went back to school and I'm getting straight A's. Okay, great, what else can I try that's missing from my life because I haven't had the spoons to deal with it? Well, exercise.


When I was a teenager I took karate lessons and I was pretty buff, and then after I moved away from home I got fat. Then I got fed up with public transit and started biking to work, and got thin. Then I got laid off and got fat because I had no motivation for those bike rides (and I eventually got a job closer to home with more lower-paying hours, so fewer daylight hours in which to bike anyways). These days I live in an area where it really isn't safe to bike on city streets because they're too narrow and the drivers are nasty. And since I'm a student, I'm pretty sedentary.


Oddly enough I don't think my eating habits are horrible. I tend to eat small meals because if I get full I get sleepy, and sleepy during the day is not compatible with school. I'm not a big fan of candy and sweets. I used to be, but I've already weaned myself off them enough that I feel kind of yucky when I eat too much sugar. I don't keep pop or desserts around the house on a regular basis, and as a rule I don't buy vending machine food/drinks. I don't smother food in sweet condiments like ketchup. My biggest refined sugar contribution during the day is in my coffee. When I've tried tracking calories I find that sometimes I have to eat more to meet what's supposed to be maintenance for a woman my age.


My big diet weakness: dealing with depression (or the aftermath) and school at the same time mean that I don't always plan meals well. When I was really depressed sometimes I wouldn't bother eating until I was really starving, and then I'd pig out. If I made a point of having convenience foods around the house I would eat something before I got to that point. Not like TV dinners, but stuff that would take minimal prep like frozen veggies and boxed mac'n'cheese. I still fall back into that when I'm focusing on school, and I need to figure out how to plan meals ahead of time that will be healthy and that I will eat and that will keep me going for both physical and mental exercise.


I'm female, about 230 lb and 5'4". I guess I want to get my weight under control, not because I feel the need to control and mold and shape my body (honestly, I'm equally cute when I'm fat, very little in the way of pure body image problems here) but because I've been steadily and slowly gaining weight for a while, which suggests that my lifestyle isn't sustainable for my health. I want to get it back on track so that the basic way that I live isn't nudging me in a bad direction. If that means I lose weight, cool. If that means I stop gaining fat and gain some muscle but don't "get skinny", still cool, because I know that'll be healthier than I am now.


I also remember what it's like to be fit and strong and antifragile, and I miss it. (I think that's my Big Why, too.) I play games and I think, I want to be like that again, I want to be like the Dragonborn or the Witcher or whatever. Or at least an adventurous Took rather than the average hobbit who never goes outside.

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Your story sounds very familiar. I hope you will find the strength to keep going and focus on your health!


I also feel a great urge to ask if you've read Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson? I can definitely recommend it if you haven't. (The part about not having enough spoons made me think about it.)



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