Sunday, August 23, 2009

Healthy Expectations

By Michelle Butler

You have probably heard the advice of using a favorite piece of clothing from thinner days as a source of inspiration as you try to lose weight. For years, the piece of clothing I longed to get back in was at the back of my closet. It was a very smart looking, grey and white pencil skirt with a big black belt. I even tried it on during past, semi-successful attempts to lose weight. I had last worn it when I weighed around 115 pounds, and it was a size 5 or 7. No, I don’t mean a 6 or 8. It had been purchased in the junior’s section, and I had last worn it when I was a freshman in high school.

Yes, dear blog reader, I was a reasonably intelligent adult woman trying to get back into something I had worn as an adolescent girl. How whacked is that! Even if I ever got back to 115 – which would mean I was underweight – I’m curvy, and I’ll never have the hips of a 14-year-old girl. Nor should I try. I finally came to my senses in my late 20s and sent that beautiful, preppy skirt to Goodwill.

Do you have your equivalent of a 14-year-old girl’s skirt in the back of your closet? If so, get rid of it. Becoming and staying a healthy writer is a long journey, and there’s no need to torture yourself with unhealthy expectations as you try to get there. Getting rid of that skirt felt good. I do have clothing and sizes I’d like to get back into, but I make sure that they are reasonable for a grown woman. I want to get to and stay in a healthy BMI range. Along the way I’m trying to strengthen and improve my body image to make sure it is realistic and healthy.

How do you maintain healthy yet ambitious expectations as you make this journey to become and stay a healthy writer? Any advice for your fellow travelers?

Today's progress:

Calorie intake: 870 (much lower today)

Exercise: None

Steps: 4,112


Anonymous said...

Okay, Michelle, you're right. I guess the size 4 business suits in the back of my closet that I've been putting off getting rid of really need to go! :)

I think having realistic goals is important. I think we all look back to our teenage weights and wish we were back there, but you're right, our bodies have a lot more curves now that they didn't have back then.

After having a baby, I kept looking at my "thin" (pre-baby) clothes, determined to get back into them again. Finally, I tried on an awesome evening dress I'd purchased for a big New Year's Eve gala in 2000... and discovered that although it was a little bit tight across the stomach, the real problem was that my ribs had expanded during my pregnancy-- I couldn't zip the TOP half of the dress!!

Congrats again on the success you're having on your fitness journey!!

Michelle on August 24, 2009 at 10:03 AM said...

Thanks, Laura! It seems to me like women just torture themselves with body image issues and never appreciate just how great they look. Trying to get to that appreciation is much healthier in my opinion - and some of that may be helped by realizing just how much air brushing goes into magazine covers. :)

Did you get rid of that evening dress?

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on August 24, 2009 at 11:33 AM said...

Good topic, Michelle. I don't think I have anything left from high school other than some T-shirts with memories. I do have two sizes worth of smaller pants and nice suits I do plan to get back into. After I'm done with this deadline, I plan to do a closet (and overall house) culling though.

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