My need to lose weight has been something that’s been in and out of priorities for a few years now. It seemed that whenever I had time to focus that would inevitably disappear when some new and awful challenge came up.

The last few years have been very, very hard for our family. So much so that when I met with a new therapist and told her bit by bit she said “wow.”

I feel as though we’ve not had enough time to grieve one thing when the next one attacks unexpectedly.

Right before the pandemic hit I was starting to get into a routine. I was working a regular schedule, and there was a gym close to my office with classes I could make it to on my way home. Not only could I do a class I enjoy, I could avoid the traffic.

And then we locked down.

And the pain in my back and hips that has been bothering me for a while got worse and worse and I talked to my doctor, and she referred me to a clinic, and then gave me exercises to work through and told me – as so often happens – that I need to lose weight.

Do you know how difficult it is to lose weight when your body can’t handle a 20 minute walk without pain? I feel like I’m caught in a trap.

I want nothing more than to go to a hiking trail and just walk for hours, but I’m terrified that if I started I would end up stranded, unable to move backwards or forwards. Day to day I just don’t know what my body is capable of and it’s maddening.

Add to that my PCOS and it’s like my body doesn’t want me to be able to change this path, but I am completely unwilling to age this way.

There are so many good reasons to push myself, focus on what I can do and work hard at losing the weight, but I’ve also been thinking up a list of completely valid but less serious reasons:

  • I want to be able to wear my engagement ring again
  • I want to go to Comic Con and be able to buy a woman’s shirt
  • I want to be able to buy straight sizes so I can shop anywhere (and it’ll be cheaper, probably)
  • I want to be able to try the things I see my friends trying without fear of what my body can and can’t do – stand up paddle board, long bike rides, kayaking, weight lifting. (So many of my friends are quite inspiring)
  • I want to not worry about the size of seating. I want to get on an airplane (whenever I’m comfortable getting back on an airplane) and not wonder how the seatbelt is going to feel and how I’m going to squeeze in for hours.
  • I want to be able to play with my kid. I want to chase her in the snow and laugh with her sledding down hill, and go for long walks so we can talk, and shoot baskets with her in the evening.
  • I want to get off some of the medication I have to take.

I want to get to a place where I can stop wondering if my body is able to do something and instead ask myself if I want to do it. Even, especially, the things that I’m a bit scared of.

The truth is that I can start by doing the easy things – drink lots of water, get enough sleep regularly, take short walks until the longer ones are possible. I need to get past the immediacy and remind myself – daily, hourly – that the little things matter too.

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