Anyway, there has been one element of this process that I haven't really discussed here. I felt bad and guilty about it for a long while. It's something I have been more open and honest about in real life and felt in a way that not discussing it here made this an untrue account ... or something. Until kathrynlinge said to me that not everything has to be blogged for blogging's sake.
What I am talking about is the final piece of the puzzle - self image, physical health and physical appearance. And this has actually been one of the tougher roads. Some of the truths have been hard to face and hard to process. But you can't really solve a problem unless you identify it. And they have probably left my pride a bit wounded.
I let myself fall apart in a bad way. I let very bad routines become established and I turned a blind eye to what was happening. Further more, I let how I feel (and how I feel about myself) become what I look like. Until finally I became someone even I couldn't pretend I was happy to be.
I did something totally horrible - I stood naked in front of a full length mirror and I stared at myself and I didn't look away. And I didn't like it. Don't get me wrong ... I want to accept and love myself for who I am, at whatever size. I have been very skinny (that one time that my Crohn's was at its worst and the other time when my OCD was at its worst) and I have been between that and what I am now. And I have felt sexy and been sexy at sizes much above the skinny one. The trouble was, I no longer *felt* sexy and I didn't believe I could *be* sexy. And that's kind of a problem. Because how can you find love, or less than that, how can you *enjoy* the pleasures of the flesh, when you despise yours?
And that's when I realised where I was and what had become of me. I no longer liked myself. I no longer enjoyed who I was. And I realised that that was a vicious cycle I had been trapped in that had brought me to where I was. And it didn't really matter what came first or what brought which about. Because in the now, that was where I was. And I realised that it was something the ex had been pointing out for a while and I had been ignoring it. And I had *asked* him, early in our relationship to do that. So I don't really see that as a negative. The trouble was, I no longer cared and that caught me or got me caught in the dark negative spiral down towards the abyss.
But see ... it's all good! Because it was the point at which I looked at myself and realised I didn't want to be naked in front of anyone looking like that, that I was able to flick a switch in my head. And it's been all upwards from that point on. Because of course, I *want* to want to be naked in front of someone new. And ... I no longer wanted to feel that way about myself and have it reflected in my appearance nor let my appearance reflect back into how I felt about myself.
And I was at a point of total change in my life in any case.
So ... that was about 5 months ago now. I started pilates and yoga which I love and which have built up so much strength that I had lost over time. I actually have biceps that get hard when I flex now! I had completely lost that! I'm at a nicely advanced level in yoga. And my shoulders and neck are getting nice and shapely. I used to be a serious dancer and keep myself fit and toned - long before I think *any* of you knew me! I have no idea how I got to be here! (well I do but that's a separate post).
I also joined the work gym and have been regularly going 3 times a week (and sometimes it's the same day as the other sessions so I work out for 2 hours a day!) for a couple of months. My fitness has improved and I actually *run* now!
But. I haven't actually lost any weight. According to the gym scales. Which frankly boggles my mind. And leads me to wonder if the whole exercise thing is a scam! Yes, I know that muscle weighs more than fat. It also burns more energy than fat so surely after a couple of weeks, those muscles should burn through more of your fat stores? *shrug*. Actually this week was the very first frigging time that the scales had a lower number.
Anyway. The point is. I am serious about this. And when you are serious about getting your shit together, you *have* to get the job done! So today is my very first session with a personal trainer. I briefly thought about the idea of paying someone to make me exercise but then I thought that I am quite happy to spend that money on junk food or yarn and if at the end of this I end up losing the weight, gaining the fitness and having a sustainable personal routine, surely the money and the benefit to my long term health is worth it?
I already have so much more energy than I had going into this. Last night I was actually cleaning out my fridge at 10.30 at night. And I sleep sooooo much better (although I do currently sleep alone ...)
So in about 30 minutes I am going to have some more horrible truths revealed to me - my exact weight as a datum, my body fat ratio, the size of my arse and my level of fitness. But I am excited about that, even if there is a before photo. Because ... that means there has to be an *after* photo. And there will be. Because I am serious about this stuff.