They say that the first step to solving any problem is to admit that there IS a problem in the first place. You can’t solve something that isn’t really there, after all. Any sort of substance abuse or addiction program really emphasizes this, through various methods, whether by stating that you have a problem, or by symbolically destroying the problem.

Along those same lines, I’m coming out with my problem: I am teetering toward fatness.

I’m not quite sure what happened. Weight has been somewhat of a struggle for me for at least the past 12 years. In high school I was a solid size 10 or 12, which on a small 5’2″ frame is too much. This was due to the fact that I ate a lot of processed foods, sodas, and a typical Southern diet without the necessary amount of physical activity. I did gradually lose a little bit of weight through my junior year. Then I had major surgery, got really sick, and dropped 20 lbs in a matter of 2 weeks. I don’t ever advise losing that much weight that quickly, deliberately or otherwise. I was suddenly a wispy 100 lbs and wore about a size 2. While it was kind of cool to be that skinny, I was not healthy, and knew it. I gradually added back some weight and stayed around 115-120 all through college.

Grad school came and I still managed to keep the weight down, although a few pounds crept up here and there. I stayed on a relatively healthy diet and worked out regularly, so no big deal, right?  Last year I was running a few days a week and felt really good about my appearance. I was healthy and energetic. Then comps came, the weather got hot, and I started slacking. It’s hard to run when it’s already 90 degrees at 6 in the morning! Then my endometriosis started flaring up big time when I worked out. The Lupron destroyed what little will and energy I had left to exercise. I made a valiant attempt to get back on the workout wagon in December, and that lasted up until my grandmother’s passing, save for the weeks when I had the flu. My life went to hell, I didn’t make the time for exercise, and now I’m paying for it.

In the past 2 months, I’ve probably gained close to 10 lbs. I was already a bit over what I wanted to be, but this has pushed me over the edge. When I see myself in the mirror, I’m disgusted. I don’t like any of my clothes because I know they all reveal my flaws. The thought of going clothes shopping just nauseates me, because I don’t want to have to face what I know to be true: I don’t look good.

So, no more denial. When I go for my follow-up appointment tomorrow, I’m going to ask when I am allowed to start working out again. I’m getting back into my routine, and starting in July, I’m going to see a personal trainer once a week. By the end of the year, I would like to have lost at least 15 lbs, which puts me at losing less than a pound a week. My life recently has been very unhealthy, and I’m paying the price in looking and feeling like hell. I want to turn this around before it’s too late. This morning I measured the circumference of my upper arms, thighs, waist, and hips and wrote down the numbers. They weren’t good, to put it bluntly. I’ll start measuring myself every 2 weeks to track my progress, in addition to weekly weigh ins. If I can muster the courage, I may take pictures of myself to see objectively any changes. My problems is denial, and I have to overcome it.

In addition to all this, I’m going to make a more determined effort to eat healthfully. I’m going to start eating more plants and start avoiding foods that don’t resemble things found in nature. Cutting back on the cheese, bread, and refined carbs will probably also happen, and I know this will be tough, but it has to be done. I’m not going to totally deprive myself, but ultimately weight loss involves burning more calories than one consumes, so I have to decide if that large mound of melted Brie is really worth the hours I’ll need to put in to burn it off. I think if anything this will really enhance the quality of my diet, and this is something I’m looking forward to.