I have a pair of knee-length sweatpants that I typically reserve for my "fat day" gym workouts. I save them for those workouts that come after a few days of skipping the gym, or after I overeat, or after I suffer a binge episode.
Well, November was a binge month. As I mentioned on Monday's entry, my binge eating disorder came back with a fury. I binged EVERY SINGLE DAY. I did not exercise at all. By far, this was my worst binge episode in more than five years.
Year after year, I punished myself after eating poorly and not working out by wearing an outfit that wasn't the best looking. From workout clothes that were too big, to unflattering work pants, I would pull those clothes on to: 1) teach myself a "lesson" about not being healthy and 2) to hide my shameful body from the world. I used those dreadful outfits as a shield, as a way to hopefully disappear from the seemingly unforgiving world, because I didn't keep that weight loss promise to myself.
I've gone up and down in this journey. Sure, I maintained my 50+ weight loss that I started on 03.15.10, but I am still not in my goal weight. I continue to feel trapped with regret, trapped in my body. I keep telling myself, 'Just follow the rules!,' so I can finally get out of this prison of weight loss plan after plan, calendar goals after goals. I meet the small goal, and release myself into probation. And after a short period of elation and 'I'll never go back!,' I realize that I need comfort and that change is too hard. So, I find myself drawn to the same bad influences, the same STUPID decisions, and like a career criminal, I go right back to prison. Days, weeks, months, years fly by, and the cycle continues. Unflattering clothing has become the familiar, comforting, BUT broken, dysfunctional halfway house between prison and freedom.
But two weekends ago, I got fed up. On Sunday afternoon, I walked a few blocks from my apartment to Old Navy in search of fashionable (and inexpensive) exercise gear. I knew that I gained some weight, so I bought a few clothing items in a larger size. When I returned to my early morning workout on Monday, I decided to say goodbye to the fat sweatpants.
Monday morning's workout was okay. This morning was better. I am wearing that gray sports tank top in one size larger than normal. You can't see the workout leggings that well, but they're a teal blue. They're in my regular size -- a bit tighter than normal, but still comfortable enough to exercise in.
I almost didn't run the treadmill this morning because I didn't think my body could handle the usual 5.0+ inclines and 6.4+ speeds. And I was right, my body could not handle that. When I turned on the treadmill, I swallowed my pride, kept muscle memory in mind, and used the 6.0 speed with a 2.5 incline.
Like a career criminal trying to improve my life, I am fighting what's comfortable and what's familiar. I recently made a tough decision to abandon a beloved gym that helped me lose 50+ pounds for one that offers more challenging (certainly more expensive) workouts. A lifelong hater of photos, I've decided to take a photo of myself every Wednesday to blog & track my progress. Last Sunday, I washed my entire punishment clothing line, packed them in a suitcase, and dropped them off to an organization that serves the poor -- the ONLY people who really need it.
I'd like to think that, for once, a career criminal will finally SHOCK the probation officer, who's heard all of the lies and false promises over and over and over again. Nope, this career criminal will not walk down the same path, with the same people, with the same negative temptations. Instead, how about asking for (instead of being forced into) a challenge? One that will hurt, one that will be isolating, one that will take forever? But one that could work?
This time, I am going to rehab.