I have lost about 20lbs this past few months and developed an endurance for long, long walks. It seems so easy, in a way, to lose weight right now that it is tempting to think “why didn’t I do this before?” The reality is, I couldn’t have done this earlier. The long walks are dependant upon my being able to leave the kids home alone – something I couldn’t do till recently. An earlier attempt at getting more exercise was ended abruptly when I fractured a bone in my foot. Another time it was put on hold by a long drawn out cold and breathing problems. The food restrictions would not have been possible when I was struggling more with depression. I can do this now, but that doesn’t mean I could have done it earlier.
Over the eight years since I gained the extra weight (a response to medication), I’ve had various people tell me they worry about me and that I should work on losing it and how unhealthy I am. None of that has ever helped. I doubt there’s anyone out there who is overweight and doesn’t know it already. Probably there are few who don’t already feel some sense of guilt or self-hatred. Don’t tell people what they already know. Don’t think that saying you’re just saying the bad news because you love the person makes it any less hurtful. (What does help is having people in my life who see good in me and celebrate the good. Also having people to talk with on walks.)
I know I still have more weight to lose and hopefully I will lose it over the next year or so. Whether I do or don’t, I’m pleased with the exercise I’ve had this spring. I’m pleased knowing I can do this. I’m pleased with getting to know my city more, as I wander through all sorts of streets, taking note of wildflowers and footpaths. I’ve found the app Run an Empire has helped motivate me to explore and to expand the distance I walk day by day. Places that once seemed too far to walk are not anymore.
Walking more does have its costs though. The walking is cutting into my time to do other things. At times it creates stress as I try to keep it up and find time to do my work. I end up feeling my time pinched tighter and tighter. It has costs.