About Me

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Concord, California, United States
I am a sometimes-writer, everyday mama, creative failure and experimental cook. I am interested in living a beautiful life, spending time with my family and making things that I can feel proud of. When I'm by myself I'm usually outside. Don't bother calling because chances are that I didn't bring my cell phone because I couldn't find it. If you see me walking, it's because I lost my keys and if you see me with only one child... I'm probably in big trouble.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Why I Joined A Gym

I am absolutely not the type of person who goes to a gym.  I loathe that person.  She's vapid and smug.  I am the type of person who reads books and doesn't stress about eating french fries (yeh, right) I am the type of person who works in her garden instead of working out on an elliptical machine.  People like me don't internally mingle with people like her.

I do not have beautiful training clothes, I have sweats.

I do not have a trainer to push me because I don't really want to find out what my limit is.  Comfort is sort of  my thing, actually.

And the sneakers I wear are for fashion and were designed to be worn sockless and are cute.  They are not sturdy and I can barely balance on one foot when I wear them.  They are only a tiny bit more functional than the platform, backless sneakers I wore back in 1998 (Really.  It was a terrible time in my life for fashion).

So, what in the world possessed me to walk into the new gym that just opened in my town and sign myself up for a year?

On April 12th I started a weight loss journey.  When I left for our spring break I was mortified to learn that none of my clothes from the previous summer fit me any longer... and they were mostly size 14.  After moving to California, I had taken to wearing lots of leggings, dresses and over sized shirts.  I didn't really know what size I was and I went away on my vacation with very little to wear.  During my vacation I knew that I needed to make some sort of change.  I enjoyed my vacation, ate whatever I felt like, drank as much as I wanted... but mentally prepared for the fact that I was going to change my life when I went back home.

And by "change my life," I only meant "lose some weight."

When I got home and hopped up on the scale I was mortified to see how much I had gained.  Since my fertility treatments last year I had put on about 45 lbs.

Chew on that.

I wanted to blame my thyroid, but I knew that the problem was really just food.  I ate my way through infertility.  I ate my way through one stressful move.  I ate my way through the next stressful move.  And then a few months later I ate my way through the following stressful move.  At this point, I wasn't thinking much about the problem.  Because the problem was not the weight that I had gained.  The weight was just a symptom of my actual problem.

When I came home I started the Atkins diet, which has worked miracles for me in the past.  I honestly believe that sugar and flour are poison for my body, and kicking them to the curb is one of the healthiest things that I've ever done.  So, I started low-carbing it and stopped gaining weight, but I wasn't losing either.  I was just staying the same and it was frustrating.  That's when I found a calorie counting sight that has pretty much saved my life and has taken me on an amazing journey.

The pounds began to come off.  I've been journaling it somewhat consistently here. I eat a diet that is roughly 70% raw, though not as a rule.  I very rarely will eat anything made with flour, but from time to time I do.  I actually don't have any hard rules about things that I can and can not eat.  I just eat what is nutritionally rich and what makes my body feel good... and on days when I eat unhealthy things, I don't' sweat it.

The pounds that were coming off became way less important than something else that started to happen.  I began to notice my nutrition and to really care about it.  And as I lost weight I became less hungry for weight loss and more interested in how my body felt.  All at once, food became nearly insignificant to me, while simultaneously being the most important thing.  What I mean by that is that I stopped caring about how the foods I ate made me look and started caring about how the foods I ate made me feel.

Here's something else that happened.  I stopped feeling guilty about food.

And then, I stopped eating to soothe my emotions and I learned that eating to celebrate is a great part of life.  By painstakingly and somewhat obsessively focusing on this part of my life... this compulsive, unhealthy relationship that I had with food... I was able to unwind a lifetime of emotional issue that were all tied up in food.

And the 45 lbs that I've lost since April 12th are so petty in comparison to the important change that has happened within me.

My biggest problems has been that I eat and overeat and compulsively eat to deal with emotion.  When I was young I smoked.  Then I drank.  Then I ate.  I have always needed to do something physical to work through my emotions.  When I ate, I smothered them.

And I learned that when I get on a treadmill, and I lose myself in my thoughts, I push through my feelings.  I can put things in perspective.  I push and I sweat and I think about things that I haven't dealt with in years.  It's uncomfortable and satisfying and relieving.  It helps me. I am going to go so far as to say that I love it.

So, I didn't join a gym to be healthy.  I didn't join to tone up.  I didn't join to lose weight.

I joined because it's my goal to use working out as a tool to deal with stress.

I am 11 lbs away from my goal weight now, and I don't care when I get there.  I actually don't care if I ever lose another lb.  I feel happy.  I have a peace of mind because I know that the weight I lost is never coming back.

Quite dramatically, I am free.


  1. i am so happy for you and proud of this person, anna. xoxo

  2. Thanks Laura!!!! thank you for all of the support you've given me. You've really seen me through the ugly and desperate times and I appreciate it so much.

  3. You inspire me, Anna. I'm so blessed to know you!