I ruined my metabolism and made it difficult to keep my body young, healthy and awesome when I was in my thirties.
After my car accident, I went from an extremely active runner's lifestyle, to someone immobile on the couch in a deep depression. In a week. My bottle blonde hair immediately replaced by my normal dark auburn. Suddenly wearing glasses. Instead of backless halters and denim minis, I was in old stained sweatshirts and my grannypannies. One week. Battered, broken, in an extremely uncomfortable living situation in my parents' home (because I'd moved out 4 years earlier and was estranged from my parents by decree of my then religion) and my fiance didnt even recognise me. Obviously not just because of my bruised up face and the bloody patch above my left eye where the windshield had scalped me, including somehow razing off my eyelashes without taking my eye, and leaving chunks of glass embedded in my eyelid, brownbone and one tiny piece in my forehead.
Not just because my hip was torn out of socket and my sciatic tendon was twisted and smashed. Not just because of my ankle, which I'd broken when I somehow subconsciously tried to slam my foot through the floorboards trying to brake, even though I was a passenger and dont remember doing that. Not just because an 18wheeler and my parent's conditions had completely changed my appearance.
It was because all the light had gone out of me. I was sad that I hadn't died. I found myself sobbing every night, wishing we'd hit a couple feet to the left and it would have been painlessly quickly over. I didnt remember the impact at all, so I convinced myself it would have been quick. Cause the accident had been so quick. To this day I dont remember the impact. I dont remember them cutting me out of the car. I remember a brief moment in the ambulance, waking up and seeing the paramedics over me, asking me my address. I couldnt remember it and freaked the hell out and then black again. Til I woke up in the hospital crying hysterically.
So close. After my entire world had fallen apart, and I only knew one person on the entire planet Earth and things could never get any worse- Id been homeless, I'd been rich, I'd traveled back and forth roadtripping across America. Id lived in Jackson and Phoenix and so many beautiful amazing places. I was a brat fighting a righteous war, who found herself in exile with nothing to be proud of except that once upon a time, she'd stood up for something. I took a stand, and lost everything, but I still held my head high, though there was nothing else that good about me, because it was the only way I knew how to survive.
But it was so hard. And so lonely- to be in the world with the rest of humanity, for the first time, at age 20. And only know one person. Who barely recognizes you anymore. And not be able to move. No running. No driving. Just pain, and a dark gloomy livingroom. I wished I'd died.
All of that happened to me, but this is what I DID to my body. Because I was so used to living an active lifestyle and was now beyond sedentary, my apetite just left. My daily diet pretty much consisted of a pack of Ramen noodles and a 50cent bag of cheetohs and a Dr Pepper. That's it. For the whole day. Maybe spaghetti on Fridays.
Flash forward 6 months. Im working the night shift at a hotel, because I can sit the whole time and Im still in physical therapy for my hip. My fiance and I are living together in a tiny apartment in my home town in Louisiana. No more adventures. Im 200 pounds at this point. My eating habits havent changed. Im not burning any calories anyway. I buy frozen vegetables on occasion. Maybe a dozen eggs and tortillas and cheddar cheese. Maaaaaaaaaaaybe a chicken breast or two once or twice a month. Rice-a-roni. Between my diet and my night shift job, Im tired all the time. No more laughing girl in the club. Dull eyed and tired and going through the motions of life. Get up, go to work, come home, eat, bathe, sleep. Fiance and I are no longer even dating. We're roommates. Separate bedrooms.
Fast forward a year. 22 years old. Diet still hasnt changed. Im now about 260 pounds. I look 40. I guess my body held on to every calorie I gave it cause I gave it so little, and what I gave it- was empty.
Fast forward 10 years. That would put us at March 6, 2012. Next week- now/ whatever. After waking up one day while out on a sailboat by crazy happenchance- I'd turned my life around and decided that since no one on Earth knew me, I could truly embrace the idea of creating yourself. Whoever I most wanted to be, I could now be. No one would know the old brat with all her sins and selfishness and stubbornness, or the reason she became that way- public speaking since the age of nine, the ministerial prodigy of the JW dream team duo. Too smart for her own good. Too well known to ever have privacy... or get away with anything. Too recognizeable, too memorable, blah blah not me. Not who I wanted to be. Id almost died. I wasnt even supposed to be here. I felt like patient X. No one to give witness to my life prior to the start of the new milennium. I embraced it and decided to become myself.
My experiences left me hypersensitive, closed off, isolated, scared of the big bad world Id been warned of... and every day I worked hard to removes those dark edges of my personality. I wanted my light back. And I wanted my adventures back. And I wanted my young body back. Id looked down at my 260 pound self and said no more. I was able to not gain weight for about 4 years. Which made me happy as I was dealing with integrating myself into regular life out here. I had a new fiance. I had met Jen, who is now the oldest reference of my existence on Earth. And why I consider her to be my family.
After learning to maintain my weight by, gasp eating more, and going for walks at night... I wasnt getting better- I just wasant getting worse. That wasn't enough. I went out and bought Rael Pilates System 7 and got to work. I felt taller and I felt stronger and I lost 20 pounds.
Walking got to be easier and I started walking more and more and more, mostly because I was never planning on driving again until it was mostly because I wanted to lose weight. I dropped another 20. I broke into a jog one morning on St Mary street in Lafayette La and I cried the whole time. I made it from one light post to the next.
Eventually I got up to a mile of jogging and walking in the mornings. I bought myself an iPod. I started cooking more. It was a struggle to get myself to eat 700 calories a day.
Then I went to England. At 198 pounds. With all my light back.
Then I moved to NYC and went through hell and its stepsisters and gained 20 back until I caught myself and shut the hell up and joined spark people.
March 2, 2012.
Struggling with losing weight the right and proper way now for 20 months, not being able to lose anymore weight. Making sure I do my best to eat 1500 calories a day. Succeeding 4/7 days. Hitting 1000-1200 a day on the others. Working out 5-6 days a week. Walking upwards of 20 miles a week when im NOT exercising. Banging my head against the wall trying to get what I want and knowing why I cant have it.
My metabolism. Because in those dark days after the wreck, I screwed my metabolism. It slowed down to keep me healthy enough to survive. I taught it how to survive, not how to thrive. I forgive myself because I know why I did it.
But now it seems as though, because I know my body, the only way I can lose weight is when I have the weeks where I eat the way I want to. Because NOW, NOW I eat amazingly healthy. I have even consistent servings each week of fish, nuts, grains, 6-8 servings of FRESH freggies a day- sometimes more, organic meat and eggs, cheese from farmers markets. Even eating out in Brooklyn is so simple to stay healthy. In louisiana, fast food was burger king or taco bell. Here its halal lamb over jasmine rice with lettuce and tomatoes - or at Original Pizza- its the caesar salad slice- a whole meal all its own and full of good stuff, or vegetable soup dumplings and steamed veggies. I eat really beautifully.
The way I want to eat, what works for me to lose weight- is something people usually freak the heck out about.
The way I want to eat- is to eat beautifully as I do, 5.5 days a week. And not eat on the other day and a half. A beautiful healthy breakfast with all the stuff you are supposed to eat- and then don't eat until day after tomorrow. I drink green tea, I drink coffee with milk, I drink tons and tons of water.
But I dont do it cause everyone says that fasting is terribble for you blac\h blah blah- but lately Ive been thinking. Instead of forcing myself to eat every day all day when Im not hungry and dont want to but need to get a certain number of calories, why dont I pay attention to my own metabolism and what my body is always telling me. Im not hungry and although most people's metabolisms require it of them, I have to remember that I severely damaged mine. So if my body tells me, look- Im still working on the stuff from yesterday, how about you rinse me out and drink water all day and eat a cucumber cause I dont move as fast as you want me to... Maybe I should start listening.
Its a better alternative to forcefeeding myself everyday so that I resort to junk food on weekends just to get my count up. It would be easier for me to make my calories on the other days if I allow myself to fast when I want to, without guilt. I mean, I eat so good the rest of the time...
Everytime it seems my body wants this and I give it to her, it has positive happy clean healthy results. Everytime I deny this request because of what the internet and everyone tells me, it has fudge rounds.
But I run half marathons, now and go off on 8 mile runs for the pure enjoyment of it. I kick butt in the weight room and on the floor. I go on the bouldering walls, I can box and rollerblade and ski and swim and play and hike and....
So because I didn't listen to my body when I was 21 and I destroyed her, I have to listen better now.
And I do forgive myself for it, of course, I just hope there are no 21 year olds out there living on 400 calories a day. because if you are, Im scared it will be harder for you to figure out how to have and keep the body you want when you are 32 and you still have great tits.