I have let myself go

It’s not that I didn’t already know this, but I’ve never really said those exact words to myself before.

I made this realization as I was standing in the dressing room of my local The Walmarts last week (and that sad fact right there should be proof enough) when I sort of caught a glimpse of myself and thought “Wow, I have really let myself go.”

It wasn’t a sad thought or a Mean Girl thought – it was just the realization of a fact. I have indeed let myself go.

When I was little, I remember looking at photographs of older family members and seeing how thin they were when they were young women and then seeing more photos of when they were older and plumper.I thought it was sad that they had once been so beautiful and young and then later they just “let themselves go”.  I vowed to myself that I would never let that happen to me because when I was a kid, fat was not something you wanted to grow up to be.

I am the perfect example of fear manifesting itself into reality.

I can laugh at this now because it’s sort of the same thing as having a friend with no kids trying to tell you how to raise yours. If I could go back to my younger self I’d laugh and say “Oh just you wait, kiddo. You have no idea. You have no idea how often you will eat your feelings or how you’ll be too exhausted from chasing toddlers to work out or how later perimenopause will screw with your metabolism. You have no idea how fast those pounds will pack on once you get a boring desk job and how lunch and snack time will be the highlight of your day for those 8 hours. And to soothe yourself after a long frustrating day at work, you’ll partake in a 1,000+ calorie binge and still eat dinner an hour and a half later. You just really have no idea.”

I let myself go. But honestly, it’s not something I could have stopped even if I wanted to (but I really, really wanted to – hello, 20 years of dieting) because I just didn’t know what I didn’t know: that an hour of talking on the phone with my best friend is way more satisfying than eating a dozen cookies; that taking a walk after work is more fulfilling than a binge; that letting my husband and kids help out does lower my stress level because ultimately it’s not “just easier to do it myself”.

Little by little, day by day, I’m learning more and reclaiming what I lost. I’m learning to love vegetables, I’m learning to cook, I’m learning to love exercise more for what it can do for my brain than my body. I’m learning that taking time for myself yields some serious dividends and that once in a while you really do just need to Treat Yo’Self.

So yeah, I let myself go, but I’m getting myself back.

15 thoughts on “I have let myself go

  1. It happens, but it can be reversed…you’re on the right track now. I had to laugh at the judging that we all do “before” (kids, life, aging, etc)…ahhh, it’s harder than it looks, isn’t it?

    P.S. Your ad’s volume startled both me and Paco when I clicked on your blog…this is new, right? I don’t remember them in the past. 😦

    1. Um…I don’t know?! Sometimes when I switch my blog layout, some are set up for ads and others aren’t…I think maybe my last one wasn’t set up for ads. I’ve been thinking of opting out of ads because I don’t make very much off of them anyway. Sorry it scared you!!! 😦

  2. Okay, off topic–I don’t see or hear any ads 🙂

    And I thought about this for a day, and I love what you wrote–so well said. I love everything except the title. Because I think what you describe is what Maya Angelou said, something like “you did the best you knew how to, and when you knew better, you did better.”

    I always wonder why older people don’t tell us about the intricacies of growing older and all that goes with it. Maybe because we don’t want to hear. Or maybe because they know that if they did, the world would be shortly unpopulated 🙂

    1. Haha!! I think for me, I honestly thought “well that’ll never happen to me”. I just couldn’t imagine myself as older and overweight, but lo and behold, here I am! 🙂

  3. And just for the record, I was in The Walmarts dressing room because I was replenishing my stock of camis and plain tshirts. Just needed to check the size was right. I like their $2 camis okay??????

        1. Faded Glory brand fits my very hard to fit youngest daughter. So I am buying a lot of her clothes there these days.

          White Stag, many many years ago, was my grandma’s favorite brand. I think of her every time I am there.

          And Carters has been a GO TO brand for many years. I have not been able to determine if the Walmart version is the same (or lesser) quality. It looks okay.

  4. Been there. I never thought I would let myself go, but it happened. But I am turning things around. I have lost some of the weight & kept it off. It just seems to take a heck of a lot more effort as I age.

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