Why I Am Petrified of Gaining Weight

~”The smaller Hilda represents so many amazing qualities – authentic, self expressive, loving and much more.”

 

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Me during my preteen years

Growing up, especially during my preteen years, I was the chubby girl.  I was not as active as I should have been during this time and loved (and still love) to eat.  That combination led to my oversized figure until I reached my high school years.  It was during my 10th grade year that I realized the potential of physical activity and its influence on my body.  That year, I joined the volleyball and basketball team.  I began to shrink, by accident.  I stayed this way until my freshman year of college and gained the infamous”freshman 15″.  By my sophomore year, I started exercising regularly and being more conscious about food choices.  I resorted to fad diets (specially the cabbage soup diet) by my third year of school.  I was feeling desperate about having my lean body back that I felt this would be the best way.  Of course, it was not a successful strategy but I felt desperate.  And I now know that fad diets don’t work.

Then by the time I had reached my fourth year of college, I was married and started having babies.  From that point on, my weight steadily climbed.  By the time I had my last child in Spring 2006, I was at my heaviest weight ever.  I had some moments of weight loss success in subsequent years, however, it was short-lived due to my growing responsibilities (wife, motherhood, college, and my career).  As you can imagine, exercise was not a regular part of my lifestyle.  I was a mother of four and starting my career.  At the end of a workday there were so many tasks that needed to be accomplished.  A lifestyle of exercise did not seem to fit.

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Before and after my big shed – still dropped 10 lbs after this pic was taken

In order to overcome this obstacle, I decided to become a certified fitness instructor.  I was tired of having the excuse of not having enough time to exercise or funds for a gym membership.  By 2011, I had accomplished that goal and started working in a gym teaching step aerobics.  I was so happy to be able to help myself and others at the same time.  Then another major life change put a monkey wrench in my plan, the end of my marriage.  It became challenging trying to balance my responsibilities outside of the home with the stress of separation and divorce.  So, I decided to stop teaching classes until my life settled down a bit.

By January 2012, I was officially divorced and at a period in my life where I was focusing on strengthening my mind and body.  I was not working full time at this time, so I decided to get back in the gym as an instructor.  I got a job at LA Fitness and began teaching several classes a week.  The weight was dropping off of me during this time as I was eating super healthy and super active.  Consequently, I was at my lowest weight ever as an adult and feeling amazing!

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Summer 2014

Things changed when I started to work full-time again.  Going back to work was bittersweet though. I was happy to be working again so that my financial situation could improve but I was scared about gaining weight.  I know the reality of how challenging it is to stay active as a working mom. Ten hours of my day are devoted to my job.  After work, I need to prepare dinner and check homework.  Most days, when all of that is done, I am wiped out.  I stopped teaching at the gym when I got my job so that I can get adjusted to things but decided to start back a couple of days a week as my emotional and psychological health was declining since I wasn’t working out like I wanted and needed.  So, a year and a half later, I see the numbers on the scale increasing and it is really making me a little anxious.  I am so petrified of gaining all the weight back that I occasionally have nightmares that I am back to where I was. Yes, nightmares.

So, this past Christmas, I bought a spin bike for the house so I can get in some cardio and overcome the barrier of not having enough time in the day to get to the gym.  I was so hopeful at the beginning of the year that I could start working on gradually losing some of the weight I had picked up over the last year. I was doing great and feeling inspired by the new purchase until I was involved in a car crash that left me with a concussion.  I was told that I cannot workout until I recover.  I can’t even do yoga.  As you might imagine, this news did not sit well with me.  Exercise is the one thing that keeps my mind healthy.  I need it like I need water.

It is very frustrating to be in this position, however, I am grateful that it is temporary and that I will soon be back to my normal self.  In the meantime, I watch my caloric intake, take salads for lunch, cut back on alcoholic beverages, and take low intensity ten minute walks when possible. When I get medical clearance, I will be back on a mission to achieve my desired weight -back in the gym, getting leaner and stronger. Some people wonder why I am making such a big deal about my weight.  To them, I look great.  Well, I do not feel the same way.  And what is interesting is that those that say that I am overreacting about my weight gain desire the same for themselves as well.  I want the best for myself so much that I want to be in peak physical health.

February 2016

So, what is the big deal?  I don’t want to look like the heavier Hilda.  At that weight, I was not at my best.  I don’t ever want to go back to that mental or emotional space again as an adult.  The smaller Hilda represents so many amazing qualities – authentic, self expressive, loving and much more.  No matter what anyone says, I will strive to be the best person I can be.  I do know that I can get back to where I was and that it will happen as it is supposed to happen.  I know that despite my physical size that I can maintain the same qualities that I have gained over the past few years of personal growth.  Ultimately, I accept what is and am looking forward to more growth throughout this process.

~Hilda

Follow me on IG @hildafields

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