Maintaining my weight used to be fairly easy. As a daily yoga practitioner and a runner who has been known to run a marathon or two, my fitness has always far surpassed my need to eat well, but it has always seemed to balance out. With very little effort, I was able to maintain a size 4 frame and weigh about 133 pounds.
All that has changed now in my late 30s.
It wasn’t always like that. When I was a teenager, I was a little heavier and fought sliding into eating disorder territory, but once I discovered working out, my body seemed to morph into a natural happy weight that was easy to maintain even after my first pregnancy at 28 and my second at 30.
But my third at 35 threw me for a loop. It took me almost a year to get the baby weight off even though I was running five miles a day and working out like a fiend. Eventually, I got the weight off by following a strict Paleo diet for a couple of months, but I find that now if I go off Paleo even for a week or two, I end up gaining a good five pounds. Every time.
It’s absurd given how much I exercise (about two hours every day). It feels incredibly unfair. But the fact is, I am in my late 30s now and my metabolism has simply thrown in the towel. I can fight it. I can cut out carbs and fast and be careful, but I also can’t stop enjoying life. I love nachos and cake and pancakes and syrup. Obviously I can’t eat those things every day, but to reach my ideal weight, I need to give them up completely.
It simply won’t do.
The other day I was complaining to my closest friend and she gave me the best advice. “You have to decide how much you are going to care now,” she told me. I can’t deny that it pains me to weigh about seven pounds more than my ideal. But I also can’t spend my life eating in the way I’d need to to keep that up. It simply isn’t sustainable and my quality of life would suffer.
So I’ve decided to stop caring so much. I will watch what I eat generally just because it’s good for me, but I will not obsess over every little pound on the scale. I have no intention to “let myself go,” but I am also not interested in fighting the inevitable. I am not 25 anymore. But I still want to enjoy my life.
I am done counting every calorie.