I used to walk a lot. Certain family members believed, and would have me believe, that I was a lazy girl who needed more exercise. Why would I be pudgy if I wasn't so lazy? Why couldn't I exercise more and be more active? This story of Haley As Lazy Slob was reinforced in school, because I didn't really care for organized sports, I didn't run for fun, and my idea of physical activity had more to do with roaming over hills than it did running laps in the gym. As I got older and continued to gain weight, this story was reinforced again and again, until I was convinced that even the regular walking, the regular exercise, didn't count. When I started my first job at 14 as a dishwasher, the 6-12 hour shifts didn't count. When I walked up and down Main Street, drifting in and out of stores, enjoying the clear mountain air, it didn't count. When I took my dogs out for long walks over the hills and around the ranch and up and down the service road, that didn't count. Once we moved to California, and I didn't have a car, all the walking I did around town, all the walking I did in my Power Walking class, all of it, didn't count. It didn't count because I was fat and lazy--if it wasn't true, why would everybody keep up that narrative for so many years? 

Well, it wasn't true before, but I made it true. Maybe intentionally, mostly unintentionally. I knew better than eating junk like my favorite Doritos and oreos and ice cream. I knew I shouldn't indulge in acres of Mexican food, fast food, and huge plates of rice and pasta. On the other hand, I didn't live off of junk food, and I've been poor enough for the entire length of my life that I know the majority of these pounds came from the effort of staying alive--rice and pasta because that's what we could afford. Because that's what I ate as a child because that's what my parents could afford. Technically, that's all I can afford right now, but how can I sink back into what it was like before? I'd rather live off bacon and eggs for every meal, every day, for the next year than sink back into my old story. 

I walked this morning because it was beautiful outside and I couldn't get my brain working. I did a mile and a half, and the tightness in my legs wasn't too bad. I'm going to Sugarhouse park tomorrow for the longer walk. I worry that there are really only 6 or 7 weeks left before I go to England. Yes, I've made great progress in the past month and I'm proud of that, but I hope it's enough progress. 

Leave a Reply.