I have always been jealous of people who don’t battle their weight. Whether they eat lightly because they just don’t care about food, or whether they can eat what they want without gaining an ounce, I’ve been jealous.  But I’m starting to feel different at about it.

A lot of it is ageing.  It seems that when you hit 40 you can’t hide from your bad habits anymore. Everybody looks pretty good when they’re 20 right?  For some people they hit mid-age and start to gain weight for the first time in their life and have no idea what to do about it.  For me?  I’ve never not had to be conscious of my weight.

Having been at it this long I have a pretty good sense of what works and what doesn’t for me.  I would hate to have to start that long learning curve at this stage of my life.

Here’s what Haruki Murakami says in his running book.

….having the kind of body that easily puts on weight was perhaps a blessing in disguise. In other words if I don’t want to gain weight I have to work out hard every day, watch what I eat and cut down on indulgences. Life can be tough, but as long as you don’t stint on the effort, your metabolism will greatly improve with these habits, and you’ll end up much healthier, not to mention stronger.

I was talking to a woman the other day who was interested in doing yoga. She’s a naturally thin person. And she said, ” you know just because I’m thin doesn’t mean I feel good”.

And I get that now when I never used to.  If I had never struggled with my weight I might never know that working out and doing yoga makes you feel really good.  I might never have been motivated to do it long enough to find that out.

Also, because I’ve detoxed – motivated to drop a few pounds – I never would have discovered that bread gives me brain fog.  The first time I detoxed I looked around on day 2  and went, wow is this what life really looks like?  The fog was gone for the first time in my life and I wouldn’t have experienced it if I wasn’t trying to lose five pounds.

If I’d never messed around with my diet I wouldn’t know which foods make me feel energized and alive and which foods make me feel heavy and sleepy.  I would have just been stuck in a rut of the food routines I’ve had since I was a kid.

And a funny thing has happened.  On both the food and exercise front, my motivation was originally to lose weight and it’s not any more.  My motivation now is to feel good.  Don’t get me wrong, the weight maintenance is a nice benefit. Fitting into my clothes feels good too.

But feeling energized and strong and sharp and healthy are the reasons I do my best to exercise and eat well for my body.  And I’ve found that now I feel even more motivated to avoid the foods that my body doesn’t do well with, even more than i used to.  There are more days now when feeling good feels better than hitting the bread basket or the cookie bin. It feels crazy to say, but I’m grateful that I’ve had to manage my weight.