I'm working on this issue. Slowly, but surely...
At one point, in high school, I lost about 20 pounds, and it was indeed 20 pounds that needed to be lost and not found again. I managed to stay slim (think: size 3/4/5) for most of high school and all of college.
In my last semester of college, with the stress of student teaching, I gained about 15 pounds. I was not pleased. At that point, I was concerned about the idea of not being "thin", so I, vainly, lost the weight and was back to my normal self. I didn't really do this through exercise; it was mostly dietary changes.
Once in Alaska, my husband's first deployment (though only 4 months), spiraled me into eating Doritos and cookies every day. Plus, I had made new friends who often socialized through eating out. I ate a lot of french fries that winter...
I gained a few pounds, freaked out, and went on a quest to lose them through exercise. It worked.
The next winter, I was supremely stressed out because I was working, commuting, and moving. I gained those same 5-7 pounds back. I worked feverishly all summer to lose them. Again, it came off.
Then, my husband deployed (yes, again). I knew I had to make a change. I had joined a gym, but I was so busy trying to spend most waking moments with my husband before he left, that I was essentially just making a monthly donation.
January 2012 came and I needed something to occupy my time. I started going to the gym everyday. I've started running, ellipti-cizing (also not a word), spinning, and turbokicking. This, in addition to my usual toning routine, has made for a much happier Kristin.
After 10+ years of struggling with body image, I'm finally starting to get that if I feel good, I have a better image of my body. In order to feel good, I have to work out. There is no way around it. In all my years of playing soccer, there was a reason I felt so good after practice was over. I LOVE sore muscles. I relish them. I want them every morning, because that means I pushed myself the day before.
It means, "No, I don't think I will have that doughnut for breakfast." "Nah, I have food at home, I don't need to stop at McDonald's after work." "You know, I'm going to go to the gym because laying on the couch is just that much more satisfying after I get in a workout."
This does not mean I don't eat junk food. I eat chocolate or ice cream or cookies or somethinglikethat every day. However, I like to think that the fact that I eat healthy food and portions for my actual meals makes up for my 9pm ice cream sundae habit.
My personal #1 secret?? I don't eat fast food. Ever. It's been yearrrrrssss. I never planned it that way; it just happened somewhere in the middle of college and I haven't been to a fast food place since, I think, 2007. The only take-out we ever get is the occasional Papa John's (the last time was Sept. 2011).
Also, for Lent this year, I'm giving up all soda and candy. I've been pretty much off of all soda since the new year began, but you have no idea how quickly I'll annihilate a bag of Sour Patch Kids if given the opportunity...May it be better than last year's Lenten experience.
Oh, and I'm really, REALLY trying this whole No Fat Talk resolution. As in appreciating what your body can do for you, not pouting over what it doesn't look like. For instance, I'm appreciating that my body has not forgotten how to run. It's been a few years (umm..like 7 since I've really run). It's amazing what your muscles don't forget. Join me in appreciating the positive and working on (not berating) the negative??
Do you have body image issues? I would definitely feel supported if I knew I wasn't the only one. People always "appear" to not have this problem. Who knows..maybe I "appear" to not have this problem too.