When I got to Okinawa and we settled in, I could feel how much weight I had really gained. It probably had to do as much with the fact that I was living in the land of the munchkins and am 5'8" and was 188lbs. Every car, chair, stair, parking space, bed, etc felt like it was made for a child. Not to mention I was trying to squeeze into a 14 and probably could have worn as large as an 18 in most things. I didn't fit in my bras or many of my clothes. It wasn't enough to want to make a change; however, I was fortunate that just living in Japan and having less stress, I lost 10 pounds in a few months time.Though I still ate out a ton, I was eating a ton of sushi, fish, and fresh foods and walked almost anywhere because it was easier than driving or getting a cab. Its not that it came off on it's own, it's just that I didn't make an intentional shift in mindset or lifestyle. There at sat at 188 pounds size 14/16 for years. I would ebb and flow with my workouts but I never dieted or even attempted real change. I actually developed my affinity for wine while I was there and had no desire to give it up (truthfully still don't- I practice discipline elsewhere).
Okinawa was such a pivotal time in my life in so many ways. My husband went from tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt to none to saving tens of thousands before we left. We also went from a marriage filled with resentment, anger, and detest to one that is usually saved for newly weds filled with love, acceptance, honesty, and maturity. Okinawa is a place I long for because (aside from just loving the island), it has so much positive significance in my life. Sometimes I just envision the sheer joy I experienced out there.
Even with all of the positive things happening, I remember the negative feelings I had one day getting ready to go out with my husband and our friends. I don't remember where we were going, but it was a special outing, not just a regular weekend. Standing in my bedroom, I remember putting on my white pants and red blouse. As I looked in the mirror at my curvy self I thought, "I know I need to make a change, but I am not ready to commit to taking care of myself; plus I feel comfortable enough in my skin. Why change?" (I'm still not sure what "comfortable enough" means, but that's a whole other blog.) Out the door I went o eat, drink, and be merry. I was so blissfully happy in my life, to be honest, my health didn't matter to me. Looking back it's a scary thought. Knowledge is power, but ignorance is bliss, and in that moment I was blissfully ignorant to the state of my health (notice I didn't say my weight).
Still at 188 pounds, I decided to train for and run my first half marathon in Okinawa on my 30th birthday. Sadly, running all those miles, I lost 0 pounds. Of course I increased my food intake beyond what I actually needed because "I was fueling my body", and I had no desire to stop drinking wine. In fact, I am certain I justified greater wine consumption because I was running so many miles. I'm certain my overall health started improving when I started exercising regularly, but my waistline and my scale didn't budge and I still had a long journey ahead.
Three months after completing my first half marathon, we moved back to our old stomping grounds, San Diego, CA. While we were moving, I was training for my second half marathon in Disneyland, less than 2 months after moving back to the states. And San Diego is where I learned how to be healthy. Come back tomorrow for the last of the trilogy.