@Linda — yeah, you got it already! do the exercise that seems fun to you. if you feel like running, why not start? do it slowly, like with one of the couch-to-5k programs, which start you out walking with very short intervals of running, and slowly increase those intervals until you can actually run 5km (which seems unimaginable at the start, but the intervals sneak it up on you). and sure, bellydancing, why not? don’t worry about how well you do it, just do it cause it’s fun (and in the privacy of your own home, nobody can judge). i love watching video of people on youtube who have the courage to share acquiring a new skill; that is very instructive as to how long it actually takes to become good at something, and it shows that none of us are ever good at something we’ve just started doing. consistency and practice make you good, and fun so you stick it out through the rough patches.
and primarily: be good to yourself. replace the old scripts that tell you you’re slow and not very good with positive affirmations. that sounds like new-agey baloney at the start, but there is a lot of proven psychology behind treating yourself well, and thinking positively about your own capabilities.
@mmmfood — it sounds like you’ve made a very good first step, which was important at the time. i don’t really agree that matt promotes junk food. what matt does IMO is tell us that restricting foods is detrimental, and eating junk food for a while is meant to get you over the restrictive mindset, and to get your body used to being fed reliably all the time, so it stops feeling starvation is just around the corner. it sounds to me like you did get over that, but that maybe your metabolism needs more help getting into equilibrium — matt’s latest newsletter acknowledged that this might be a multi-year process for some people. i am not really surprised because you were dieting already while you were still a child. but maybe it’s time to change it up a bit — without falling back into the restrictive mindset. so your doctor gave you a diagnosis of “fatty liver disease”, which is associated with metabolic syndrome (and that right there could explain much of your weight gain, whether or not you actually chowed down on way too many calories and moved way too little). there are a lot of risk factors that go into that, and frankly, medicine doesn’t understand it all that well because our metabolism is a very complex system. did your doctor also tell you what they think your treatment should be? it sounds to me like you’re under massive amounts of stress (anxiety, PTSD, now worries about your weight gain). and here comes the really stupid-sounding advice: try and get that stress down. i know, i know. that is so much easier said than done. but i strongly believe that stress is quite possibly the major factor in all sorts of disorders. my own problems have let up considerably since i started managing stress better.
do you have support for what you’re dealing with? are you in treatment for the anxiety and PTSD? is it helping?
don’t let the weight gain get to you too much — you put it on, you can take it off. really. i’ve put nearly that much on and taken it off again. several times, *wry grin*. what i’m saying is that it’s not the end of the world; it’s just a symptom that something is a bit out of whack with you. i’d say continue with what you’ve been doing lately because it’s making you feel better.
incidentally that’s also what’s working for me — no diet, no restrictions, no calorie counting, no obsessing about sugar or fat or salt or gluten or carbs, but more wholesome foods in decent portions, and moving my body more — because my body is kind of amazing and it feels good, not to “work off calories”. if i feel like eating ice cream because i’ve been miserable (i eat for comfort), i eat that ice cream and do NOT rush out to “work it off” right away. but most of the time i eat pretty decent food now, and i walk, and work out with weights (to get stronger). and while weight loss is not a goal anymore (i decided i’d rather be fat and happy than yoyoing and feeling like shit), somewhat ironically i’ve now been very slowly but steadily losing it for ~3 years. maybe look into “intuitive” eating? that got me started on dealing with food in a more sensible way. matt definitely has it right when he encourages us to not obsess about eating and weight.