Happy fat

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My dear friend and college roommate Meredith has a theory. She calls it "happy fat." Happy fat comes when you find yourself in a new relationship. You're happy... blissfully happy! You're eating out more. You're splitting appetizers. You're eating more desserts. You're drinking more wine.  You're happy! You gain some fat. You're happy fat!  

A few years ago, I was wearing a Body Bug for a six month stint. A Body Bug is a little sensor you wear on your arm. It monitors your daily activities -- how many steps you take, your exercise, your calories burned, and even your sleep. It's an awesome tool to see just how much you're burning... and I had definitely been victim to believing that I was burning a bajillion calories a workout and therefore could eat whatever I wanted. (I wasn't burning a bajillion calories. Whoops.) What I did learn, though, is I burn a TON more calories during the school year than the summer. There's something to be said about being on your feet and running around all day chasing down lost copies, more caffeine, or something across the hall in the newspaper office. 

I bring this all up because now that it's summer, and I'm blissfully happy, I'm left with a little more happy fat than I'm comfortable with. My marathon training schedule has calmed down (in that, I don't have one anymore) so while I'm still working out the same number of days each week, the length and intensity have decreased. I'm no longer at school running around like a crazy person, slamming down my lunch at 10:11 a.m. and forgetting that I'm hungry the rest of the day. I'm home. And there's food readily accessible. And I'm sitting more. And I'm happy. 

Silly happy fat. 

Dan and I leave for vacation tomorrow. Four blissful days in Traverse City and Mackinac Island -- two places I haven't been since I was a kid. I'm thrilled to be hitting the road and getting some time away. I'm not so thrilled at the prospect of throwing on a bathing suit. 

I know how to lose weight and tone up the right way. And yet, yesterday, I spent approximately 18 minutes online looking for quick tips to drop a couple of pounds. I'm an aerobics instructor! I know this kind of stuff doesn't work! But I'm also a woman, so curiosity got the best of me. 

As women, there is some unspoken pressure to always want to drop a couple more pounds. It's insane, really, but for me, that desire is always there. Just two pounds or three pounds or ten pounds or whatever the number is in our heads and THEN we'll be happy with our weight, yes? Probably not. 

I've mostly learned to quiet that little voice in my head. I'm healthy and happy, even if there's a little bit of happy fat. I've decided that it's worth having a little happy fat if it means that I get to be this happy. 

And as for the bathing suit? I'm packing two. :) 

1 comment:

  1. Right there with ya! Well, mine might be more "unhappy/stress fat". I guess you're in a better place :) Hopefully, come August, after my procedure & results are back most of the stress can be gone from here. Then I'll have happy fat...lol

    Trust me, you have room to grow. Put your suit on, go to the beach, take a look around & you'll wish you could help some others "loose a few pounds"! You're good, just have a great time and enjoy being happy, life isn't always this good so just soak it up while you have it :)))


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