Today I turn 32. I’m really excited about it. Thus far my 30’s have been way better than my 20’s (and my 20’s were a dream compared to my teens – you couldn’t pay me to do Middle School again). So for my big 3-2 I’m giving myself a gift that nobody else could give me: time.
As of today, I’m putting The Great Fitness Experiment on hiatus.
1. I want to go out on a high note. My subscription list is growing every day, my blog stats have never been better and – best of all – I have the BEST readers/commenters in the blogosphere. I’d hate to see this community dwindle and die a slow death.
2. I need the mental space. Despite having you guys for free therapy – and believe me, you all are quite excellent! – I’m having a tough time lately. I’ve tried to shield you guys from my insanity on here (although I think it’s been creeping through more and more, as of late) but in the end, for my mental health, I need to quit spending so much time focusing on feeding, exercising and – while I’m being completely honest – clothing my body.
I’ve spent a lot of time the last few months deeply deeply hating myself. And all for irrational and unproductive reasons (is hate ever productive?). If I’ve learned one thing from June’s Geneen Roth/Intuitive Eating Experiment it is that I can’t become the loving, kind person that I want to be by hating myself.
Several of you in the past have questioned the wisdom of a girl with a self-professed exercise addiction running a fitness blog. While I didn’t want you to be right, I think that you are. I need to do other things, find new hobbies, read books that have nothing to do with exercise, diet or body image (and I have the list that you all gave me to start from!) and change my focus. I need to go from being “addicted to fixing myself” like one astute Reader put it, to opening myself to all the beautiful opportunities for joy and love and service that I’m missing now because of my narrow focus.
3. I’m right back where I started from. The deciding factor was this moment: A few days ago marked the 3rd anniversary of my first official Great Fitness Experiment (just in my notes, I didn’t start blogging about it for several months so this blog won’t be 3 until September). That day I weighed myself and you know what? I weighed exactly the same as the day I started, to the ounce. Three years of blood, sweat and tears and I am exactly where I started from except hopefully a little bit smarter. Over the past 3 years – not counting my pregnancy – I’ve fluctuated 20 pounds and 14% body fat and yet when all the dust settled, here I am. Still the same. Still me.
Of course I have learned to love exercise for many reasons beyond its weight-loss benefits and the journey has been immensely entertaining, educational and poignant but – and I’m going to invoke Einstein here – the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. The problem isn’t that I haven’t lost the weight I set out to. The problem is that for all my Experimenting, I still hate myself. And that breaks my own heart!
4. I need balance. This is probably the most salient of all my reasons: I don’t have the time to maintain the GFE anymore. Cutting back on posting helped but it made me realize (as so many of you fellow bloggers already know) that actually writing a post is about 25% of the work of blogging. I’d spend an hour a day writing – which I adore and will do regardless of whether I have an audience or not – but then I’d easily spend 3-4 more hours a day researching, answering e-mails, dealing with PR people, managing giveaways, connecting with other fitbloggers, doing guest posts, commenting/reading other sites and so forth. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy it – I have absolutely loved every minute of doing this blog – but it’s turned into a full-time job. One that I don’t get paid for. I am not complaining. Every step of this has been my choice and I have loved it, but my kids are so very young and they need me so very much. It won’t always be this way. And I want to be there for them while they still want me to be. Plus I have a hot husband that I need to spend more time ravaging. That’s hard to do when I don’t go to bed until midnight.
I plan on leaving this blog up but more as a static page for news and updates about my book. Oh yes, there is still a Great Fitness Experiment book. Somewhere. I’ve written it. Clerisy Press bought it. They paid me a lovely advance in full (wheee!) and so I presume they intend to actually commit it to paper at some point. I’ll let you know when I know. (Although now it’s been two years since I’ve done those Experiments and I’m a little worried because there are at least three now totally inappropriate Michael Jackson jokes and at least one nipple-clamp reference that need to be fixed before it gets published lest I look like a totally insensitive fetishist.)
I’ve started work on a second book, this one more of a memoir about my exercise addiction. I’m excited about this because – as you have probably noticed – I’m kind of wordy. I hate being limited by post length (generally 400-800 words, max). So now I can flesh out my crazy in full color. Or at least chronological order. I’m not sure what I will do with it once it is finished. Perhaps I will just post it here and give it away. In the meantime I still have my gigs at the Huffington Post and iVillage although I post there rather infrequently.
I would also like to get more paid work – magazine articles, op-eds, etc. So if you really miss me (and are a publisher or editor), feel free to contact me!
Good Bye and Good Night
Now I’m sitting here bawling. Seriously. When I first started this blog (as an anonymous Goth, no less) I never imagined it would have become the wonderful place that it is. It wasn’t me that made it so great though, it was all of you. Every single one of you who commented, e-mailed or even just read quietly giggling to yourself, all of you who joined in my Experiments, all my Gym Buddies past and present, made this what it was. I love you guys. I am immensely grateful for all of you for sharing your lives with me and letting me be a part of you. Part of me feels like I’m really letting you guys down; it feels like failure. For that I apologize. I’ve made some great friends here and I hope I don’t lose any of you! I’m not going away forever. But when I come back it will be different.
Thank you all for (nearly) three great years!
Love with all my heart,