How My Week of Walking Helped Me Learn to Love Myself Again

I’m going to start in the middle because the ending hasn’t happened yet and beginnings are all the same.

I’m fat.

I’ve gained a significant amount of weight in three years. It makes me feel bad about myself. I’m embarrassed about this because, on an intellectual level, I believe it doesn’t matter what I look like. I’m smart, funny and nice. But inside, I feel I have diminished value because I’ve gained weight. I carry the shame of it like a fist in the pit of my stomach.

I don’t want to feel this way, but I don’t know how to stop.

My boyfriend doesn’t touch me. I’m not just talking about sex. He doesn’t even sit next to me on the couch. Sometimes, he makes remarks about the attractiveness and desirability of other women. He doesn’t do it to hurt me, but it does. He’s a computer programmer, and sometimes, the power of words eludes him. He’s a wonderful person, so I’m trying to work with him on that.More: Sorry, but Body Positivity Isn’t Making Us Fat

I want to change. I want sex and romance. I want to feel better about myself.

This means exercise.

I work from home, sitting in front of my computer all day. Sometimes, I don’t leave the house for weeks at a time. The closest I get to going outside is opening the front door for our weekly grocery delivery.

I know that if I’m going to lose weight, I need to get out of the house and move around. So one day, I decided I’m going to start walking for an hour every day for a week.

A week is very short. But I’m an overthinker. If I commit to anything longer, like a month, I’ll start to worry about the variables. I’ll be plagued by thoughts about what would happen if I got sick or missed a walk because I was under a crunch to meet a deadline.

There’s a good chance I wouldn’t take a single walk if I thought there was a chance I wouldn’t meet my ultimate goal. The fear of failure would immobilize me. I understand this about myself.

This is why I chose a week. A week is manageable. I can commit to a week. And after that week is over, I can commit to another one.