As cliche as it sounds, to understand where I am, I need to reflect on where I’ve been.
I’ve always been a “heavier” girl. I remember being 8, and already noticing the ease in locating me in a class photo. I matured quicker in facing this difference. Growing up in a small town, there weren’t many girls my size. I couldn’t share clothes with anyone my age. I couldn’t even swap my hightop LA gears, damnit!
I don’t remember eating cake in a hurried euphoria like Augustus Gloop. I just remember always being active, running around with my friends on the playground, albeit, slower.
When I was in sixth grade, I just wanted to be like the other girls at school- writing flirtatious notes, desired by boys, enjoying becoming a lady. Instead, I was nearly five foot five, B cup, and size 10 shoe. I was nothing like the others. I was just one of the guys. I resolved myself to that for several years. My Mom claimed I took her boobs and height since my Dad wasn’t much taller than her. That, I could understand- but, considering most of the family was “thick/athletic” but not fat, where did that come from?
When I was 24, my first serious boyfriend broke my heart by telling me:
I think your lust for life and intellect will really take you places, just like you’ve taken me places. But, I think I’d like to date someone more slender, more petite, whom I now realize… isn’t going to be you.
His next girlfriend, an extremely thin, Russian nurse, with a body as if she just waltzed out of The Nutcracker, became his wife.
After a new beginning in Portland, Oregon, I became infatuated, and beyond-smitten with a Software Architect, whom was previously a model. A lethal combo, with brains and body (with estimated 8% body fat), and a way into my head like no other. Close to zero relationship experience and social skills, he said things verbatim as they formed in his brain, without realizing the impact:
You have such an adorable face, it’s crazy your ass is so big.
Your thighs would look more proportionate if you squatted every day. You’re such a good cook- I don’t get it, do you just eat a lot when I’m not here?
He wasn’t trying to hurt me, he knew I wanted to be thinner. He thought blunt conversations about my weight, just like we spoke of our commute, our beliefs, or anything else, was okay- because I never said it wasn’t. Eventually, I realized how his words impacted me, in such an unhealthy way.
I was eating around 800 calories a day, weeks on end. I taught myself feeling light headed was normal. I declined social activities so I wasn’t tempted by food or alcohol. I worked out twice a day, and weekends were at least 3 hours of gym time. This was 2008, and I was at my thinnest- still at 167 pounds, many jiggly bits. As the pouch/spare tire on my lower stomach shrunk and my thighs jiggled less, the more I thought we’d settle down together. I could tell he had deep adoration for me just as I did him. After breaking up between 6-10 times over the course of 1.5 years of dating, I broke it off for good, and reclaimed my power by eating whatever I wanted.
I’ve struggled with my weight, for nearly twenty five years now. Growing up with food as an indicator of false prosperity (It was a good month for Dad’s job, let’s go to Sizzler for AYCE shrimp!) has given me an unhealthy affection towards food, although I’m not one to constantly snack. But, when I do eat, I really enjoy it.
The week before my 2013 wedding, I weighed in at 174 pounds, but I was super lean and strong- a notable difference from 2008 when I would only run and do stairs for fear of bulking up.
I’ve been told I should accept my body and love it. I do. It’s been with me through thick and thin (rimshot please). I love working out, I enjoy sweating- I just enjoy food more, and that’s what I’m focusing on through my journey in 2017. Re-establishing a healthy relationship with food as fuel instead of comfort. I’m not totally there yet. But I see the light at the end of the tunnel and I have clear motivations. I want to help others in sharing my story. I want to feel comforted in knowing I’ve helped at least one person. I want to know I’m not crazy- I’m not alone in having up days, and down days with my health and what I eat. Some weeks will be great. Some days will be wished away.
I’m an athlete. I lift. I run. I cycle. I compete. I climb… I move.
Healthy does not equal thin. I’m going to repeat that. Healthy. Does. Not. Equal. Thin.
I want to show myself (and the runners reacting to my profuse sweating with encouraging words during my races) that healthy doesn’t translate to a size 2 and 10% body fat. It certainly can. Not for me though, but I can still aspire to be the fittest hipster living in the Midwest there is.
Most of all, I want to start a family very soon- and I want my kids to be active, and just as, if not even more inspiring to me, to keep up with them.
Originally, I’d named this blog 40by30. I was trying to lose 40 pounds by May 30, 2016. Holy shit, 40 pounds sounded like a lot of weight. I just wasn’t ready to really sacrifice my diet in 2016. For a full walk-through of all the diets, fitness tricks, and anything else I thought sounded good, head over to the “Diets and Fads” section.
In 2017 I’ve focused on my health to not just include my scale numbers, but doing more of makes me happy, and stop doing the things that don’t make me happy. Wellness in health is more than losing weight, it’s about correcting yourself from within, to sustain that accomplishment.
What’s “stuck” with you to finally get the change you wanted after several years?