I have struggled with my weight for a very long time. And, while I know that I am who I am regardless of my weight, I still prefer to be who I am in a thin body with a flat stomach.
I was happy with my body when I was 14-18 years old, and that’s about it.
When I was growing up, I didn’t eat enough and I was very small and short, so I had to sit in a car seat longer than every other kid my age. In middle school, we ate a lot of junk food, and I didn’t realize I was overweight until some girls pointed it out to me at school. I worked really hard to lose the weight, becoming anorexic at times, but I got my ideal body weight through rigorous exercise and extreme dieting, not healthy by habit, but healthy according to my BMI.
Then I became an adult. Adulting is hard. I had 3-4 jobs. I was broke. I didn’t have the money or the time to eat healthy. I certainly didn’t have time to exercise. I was going to school full time, working graveyards and regular shifts, all while dealing with a rocky relationship. Eating became my coping mechanism. My job often had free junk food, and you can’t turn down free when you are broke. So I gained weight, about 25 pounds. Then I dumped the asshole, and life truly began to get better with everything … except my weight.
At my ideal weight, I was 112lbs with a 6-pack (a healthy weight according to BMI). Mind you, it wasn’t the healthiest time in my life. While I look back fondly on my love of salads and ability to do 200 sit-ups every night, there were days when I didn’t eat because I was depressive (see my origin story – post #2). But, my body was pretty healthy overall. The food I did eat was healthy, and I got a lot of exercise between p.e. and my ab-focused routine at home.
When I dumped the asshole ex, and discovered an entire new exciting world of people and new friends, I weighed 135lbs (Overweight, according to BMI). My new group of friends were filled with body-positivity. Fat was not only okay, but it was encouraged by some in the group who actually preferred the aesthetic. So, I began to gain more weight as a part of this group. Occasionally I’d lose confidence and try to diet again, falling back into anorexia. Then I’d get back into body positivity again. I bounced between 140-170lbs (Obese, according to BMI).
Then, I lost my place of living and had to move back in with my parents. I had a long commute and was generally depressive all the time. I didn’t have the money or time to cook healthy food, nor the money to buy healthy meals all the time. I was bouncing between 160-180lbs (Still obese).
Then I finally got a new place, and a girlfriend with whom I ate healthy (she was pescatarian), and exercised frequently – sticker chart and all. I made it all the way down to 130lbs (back to overweight) again. What my asshole ex used to ridicule me for was now the lowest weight I’d been in years.
Shit with the new girlfriend went way sour. The exercise and dieting came to an end as my stress overran my desire to be skinny. Mental illness doesn’t listen to logic as you scream at yourself for eating too much comfort food.
I got a new job as a High School teacher and used the newfound money to pay for liposuction to get rid of the last stubborn bit. Liposuction is essentially surgery, which meant that exercising was difficult. It threw off my groove (insert an old man named “exercise” being thrown out a window). So, I started to gain weight again between a depressive streak over the new ex, drama in the friend group because of it, my 50-60 hour per week high-stress job as a teacher, and overall lack of motivation.
The job was so stressful, even with my new kittens, that I quit after a year. I had a savings built up. One year and seven months later, with no exercise, no dieting, and quite a bit of binge-eating to deal with emotions, I am about 210lbs (every doctor I see feels the need to genuinely remind me politely to try to lose weight for my health – and they are right), with little motivation to step on the scale, working part-time because I haven’t been able to find a full-time job yet (and therefore having no money for healthy food or a gym membership), I hate my weight.
So, here’s my deal. Over the years I have dealt with mainstream body shame. I have seen the extremes of body positivity. I have gone through eating disorders. I have binged and purged. I have binged and binged. But. all along the way, I have never had anyone tell me that IT IS OKAY TO BE UNHAPPY WITH YOUR BODY, with the exception of 1 source:
Hailee Steinfeld’s Most Girls
“You know some days you feel so good in your own skin / But it’s okay if you wanna change the body that you came in / ‘Cause you look greatest when you feel like a damn queen”
The important bit I’m trying to emphasize, is to not go so far into “you should love the skin you’re in” that you criticize someone for wanting to change.
So, here’s where I’m at. I have every intention of getting back into exercise and dieting once I have the money to. I’m going to go out and eat delicious healthy food. I’m going to join a pole dancing class. I’m going to walk in nice neighborhoods. I’m going to buy expensive healthy groceries. I’m gonna lose all of this weight and love my body again.
But, for now, I hate my body. I am not anorexic, luckily, because my crazy pills are keeping my head above water in the depressive department. But, I don’t fit into many of my clothes, and I don’t have the money to buy new ones. The thigh chafing is real. My boobs are obnoxious and need to calm the fuck down (can you say “neck pain”? That’s what I might name my tits.). I have a double chin that a hell of a lot of contouring barely hides. My rolls have rolls. If I bend my head too far forward, my neck fat bunches up and becomes constrained uncomfortably. I cannot fit into anything without a minimum of 1 “x”, sometimes 2 or 3, in front of it. Even some of my shoes fit less comfortably. I hate my body, and that is okay. I know how to fix it.
And, in the meantime, I have my wine and 3 cats to comfort me during my struggle to adult. Did I mention that adulting is hard??
Tweet me @PandoraCray!