This is a topic that I have been trying to stay away from since day one of starting my blog, but as I have thought about it more and have accepted my body for what it is, I decided to finally write regarding this topic.
I guess you could say I may have had a “warped” sense of body expectations from the time I was fourteen years old (just entering high school). I remember my poor mother trying to genteelly tell me over the summer that I should maybe start “watching it” so I wouldn’t gain more weight and of course I took it harshly and dramatically (sorry mom, you were right!)…but I did listen. I started the art of “counting calories” and would do sit ups all the time. I even rode my bike to my baby sitting job around the corner (s/o to Chloe). This is also a time when I had to take my mandatory gym course for one year during my freshman year of high school. I got into lifting weights, running “the mile” and swimming. Obviously, I didn’t like it but it had to be done! A friend of mine told me that she also liked to run on the treadmill at home to keep in shape…well I knew we had one at home so I begged my dad to fix it up for me so I could use it. Every day, I would not eat breakfast (was not hungry in the morning), have a bag of chips and a pop for lunch, work out in gym class, come home and eat a nice home cooked dinner, and then walk on the treadmill and listen to my Aerosmith “Big Ones” CD on my Walkman. Of course I was skinny-but definitely not tiny, the smallest I remember being is a size 3-5.
Body image and weight has been a struggle for me from the time I turned eighteen-yes, I am guilty for not taking care of myself at that time, I worked at a Tim Horton’s, what can I say? I never thought as a 113 pound girl that anything I ate would catch up to me! Also, at this point I had a boyfriend for the first time and more friends who would constantly go out to eat, as well as my first car, so therefore I didn’t need to walk anywhere anymore!
A funny story to add to this mix of both growing up and metabolism slowing down is that my friend (s/o to Laida) and I came from strict households and we would go out to eat together, then have to come home at dinner time and have dinner with our families after pretty much JUST eating!!! Oh to be young again!!!
Soon, I seen a change in my body-as one would with reckless eating habits…my stomach, breasts, thighs and booty-which were thick to begin with, began to grew even bigger to the point that I needed new clothes. Rapidly, I climbed from a size three to a size seven, to a nine, to an 11 then to a size 32 in GUESS Jeans!!!
In high school it was always awkward when I would be the only one eating a yogurt, some veggies and a Diet Coke for lunch when everyone else was eating chips and candy from the vending machines. The weight would come off a tad but then I would be right back to where I was at not too much long after…
Granted, I wish what I thought “fat” was back then was actually what I looked like now! I struggled so much with my weight that I even went to diet pills, fad diets and “cleanses” to lose weight, for obvious reasons, nothing helped.
I would’t hit my first huge weight loss until I was 21 years old. I was going through some shit, cutting people out of my life, getting more serious about school, meeting my boyfriend (who loved me just the way I was), and going through some type depressive state. I started seeing a therapist who put me on an antidepressant which actually aided in me losing the extra pounds. However, my mind wasn’t in the right place-I would obsessively think about things…I was anxious, I was always nervous…it was draining! At this point I also got obsessed with going to the gym, which was a great thing! I would go 1-2 times a day and some times work out 2-3 hours!!! I was seeing a difference in my body and even was able to buy smaller clothes this time!!!
Of course I gained some weight back here and there after I stopped working a retail job which had me running around a large store all day. My job at the time was at an elementary school, which obviously, was let out for summer mid June-September, and I started working out and walking again. This was the summer of 2012, the best summer I had in my life. I was going to summer courses, getting all A’s and making the “President’s List.” I got to go on the road with my boyfriend, plan a trip to Myrtle Beach, and spent so much time with my brother, Jacob-this was the last summer he would be alive…
I got in great shape and looked so good on the beach! I was proud of myself and felt so much confidence! I’ll prove it to ya!
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina August 2012
Then, unfortunately, things got shakey again, quickly. I went back to my job in the elementary school in September of that year but was reconnected with my friend (s/o Laida) who got me an office job in the medical field which was my field of study. Soon, after getting a desk job, sitting on my ass, working late nights, and eating junk caught up to me again. This time more slowly, but still was creeping up, none the less.
In March of 2013 my Papa passed away from complications of a heart procedure as well as his numerous ailments that plagued his life. It wasn’t a shock but we definitely were not prepared to witness his death. The decision had to be made to “pull the” proverbial “plug” and my entire immediate family watched the whole thing. Its definitely a moment in my life that I wished I hadn’t had to see and will never be erased from my memory, as long as I live. His death made me feel lost. I felt like, in a way, I had no one to impress-my Papa’s opinion always mattered to me-he would always be the first to tell me “hey, you’re porkin’ out sis” in his slang and would be the first to tell me when I was “lookin’ skinnier.” I remember from the day he died I started to just indulge in the cakes and pizza and food that was brought to the funeral home and I guess I just never stopped…I went from 145 pounds to 159 quickly and it only went down hill from there.
Soon, spring hit and I was starting to buy newer bigger clothes again. I started to feel my self confidence going back down, but I still felt as though I looked good in my pretty floral dresses and my obnoxious rose gold, big faced, Michael Kor’s watch.
Little did I know more shit would soon hit the fan.
On March 9, 2013 we lost my Papa’ on June 8, 2013 we lost my brother, Jacob. I do not even want to go further into that horrible story, but you can imagine the stress it caused on me, my parents, my family, the home I lived in…things just spiraled out of control with my body. I started breaking out into hives all over my body less than a week after he was buried, I started to uncontrollably swell up and get physical symptoms of the stress I was under. I was depressed, lost, and in total shock. I just didn’t know how to live my life on from that point. Of course I started to eat with no justification or consequence again. I would slam a whole bag of Doritos in one sitting almost every Sunday afternoon while I watched “Celebrity Ghost Stories…” It was awful!!!
Honestly, my body has not bounced back or recovered from the damage I have done to it. I must say, my health is generally good though. I have had some issues but thank God they aren’t too serious in nature. I go though my “depressive” episodes where I just can’t even entertain the idea of doing anything other than staying in my bed, or I am in a mania, working out eating right, doing all the right stuff, but then falling right back into old habits again. This is also where I feel like a failure. Adipex doesn’t even help me! Recently, I spoke to my doctor explaining my weight struggles and inquiring with him regarding my medications and if any of them are counter-actin each other. We have come up with a treatment plan that I have just started today, so hopefully my mind and body can cooperate and we can find some relief from this weight issue.
In the meantime, I am focusing on getting my mind and gathering my thoughts and organizing the chaos I create. One of these focuses is on embracing my body that I have and not feeling so down and miserable about it. Do not get me wrong, I have my days, but I am far from a shitty eater. Going out to dinner consists of Panera Bread half a soup and sandwich deal-I try to eat things that are not greasy and fattening. Embracing my body does not mean that I am going to slam 30 sliders from White Castle and justify it that way…no. I am just trying to be the most healthiest me inside and out and I have to embrace what I have now or I wont ever be “Okay.”
Someone I admire for body positivity is Trisha Paytas…
Say what you want about her, but Trisha is so confident in the way she looks, which is beautiful by the way, and embraces that she is not the “normal” body type that we are trashed with every single time we turn on the TV. Its kind of a mind fuck because we want to be like the celebrities with the trainer, and the nutritionist and the private chef but we can’t be-and if I could I definitely would be that person, but we all aren’t lucky like that. What I learned from Trisha is that you can still be sexy with some extra junk in your trunk and feel confident.
Recently, I decided instead of buying things that I know will be unflattering and make me uncomfortable while wearing them, that I would dress my body as it is NOW and not how I HOPE it will be “when I lose some weight.” I feel like that is the number one key for my way of thinking and not setting unrealistic goals for the future. Its just too bad that a lot of other people do not see women who have curves in this light-but shout out to the ones that do (Sammy).
Lets start embracing a more body positive image regarding women who are curvier and less judgmental as you never know what someone’s body might be going through…stress, genetic predisposition, illness, medication, so on and so forth.
Start encouraging and building people up, not tearing them down…