I wrote this a few weeks ago and didn't post it because it seemed like too much personal junk but whatever I've decided to publish it anyway
Or something like that. This is sort of a personal entry where I'm sounding off some feelings about myself so be warned. It'll probably be really long and meandering and not really have a point - I guess I'm just writing my thoughts down for myself. Certainly won't be offended if you pass on by.
So, like, I used to be a really skinny person and then one day my metabolism caught up with me, like it does to all of us. Ever since then I've ranged from the "a little chubby" to the "overweight" territories. I got my weight down in college through a combination of regular exercise and borderline-anorexia (the latter is not recommended), and even after I graduated I stayed relatively healthy by eating well and taking daily walks and such.
But then some stuff happened in my life that really tanked my depression hard (we're talking clinical "I am seeing a therapist and am on medication now" depression), and I completely let myself go. I started eating junk every day and sitting around watching Star Trek DVDs and crying into pints of Ben & Jerry's (it doesn't help that it's on sale every other week at my local grocery). My gut ballooned and I got so out of shape that I found myself getting winded from climbing too many flights of stairs too quickly - not to mention other forms of physical activity.
And it was terrible - I looked gross. I felt gross. No, I felt disgusting
- bloated and sweaty and revolting.
Like I said, I've been overweight or chubby for most of my adult life, but never before had I felt
so gross before. And that's the crux of the issue - I'm categorically against shaming people for their weight, and moreover, I think any body type and size can be absolutely beautiful. What matters is how you feel
in your body...and my problem was, I felt awful in mine.
The real wake-up call came earlier this year when I stepped on a scale and it read 240 pounds
and I just straight-up flipped out. I'd never even weighed anywhere near close to that before and I'm not going to lie, there were some tears. I basically just had all my personal body issues (the weight issue is just dipping the toe in the water, here) crash upon me harder than ever. I usually keep them pretty reined in, but this was like a big ol' gash cut through the retaining wall.
So after sitting on the floor and feeling miserable, I decided, all right, I'm going to do something about this. It's not the first time in my life I've tried to lose weight - let me stress, I hate the feeling of being "overweight" and - but I am determined to follow through all the way - it seems much more important and much more pressing to me than it's ever felt. And it's going to be a huge challenge, make no mistake. My whole family, both nuclear and extended, struggle with obesity...we're definitely one of those "genetically predisposed to retain fat" groups. Which is part of why I get so angry when people who aren't go about talking about how it's "so easy to lose weight." It's great that it was for you, but for some of us it's a serious struggle.
It's made even more difficult by the fact that I can't afford to join a gym or get a personal trainer or anything like that - I really wanted to, but my eyes bugged out of my head when I saw the prices. I can barely make rent! So instead, I'm just trying to make a regimen of basic guidelines, and seeing how effective they are. I'm drawing on my past experience of what helps me to lose weight, which has historically been "regular exercise and better eating." Starving myself has historically helped too, but Jen would have my head if I tried that again (and rightfully so).
So like, for instance, I'm trying to ride my bike every day and have started riding it to work instead of driving. And it's exhausting!! I'm so out of shape, it's ridiculous. I'm also trying to do daily situps and other at-home exercises like that. My parents have a treadmill that I might see about borrowing that. I mean hey, something that let's me watch Star Trek and
walk at the same time? I can dig that.
As for the diet thing, I finally took this as an excuse to do something I've been contemplating for years, which is to go vegetarian - or, rather, "soft vegetarian." I'm no longer cooking meat for myself, but I won't refuse it when someone's cooking for me. I cook 95% of my meals myself though, so there you go. In addition to that I've cut out soda entirely and am doing my best to cut out sweets and white grains. I got a nice new water bottle (my old one is all dented up) and have been drinking 13c a day or so to stay hydrated and such. I've also been cooking with a lot of hot spices again, since that can sometimes give a placebo effect of making you eat less. I'm trying to eat less in general anyway, too. I've also seriously cut down on the amount of alcohol I consume.
I half-considered taking up smoking because apparently I'm still a middle-school girl inside, as it does curb your appetite and fulfill the oral fetish without consumption of food, but honestly I don't even like tobacco, and the cancer/yellow teeth/bad breath/bad smell/etc is not worth it. This is coming from someone who has smoked in the past. Though sometimes I look sideways at those e-cigarettes with the 0 nicotine green tea cartridges. Probably best not to go down that rabbit hole, though. Besides, my SO would probably break up with me and who wants to go through the trouble of finding a new one anyway, I mean seriously. Golly.
Anyway. I've lost about fifteen pounds so far, and I don't even feel I've really kicked into high gear yet, so I'm tentatively encouraged. My goal is to get to "healthy weight" by the autumn and to my ideal weight by the winter. A lofty one, to be sure, but I've gotta believe. I've been wearing a sailor moon wristband as inspiration, as cheesy as that sounds - when I'm feeling discouraged, I look down at my wrist and it reminds me to keep pushing forward. Sounds goofy, right? Ah well.
But it's a lot more than just thinness I'm shooting for here and that's part of why this is so important to me. Having all the body issues crash on me harder than ever made me realize that maybe I ought to do something about them, instead of continuing two decades of festering. I don't have the courage I'd like to have, right now, but I'd like to think perhaps I will someday. Getting in control of this, the weight, is the first step. The second, I can also see. I hope for the courage to continue taking steps further.
I'm meandering, and probably sounding cryptic and obtuse - I did warn you! The overarching point I'm trying make in these reflections, I suppose, is that you have every right to seize and be the person you want to be. Whether you're comfortable thin or thick, blonde or brunette, in skirts or pants, in suits or dresses, prince or princess - you have every right to pursue it. No matter the challenge, no matter what you say to yourself, no matter what others say.
And even if you're in a body that makes your skin crawl, for whatever reason - still love yourself. You don't have to love your body to love yourself. And you need to believe in yourself, to get somewhere.
Does that tie this together enough? I hope so.
Glitter and kisses,
PS: destroy the patriarchy