October 17, 2015

Fat Fat Fat!

I've spent a lot of my life feeling fat. I’ve never been fat. The heaviest I've ever been was in college when I gained 25 pounds bringing my weight to 155, still just within the normal BMI range. I think it was a gradual thing, my obsession with body image and weight. It probably started around junior high and continued on until, well, pretty recently if I’m being honest.

In high school I knew multiple people who were anorexic or bulimic including a close friend, and I'm sure that along with typical magazines and media increased my obsession with how I saw myself-fat. I found a kind of funny but sad journal entry I wrote while on vacation with my family many years ago. Sisters can be brutal. :)

If you can't read it, it says (grammatical errors included because it's comical):

Sometimes I hate Skye so much. She can be such a brat! She and I were kinda fighting and she said something like "Your getting a little big around your waist" It really hurt my feelings cause it's true. So I've decided to go on a diet. Try to eat healthy foods NO CANDY unless its to take out a bad taste (medicine) in my mouth. And not a lot of other foods like snacks. Plus whenever I can I'll go to the YMCA and work out in my room w/ waits and streaching in the basement. If it doesn't work maybe I'll eat diet pills or something.
Anything to show Skye how wrong she is (or will be). 
And I'll stop biting my fingers & stuff and try not to complain at all.  
Maybe I'll even start running w/ Kara if I can work up to it. 

Don't worry Skye, I've never blamed you for my disordered thinking, these were just some of the typical every day thoughts that would constantly go through my head.
I did end up buying diet pills (and really freaked out my mom when she found them) but I didn't use them for more than a week and I never became anorexic or bulimic, however it was obvious I did not have a healthy relationship with food or my body.
I sometimes wonder how my friends put up with my complaining about being fat all the time. Maybe because they felt the same way about themselves.

I first became aware of fitness as a hobby in middle school when my mom started running and my older sister joined cross country. I ran a few times but it was ridiculously hard for me to go just three blocks and it took years for me to actually (sort of) enjoy running. Once, my dad bought my mom a Firm work out VHS which really piqued my interest and I ended up being the one using it the most. I remember asking for sets of weights and more workout videos for birthdays and Christmas's. In high school I joined a woman's gym with some friends and that was when I really started to love working out. Working out for me was a way to feel strong and more confident. I was so used to the shame of being picked last for every sport in grade school that it shocked me when I had enough strength and hand eye coordination to enjoy playing volley ball and tennis in gym class.

When college came around I worked hard to keep the dreaded freshmen fifteen away and succeeded until my sophomore and junior year when I gained 25 pounds. There was stress from classes, friends and relationships and I knew I had been slacking on my workouts and eating too much at the cafeteria. I thought I was hiding my weight gain pretty well with baggy sweaters and sucking in my belly but it was completely noticeable (as told by my grandma a few years later) and I was very unhappy. I think it was a combination of seeing unflattering pictures of myself, having to give more plasma when selling myself at Biolife because I was in the higher weight bracket, and a shitty breakup that sparked a change in me. I started to eat more stir fry and work out on a regular basis documenting each workout on my calendar. I slowly started seeing changes in my body but what really kept me going was the improvement in my IBS that had developed during college. I didn't lose the weight in an obsessive or unhealthy manner, it was a very gradual change. When I graduated college and started my new job I lost even more weight because of the active nature of my job and the second shift work hours. I look back on pictures during that time and I look so thin and young but I still remember not feeling 100% happy with my body. Now it's more than five years later and though I have still been consistently working out I'm older now, I've gotten married and am on the slower paced first shift which has led to some weight gain. It sometimes feels like the heavier I become the less and less in control of my diet and thoughts about food are and the harder I find it to get back on track. This is the main reason I had for starting this blog and while I want this blog as a whole to be a sort of happiness lifestyle blog I also wanted to track my progress on my journey to a healthy body and a healthy state of mind. I stated in a previous post my initial goal is to get back to my "happy weight" but I am also working on being happy as I am and not fixating so much on my physical appearance. Life is so much more than appearance and fitness and health and though these things are important to me I know obsessive thoughts are destructive and take away from all the other amazing things life has to offer. Things I hope to also cover someday in future blog posts. I have a lot of learning and growing to do but I'm excited to share it with you and would love to hear your thoughts and stories and advice along the way.

<3 Always,


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