If you’ve been following along on my blog or even just read my Instagram posts, you know this love-hate relationship with my body has been more on the hate side lately because of my weight gain. Well, I can honestly say that the scale of the relationship with my body is finally tipping heavily on the love side as I continuously work to love myself and my body at every stage and any size. Recently, as in the last few days, I’ve had somewhat of an epiphany about my relationship with my body.
Go ahead and bookmark this because it’s a long one. Skim through it, or wait til read it later. But I know it’s going to be long.
In My Prime
Just a couple of years back, I was out here all slim, fit, and fine, and I didn’t appreciate it. I actually couldn’t appreciate it because in my mind I was still fat and had this immense pressure (that I placed on myself) to get as small as I could. There were days where I had baby abs and would still pinch the little bit of stomach flab I had and think “ugh, look at this gut.” Anytime I had something “bad” to eat or drink I would feel shame like no other for having the audacity to eat things I knew wouldn’t make the scale decrease. I’d be mentally and physically exhausted and instead of allowing myself the breaks or rest necessary, I’d force myself to get up and get to it.
Don’t get me wrong, there were definitely days where I stared in the mirror admiring my hard work and patted myself on the back for the results I achieved. Flexing my muscles, comparing progress pictures, posting on the gram the most flattering angles possible. I basked in the compliments and congratulatory remarks on achieving such a drastic transformation. But more often than not, I still picked myself apart and was never truly satisfied, even as I continued to drop weight and tone up.
The Weight Gain
Then the weight gain. Depression, stress, over-eating, loneliness, grief, heartbreak. Oh the reasons are endless but it happened. I gained, I lost, I gained some more, lost some more, and then gained and gained and gained with no loss in between. Guilt, shame, and feelings of defeat set in and I actually got to a point where I gave up. The scale hit 195 and I was shook. I haven’t been that big since I first started my weight loss journey at 213 pounds. Was I really five pounds shy of 200 lbs, a weight I said I never wanted to be at or close to again?
If I could just magically go back to being in the 150s, I promise I’d appreciate it again and continue to work hard and eat like I love myself. I need to go back and apologize to myself.
That was a constant thought the more I called myself getting motivated [read: tortured myself] by looking at pictures from when I was 150 lbs and wearing a 4-6 dress. This didn’t inspire me to get back to my routine. No matter how many times I looked at these pictures I just couldn’t get it together to get back to doing what I did to maintain that size.
Maintaining the size 4-6 that I was was HARD. Most days I felt like I was punishing myself and honestly I don’t know if I have it in me to go back to keeping that size up again. I know what to do to get there, I just realized I haven’t done so because I don’t really think I want to. While I was happy and proud to buy clothes that size, I was stressing myself trying to maintain it. It’s bittersweet. On one hand, I look at those pictures and am impressed with how I looked and how motivated I was. But on another hand I remember how stressed out I was keeping the weight off. How many nights I forced myself to the gym at 11:00 pm on a work night and didn’t leave until well after midnight. While I was happy and proud to buy clothes that size, I was stressing myself trying to maintain it.
My weight has become an obsession. An obsession I no longer want to have. Am I happy with the size I currently am? No. But am I going to torture myself to get back down to where I was? Also, no. I want to get to a point where I love how I look and also how I feel, without stressing over what number is on the scale or what size jeans I have to buy. I’m not there yet mentally, but I’m in a better place now about it than I have been in recent months.
I’m currently experiencing so many transitions and shifts in my life right now that the last thing I want to do is put unnecessary pressure and stress on myself and that includes obsessing over losing weight. Yes, I will still work out. Yes, I will still strive to make healthy eating choices. But I won’t do it at such and obsessive level. This won’t happen overnight. I’ll probably still give in to the pressure of weighing myself whenever I see a scale. Or catch myself staring in disgust at my midsection. But I’m committing to working on decreasing the obsession.
Soooo.. What now?
- I’m going to stop calling myself fat.
Whether joking or not. It’s not funny and I know I annoy people when I say it (sorry, yall). It’s also not helping to put myself down like that. Even if I feel fat at the moment, I don’t need to speak it and I surely don’t have to subject those around me to it as well, especially while having a chocolate-frosted donut in hand.
- I’m throwing away my scale.
Typing this actually just made me super anxious. I go through periods where I OBSESS over it. Weighing myself every morning or every week and stressing tf out if the number jumped up. And as much as I call myself “hiding” the scale by putting it in my closet or out of sight, I still find myself bringing it out. So, I’m throwing it away. And I’m not buying another one. If I need to weigh myself for whatever reason, I’ll do it at the gym or doctor’s appointments.
- If I can’t fit it right this moment, it’s going out.
*shutters* I’m a hoarder. Even when I was wearing a 4-6 I still had 10-12s in my closet “just in case the weight came back”. And it took me a while to get rid of them. So now, I’m doing the opposite. I’m not holding on to those small clothes, or “goal clothes”. If I can’t fit it, it doesn’t need to be in my closet. If I get back down to that size it will feel all the better buying new clothes to celebrate. I know I’ll feel much better about my current weight if I’m in clothes that fit comfortably and don’t bypass things I can no longer fit into.
- I took down my “motivation” pictures of when I was smaller.
While it motivated me to lose weight, it simultaneously made me feel guilt and shame for how much bigger I am and is counterproductive to making me feel better. So I took them down and threw them away.
- Continue to workout consistently again.
I’m not at the point where I’ve been in the gym at least 3x a week, consistently. And I’m damn proud of it. Keeping that up. Also, since I came up on a nice salary raise with my new job, I’m reinstating my Classpass membership. I had fun trying out different workouts and classes and not just being confined to a gym.
- Keep a non-restrictive diet.
No, I’m not going to allow myself a Reese’s and ice cream every time I want them but I also won’t NOT have one either. I won’t beat myself up for getting indulging every now and then, but I will be smarter about how often and how much I indulge.
- I will continue to post on my fitness page.
Imposter syndrome set in and because of my weight gain I felt like I had no right to continue to try to motivate others when I couldn’t even get it together myself. I had to remember that one of the main reasons people follow me on that page is because I’ve always told the good with the bad and shared my wins and my losses so why stop now? Even with the weight gain. I know what works, what doesn’t, and this is and will continue to be a life-long journey so I don’t have to stop because of bumps in the road. If anything, it will remind others that they aren’t alone and it’s okay to get up again once you’ve been down and that you don’t have to run away and hide out of shame. Shoutout to Lakeitha for that reminder. Plus, I give a lot of great fitness advice if I do say so myself. Like.. How to actually get started on this journey. Or, How to get a good workout in without a gym. And even, How to get back to it when you’ve lost your motivation.
If there is one consistent lesson I have had to learn and relearn in each season of life, it is that I don’t know all the answers and I never will. It’s okay to get down and get back up, even if it happens 92,834,734 times (yes I did just type random numbers.) Just make sure you take something away with each fall that will aid in you getting back up again. Also, if you ever feel the need to, hold me accountable and remind me of these words.