It’s not a shocker that I, a woman, who was once a preteen girl and even younger, have body issues.
Last year, I went on the biggest weight loss kick of my life. I lost over forty pounds, though that still kept me in the overweight range according to the BMI chart (let’s be completely honest: that thing is horribly inaccurate and many doctors are refusing to use it any longer). Every time I weighed myself every Saturday morning, I’d either lose a pound or two, stay at the same frustrating numbers, or worse, gain another pound or two despite my critical calorie counting and workout routine.
Regular soda, diet soda, anything that wasn’t water or tea was completely off the menu. I still drank my morning coffee but measured my creamer with a teaspoon so I could still enjoy a little sweetness. Plus, it was the first thing in the morning so I figured whatever I had then would work itself off over the day.
Bread was a no-no. So was any refined sugar. Honey I allowed in my teas, and I still believe the body can break it down easier than processed sugar, so I still don’t refrain from adding it to my nightly sleepytime tea.
My most used app was a calorie counter that measured my calories, protein, and carb intake. I used it several times and deliberated what I could eat based on how many calories I had already consumed.
I did this every damn day for months, walking in between gym days and measuring how many steps I did each day. John and I would dispute when I needed a few hundred more steps but it was too dark outside for his liking (I totally understand his point and can’t wait until the summer time when a few more hours of daylight are available).
I critiqued myself in the mirror, but this was nothing new. I’ve done so since I was a kid, when I realized my knees were a little plumper than the other girls’ in my class. Up from my knee, my thighs curved out further than theirs did, which were slender and straight. I wasn’t blind to the magazines with actresses and models whose legs were perfectly slender and trim. Mine just didn’t even compare, as if my body was in a separate category of bodies despite being dubbed part of the human race at birth. My stomach always had a flab, and I could see where my pants pinched below it in a permanent mark. I always wore large, very unflattering shirts to hang on me to hide this flab.
My arms were always okay, but like my legs, they widened and grew round the further they went up. Today, I’m exasperated with the “wing flab” that refuses to slim.
As a ten-year-old, I wondered about diet pills, but I hated taking any pill that wasn’t a chewable vitamin, and when I did discover a bottle of them, the size of the discolored tablets made me rethink it immediately. I thought about not eating, but everyone who knows me understands that I am a hangry person. I get undeniably irritable when my stomach feels hollowed out, the hunger pangs too noticeable to ignore. Drinking water to help only makes me have to pee every five minutes, so in some way, I’m more than aware of not eating. I still don’t know how some people who are able to go without eating can do it, not to say it’s a beneficial talent. I cannot fathom it at all.
Throwing up after eating…ick. I hate vomiting.
It seems I have a block to every possible disorder, but though that’s good, it means I have to stick to the same routines until I mentally run face-first into the wall of dissatisfaction.
And last year was no exception. By Halloween, I was definitely lighter but ready to throw my phone into the mirror if I had to open the calorie app one more time. I was sick of measuring my food and fighting back hunger pangs for when I ate my limited portions.
So I quit.
And then over the past year, I gained it all back.
So now I’m back on a gym routine. I am still cutting out sodas both regular and diet and drinking more water. I’m using weights and still keep count of my steps because it’s a regulation I don’t mind doing.
But I look in the mirror and want to cry because when will this end? When I’m dead?
I always remind myself that no one who I’ve ever known who has died was spoken of at their funeral: Oh, yes, they weighed a perfect 120 all of their life. We should all aspire to that!
Many times, when given the choice of dessert, I take it. Why? Because if the world ends tomorrow, I don’t want my last thought to be “well, heck, why did I not eat the cake?”
I want to live life but then I cringe when I get ready for a shower in the bathroom. A lot of friends of mine will post about how they’re proud of their bodies because every bulge or cellulite wrinkle is proof they’ve been pregnant and brought new life into the world. All my body shows is that I, apparently, enjoy a sweet treat and bread perhaps more than I should. But you can’t really compare the two.
I’ve been told of body dysmorphia, but in all definitions, it is a fixation on something not real or a huge problem. Mine seems to be definitely real and a problem to some in my life, those who overly encouraged me to go to the gym, ask if I really should be eating all of that, and when I say “mm, I really shouldn’t,” answer in a non-jokingly “well then don’t.”
So for now, I’m doing the gym. I take my frustration out on the punching bag, even if I only last ten minutes before sucking air and arms trembling. I walk on my off days and try to enjoy the nature of the woods rather than the burn of my glutes. I eat fruit more for snacks and try to cook healthier or carb-free options. I drink tea when stressed and water in the morning and before bed. It’s all I can do for now.
I only worry: what will happen with this mindset when I do get pregnant? As we plan to do this next year?
I worry about these things a lot, and unfortunately, I have no way to settle the ending of this post. I’m trying to find my way through the thick of it and tell myself to keep going.