I came to the realization a few weeks ago as I was walking down the hall at work. My gait was off – I don’t usually walk like this. I didn’t have a sore ankle or anything, and I hadn’t been on my feet all day. Yet I was walking as if my bottom half wanted to push forward before my torso. Wait…am I. WALKING. IN. SHIFTS???
Daily physical activity has been oddly uncomfortable lately. Breathing is weird. I mean, I can breathe, but should I be wheezing after walking up the garage ramp at work? Why are my calves always burning? I tried to tie the lace on my wedges yesterday and I had to kick my leg up TWICE, just to get my foot in my hand – it was a legit struggle. And for some reason, I can no longer suck in my stomach successfully. Seriously, when I try, it hurts. Oh shit, I’m fat for real, for real!
Initially, I thought I was just super bloated, but no one is bloated for six months, unless you’re about to give birth in three. Drinking peppermint tea was not going to fix it this time – I was going to have to stop eating my feelings. And thinking that a quarter-mile walk to Publix was legit exercise for the day, even if I did sweat profusely. I’ve shared my struggles with diet and fitness before, so this isn’t a new hot mess that I’ve gotten myself into. But now I’m bigger than when I thought I had gotten way too big, and I’ve spun out of control. Except I can’t really spin, because it hurts too much.
Without going into specific numbers, I’ve probably gained over 50 pounds since graduating from college. So forget trying to get back to my high school body – I’m just trying to get back to when packing on the Freshman 15 was a problem. And man, has the denial been strong inside me (that’s probably where the bloating comes from). I’m at the point where I’m ready to disown any friend who tries to take a picture of me and dare share it with the world. We all know that cliché saying “the camera adds 10 pounds”, but no, I DID THAT. I’m the one who likes mayonnaise too much. I also decided awhile ago that I would no longer buy any bigger clothes, because this will force me to get it together and do what I need to do to get back into my skinny jeans. I even was so bold as to throw out my $15 “Betta Butt” fat jeans that I got at TJMaxx, because I would no longer need them. Needless to say, I would give anything to have those Fashion Nova knockoffs right now, because I can no longer inhale or exhale when I wear pants.
The “fat” topic is one of those on the Mount Rushmore of polarizing subjects, along with politics, gun rights, and whether or not Grey’s Anatomy has been on the air too long. Who’s fat? What’s considered fat? Is fat a bad “f” word? History in Western civilization has certainly shown that society frowns upon the overweight, but so does your doctor. Excess pounds traditionally bring about significant issues, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and joint pain. And while there are a plethora of unicorn people on the heavier side with no physical health problems whatsoever, most people can’t pack on the pounds without consequences.
And that’s what I thought I could do. Continue to see the numbers on the scale creep up and think I could still live my sedentary gangster lifestyle. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, IT IS harder to lose weight as you get older. Especially if your exercise output decreases and you continue to eat after midnight like a Gremlin. To add insult to injury, I have known about my own serious health issues due to my weight gain for years, yet I continued to not care and kept eating the cookies (another blog for another day). What did I think was going to happen?
By the grace of God and semi-acceptable health coverage, I’ve been blessed to get a handle on my health issues, despite being at the heaviest weight I’ve been in my entire life. So where does that leave me now? Additional weight loss would definitely make me healthier, but could I okay being this way? A friend recently said to me, “you know, it’s okay for you not to be skinny.” It’s a thought that has not left my mind since she uttered the words about month ago. While I’ve finally accepted that I am overweight, could I actually accept myself at this over weight? At this very moment, it’s a thick HELL NO.
It’s extremely difficult for me to avoid word vomit and not talk about being fat all the time. It’s how I identify – I have to let people know upfront that “Yeah, I’m fat, but you have to know that I’m still ok. I’m a good person.I’m hilarious. Please still love me. Please swipe right.” It will be a long road to acceptance, even as I continue to work on shedding some pounds. Will it be easy? NO. Will I fall in love with my body overnight? NO. Will I somehow accept this larger me, gain genuine confidence, and finally go on a date before 2018 is over? Also NO. Baby steps girl, baby steps. Just make sure you make it 10,000 baby steps, because you owe it to that Fitbit.
-KEEP IT A HOT MESS