I’m 26 years old, and I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been.
I’m not trying to say I’m obese, but I’ve lost the comfort I used to have in my own skin. I never used to think “maybe it’s not the best idea to wear a bikini,” or looked at myself in the mirror and felt disgust. I was never self-conscious about being naked and intimate with men, or eating what I wanted when I wanted. I never cared about the soft layer covering the muscles of my abdomen because it was still easy to feel the solidity underneath…
But then things changed.
It’s like I woke up and was suddenly 30 pounds heavier than I was used to. My breasts, which have always been large and in charge, suddenly popped out of my 36D bras, like they wanted to say hi to the world. I put on my favorite skinny jeans and realized they had become too skinny, giving me the worst case of muffin top, ever. The shirts I used to find flattering now only drew my attention to the rolls of skin and fat on my back, exacerbated by the bras that no longer fit properly.
I guess the weight gain isn’t too surprising considering my switch from working in the retail industry to having a 9-5 desk job. I can’t begin to imagine how many miles I would walk every day putting movies back on the shelves at Family Video, and then being on the sales floor of the Lands’ End shop at the local mall. I was constantly walking, 8 hours a day, for years. Until March of 2015, when I was sick of the hours forced upon me by my line of work, and I started applying for office jobs, knowing the schedule would be more steady and accommodating of my personal life.
In one year, I went from being 130 pounds to 160. Just because I stopped walking as much.
And now, with the extra weight, I’m finding myself obsessing and agonizing over it. I have a boyfriend who loves me, but I often catch myself thinking he can’t possibly love the rolls of my belly that are impossible to hide when I’m seated. I pull my shirt down as far as it can go if I notice my monstrous tits have pulled it up, so that he can’t see the start of what I consider my not-quite-a-baby-but-still-there-bump. I wonder if he will one day tell me “maybe you shouldn’t eat that,” or if I’ll just catch him out of the corner of my eye with a look of revulsion on his face as his fingers dimple in the softness of my flesh.
In my heart of hearts, I know he won’t do any of these things. But I’m doing them to myself, and that’s not any better. If anything, it’s worse.
I don’t want to feel this conflicted about loving myself, I don’t want to worry about how I appear to others. I love who I am inside, and that should precede any type of aesthetic nonsense my brain comes up with, or what others may think about my image.
I’ve tried to discipline myself to exercise regularly. I’ve done quite well on occasion, but then I always fall back into laziness. I have a gym membership to Planet Fitness that I’m not using because my banking information didn’t switch when my card number did, so I owe them over $200 which I will have to budget for before I can go back. I can’t shop for groceries the way I’d like because I’m currently living out of two homes, neither of which is convenient for meal preps for one reason or another; I won’t allow myself to buy a treadmill as I have no where to conveniently put it.
Or maybe I’m just really good at making excuses.
In any case, I want to start living a healthier lifestyle and getting back to the me that I know and love. I want to look and feel balanced, physically and emotionally. I want to be strong, I want to be a woman that makes my man proud when we’re out on the town.
I’ve always found solace in writing out my thoughts, and I’ve strayed from that over the last few years. I’m hoping that if I chronicle my own odyssey to nutritional and physical wellness, that it will help me hold myself accountable as well as encourage me to do better despite my failings.
Until next time.