I actually wrote this post last Thursday. My to post or not to post was all that has kept it at bay. In actuality it was in honor of NEDA week. Even though the week is over, it shouldn’t be forgotten.
Yes, I was MIA yesterday. Instead of typing I was sweating. You see, I woke up with a weird burst of energy (Thanks hormones) thereby declaring it a Gym day. Off I went, were I inclined my treadmill heart out. All to the tune of 50 minutes. Felt amazing. Home I went to have a snack and head to work. Skip to the end of the day, Twinnie comes by. Unannounced. (No, I am not a fan of drop by visits.) She convinces me to have fro yo and hit up the gym (Again for me). 40 minutes of elliptical-ling later, Second workout of the day complete. We head towards the door. While going down the stairs she makes some inane comment, about how her thighs are jiggling. Let me interrupt and say she is 5’5″ and maybe 120 lb. I know we all carry weight differently, but trust me when I say NOTHING on her jiggles. Now, without getting into numbers we all know my weight is not at a place where I am comfortable. She knows this. She was there when I was 88lbs.
Back to the convo. I say you know your thighs aren’t jiggling. As girls do, she continues to “Fat Talk“. I kindly remind her that if she thinks she is “fat” then I am getting a complex standing next to her. Naturally she back tracks and says “Oh but you have more muscle than I do” Open mouth, insert foot. And while you are at it, go ahead and eat it. You could stand the extra calories. It is a good thing my thoughts are not displayed in a bubble over my head….. I digress
I continue on to say “You know that is not true, I gained 30 lbs practically overnight after my body basically ate my muscle when it had nothing else to consume.”
Boom. Conversation’s end.
Fast forward to today. I spent most my day baking, for a friend. After work we head to the gym. Big surprise Miss Thang starts her word vomit . Only this time she is sputtering on and on about how she has lost weight. She just doesn’t know why. She hasn’t been under X number is so long. And of course all she does is eat, eat, eat. ALL DAY LONG. More than even her boyfriend. Once again I am elliptical-ling my heart out but unfortunately not my ass off.
Now, for starters it is possible she eats and is losing weight. I used to eat what I wanted as well. Then I became a genius and screwed up my once fabulous metabolism. However, there are things she says that lead me to believe otherwise. Whether my suspicions are true or not is yet to be determined. Her total lack of control over her topic choice is what really irked me.
I am sorry to “fat talk” in front the very person you watched turn into a skeleton right in front of your very eyes. Who does that? Not only is it harmful to herself, it is downright selfish. Now, I know myself. I would never talk about how “fat” I was in front of someone who is:
A) Bigger than me
B) Trying to lose weight (unsuccessfully for a year now might I add)
C) Who has struggled with food/body image
Doing my best to push all the negative images out of my mind. In the restroom, I happen to run into an old friend. Someone who also saw me when I was rather sickly. She proceeded to spew her last 2 years into 5 minutes. Only to talk about all the weight she has gained. (From 119-140 GASP) Now while talking about her weight gain, she proceeds to tell me “How great you look by the way”. I wasn’t going to throw weight out there. But I am a good 20-40 pounds more than both these girls. Also maybe an inch taller. Now for my build and height, that is about 20 lbs too much. If we are talking about my normal size it is closer to 40 lbs too much. So, all can think the whole time these girls are blabbing is what a cow I must look like in comparison.
Immediately I want to either not eat anything “bad” or workout every single chance I get.
I understand what can compel someone to mindlessly chatter on about their weight. I have done it. Insecurities, Approval Seeking, maybe even the occasional Ego Boost. This is the kind of thing that we as women must stop, what kind of message do we send when not only do we bash each other, we bash ourselves. What about our children? The one thing I never want my little girl to hear is me talk negatively about my body. The home, Our minds paired with the media, that’s where it starts.
Of course we can’t forget Americas obsession with dieting. It is all we do. “Eat this, don’t eat that” Carbs are bad, no they are good. It’s Fat that’s bad. While you are at it, you should only eat green food but it can’t be cooked or it’s bad. Although just as much as the media is right or wrong we still listen. It is my opinion “diets” are why we have a weight problem. Anytime you cut a significant amount of food out, you will lose weight. After awhile your body will rebel. Then it’s back to square one.
Sadly enough, when it comes right down to it to women can be each others worst enemy. Specifically women in the media. The ones who say they are naturally blessed with a perfect body. Those of us who let this affect us, we then become our own worst enemy.
I won’t got into too much more detail of my disordered ways. I will say it started off all in inocennce. I often felt sluggish and bloated. I also ate what I wanted, which included fast food and Frappucinos. Though, I had no real weight to lose. Cutting a few food groups out and paying more attention to what I actually ate, made a few vanity pounds disappear rather quick. At some though, I grew more and more obsessed with what I wouldn’t eat. Meat was out. Dairy was out. Wheat was on its way. All that was left were veggies, fruit and sugar. I had yet to nix sugar. That baffled me, it was only later I realized when you are low on protein your body naturally craves sugar.
A quick 30 lbs and 2 months into my “healthy” eating, the concern grew. The doctor tried to put me on BC to keep my body functioning. However, I wasn’t about to put unnatural hormones in my body. They were on the top of my DO NOT internalize list. Besides I had lost my period months before. Since I was already thin, it was actually the first thing to go.
To spare you the deets, I went to live with my mom. I still refused to eat anything more than veggies. Tofu was the occasional exception. Instead of gaining. I actually lost more weight. Yes, quite the opposite of what should have happened. Thing is you can’t make your 28-year-old daughter eat. I wasn’t an adolescent. I was not your average eating disordered individual. I couldn’t be thrown into a facility against my will. Although in hindsight, for my metabolisms sake (which is now royally screwed) I wish someone would have. Hindsight is always 20/20. Besides I was the “good” daughter, No one saw it coming. Funny thing is, no matter how smart you think you are there is always a point someone can see “beyond”you. It’s the one thing you can’t do for yourself. And if you don’t heed their advice, all you can hope you have the chance to learn.
Or if you are like me, one day you look in the mirror and finally see what everyone else has for so long. You vow to eat, you try your best. You work at it like it’s your J-O-B.
I was never diagnosed anorexic, I didn’t spend my time obsessing over calories, as much as what was “wrong” with food. All the things they do to it, spray it with, pump it full of. More “Orthorexic“. Granted, I am still concerned with what the industry does to our food. I am occasionally a little obsessive. I do my best to select, organically grown, hormone-pesticide free food sources. What I don’t do know is limit my diet. I eat very healthy, perhaps less than I should some-days. But I am working on listening to my body. Mostly I enjoy vegetarian/vegan fare. However if I am craving meat, I eat it. Sometimes I only want carbs, sometimes only frozen yogurt. Still I eat it. Simple as that. Listening to your body will never steer you wrong. If only I had done so long ago. I could have saved myself, family and a few friends a lot of unnecessary grief.
Here I sit snacking on chocolate (something I wouldn’t have done 3 years ago), trying not to worry about the calories, the time it is or what I have burned today. It’s a long road. I am not fully the same me I once remember. I have to remind myself I can’t be a carbon copy of who I one was. My body seems to agree. It won’t let go of any weight. I don’t suppose I blame it. Beyond vanity, my body kept me alive. Through all those nights, I couldn’t sleep because my bones actually hurt when I lay down. My legs held me up when they could have failed. My heart kept beating, when it probably should have stopped. All the days, I fooled myself into thinking I was happy. The disordered thoughts, and feelings I couldn’t get past. Fact of the matter the source of my problem was never food. It was a lot deeper than that. Only a symptom of something so much more. It truly isn’t worth killing your self, your being just be “thin”. I promise you, with thinness doesn’t come happiness.
Eat dessert, eat it first if you wish, it’s not evil. It’s food. Food is fuel. We need it to not only survive but to thrive.
You will be so happy you did.