My body and I have a pretty tumultuous relationship. I first introduced it in one of my early posts, South Beach, Sugar-Free. 18 months since writing that post, not much has changed. It’s still here and I’m still fat.
Working through this process has meant unpacking layers upon layers of denial, self harm and painful memories and associations with my weight. And since exercise has always been the hardest thing for me to really commit to, because frankly, I’m lazy AF, I decided to tackle it first in this 1,000th attempt at getting my life back.
So, for the past two weeks I have been working out, again. 6 days a week with one rest day in between. This new regimen actually couldn’t have come at a better time. Between my own personal struggles, including a new development in my mental healthy journey and stretching those empath muscles of mine for a friend in need, my anxiety has been high. Working out has been my reprieve. My time to recharge my batteries. For ~30 minutes a day I put in my headphones, blast my favourite music, and get those endorphins going that my mind so badly needs.
Day 1 was pretty standard for a new exercise regimen. I was pumped. Apple watch, check. Air Pods, check. Running Shoes, check. It was hard but also empowering. I motherf*cking got this, I thought to myself. Day 2 was a little different. What in the actual f*ck have I done to my body. Working out with one hundred extra pounds of weight is like trying to push a boulder uphill in a blizzard. Everything hurt. On day 3, I had chest pains. This is it, I’m going to die. I exercised for 3 f*cking days and I’m going to have a heart attack.
It wasn’t a heart attack. It wasn’t related to working out at all. I was having a panic attack. My dear friend anxiety was like “NOPE, you’re not doing this!” and fiercely began trying to talk me out of it.Over and over again these words of self doubt have ruminated. Sure, they are thoughts many people have when doing something that scares them. But for someone with anxiety and depression they can be pretty debilitating. They can stop you in your tracks and pretty much derail every ounce of motivation you have. The mind is such a powerful barrier in accomplishing the things we so badly want and need to do.
But I pushed through. Day 10 in particular felt amazing. I worked out for longer, I pushed myself harder. It’s crazy how quickly my body has come to crave the workouts. Day 11 and 12 were more ticking them off the list of things I had to do but I know I can’t expect to have that Day 10 feeling all the time. This is a marathon after all, not a sprint. I’m fairly certain if I had to sprint anywhere I would die.
I told my therapist this week that I’ve been really struggling to identify with any kind of body positivity. That my weight and my skin are basically the foundation of my depression. And while I totally respect everyone’s choice to love and live in the body they have and admire and love women of all sizes, I just can’t get there. She told me I need to be kind to myself and find a balance of both. And I guess I get what’s she’s saying. This body has done some remarkable things for me, in particular, it carried my two boys. But I just don’t accept it. I don’t feel positive about it. I do not find it beautiful. I do not think it’s good enough for me. It’s not because I’m overweight or because I have any beauty standards whatsoever of what I should look like. For me, it’s how this body functions in it’s current state. It’s how it makes me feel. It’s how I wake up every morning disappointed that I’m still trapped inside of it. Desperate to get out.
These extra pounds are suffocating me. They are restricting me from living my quote on quote best life. Marie Kondo, how do I neatly fold up all this baggage I am carrying around and stuff it vertically in a drawer?
I really want to talk about the f word I dropped earlier, for a minute. No not the f bomb, which I also I drop on occasion (okay, a lot). Let’s talk about the word fat. I hate that word. Frankly, I’ve always been the token fat friend. I’m not looking for pity or false reassurances, some things are just factual, even if they are unjust and cruel. I imagine I’ve filled a quota for people throughout my life, the person that makes you feel better about your own body because, hey, it could be worse, you could look like <insert name here.> If you don’t agree with this to an extent or deny ever having felt this way, you’re likely lying. Or you’re a saint and in which case, you’re a better human than I. Even at my heaviest weight, I am guilty of doing this. The “it could be worse” frame of mind is what got me into this mess. I’m 175 pounds, it could be worse. I’m 200 pounds, it could be worse. I’m 250 pounds, it could be worse. I’m close to 300 pounds, well f*ck.
I do forget sometimes, that I’m “fat,” if only for a fleeting moment. I’m often the largest among my friends. But I forget that it’s evident. That they can see it. That it even matters. If it matters. And every now and again, I endure the pain of someone making a fat joke. It’s never towards me. Luckily I don’t generally befriend a**holes. But I can’t help but wonder if I’ve ever been the subject of their punch line. If I’m the person that makes them feel better about themselves. I’m sure I’ve been judged for it before and I’m not innocent when it comes to judgement by any means. But I do long for the day where it’s not such an integral part of who I am. Where it isn’t the first thing people see about me.
Tomorrow is day 13. That’s 13 days more than 0, so I’ll take it. The changes have been minimal and I continue to remind myself that this needs to be slow and steady. Every pound lost is one pound closer to who I’m truly meant to be.
If I could tell my body in it’s current state how I feel, I would tell it that I am a visitor here, that I am not permanent. This body is just taking up too much space, mentally and physically, and its eviction notice is long overdue.
Title Song – “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight” by The Postal Service