Today I found out for my height, my weight by national standard falls under the “Obese” category. I am 5′ 5.5″ and currently 180-183lbs. I never thought I could say that, but I am. I have struggled with my weight since the summer of 2011 when my family began to fall apart and I left for college almost 200miles away from my brother and sisters. My boyfriend at the time was dragging me down. With time, my family got better, I ditched the unhealthy relationship, I am now graduated from college and have a wonderful fiancé…but the weight hasn’t left. Let me just say, I do not suffer from any weight related health issues (nor do I have any health issues). All my blood work and levels come back as normal and I am a fully functioning human being. I do not eat a million calories a day even though I love food and I do actually work out…not as much as I should, but I’m getting better.
I do have curvy women in my family…on both sides. We all have wider hips, thick thighs and are “built for birthing” according to my mother. I know I’m genetically inclined to certain body traits, but supposedly everyone has the potential to be thin and muscly, right? I also would like to say, when I look at myself, I do not think that I am obese. National standards tell me I am at risk, I am fat, I am not just fat…I am OBESE! When I read that, all I could think was…has everyone been lying to me? When I look at myself and think I look pretty sometimes…am I seeing a false version of myself? Am I delusional?!? Do people look at me with disgust when they see me and whisper “she shouldn’t be wearing that” or “poor girl” or “If she’d only workout she could look decent”. This is the impression I have gotten of obesity in our culture. One word and I questioned everything I am as a person.
When I have looked at my weight and cried out in desperation for help before, I turned to the internet for solutions…watching countless weight loss videos and reading endless articles…unfortunately, a lot of the skinny girls I saw told stories of how they have all struggled in various ways with anorexia or bulimia. I used to think, maybe that’s the only way. In high school, I tried to stop eating without success, I even tried making myself vomit once or twice. I felt weak and even more insignificant for not being able to stick with it. Then I realized I was being crazy and that those things are serious mental disorders and no matter how skinny those ladies get their brains will always tell them they are fat until they get help. I also realized I had a problem of my own and I needed help as well.
I love food. I used to use it as a security blanket. Whenever I was stressed or had a hard day, food was always there. When I was growing up, I lived in a poor home where we were lucky to have food on our table…that meant we better make sure we eat EVERYTHING on our plate and be grateful. We also always had a tub of ice cream in the freezer for dessert. I carried those things with me with age and into college.
When I got into a healthier mindset, I downgraded the tubs of ice cream to just a pint in the freezer for occasional bites, I learned new healthy recipes and began to appreciate the art of food and what it can do for your body…also knowing when enough is enough. I stopped using eating food to comfort and began using the art of preparing food and enjoying the process as my stress reliever. As you can tell from other blog posts and my instagram…I still love food and I think food can be beautiful, but I can appreciate it in moderation. So far, I’ve been on a new program for the past week and a half and have been working out every day. I am doing the 21 day fix and am hoping to improve consistency in all areas of my life. I feel good. I feel healthy. I got the news today that I am obese and I can’t help but feel devastated. I have worked really hard to get to this point in my life and I feel like my body is working against me. I feel like my body wants me to fail. I look at the scale and so far haven’t seen much difference in the past 5 years. My weight has fluctuated 10-20lbs every once in a while, but I always find myself in the same spot. I pray this time will be different, but I’m also terrified it won’t be. I have come so far to accept myself and my body and the world is telling me “you’ve failed” I feel like.
Sometimes I try to look up celebrities who I think look curvier than me and I try to find their height and weight to compare. I know I shouldn’t, but if I’m being honest I do. Most of the time I am disappointed of course as I find even some of the most curvy women in Hollywood weigh less than me. I think that my perception must be really twisted. Or is it really?
My fiancé is an avid weightlifter and watches everything he puts in his body with a scientific precision. Every day he tells me that I am beautiful. A lot of days I believe him. Other days I see my stretch marks, look at the scale and wonder how he tolerates me.
Obese to me has been communicated through the media as a failure. A glutton. A burden. At risk. Disgusting. Ugly.
What does that make me? I am a woman who tries her best to work out regularly, I fixed my mentality on food and I don’t overeat, I am completely healthy by medical standards through blood tests and exams…yet I am obese.
I don’t have the answers…I just think this is something that I would like to open up discussion about. I work each day to improve and be a better human being. I am not perfect, but I aim for my best. As I continue my journey I will update, but for now…this is me and all my insecurities and uncertainties.