200lbs and healthy
200lbs. Many people would say 200 is unhealthy, or disgustingly obese, even. I have tried the fad diets, the detoxes, and the exercise regimens. It took my body literally shutting down for me to come to terms with my weight.
In mid 2018, I proudly hit 30 pounds of weight loss. And I had never been hungrier in my life. I was hungry all day, every day. My mind was in a constant state of starvation. After three months of this, I decided I had lost enough weight. I leveled out my calories and started lifting every day. Arms and core one day, legs and core the next. That’s when the exhaustion started. I couldn’t get out of bed. I started falling asleep at my desk….and eventually at stop lights. I began forgetting what I had eaten the day before and losing belongings which were important to me. I was irritable and hated myself for being so “dumb.” I got my blood tested, no surprises and everything was in normal ranges. Now, over a month later, the exhaustion is starting to dissipate. I do not eat crazy amounts of calories or sweets, but I also do not obsessively count them. I can do daily yoga, but only for around 30 minutes without being dead the next day. And what did I learn? Well, let’s start at the beginning.
I was not a fat baby. I rather average sized, with a cone head. I remember the first time I started feeling fat was when I was 10. I started doing my mother’s “Walk Away the Pounds” videos, and was over the moon when my church tights fit looser…..at 10 years old. The group of girls I grew up with had tall, gangly genes, which they mocked me for lacking. There was one time I suggested an activity to the group, only to be told I was “too fat” to do the activity. At that time, I was 130 at most and very physically fit. But I believed them. And being around them was a daily journey in shame. I also had people tell me I needed to lose weight solely based on what the scale said. I was scolded for my “lack of control.” I was called a glutton, baselessly. All these events led to me seeing myself as a disgusting piece of human garbage. Then, to make matters soooooo much better, I got married. I thought he loved me, I thoroughly loved him, and I spent the next 10 months doing everything in my power to make him happy. Then he left me. The only man I gave my whole self to….left me. I spent the next year struggling with the trauma and self-hatred that resulted. I lost 30 pounds, I started working out daily, all while still never seeing myself as beautiful or worthy of physical love or adoration. I was hungry all day, every day. Then my body gave out.
These last two months have been very hard. Unable to exercise, I’ve been somewhat “trapped” in my body. Forced to sit with the very thing I hated most about myself. I came to realize that over the years, I had been taught by my experiences that my body was wrong, as in, morally reprehensible. How did my body go from being a tent for my soul to an actual walking sin? Well, most people in America look at weight as an indicator of self-control, intelligence, and overall maturity. Now there is a place and time for these things. If we don’t care for our bodies and expect no consequences, we are being immature. What I am talking about is assuming certain negative things about a person based solely on their jean size. That is not okay. And for such a long time I have been beautiful and at a healthy weight, and yet thought I was repulsive and horribly ugly. I also let it affect my view of my morality because obviously, I couldn’t even keep it together weight-wise!
Now, I am still struggling to overcome the exhaustion. There are several possible medical explanations, but the basis of all of them is my body needs a break. I am eating normal food in normal quantities, and I have definitely gained some weight back. Apparently my Scots-Irish body, with heavy bones and large muscle mass, sits best at 200 right now. And I’m finally okay with that. I can move my body through space, I am almost all the way to the splits in yoga, and I try to eat clean and organic. I am healthy. I am beautiful. And I am 200 pounds.