NO ONE WILL BELIEVE ME
"DON'T TRY TO LOSE WEIGHT."
I must have looked confused, like he was speaking a language I don't know. My first thought was, "What? No way I heard that correctly."
So he, the best endocrinologist in Seattle, said it again.
"I have a number of things I want you to do. I want you to eat when you feed your kids. Eat what they eat, when they eat. Try for healthier foods, but EAT. No more not eating and netting maybe 800 calories most days like you do now. And move your body. Get out with your kids, go to the park, chase them around. Take care of yourself. But with your situation right now it will be basically physically impossible to lose weight. So just focus on taking care of yourself.
Now, tell me where in there I told you to try and lose weight?"
My second thought was, "No one will believe me."
THE HOT MINUTE BACKGROUND
I have had weight struggles my entire life. Apart from birth, maybe, I have never been an average weight. If you want details I have written in different places before, so you can google it, but I'm working real hard here on being more concise.
Words are my gift. Minimizing them? Not so much. But I'm trying! So, I'ma aim for two paragraphs.
Most of my excess weight was put on as a result of years of sexual abuse from multiple men; I wanted to be invisible, and in our society fat makes you less of a person and that seemed safe to me. I have healed a lot and no longer desire to be invisible, so trust me when I tell you that I have killed myself to lose weight. I just can't break that 240 pound / size 18 barrier. Then I have another baby and it all comes back--even when I throw up multiple times a day and don't eat for 9 months--it would be miraculous if it didn't suck so much!--and stays on.
I have an autoimmune thyroid disorder that makes weight loss nearly impossible. It's a real fun cycle--the only way I can lose weight is super low carb. That makes my thyroid freak and dramatically slow my metabolism. Said metabolism already drags lower than it should for my size due to so many weight loss attempts in my 20s when I didn't know what I was doing. Basically, I thought eating disorders and dieting were the same thing. The only way to keep my thyroid happy is at least moderate amounts of carbs, but then I don't lose weight. Exercise doesn't change this. Thus, I cannot seem to escape obesity. But anyone close to me will tell you they have never met anyone who tries harder than me to be healthy and care for myself.
My body simply doesn't reflect it.
WHY AM I TELLING YOU THIS?
This is my first blog post on this new site. I am launching a YouTube channel in September. I have more to say about why and what that will be about in upcoming posts; and yes, I am going to write here in addition to the channel because the truth is, I love writing and know it is a gift and a skill I have honed. I feel it would be foolish to abandon writing, so I simply ain't gonna.
Regarding this whole beauty and lifestyle internet presence I am building, I have felt a nagging in my soul. I feel SO MUCH DAMN PRESSURE to ascribe to a certain brand of beauty. It rhymes with Schmardashian. [Fun side note: I originally had "Shmarsmashian" but my husband thought that wasn't obvious enough! lolololol]
But you know, thin and thick in all the right places and not just extreme amounts of "super glam" makeup--applied by world renowned MUAs most of the time--all day e'rry day. Also, let's just have real talk, none of their faces are their natural faces anymore. You know you have seen the memes! But this type of commercialized beauty is true of a whole lotta Insta and YouTube beauty gurus as well. I can't say that they are wrong because I don't think it's my job to tell people how to live. It's their face and body to alter as they see fit.
This is where I come in, though: I ain't about that life. Half the time I don't even wear makeup! But still, I know some stuff about makeup and skin care and even fitness and health and I am in my mid-thirties, married with three kids. My older two have autism and our baby is too young to tell, but my life is filled with appointments and therapies, plus, you know, life, and I am real proud of myself that I brush my teeth twice daily every day.
I have to be me. And who I am is a woman who has to be real. I can't play games. It just isn't who I am as a person. I am all about being authentic and vulnerable.
Yes. That is me. I am 5'7" tall, weigh 314 pounds and am a size 22, and my body is not stereotypically beautiful. Some people would find me gross enough to wish I would die and disappear, and I am still putting it out there. I took the picture after working out at the gym today. I intentionally took it quickly without tons of primping or posing because I wanted that authenticity I crave--a real woman in a real moment from my real life in my real body.
Okay, and also because elderly ladies were looking at me like, "WTF is wrong with you?"
I struggle with whether this is courageous or not. I mean, it's just a body. It's the body I live in every single day. On the other hand, though I was 60 pounds heavier at the time, I have been openly mocked in the grocery store, sneered at when busting my ass at the gym, and I was even mooed at and called names from dudes--always dudes--driving by in cars when out trying to simply walk down a street.
I don't want you to feel sorry for me! Sincerely. Because what those people can't see is the actual work it has always taken just to live in this body, first to stay alive after years of abuse, and now to keep this body from gaining even more excess weight it so desperately thinks it needs. And I know people 1/3 my size would still NEVER post a full body shot of their body to the internet because we live in a world with impossible beauty standards. So it isn't courageous because I am fat--it's courageous because I'm a human woman.
My next post will dive into the driving philosophy behind all that I do, "Love the body you live in."
But for now, know this: I am mostly taking my doctor's advice.
The one thing I did add is that I am going to the gym for Aqua Zumba [read: Zumba in the pool, which I found is way easier on my angry knees who disagree with my metabolism about the weight I am] twice a week. When my 3 and 5 year old go back to school in the fall I'll add another day or two, but for now I go at dinnertime when my husband can take care of the kids. It's a sacrifice of family time, but I also care about my health and caring for this body that I have the best I can. I firmly believe caring for me also supports my family.
So, as I start this YouTube channel, these initial posts before my September launch will give you a feel for who I am, what I am about, and, basically, if it's worth your time. I obviously hope you find it will be! If you do, awesome! If not, I know you didn't jive with the real me and I can live with that. ;)
Until next time, love the body you live in!