I recently decided to start working out again with the aid of a relatively addictive app from MyFitnessPal (Damn you Jill! lol) and it’s gotten me thinking about weight and fitness more than I probably ever have. I’ve been overweight pretty much my entire life. Nowadays I’m apparently just over the line of being medically obese, although when I think of the word “obese” I don’t really think of someone my size. Who does, I guess. I’ve been 210 pounds and size 18 since I was about 12 so I’ve definitely grown into my weight over the years.
When I was growing up, I had the Mexican As-Seen-On-TV interpretation of all-American eating habits drilled into me: Bigger is better; if a little fat and grease is tasty, then a lot of fat and grease will be even more delicious!; and if at the end of a meal you can still move without feeling sick, you’re not thoroughly enjoying the meal. Apply these to a barely supervised child who lived with her best friend for an entire summer, and you get a couple of 11-year-olds who can down an entire 2-liter each and a backpack full of candy in a movie theater. We have a very round extended family.
I could never figure out how I couldn’t lose any weight. I mean, the skinny girls in my school were eating candy in class every period and chowing down on fast food lunches, whereas I didn’t eat breakfast or anything at school except the occasional soda or water. I waited until I got home, usually at around 3 or 4 in the afternoon, to even start eating. This was mostly because when people looked at me, they saw a fat kid who obviously couldn’t stop eating. How could I eat in front of them without them immediately judging me? Even though I didn’t eat at school, I still had people asking me if I had candy stashed away that they could have. Seriously, do people walk around with a candy shop in their backpacks? I never had anything but books and notebooks in my bag. So my metabolism suffered for years.
I think the only thing that kept me from ballooning after the initial summer when I had gained a ton of weight was my constant energy. I walked pretty much everywhere until I was about 19 and finally learned to drive. When I started doing an independent study program instead of school (bad idea for me academically), I ended up at the beach every day instead of doing any class work. I definitely tightened up, but I was still stuck at 210 pounds. I still had my rolly tummy and my flabby arms despite daily, extended exercise because my eating habits were still terrible. I was eating to excess and I didn’t even know it!
A few years ago, I started paying attention to serving sizes and calories and, lo and behold, I found my problem: I was eating a ridiculous amount of food. Not even particularly terrible food anymore because, as it turns out, I’m allergic to just about everything processed and preserved, and I get absolutely incapacitating migraines when I eat processed food or when I eat sugar before eating actual meals. I drank nothing but water for at least three years beginning at about 16, and I tried to stick to real food, instead of frozen meals, pre-made sauces, or anything that was likely to trigger a migraine. The problem was that I was eating three or four times as much food as I actually needed. I brought this up to my boyfriend and we started to scale back the portions. After we moved out, we were still eating a lot less and suddenly we were also eating a lot healthier.
Now the problem I have is that I can drive and I work in a relatively sedentary job so I now have to make time to exercise, which I have finally been motivated to do, bringing me back to the beginning of this post. I don’t have too many body issues, as I’ve amply demonstrated on this site, but I’m not delusional. I know I’m overweight and, while I don’t hate myself, I’m not entirely satisfied with my body. So fingers crossed. I’ve broken the 210 pound curse with exercise. The second my tummy is presentable, I will…I don’t know…try not to become too slutty. Wish me luck! (On the weight loss, you pervs.)