I started writing this on December 20th and had to stop because–there isn’t another word for it–I was triggered. Overwhelmingly, I felt ashamed and embarrassed and stupid, and I felt like I was making a big deal out of nothing. It’s really not nothing, and I feel okay enough right now to try to talk about it. Apologies if this post gets a little convoluted; I’m not sure how much re-reading and editing I’ll be able to do, so bear with me. I guess TW for eating disorders and body issues.
I am a skinny person. I know that, and I’m okay with it. I’m built like my dad: lanky and long. There have never been any weight-related body-image problems with me. I have body dysphoria about certain things because of my gender identity, but that is not weight-related, nor does it cause me to feel shame.
Recently, I’ve become aware of fat accumulation on my tummy and thigh/butt area. This is how it works with me: gradual changes happen over time and I just happen to notice one day, like noticing that I feel like I’m taller and then confirming I’m an inch taller than last I checked. I happened to notice in the mirror on the way into the shower.
It fucked me up.
My depression keeps me from wanting to get up and do things, like exercise. I take an anti-depressant which suppresses my appetite. I take another medication that stimulates my appetite, but it makes me crave carbs. Thus, I’m gaining fat.
The weight my body clings to is 120 lbs. The most I’ve ever weighed was 135, and I was 14 (probably growth-spurt related). During this summer, my depression caused me to lose 10 pounds, at one point. 110 is not a good sign for someone my size and body type. In the last month or so, I’ve seen those numbers go back up, and I am currently sitting at about 119.
I lost muscle weight and gained it back with fat. I’ve been really, really fucked up about it for the last couple weeks. I exercised compulsively for several days after the initial realization. I’m paying way more attention to my general food consumption, making sure to get a sensible amount of calories, but also paying close attention to where those calories come from. As I return to my senses, I’m exercising reasonably and starting to do it for enjoyment, rather than as a compulsion.
Why all this intense response?
I’ve promised myself that I wouldn’t let myself get fat. Nothing against bigger people, it’s just not acceptable for me. My health is too important, my body image is too important. I am not built to be a heavy person. Being big would be very unhealthy for me.
Chris and I have also agreed with each other not to get fat. He isn’t built for it either. It’s probably safe to say that we’re inclined to be more attracted to slender people. I don’t think it’s unfair or abhorrent to ask this of each other, any more than mutually agreeing with your partner that neither of you will pick up smoking. (I’m not equivocating being fat with being a smoker, I’m only talking about the fact that it would be detrimental to my husband’s and my health to be smokers or to be fattier.)
So yes, I was fucked up about it. I still sort of am–but I feel really good today because I’m starting to feel like the last couple weeks of exercising fairly regularly is making a difference. It doesn’t seem like it’s been very long at all (I’m having a lot of difficulty keeping tabs on time, days, etc, it’s going fast for me at the moment), so it seems like a lot of progress in a short amount of time. I feel stronger all the time.
Perhaps this was just one of many kicks-in-the-ass that I need to get my shit together. I should be exercising anyway, I should be monitoring my sugar intake. I do need to be getting our ducks in a row regarding travelling with the Renaissance Festival, who we’re going to work for, what RV we need to buy. I’ve been thinking ahead to after that, trying to figure out where I want to live and work once we settle. It’s really not the time for that and it’s just giving me unnecessary anxiety.
Anyway, I’m doing a lot better. Exercise feels good now that I’m doing it again. I’m getting better at using my evenings productively as well, while still leaving time for games and relaxation. I should be writing more, but I think this post has been the block to my writer for some time.
**Please note that I’m not by any means limiting my food intake. Quite the opposite, I’m trying to make sure I get enough, since I don’t always feel hungry and tend to forget about eating. I don’t think this is a nervosa, just a momentary freak out. I’m paying closer attention, but it doesn’t feel obsessive (any more, it was at first).**
At the end of the day, it’s not about the weight. Yet. I haven’t deviated much from my central, typical weight, but it’s a slippery slope that’s very very hard to climb back up. Hopefully this will enable me to be far more conscientious about my health overall–just in time for the new year.
I’m very, very sorry if I offended anyone with the language in this post. I’m really not sure how to talk about weight without using trigger words for overweight people or those with eating disorders. The whole issue is still very raw for me, and I really apologize if I’ve triggered or upset anyone.