It started with a hissy fit. I turned into the chubby girl stressed in the middle of aisle 6 in Whole Foods.
I’m not exactly sure what came over me, but there were tears, items were hastily dashed back onto a shelf, and a scream may have possibly escaped from my mouth. The elderly woman on the opposite side of the aisle peered over to me over the top of her glasses, and I couldn’t even be bothered to regain my composure. I was frustrated, I was stressed, and most importantly, I was fucking hungry. Stopping by the one of four grocery stores near my boot camp gym has quickly become a routine of mine twice a week. And here I was, yet again, reading the nutrition facts on the back of the box. Here I was, in the middle of aisle 6, being reminded that my eating is being restricted. Here I was, in my gym wear adorned with sweat marks, being reminded once again that I am now that three letter word – fat.
Needless to say, I skipped dinner that evening. In fact, I didn’t meal prep either because in order to meal prep, I would’ve had to have not thrown a grown woman tempter tantrum in a highly packed grocery store which would leave me feeling shamed, forcing me to abandon my cart and flee.
That evening I went home. I showered. And then I went to bed. Chubby girl stressed and hungry.
– – – –
The original goal was to lose weight.
Okay, that’s a lie.
The goal was “to get skinny… again.”
In 2012, I lost 30 something pounds, but prior to this weight loss, I had always struggled with my weight. (Read struggled as obsessed.) This could be because I didn’t grow up in a household that promoted healthy eating and an active lifestyle. Or it could be that up until college I was surrounded by very skinny white girls, and I unfortunately had inherited my mother’s large breasts so dressing the way the very skinny white girls had would be impossible. Or it could be that I had been called chubby, fat, or big by close loved ones throughout my childhood. Either way, a weight obsession evolved, and now it’s unveiling itself. In fancy ass grocery stores.
When I first lost the 30 pounds, I thought my obsession with my weight was a done deal. I had finally achieved somewhat of the body I wanted to see in the mirror, and I didn’t need to emotionally prep myself to go shopping. I could wear shorts, two pieces, or choose be naked in the streets of NYC, if my heart desired. But after a brief stint on anxiety medication in 2015, the obsession reappeared, and probably worse than ever. Within a couple of months on medication, I had managed to pile back on all the weight I lost between 2011 to 2012. In fact, I piled on almost twice as much. I used to laugh when older folks would say after 25 your body says “fuck you” to your metabolism, but they really weren’t lying. Last year my metabolism plummeted, and the days of being able to outwork my not so consistent healthy eating had long disappeared. Not only that, there’s this shitty disorder by the name of Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome that makes it incredibly hard for me to drop the fat due to the insulin resistance it creates (it also causes heavy, irregular, painful periods and infertility, but that’s a post for another day.)
So in other words: I’m struggling.
And not just with getting this weight off, but struggling with respecting the woman I see in the mirror. I hate seeing her in her large-sized dresses, and the added roll that has magically appeared on her back, and her incredibly round face. I’m struggling with being kind and compassionate to her as she move towards a healthier lifestyle, desperately trying to meet my expectations. I’m struggling with my choice of words. I can’t seem to shake “fat” from my vocabulary when describing what I see. I’m struggling to get dressed in the morning, and having to bypass the pretty size 6 dresses, for the clothes that are loose-fitting and are in the shades of black, grey or navy blue. I’m struggling to be intimate, because if I can’t appreciate my own body, how could I possibly expect him to. I’m struggling to make appearances, because I fear the “she let herself go” chatter, and I really can’t handle that extra anxiety.
But most of all, I’m struggling to admit that somehow, somewhere, I’ve tied my self-worth and my sense
of “beautiful” to a number that used to appear on my scale.
A number that might not ever be achievable again.
I must admit, I feel an incredibly embarrassed explaining this on this blog, especially with the readers that have been with me since my AndSoSheWrites days. This blog was founded on a weight-loss journey and a journey to figuring out this self-love thing. But here I am seven years later, still battling my obsession with my weight, and clearly have not figured out how to accept my appearance… in various sizes. I guess that’s a testament in itself. The work you put in towards loving yourself unconditionally never ends, even if you do feel like you have met the finish line.
So how does one get back on the horse?
I don’t know. I really don’t. I’ve never really stopped the things I’ve done toward securing my self-love, but I guess my focus on appearance has moved to other deeper issues. So after reflecting on the scene I made in Whole Foods, and of course, sulking over before pictures, I went back to the basics of affirmations and wrote myself a note on a post-it. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t leave the post it up for very long because I didn’t want to have this conversation with my boyfriend or any visitor that may stop by. And yesterday, I beat myself up pretty bad at a restaurant for having way more bread than my macros allow for. But I’ve acknowledged my little issue, and trying to get my act together.
So it may have started with a hissy fit in the middle of aisle 6 in Whole Foods, but I’m ending it with a post-it note. A post-it note that’ll remind me every day that my self-worth is not tied to a number.