It’s not the first time that I have written about my concerns about my weight. In fact, I revisited that post before writing this one, in order to remember what I had told myself back then and to see whether this post would be any different from that one.
It made me sad to realize that I ended that post with “No more hatin’. End of story” and that, so far, the story hasn’t ended. Part of it has to do with the fact that ever since I wrote that post I gained even more weight. I didn’t expect that. I also got a full-time job (yay!) but I spent most of my time sitting at my desk (boo on behalf of my waistline). I could have worked out after I got home from work, but guess what? I was too exhausted to even do that. Mornings? If I had to choose between writing in the early morning and working out in the early morning, I will choose writing every. single. time.
Yes, you read that right: I will choose writing over working out.
Some may say that’s exactly the problem with why I haven’t lost weight. But here’s the thing: Writing makes me feel good. Writing feels necessary to me. When I write, I feel like I’m doing something. When I click “Publish” on my posts, I get a thrill. It’s just a blog, sure, but blogging has allowed me to do something I’ve always wanted to do: write for an audience. Even the tough posts or the really personal posts, when I post them I get jittery. Yes, I enjoy writing even when I have writers’ block. I’ll get frustrated that I haven’t written, but I also know I have to write in order to push through that block. And I’ll sit down and do it, even if it’s tough. I get personal fulfillment out of writing.
As I typed the above, I realized that what I just said about my connection to writing could be applied to anything; many feel that same jolt and joy when they exercise. I don’t feel it though. Exercise to me feels like punishment; while writing this post it dawned on me, that feeling may be because it is what I’ve always done when I don’t feel good about how I look or when I notice my pants fit me a little too tight–or a lot tight. I understand that’s probably why I don’t exercise more often, and I know regular exercise is good for you, but this is what happened. I have never worked out because I liked it. I worked out because I needed to fit back into something.
Losing weight has never been easy for me.
I joined Weight Watchers a couple of months ago when I hit 201 pounds. That may sound like nothing, really. Plenty of people are bigger than me, right? Ok, point taken. But I’m certain that those who have seen me in person before probably think, wait, what? She can’t be that big. (And I know how problematic the term “big” can be; I heard all throughout my adolescence how I was “big-boned,” which I am not.) But yes, I got there. It’s a far cry from the 165 that I weighed when I got pregnant and the 180 I weighed when I wrote that blog post. Heck, I still weighed 180 last November. But over seven months I have gained 20 pounds. And that weight gain has been hounding me.
Those 20 pounds creeped in slowly. One day a pair of pants felt a little tighter. One day I noticed my face was a little rounder. One day a bra I loved didn’t stretch all the way. I would weigh myself but I always thought, eh, that’s just because ____ (fill in the blank with random explanation as to why I gained another two pounds) and I’d go to work, vowing to eat less or fit in a walk. That day when I weighed myself and saw I was back at 200–I’d only been over 200 once, and that was when I was pregnant–I cried. I’ll admit this to you, cyberpsace. I cried.
So I got back on Weight Watchers, vowing to lose weight because “this can’t be good. this can’t be healthy” I told myself. That was late April. Ever since, I have lost probably about 5 pounds, while I
- left my job
- drove halfway across the country down to Texas
- moved into a new apartment
- tried to break into a new job market (which, again, requires a lot of time sitting at my computer).
Meanwhile, 5 pounds.
I decided this past weekend that this obsession with weight was bullshit. When I wrote that last post, I proclaimed it “bullshit” because I was raising a daughter and I knew I had to love my body in order to teach her how to love hers. Today I proclaim it bullshit because I’m trying to figure out where I can begin to love my body, and something tells me I gotta start by making those numbers that shame me go away. The only way I know how to make them go away is by ignoring them.
I read recently a great post on Everyday Feminism titled “Exercise Your Right to Bare Arms” about how we often hide our bodies because they don’t look a certain way. After I read it, I felt good and thought, you know, I shouldn’t hide my arms and suffer in the Houston heat. Yes, one post does not a revolution make. But I want to try not to care.
I am giving up on losing weight. I am working on eating healthy, and will try not to guilt myself about frozen yogurt or a slice of banana nut bread. In the meantime, no pants, just the flowy dresses that make me feel good about myself, and plenty of time in the pool at our apartment. I love feeling weightless.
I want to thank my tweeps who chimed in last Friday on Twitter when I was feeling a little down and out, and sent me messages cheering me: @Jovanevery, @rgfeal @triciamatthew, @megfab, @emilleryozell, @nmhouston @reneemc @eetempleton @deborahbrian. Also, my husband, who reminded me he loves me how I am.