Fangirls, I’ve struggled with my weight for years. I’ve had body confidence issues since late elementary school; I remember having a girl in my class tell me that I was a fat, four-eyed freak in fourth grade. I was less chubby in middle school, because I got into field hockey, and was busy often. In high school, I put some weight back on again, but my heaviest wasn’t until this past December.
I went in for my OBGYN annual check up, and stepping on the scale I saw the 205.4 proudly displayed; it made me feel so cruddy. There is this incredibly powerful stigma that says girls can’t be over 200lbs. That’s the gross point. Where you won’t be wanted, no one will find you attractive, you can’t wear certain clothes. It’s all bunk, of course, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t make me feel like garbage.
The next day I started doing crunches. I wanted to feel less terrible about myself. Every two weeks I would either add another exercise, or increase the number of repetitions I did. But I wasn’t getting anywhere. In March, my mother (on her birthday, no less) bought me a FitBit flex. I was excited to push myself to reach my step goal daily; maybe that would change my weight?
Nope. My body is used to walking a lot. I don’t drive due to anxiety and the size of my area (and also money), so I walk everywhere. Working full-time means that I have to get myself to and from my place of employment (which is almost exactly 2 miles from my house). That 4 miles almost every day totally gets me to my 10,000 steps every day. But Couch to 5K has a weightless option, where you set a weight goal, and a date to lose it by, and it adjusts your available calories accordingly. It had been a long time since I had paid attention to what I was putting into my body. But I started, and lost about 13lbs in the first month.
Then, my friend Ashley told me about Couch to 5K, an app that trains you to run a 5K (a race thats 3.3 miles long). I’ve hated running my whole life; my boobs are big so it’s difficult to find a good sports bra, I don’t like the way it feels when my tummy jiggles as I run, and I usually can’t breathe well when I’m doing anything more than a stroll. But after losing 15lbs, I decided it was time to start running. It would help me feel better about myself, and be healthier, plus they say that running is a lifetime sport.
Now, I’m 22lbs down, with 18 more to go, and I will be at my goal weight. I’m still watching my caloric intake (I try to eat fewer than the recommended amount, so I’m sure to lose the weight I am so frustrated with), exercising in the mornings, and running every other day. It’s hard, paying attention to everything, and it’s harder when things that feel like they should be victories, aren’t.
The other day I decided that the best thing to wear for my friends’ wedding was a handmade dress. I grabbed a pattern that I had previously bought, and started to do the measurements. When I finished, I found that I was going to be wearing a size up from the dresses I have made before. But how? I nearly cried, I was so frustrated. I thought I was doing so well, but this pattern was saying that I was getting bigger, something that simply didn’t make sense; I’m down 2 pants sizes and a shirt size. How come I’m up a dress size? And then my mum pointed out that there’s a possibility that it’s a different designer than the other dresses I’ve made. Just like with store bought clothing, hand made pieces are different sizes for different brands; women’s shopping is difficult and confusing, and sometimes brands make you feel like garbage for your size.
There are struggles. I’m trying to keep my head up and work hard, but the weight isn’t falling off like it was before. I get constipated, which makes losing weight difficult, and I have depression, which can make it feel impossible to not eat garbage constantly. But I’m working on it. I made an instagram to push myself to keep up (@fitnessforfangirls), and you’re welcome to follow and talk to me about your journey there.
I don’t think that weight is a valid way to judge a person’s worth. I know that it is a number on a scale, and is nowhere near the most important thing about me, but often it is difficult to get past that stigma. I’m still overweight, but I’m no longer close to obese with my measurements. I make sure I eat enough, and I still get sweets (I started today with a smoothie that had some chocolate syrup in it, but just half of a serving). It’s tough to limit intake, I think its even tougher than getting my butt up at 3:45 to exercise before my shower, but I do it. If my account says I’m in the red for having eaten too much, I go for a walk until I bring it back down. It’s all about being conscious.
I hope you Fangirls are having a wonderful end of your week, and enjoy the weekend! Keep doing what you’re doing; you’re each amazing in your own way.
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