Tuesday, March 20, 2012

the post where i get all serious

I don't remember a time when I wasn't on some sort of a diet. This probably has something to do with the fact that my mother put me on Weight Watchers in sixth grade.  Both of my parents would restrict me from eating or drinking certain things, but seeing my brothers with them would drive me insane. This led me to sneak food into my room, where I'd have late-night binges that would leave me feeling emotionally and physically ill the next day.  This has left me with a skewed relationship with food.  I used to harbor a lot of resentment towards my parents (especially my mother), but now I know that they were just doing what they thought was best. In their minds, if I was thin, the kids at school would stop teasing me mercilessly. They didn't, by the way. After I lost fifteen pounds they stopped teasing me about my body and moved on to other things, like my hair and my clothing. I've let go of a lot of the anger towards my parents, but my relationships with food and my body image are things that I struggle with on a daily basis.

My relationship with food remains.. complicated, to say the least. My weight fluctuatea depending on how diligent I am on my diet, which is usually some version of Weight Watchers. I gained a LOT of weight my first year of college (unless the freshman 17 is now standard). I came home for the summer and legitimately, nothing fit except for stretchy pants. I immediately went back on Weight Watchers because it was the only frame of reference I had for "being healthy". There was no in between for me - I was either eating until I was sick or dieting and cataloging every morsel that went into my mouth.

At my heaviest weight, 171 lbs
I spent most of my college years losing and gaining the same ten pounds. The summer before my senior year was tough - I had ACL reconstructive surgery followed by getting all four wisdom teeth out at the end of August. Oh, and let's not forget the case of mono that I had the March before. I came back for my senior year the thinnest I'd ever been. I looked and felt amazing. After my knee surgery I got thin - partially because of everything I'd been through, add in some physical therapy (three months of it) and a lot of muscle loss.

At my lightest weight, about 138 lbs
I was able to maintain that weight for a couple of years but once I graduated from college, I started to fluctuate again. It's also, coincidentally, when I started running and working out more regularly. I've learned over the years that I build muscle quickly, and it's always most noticeable in my legs (wonderful, right?). It's been six years since I graduated from college (ugh, really?) and I am still struggling to get even close to where I was, weight-wise. Right now I'm about 15 pounds heavier and I wish I could say that it doesn't bother me because I'm a marathoner and I had to deal with another knee surgery and all of that. But honestly? It kills me. I hate that regaining some of that weight back feels like one of my biggest failures. I can't stand that I let it overshadow my athletic accomplishments.

I've gained a lot of perspective regarding food since become more active, especially through running. I've learned that good food will make me feel better, and that eating junk will cause my stomach to revolt during a run. When I'm in a good mindset, food has a purpose. When I'm not, it's something I use to stop me from getting bored, or to comfort me when I'm upset. I am always jealous of people for whom a cookie is just a cookie. I wonder if I'll ever be able to live my life without mentally calculating how many calories I've consumed. And I question whether I can stop sabotaging myself, because working out five or six times a week doesn't matter if I'm constantly eating candy and cookies. I wish I knew how to let food just be food. I wish I could stop hating my body and embrace it because it allows me to run half marathons, and to climb 5.10's at the rock gym. Mostly, I wish I could just feel good enough.

Sorry to get all heavy on you. I'll try to return to my usual sarcasm and humor with the next post!

2 comments:

LAPT said...

That was pretty much my life, if you add in 2 yrs of anorexia and 4 yrs of overexercising + overeating. It's hard to accept having an emotional dependency on food...but after awhile, the acceptance cut down on the self-hatred. How thin you are is less important to how great you are, which is very!

McmillanWhiskey said...

You still looked hot when you where bigger? being thin is like being a millionaire. everone wants it, and sometime we forget how good we got it. girl you got it in curves.