A few years back I hit my rock bottom mentally, physically and emotionally. I was in a very unhealthy relationship. I was around a lot of negative people who seemed to get pleasure from putting others down. I felt trapped in a life that had to look perfect to anyone looking in. My house was always show ready, my truck was clean, and our property was always mowed, weeded and the topic of those who drove by as to “how do they keep there place so perfect?" There was no room for clutter, unorganization or anything but perfection.
Those expectations pertained to me as well. I have heard comments made about how fat someone was and how lazy someone was because there hair was in a ponytail. None of these comments were made directly toward me, but they were made in conversation with me. As I would hear these comments I would begin to compare myself to those being judged. In my mind, I was much larger or not in as good of shape as those being called “fat". So instantly I would feel like I am not good enough, I am not perfect, I need to change.
Someone told me at one point of the number that I should see when I stepped onto the scale. So I had that number in my head, and nothing else. I am a very active person, there isn’t much TV time or just setting idle in the house. I began working out at home 7 days a week. I had started to notice a little difference, but not enough for my liking. I had been watching what I ate, cut almost all sweets out of my diet and was mostly just eating meat and greens. So I began to workout two times a day 7 days a week. Still a little more change but I wasn’t close enough to that number. That’s when things turned bad.
I have never been much for eating breakfast, so nothing to cut out there. I was eating 7 graham cracker animals at 10:00AM with a yogurt, I was not eating lunch and for dinner I was eating an avocado on top of a plate of fresh spinach. I was only drinking coffee and water. Over the course of a month or so I began to think that I was eating to much. I was still not getting to that magic number on the scale. So I began taking drastic measures and whatever I ate I would throw up. I know this isn’t the most glamorous part of the story, but it is indeed a big part of the story. This started in March and I remember going to my dad’s the following Thanksgiving and my step mom was shocked to see me and how much weight that I had lost. People started asking if I was sick, I would answer no, but I knew in my head that I was sick, just not in the ways that others thought.
My head ached from the time that I would get up in the morning till I went to bed at night. I would lie awake at night because I had terrible heartburn. Or if I did fall asleep I would be awaken by the growling of my stomach. I would often just get out of bed and go get on the elliptical to pass time.
I got to that magic number on the scale, but I was miserable, I was like a zombie. My brain wasn’t functioning properly. I didn’t want to go out to dinner with friends because, getting rid of it was going to be tricky to do in public. I couldn’t sleep anymore, and I felt myself slipping away. If anyone has ever watched one of those Lifetime movies where the high school girl has and eating disorder and she is skin and bones, but when she looks in the mirror she feels fat. Well that was me even though I hit that number, I still felt fat.
I consider myself a motivated person, and when I want something I go all in. Usually that is a great thing, except for when you are damaging yourself. So 10 months went by starving myself and I knew that something had to change. I slowly began eating again, this was a slow process, it was really hard to get past the guilt of eating. I kept working out like crazy, but at least I was nourishing my body. My headaches began to get better and I stopped stepping on the scale.
My eating habits weren’t the only thing that changed. The picture perfect marriage was not perfect, nor was it healthy. It was time for me to find myself, become the best version of me that I can, not a version that someone else thought was perfect.
Days turned into weeks, weeks into months and months into years and everyday I become stronger, healthier and happier. I am not a big fan of the scale but I step onto it every now and then just out of curiosity. I won’t lie it causes a little anxiety, but nothing terrible, and a little anxiety in life is good, it lets us know that we are stepping out of our comfort zone.
I have had those guilty pleasures of indulging in the extra piece of cake or the ice cream cone, and I have thought about taking extreme measures on occasion. But I have not acted on those feelings, cause like I said before when I put my mind to something I am all in. There is no backing down from my commitment of not harming myself.
As far as my weight goes. Well that magic number was 125, me at 125 is not pretty or healthy. I am proud to say that I weigh 145 and I am in the best shape of my life. I find it ironic how people judge people on there weight. We come in all different shapes and sizes, so how is it that in order to be the perfect woman you should fit into a size whatever and weight X number of pounds? We are not Barbie dolls that you take out of a mold. We are hard working, mothers, daughters, sisters and wives and God created each of us to be our own person. I am proud of who I have become, I am excited about where I am going and I love myself.
It’s hard to not compare yourself to someone else, but remember they are probably doing the exact same thing. Be proud of you, always stand tall and smile, because someone is looking at you right now wishing that they were just like you. Compliment people, we all like to hear something nice and I think the world needs to be more complementary, instead of so judgemental.
I am not proud of that year that took me to my lows, but I feel like in some ways it was a necessary evil that got me out of hell and onto the path of a happy healthy future. I keep a picture of myself with a cow I harvested that year on my desk as a reminder of how far I have come.