I used to weigh 267 pounds.
Did you get that?
Two hundred pounds is a lot. I weighed that, and I decided to pile sixty-seven more pounds on top of that.
And yet, I didn’t think anything was wrong.
I didn’t see a morbidly obese female in the mirror. That’s the funny thing about being fat - you don’t feel it when it’s all you’ve known.
Looking back now, though, I see how absolutely huge I actually was.
And I see how unhealthy and unhappy I actually was.
It’s tough not being able to go shopping in cute stores. Forever 21 used to be my dream. I would go to the mall with my friends, and while they grabbed hanger after hanger of skinny jeans, sequined tank tops, and elegant-yet-playful sundresses, I stuck to the jewelry section and longed for a body that could even squeeze into a simple cami just so I could walk up to that register, buy something to carry around in a sun-yellow bag, and wear, knowing that I fit into “normal people” clothes.
Honestly, though, when I was carrying around an extra person’s body weight, I thought I was okay.
Well, I mean, I knew I was fat. I tried so many diets (Weight Watchers, Medical Weight Loss Clinic, South Beach, simply “eating healthy”), but I always gave up after a few weeks or days.
I gave up because I was lazy.
Despite people’s snide remarks about my heffalump-ness, I hid behind the excuse that was “big boned.” As I shoveled in a large McDonald’s fry after polishing off two double cheeseburgers, I cursed my slow metabolism. I envied my sister with the “better genes” as I poured half a bottle of Caesar dressing on my lettuce, chicken, and croutons.
I didn’t get it.
I didn’t understand that if I truly wanted change, I actually had to change.
I hated being the size I was (and oh, what a large size it was), but I loved food too much to change.
Thank God, though, for my senior year of college.
My dorm had a fitness challenge. Usually I don’t get into organized activities like that, but I’m a pretty competitive person, so I decided to try my hand at being fit.
The challenge was pretty straightforward. You get points for drinking your water, exercising, eating your vegetables, and getting your sleep, and you take away points for having sweets and fried food.
I could do this.
And I did.
I quit my junk food habit cold turkey. Instead of polishing off a whole pizza, I’d have a salad (with light dressing) and an apple. Instead of slouching in front of the TV for two hours, I’d go to the gym and do some walking hill intervals on the treadmill (I couldn’t even run a quarter of a mile at this point, but by golly I was gonna burn calories somehow). I bought skim milk, laid off the white carbs, and threw away the boxes of cookies that I could usually finish in two days.
Oh, and I started counting calories. Myfitnesspal gave me a limit of about 1500 (if I remember correctly), but I usually ate around 1200, not eating back any exercise calories.
It started working.
I lost weight. Lots of weight. From September to December, I lost about 50 pounds.
And I loved it.
Well, I didn’t love having to eat healthy all the time and exercising an hour every day, but I did love the compliments, the smaller jeans, being able to run five miles at a time, and the respect.
(Oh, and I won the fitness challenge.)
I went home for Christmas weighing around 215 pounds, having gone from size 24 jeans to a size 16.
When I went back to school, though, things took a turn for the worse.
No, I didn’t regain all the weight and fall off the diet bandwagon. Quite the opposite, actually.
I got super strict.
I started restricting a lot. I labeled every food as “good” and “bad.” All sweets were “bad.” Vegetables were “good.” Most fruits were “good.” Most meat was “bad” (except chicken).
I started going to the gym about three hours a day, focusing on cardio (it burned the most calories).
I cut back on calories, convincing myself that 1200 was too much and that I should aim for 1000, then 800, then 600. Some days I would only eat about 200 or 300 calories.
My weight loss became sporadic. Some weeks I’d stay the same, and some I’d lose six pounds.
I lost my period.
I got depressed.
My friends stopped being my friends.
I started forming weird eating habits (I only ate alone, I wouldn’t eat carbs, I wouldn’t eat anything that had an individual serving size of over 100 calories, I classified certain higher calorie fruits and such as “bad,” and so on).
Essentially, I made myself miserable, but I was getting smaller (though I had a hard time seeing it), and that’s all that mattered.
That’s where I am now.
As I’m writing this, I’m 148 pounds (certainly not underweight on my 5’8” frame), and I’ve been diagnosed with an eating disorder. (My doctor says anorexia, but, as I said, I’m still in the “normal” BMI range, and I just can’t accept that I’m, well, that bad…)
Truthfully, I struggle with eating a normal amount of calories, and I have a difficult time eating out, with people, when no one tells me to, and so on.
Despite my knowledge of nutrition and how healthy weight loss is achieved, I can’t make myself view food like a normal person.
Food scares me.
I’m currently getting help, but I’m keeping this Tumblr to remind me that healthy is possible. I have an intense fear of regaining all 119+ pounds, but I’m determined to fix my unhealthy mindset and become a fit, healthy person at last.
Wish me luck.