I’ve always been THAT girl who’s struggled with her weight. I can remember clear back as far as 8 or 9 years old, laying on my side in the living room watching the floor model tv and pinching the little “rolls” of fat that bunched up on my sides. I’m not sure why I remember that so vividly, but I’ve always been conscious of my weight and the fact that I was “big-boned” compared to the other girls my age.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it never affected my self-esteem, it didn’t discourage me from wanting to join extracurricular activities or have an impact on my relationships…but I’d be lying if I told you it didn’t make me avoid swimming parties in high school, or paranoid when dressing in gym……..and here I am all of these years later and still the same thoughts cross my mind…but I find comfort in knowing that I’m not alone and in some cheesy way, even though us girls are our own worst critics, we are also bonded by the fact that we are self-conscience, whether we want to be or not. However, there a thin line between being body conscious and being body obsessive. Too many young girls and boys are sadly not accepting of the way their bodies are and can take drastic measures to change this. This often leads to eating disorders, such as bulimia nervosa, which can be detrimental both physically and mentally.
We need to change this by looking out for the symptoms and spreading body image positivity instead of negativity. We shouldn’t even be feeling the body consciousness that the majority of us go through and that I’ve seen with my own eyes. I know this because….I’m a photographer and I’ve spent MANY hours over MANY years of shooting, listening to you all be critical of yourselves and I have come to this conclusion: No matter how big-small-tall-short-long hair-short hair….we are quicker at telling you what we hate about ourselves than we are about the things we love. Some of you won’t have photos of yourself taken because you don’t like the way you look……..my oh my can I relate and I’m a PHOTOGRAPHER!!!!
I struggled with posting this kind of blog on my “business blog” because it’s not REALLLLLY photography related, but after receiving so many emails from the last post I wrote about loosing 40 pounds, I thought I’d just share my journey with you. I’m not an expert in health or fitness, I don’t have a degree on ANYTHING dealing with the body and I certainly am not an expert in the dietician field……but I do know what it feels like to not feel comfortable in my own skin, not want to do activities with my family because I have no energy and know how it feels to be judged by the skinny guy or girl who wanders how you could “ever let yourself get like that”….and it sucks. I’m positive and optimistic most of the time, but again, I’d be lying if I told you that I’ve gone thru life wandering why some people have been blessed with an amazing metabolism and perfect health.
The other day, I came across a post on my Facebook feed that had a rather long comment section beneath it. The poster commented on how they saw a “disgustingly fat” person at the grocery store and that they’d shoot themselves before they let themselves get “THAT” big. The comments under it ranged from things such as how lazy that person must have been, they must eat BIG MACS and WHOPPERS and a diet coke for every meal…and then there were a few AWESOME kindhearted people who said something along the lines of “how dare you judge these people”…..and my heart grew. Yes there will be people who are close minded and judgmental, but I challenge you to look at their life as a whole…..do they have a job they love, do they have awesome relationships, what about their money situation, living arrangements, etc…..somewhere in their sick and twisted judgmental minds……they are unhappy with some aspect of their lives and it always shows thru with their ugly behaviors. The truth is, you have no idea what their life struggles have been, I know I gained lots of weight after my sisters death, maybe they have a medical condition, but who are you to judge them? By the way…..this “person” is no longer on my feed. Ain’t no body got time for that! hahah!
As I’m typing this, I’m hooked up to an IV getting pumped full of iron at the cancer treatment center. I’ll spare you with the details that you could google yourself, but my body is iron deficient and I have anemia which REALLY affects my energy levels. I come to the cancer treatment center once a month for 4 hours to get pumped full of iron….plus I have hypothyroidism which ALSO affects my energy levels. For many years, I wandered WHYYY can’t I find the energy to do anything. I’d sleep every possible minute I could and even THEN, I was dragging. The idea of exercise was FARRR beyond my priority. I had a household to maintain, a small child to tend after, I ran a business and with everything in between, I was spent. It wasn’t until many doctors appointments and lots of blood work, we figured out what was going on. It’s been a year now since I’ve been “normal” (if that’s what you want to call it) and in January, I finally had the energy to get begin exercising….but by that point, I had packed on so many extra pounds that it felt nearly impossible to get to a weight I would be happy with. On January 15th, I began this weight loss journey with just some plain old exercise and some healthy eating. I still have a LONG way to go, but I challenge all of you who have had a difficult time loosing weight in the past, who have faithfully tried (more than a few months with no avail)….. go get some blood work done to determine that your body is functioning the way it’s supposed to….because your body could be working against you like mine was. I also challenge you to do this BEFORE you try those fad diets. They may work short term, but in order to maintain the weight loss you’re going to have to eat REAL food…….can you really see yourself drinking that “shake” 3 or even 5 years from now? You can do this…..
And the big question everyone wants to know is “what’s my secret?” As if there is a magic pill that I’m taking…wanna know my “secret”? It’s learning to love the body you have now, knowing that your beautiful regardless of the size of your pants, and that I love myself enough to get healthy. I know the weight didn’t go on over night and that it won’t come off overnight so learning to love the body I have RIGHT NOW is crucial to going thru the process…..but those judgmental people, well ugly is to the bone! And you’ll know how I feel about “ugly”. <3 Now excuse me while I go order my WHOPPER and BIG MAC's ....with a diet coke (insert sarcasm). Besides, everyone deserves a treat every once in a while. As long as you eat fast food in moderation there is no harm in enjoying a Big Mac from time to time. Plus, have you noticed that you can now find a wide range of healthier alternatives on the McDonald's menu? Nowadays, McDonald's offers a wide range of healthy salads and fruit juices that are incredibly tasty. Plus, if you are passionate about saving money like me, there is almost always a mcdonalds deal, coupon code, or voucher that you can use to secure some money off your meal. This just goes to show that eating healthily does not have to be expensive or difficult.
…….and can you believe I don’t have ANYTHING to sell you?! haha!
What do you think about the fascinating topics I have discussed above? Get in touch and let me know your own experiences as I would love to hear from you.