Fat? Skinny? Curvy? Overweight? Underweight? Petite? BMI?
I think I have always been concerned about my weight since elementary school, and you know sometimes I look in the mirror and I question to myself “Do I really look that fat?” and being young and being told that I’m overweight just didn’t really make sense. It’s like telling a 4 year- old kid the reason they couldn’t buy something for themselves is because they don’t have a job (trust me, I’ve tried). And it really didn’t start bothering me until 5th grade when I was like “You know, if I’m overweight it means I’m really fat so I guess I better start running or something”. However, in this day and age, and having overprotective parents, I wasn’t allowed to go outside of the house to really play or do much but sit and stay. Heck, I didn’t even learn how to ride a bike and I still don’t know how! Speaking of my parents, they didn’t really help me to understand what I was supposed to do with being overweight. Yeah, I knew the doctor told me to eat more vegetables and no soda, but I just ate whatever my parents gave me which was not fruits. I was sort of stuck on trying to fix my overweight problem, but I couldn’t just not think about it.
When I got to middle school though, I did start thinking actively on how I could lose weight and be more healthy. I even bugged my family too by yelling “I’m fat!” every so often and giving them the pouty face, that they bought WiiFit and WiiFit Plus. So, I got into more active activities, like Marching Band (Go band geeks!). I did do TaeKwonDo once-a-week for the past 13 years, but it didn’t help if it was once-a-week, and I did swim during the summers. Being in those activities did help lower my weight, but it wasn’t enough to make me feel better on the scale. So, I got a friend who lived near me, and we ended up walking to school everyday. Walking to school actually did do the justice that I needed to look healthier and fit, but for some reason doctors were still telling me I was overweight.
This sort of triggered something in my mind, and it caused me to have an eating disorder for about a year during middle school. I would skip lunch and binge eat dinner, and then I would end up throwing up whatever I ate either in the toilet or shower. I knew there was a part of me that said to stop it because it’s completely unhealthy, but like my mind was so fixed on this scale number and BMI perfection that I couldn’t. It was really depressing and I was also going through this confusing state of growing up. Puberty sucks for everyone, and I know I would never turn back to being whoever I was back then.
My friend was the only one who knew, and it took me awhile, but he got me back on a regular eating schedule of 3 meals per day and doing more to be active. I thought everything was going to be fine, and I was going to continue looking healthier and skinnier, and I wasn’t so keen at looking at the scale anymore, but then things started to change.
Being a growing woman and going through puberty, your mindset can be so confusing at times and there are things you can say that you probably didn’t really mean, but you said it anyway…well, I stopped walking to school because of issues with friendship, and I stopped being competitive during P.E. and my physical activities. It caused me to gain weight, but the thing that distracted me was getting myself into a real relationship the last year of middle school.
It’s funny how finding someone you like and then having them like you back can just change a lot of your perspective on things and start to change how you are. It’s also funny how I’m still with him to this day (eww)…but anyway, I’m not sure why I gave up walking or trying to stay fit, it just happened. Of course, with stopping some of those regular exercise, I did gain weight, and continued to gain weight throughout high school.
I can say for a certain that I did stay consistent in my weight during Freshmen and Sophomore year because I did Marching Band and then P.E. everyday, but then I continued to gain it Junior and Senior year. Well, let’s see, I came into high school at 134 lbs with a height of 4’11”. Now, I’m 5′ flat, and I weighed 195 lbs. I’m not proud, and I know the reasons why I gained weight, but it’s still no excuse to not be healthy.
Here are a couple of reasons why I gained:
- Stress eating: I did a lot of AP and Honors and I struggled to keep up my grades at a B+ and higher to get that good GPA and ranking. Also, I was doing a lot of things for the Music department and trying to keep up with my Oboe studies. So, I would stress eat and snack on unhealthy things like chips, or milk tea with sugar, or something that was processed, and I would eat this either during class or in between classes. I was consuming more than loosing.
- Buying food: There are a lot of reasons why I buy food, but the number one reason is because I got my driver’s license. I have a lot of freedom, and I used that freedom to go get fast food and drinks and snacks that weren’t healthy at all. I know being in band there were a lot of practices that had to be attended, and most of the times, I had to stay after school before rehearsal to work on homework or something, so I ended up buying food nearby the school. It didn’t help that I lived 20 minutes away from the school either, so it would have been a hassle to drive home just to eat. Why didn’t I pack? Because there were friends of mine that would rather buy food instead of pack food, and I did pack food for lunch and I was consistent in bringing food before I drove myself, but it was more of a convenience thing in time than anything else, and looking back, it wasn’t worth it.
- French Fries and Potato Chips: I put this as a reason because my favorite thing to eat are French Fries and Lays Chips. I think the potato was the greatest thing made on this Earth (Thank you God!), but it really is bad for you. Growing up, whenever we went to the store with my family, I always told them to get me the bag of chips over there with all the other junk foods in the aisle, and what was worse was that I could eat it all by myself. I remember last year, I left my bag of chips from 7-eleven on the floor of the band room unattended (never leave food lying around in the band room), and someone began to ate it. I found out who it was, and I gave them a hard time like “Oh…that was my only lunch, its okay…”, but I was lying because I had a tuna sandwich from 7-eleven too in my bag. Why did I give them a hard time about ONE STINKEN BAG OF CHIPS? And it cost 99 cents too, so I don’t understand why I did that because that’s just petty. Never fight over food.
After leaving high school, I had most of my stress lifted off my shoulders and less worries for the summer, so I began to focus on my weight and how I can start changing the way I eat. My mom signed me up for Weightwatchers, and the first few weeks, I dreaded the fact that I had to wake up early in the morning just to go to this meeting where they motivate you with other people, and I was dying. But after those few weeks went by, I started to actively go out of my way and hit the Gym and making sure I reached 10,000 steps everyday on my Fitbit. That 3rd week, I lost 3 lbs. So, being competitive, I wondered how else to loose weight more, so I began eating more fruits and vegetables and cooking healthier foods for me and my family. I started to like going to the meetings because I could see myself loose the weight and be motivated by receiving stickers (stickers are the key to motivating me…not lying); it’s just a way for me to see my progress.
It’s been about a month, but I have lost 6 lbs already. No I don’t see drastic changes in my body yet, but I feel more healthier and more energized. Without school, I’m getting more sleep and doing things that I want to. I also got my boyfriend and our friend to come with me to the gym everyday, or if not everyday we hang out at places that require walking and less on eating or sitting. I’m changing how I live my life as a person to avoid the health problems that come with being overweight, and to set me up to succeed in college when I have to avoid that “Freshmen 15”. I still eat some junk food here and there, but only in moderation…but I’ve been turning away from all the fried foods out there. It’s funny cause a couple of weeks I actually turned away from French fries, and my boyfriend was like “are you sick?”. So, I’m happy with what I’m trying to accomplish now. For me, when I weigh in at Weightwatchers, I want to see that I’m continuing loosing weight even if it’s 1lb or less because as long as I’m loosing, I know that I’m that much closer to being healthier.
I’ll go into more about how I feel about body images and body shaming and all the ideas and perspectives of how we look at ourselves later on, I just wanted to write about my journey of my weight.