A few years ago, I lost thirty pounds. I was working out three or four times per week, eating veggie and lean meat wrapped in whole wheat tortillas every day for lunch, and preparing nothing but salads for my dinner. I wasn’t snacking, wasn’t eating dessert, wasn’t drinking anything but water. A size 10, I looked better than I ever had. I was still curvy – it’s just how I’m made – but I was wearing Medium-sized shirts. I could go into any store and buy any piece of clothing off the rack and it would almost always fit. I loved it.
But then I started a new job. With a lot of stress. And no gym close by. And stopped being obsessive about what I was eating. And gained back the weight. All of it.
This last spring and summer, I decided I needed to get healthy again and started walking with girlfriends. Five miles a pop. At first, it was awful. Then I began to look forward to our weekly walks. They gave me energy, they made me feel powerful and strong. They even inspired my eating habits to be healthier. I lost only three or four pounds – total – over several months. But my body reshaped itself slightly. By the time I got married, my dress was several inches too small in several spots. It felt amazing.
But I am still wearing the exact same size pants. I am still considered medically obese. Without obsessing over my eating habits and my exercise, I won’t be able to get myself down to what is considered a “normal” weight for my height (by the way, even when I was down to a size 10, I was considered overweight by 20+ pounds). I refuse to stress myself out about it. I refuse to expend so much energy defining myself by my body shape and size, and by the number on the scale or the tag on the pants. I still will continue to try to exercise and eat relatively well. I still will try to be healthy, because I have to admit to absolutely loving the feeling I get when I am. But worrying about whether I’m a size 8 or 18 won’t change the fact that my body was not built to be skinny. And I have learned that once I accepted that, I became a lot healthier and happier, heavy or not.