I’m 283 pounds.
There. I said it!
In my entire life, I’ve never, ever, ever told my actual weight. Like ever.
I hadn’t even felt comfortable telling people the size clothes I wore. They’d hassle me about it, wanting to buy me jeans or swap shirts, and I’d become enraged that they kept pestering me about my weight and size that I just shut down. “I’m not telling you, ok?” I’d scream.
Funny how life works. How we just up and change, if we want to and if we work really, really hard at it. Never in a million years would I have done this because growing up (and, still today) women and men are so obsessed with calories, portion sizes, and of course, the dreaded bathroom scale.
At my largest, I pushed 340lbs. At those heavier times, since my weight was up and down, but mostly up, I was still modeling and living life. Ayeeeee! But, I avoided scales. Like the plague. I’d go to my thinner friend’s bathroom, shut the door, and when I’d turn around to see a scale, I’d literally jump back into the wall like an alarmed cat. Once I calmed myself, I’d tiptoe around the flat creature and plop down on the toilet. While I peed, I kept my eye on it.
If I hadn’t known what my weight was then I’d be fiiiiiiine.
The lowest weight that I’d ever been as an adult was 143lbs. That was like almost ten years ago, but I can vividly recall everything that it took from me to become a ‘normal’ weight. To become acceptable to society. To get praised by the girls and hit on by the boys. Would you believe that at my lowest weight I still had a ‘fat girl’ mentality? That at my smallest, I felt that I was the hugest human being ever to walk the planet? The fact that I had weighed myself twice a day, had migraines from improper eating to no eating at all, and suffered from body dysmorphia just wasn’t enough to raise a red flag. As long as you looked good on the outside, who cares about the inside. Right?
I chose to be fat and happy, but even that came with its downsides. Unfortunately, as a grown woman, you have to get yearly checkups. That’s when I’d receive my daily dose of reality.
“Hop on the scale,” the nurse said.
I stepped on. The numbers started going up, up, up.
I closed my eyes. I hadn’t wanted to know.
“337,” the nurse announced with what seemed like an intercom for all the staff and patients to hear.
Damn, I had packed on hundreds of thousands of pounds, I thought as she led me to the exam room.
The doctor knocked then came in.
Time for the weight-loss talk.
“You see, you’re at risk for diabetes and high-cholesterol and joint problems.” He brought out a chart and pointed. “See, you’re 5”4 and you are in the morbidly obese realm right now. You should be around 140lbs.”
I sat there and thought about what he said. I was already around 140lbs and I almost killed myself mentally and physically trying to stay at that weight. I wasn’t going back there.
Years passed and I’d lose 50 here, gain 100 there, lose 40 and then gain back 70. I wasn’t very nice to my body. I’m surprised it still takes care of me today.
Although, I weigh myself now, I don’t make it a habit. My worth isn’t attached to the numbers that calculate then pop up. I’m not a chart and I won’t be confined to a category of what’s healthy and not. I don’t complain about my weight. I do not obsess over it and I don’t expect others to. My weight. My body is my business. I decide whether it goes up and up, or down and down.
I’m not focusing on the scale anymore. I’m focusing on being a healthier and stronger me—mentally and physically.
I hurt my knee at work back in 2013. I could barely walk. Then I got surgery. Oh, man, I was in a ton of pain and wasn’t able to be physical for almost two years. After physical therapy was done, I decided to start swimming. My therapist thought it’d be a good idea to get active because I had anxiety and depression over the accident, my marriage, and just my life in general. Winter hit and I didn’t want to catch a cold, so I enrolled at a small gym. I couldn’t even do ten minutes on the elliptical machine. It was a sad day. After, I had done 30 minutes of exercise, my muscles and bones hurt super bad. I was sore for a week, but I went back. I noticed that I had more energy, I was less angry, and more productive.
The following year, I was going through a divorce. That’s when I started going to the gym twice a day to keep from hurting him and myself. To sweat out all the frustration and embarrassment I felt. The gym and lifting weights became a habit, a healthy habit. I’ve been going five to six days a week for over a year and a half now. And, although, I’m still morbidly obese (as the chart states), I am stronger than I’ve ever been. I can lift 80lbs, I can hold my own body weight up, and I can do an hour of cardio without breaks. I’m flexible, I have energy, and the doctor just gave me a clean bill of health (minus the IBS, ugh!).
I have lost weight, but I will not glamourize it. We have enough before and after photos to make us feel bad about how we don’t look. What I wanted to share are the accomplishments I’ve made once I gave up trying to fit into an acceptable weight category. Once, the power of the scale held not an ounce of power any longer.
If you're no longer held back by what's on the scale, I challenge you to share how much you weigh! It'll be like one of those cool 'burning ceremonies' where we collectively release the (figuritive) weight we put on ourselves.