In fifth grade, my class was learning about the skeletal system. My teacher, Mrs. Attles, told us that without our skeleton, “we’d just be a big blob of stuff.” A girl in the class responded:
Evidenced by my Timeline, I have had a complicated relationship with my self. My identity was formed around what I believed was the truth: I was fat and thus, I was wrong. I was not who I was supposed to be. I was a disappointment. I was unlovable. I was not allowed or able to be happy.
Each time I lost weight, I was elated by the feeling that my life was changing. That *I* was changing. Each time I gained weight, it was confirmation that no, nothing had changed. Confirmation that there was something fundamentally wrong with me.
I lived between two extremes. On one end of the pendulum was “perfect” behavior: eating whatever I had currently decided was acceptable (and only that) and working out for the sole purpose of getting skinny. When I swung in the other direction, it was to large quantities of unhealthy food. My body would yearn for fruit and I would give it pizza.
Swinging back and forth was beyond demoralizing. I hated seeing numbers on the scale and wearing outfits that I desperately wanted to leave in the past. What I didn’t realize was that the momentum was slowing down. Each time I swung from one side to the other, I didn’t go as far. I may have moved away from working out but I brought whole grains with me. During diligent times, it became easier to have an indulgent meal without fear, shame, or a spiral away from health.
* * *
The last time I weighed myself, I was 134lbs. That is the lowest weight I have been as an adult. I look and feel like a thin person. I am one. But see how I write about “a thin person” as though it’s someone else? I’ve always believed that the “true” me was someone glamorous and thin. How strange that in the past, when I came closer to that idealized version of myself, I felt like an imposter. All of a sudden, I felt like an overweight person in a thinner body.
Now is different.
When I began the 30 Day Challenge, one of my fears was that I would gain muscle, gain pounds and feel like a failure. I would no longer be on the road to “skinny” and I wasn’t sure how I would feel about that. Was I still in the mentality that skinny is best? Have I finally grown to value strength and redefined “success?” I promise to be honest about how I feel when I finally see how my increased strength influences that one number. Even I’m curious to see my own reaction if this stronger, more solid body happens to be say, 140. Seeing a loss on the scale feels great. At this point, I can honestly say that shocking myself with an 8:14 minute mile and getting through a brutal thigh work set at TDM feels better. I haven’t been on the scale but I am loving my body. I feel so strong in every way.
It’s stunning. It’s change.