May 28, 2015
Weight and Health
Weight is such an interesting topic to me. Lately, it seems that many people I interact with have their definition of what the ideal weight is and when another person falls outside of that range, they feel they have the right to comment on that. The weird thing is, this often goes both ways.
People body shame people who are overweight and those who are underweight. Recently, I spent time with someone who criticized a woman’s outfit as being too revealing because she was not stick thin. Then, the same person said she wanted to feed another girl a really fattening meal many times in a row because that girl was stick thin. It gets really confusing.
Another thing that is confusing to me is why people make such large assumptions on my weight. People are constantly telling me that I can “afford” to eat certain things because I am so thin, whereas they cannot “afford” to eat it. The truth is, I am the size I am because I watch what I eat!
I have very strict rules for what food is allowed in my home. When I go grocery shopping, I only buy food that has less than five ingredients, all of which must be food, not chemicals. This often keeps me to the outer ring of the grocery store. If you ever want to eat healthier, that is where I recommend starting, stick to the outer ring and avoid the processed stuff in the middle! Doing this allows me to eat whatever I want when I am at home or when I pack a meal to go. When I go out to eat at a restaurant, which is only about once or twice a week, I have no rules. I eat whatever I want and enjoy it because I enjoy things in moderation.
The other thing people always assume about my weight is that I have always been this size. I am not quite sure why that is so offensive to me, but it truly is. I have always been about 5 feet tall. I have always had small bones. But I have not always been this size.
Two years ago, I found myself constantly binging on snacks, drinking and smoking late into the night. Within a few months, I had gained weight drastically. I was constantly eating processed foods and never feeling full. Even at midnight. So I kept eating. I gained over 30 pounds and at my peak weight was 140. I only use numbers as a demonstration, not to say any number is too big or too thin. The point for me was that I didn’t feel healthy. That has always been my point. Health.
So, I started drinking in moderation, once or twice a week. I cut out all processed foods and I started exercising. I never used a scale during this entire process. I know myself and I can become obsessive about things. I didn’t want to become obsessive over a number, so I made sure I never knew the number.
Then one day I went to the doctor. The nurse asked how much I weighed and I threw out a moderate 120. I knew I had lost weight but I wasn’t sure how much. She replied “There is no way you weigh 120 pounds.”
I was very offended by this comment. I was trying to lose weight and I felt very judged by her. I asked her to guess my weight and she did. 100 pounds. I was floored. There was no way I thought I had lost that much weight. So for once, I stepped on a scale. My favorite part of this story is that it was an old-school scale with the sliders. She moved the biggest piece to the 100-pound mark and it balanced. Perfectly.
We were both super excited. She could not believe she guessed it on the dot. I was happy simply because I had never stood on a scale and only needed to move one piece one click. The engineer in me found that very fun.
Since it was such a cool experience and such a round number, I have never weighed myself again. That was two years ago. If I had to guess, I would say I gained some back, maybe I weigh 110? Who knows? Who cares? I don’t care about my weight, I care about my health.
I also don’t care about anyone else’s weight. Truthfully, I don’t care about anyone else’s health either, unless they are asking me for help with it. Then of course I am willing to help them make small steps to make life better! That's what I'm all about.
My point is, the saying “everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about” really rings true with weight and health. I think it would be best if we kept our comments about other people’s bodies (even the comments behind their back) to positive ones.
It is easy to look in the mirror and critique what you see. Recently, I have made the cognizant choice to look in the mirror and tell myself that I am beautiful. Instead of picking out the flaws, I choose to see what I love about myself. Often, I list those things. Because at the end of the day, the only person’s opinion about my weight and health that matters, is mine!