Skin Deep, Etc.


I spend a lot of time acting like it doesn’t bother me that I’ve gained so much weight in the last year. If I have to be honest, I’ve been acting like it doesn’t bother me since I was legitimately in OK shape, about 30 pounds ago. I concentrate on things like inner beauty and finding my center. I work at getting in shape by eating correctly and exercising often. I try to wear pretty outfits that look good on the curves that I’ve grown into. I’m positive, positive, positive.

On the outside.

On the inside, I’m consumed with this. Why isn’t what I’m doing working? Why can’t I have more self control? Why can’t I just add a couple more hours on to my workout each day? Why can’t I live on carrots and lettuce, like a good little rabbit? Am I sick? Am I sicker than I think I am? Do I have a tumor? Could 40 extra pounds really be 20 pounds of stomach cancer? Do I have PCOS on top of my thyroid issue? Why can’t I be just be skinny and beautiful?

I’m shallow. And by admitting it, I’m aware that it places me squarely in a negative light. I should just be more accepting of my beautiful curves, blah, blah, blah. But I’m not. I’m fat. I can feel the newly-formed crease in my stomach fat pressing into itself right now as we speak. It feels disgusting. I feel disgusting. My belly button ring (installed in 2006, when I was a svelte 135 pounds following my inadvertent Hurricane Katrina starvation diet) hurts my naval. I refuse to remove it. I’m afraid that I’ll keep getting fatter and the fat will grow around it like a tree grows around a gravestone.

As of January 1st, my health insurance kicks in and I’ll be able to afford a proper doctor’s visit for the first time in years. I’ll get my thyroid checked and hopefully get on meds, and I’ll see if I have PCOS, and if there’s any other medical reason for my continued expansion.

In the mean time, I’ll keep eating correctly and keep going to the gym, and trying to run, walk, yoga myself back into a size 8. But I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to stop hating myself for not being beautiful. Honestly, I can’t even conceive of a future in which that’s an option.

You might be reading this and feeling sorry that I can’t just love myself the way that you do. You might be reading this and identifying. You might be bigger than I am, and feel like I don’t have a right to talk about this until I’ve added another 20 pounds or so. You might have trouble GAINING weight, and be jealous that you couldn’t have the extra bits that I’d like to get rid of. How should I know? It’s not like we’re ever truthful with each other about these things, anyway.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. treatwilliams says:

    Hey this is actually something I can speak with authority on because im unhealthily preoccupied with eating and weight. I gained a gut without noticing when I was busy earlier in the year and couldnt deal with it. I ate only 800 calories a day in april and a bit of may which was torturous and barely anything happened. Even a little bit takes months and months to come off you need to hang in and be patient. Also making the workout sessions as intense as you can ie sweating and high then no more than 3 times a week so you dont sick and tired is the way forward. That completely and utterly works. Making sure its arranged so you dont get sick and tired of it is the crucial bit ive found, real tortoise and hare shit. But yeah, months and months and months definitely. I would definitely think keep going. Sorry to lecture, paticularly about this kind of stuff, thats just embarrassing, but I feel I do have something to offer there.

    1. treatwilliams says:

      Btw i meant the above while eating a normal amount of calories.

  2. Anna says:

    Thanks, I agree. That’s the basic plan I follow. The gym workouts are intense, and eating paleo is working. This was more about self loathing and knowing it’s unhealthy yet not being able to break the cycle than anything, but yeah, I know it’s going to be months (maybe years at this rate) before my work starts to show in any real way.

  3. Anna says:

    Oh, but yeah, the 800 calorie thing is going to kill your metabolism. Have you used yet? There’s a calculator that tells you exactly how many calories you can eat, and adjusts by how much exercise you do that day.

    1. treatwilliams says:

      Indeed it did kill my metabolism. I managed an hour long walk each night but I was a zombie and I lost nothing! Crash dieting is ineffective. But I was doing it sort of out of anger/impatience. I don’t usually calorie count so loseit isn’t for me. I’m always reading the fat contents. Completely missed the commenting on self-loathing aspect of this post. Me enthusiastically explaining how to get rid of that awful fat underneath is quite fitting then.

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