I Got a Lot to Be Mad About, but I Won't Let Regaining Weight be One of Those Things
February 15, 2017
Some days I look at myself in the mirror and I can't believe I'm here again. Here being trying to lose weight for the umpteenth time. I think the actual tally is six legitimate I-got-results attempts since the age of 17, but that doesn't include all those times I worked out two days in a row, proclaimed to be back on my grind, and then by day three said f-ck it.
Usually that glimpse in the mirror comes when I'm in Samba class and find myself mourning the waist I once had (for a hot second) as I try to move my hips like my toned 4'11" instructor, but the silhouette just ins't quite the same. I feel a little sad, and then I get a little mad, and then I have to remind myself that I'm doing something about it before I dip into a funk because the type of mad I feel in that moment isn't the motivational type of anger that'll make me go hard instead of go home. It's the disappointing anger that, if I'm not careful, will make me say what's the point and cause me to move even further away from my goals than I am now.
And that's why I can't dwell on the fact that I'm at it again. Dwelling is part of the reason I'm here again to begin with. I kept dwelling on the fact that my body wasn't where I wanted it to be and somehow in my mind, which is normally quite logical FYI, it made more sense to stop altogether than keep pushing forward. That's why this time around, my goal is to not only appreciate the process, but enjoy it. (Yes, I just dipped into corny, cliche, heard-it-all-before weight loss success story territory, but as someone who has also relapsed many a time I can tell you not appreciating and enjoying my growth was my biggest downfall, physically and mentally.)
I liked my body because it was smaller, but I didn't love my body because it still didn't look how I wanted it to look. And as any proponent of body positivity will tell you, that's a huge no-no. You're supposed to love your body because, not in spite of -- and definitely not wait to do so until you achieve a certain aesthetic. And on the flip side, it's that love of your body that should make you want to take care of it and repay it for all it's done for you, before you get an unfortunate reminder that it's been neglected.
So that's where my head is this time around. There's no doubt in my mind that I can do this because I've done it before -- several times. So instead of obsessing over the when, because that's just a matter of math, I'm thinking more about the why, like the fact that once I turned 30 my body said eff me and I can't continue to fill it with garbage and think it will function properly. And the who, as in who do I want to be? And the what -- what do I want the way I present myself to the world to say about me, and how am I going to make sure that person reflects who I really am, how I really feel, and all that I truly can be.
When I was at my smallest, people, of course, remarked how "snatched" I was, but that compliment was almost always paired with a comment about how I seemed much more confident as a person. And I was. And that's who I want people to see and get to know. Interestingly enough, I haven't really lost that confidence (or at least not all of it) this time around, despite the discomfort of weight gain, and that's because I've begun to appreciate more things about my physical appearance than my shape. I've also gotten to the point where I realize I'm a grown ass woman, I actually like who I am as a person, and I wouldn't trade who I am now to be a thinner version of myself at any age prior to 31 when others' approval and external affirmation was the be-all, end-all of my day.
So, yeah, basically my body is not a problem that needs fixing. It's a manifestation of poor choices that I used to make and that I'm now correcting with as much internal discovery as external effort. And when I look at things like that, there's really nothing to be mad about.