I’ve been drinking a lot of wine these past few days and therefore thinking much more than normal which is very hard to imagine. When I put those two together my mind goes into a whirl wind of thoughts, feelings and emotions. Here’s what I’ve thought about:
I have been getting bombarded with the classic “Beat the Holiday Bulge”, “10 Tips to Fight Holiday Weight Gain”, “Survive the Holidays” and I am just sick of it. Look, I used to diet non-stop and post pictures of my abs and my hot little body to Instagram and Facebook because I wanted everyone to see my hard work…or rather I wanted to show off what I had and I wanted attention for my body. Yeah sure, I can say that I wanted to inspire people to look their best but was that what it was really about? No. I wanted people to notice me for my body. I am clearly not one to bash people that do that and I am in no way doing that right now, especially because I will at some point in my life do it again, especially if I keep modeling. Be proud of your hard earned body and post that because it does inspire and motivate people, it’s just not for me right now.
For right now, my thoughts on the whole thing have changed simply because there have been a lot of changes in my life. As you all know I am having hip surgery in just over 2 weeks which I am terrified about because I have never had surgery, I’ve stopped working out the way I want to which included CrossFit which is extremely frustrating because my hip just simply hurts, my boyfriend and I broke up which really sucked, I’ve stopped dieting, I’ve gained weight and I’ve gained body fat and I have cellulite now. I used to have an eating disorder…BAM. I said it. That might be too much to throw out there but it’s important. I need structure in my life and for the longest time I structured my life around eating because it kept me looking the way I thought I wanted to look. I was 111 lbs my junior year of college and am currently weighing in at 131 lbs. Am I entirely happy about that? No. But it’s life and I am accepting it.
When I diet and workout incessantly, I am running on adrenaline. I am high off of the idea that people are looking at my body, I think I have a better body than the girl standing next to me and I think people think I look hot. I believe whole heartedly that I am happy. When you have struggled with an eating disorder it never leaves you…ever. You are stuck with the memory of the control you had over food and how good you thought you looked. You pinch your fat on your arms, your legs, or stomach, your love handles and you know every inch of your body so well that if you gain so much as a pound, you notice and beat yourself up over it. I weigh myself every gosh darn day so I can control my weight and if that number goes up, I freak out and put myself down which is what has been happening the past week. I believe I have no self control, I am fat, I don’t deserve what I have, I am not worthy, I am a bad person, I’ll never get a boyfriend. This is what goes through my mind and it is so unhealthy. I don’t want those thoughts anymore.
I still struggle every day with the memory of my eating disorder, my low weight, my low body fat, the attention I received. But what happens when shit gets real and you gain a little weight? What happens when life happens? You lose your hot little body, you lose the 14% body fat and instead are around 18-19% which really isn’t high when it comes to the national norm for women. What then? Where does the happiness come from? You suddenly realize that you aren’t happy because it was built off of something false, something that is easily taken away. That’s the thing about happiness; it is so easily stolen from us so we need to find happiness from something concrete, something that is important to us on a deeper level.
My eating disorder is a part of me and always will be and I do not regret putting myself through that torture even if it’s messed me up a little (lies…A LOT) and affects me to this day. I don’t regret it because it taught me a lot about myself and my approach to my life, to my body, to food and I have only recently learned this lesson. It is without a doubt the most important lesson that I have learned in my 27.5 years on this little planet. When I realized shit got real and my life changed I decided to do some soul searching and look for what actually made me happy. If happiness isn’t deeply rooted within you, it is easily taken away.
I asked myself these 3 questions:
1. What things do I want to do that come from within, that move me, that make me think, that challenge me, that take me out of my comfort zone?
2. What makes me happy from within, that cannot be taken away from me?
3. What do I think about every day of my life that I wasn’t doing for whatever excuse I kept making?
This was my answer: I want to cook, I want to have the balls to share my thoughts and my life in a blog, I want people to know me for my brain, not my body, I want to start journal writing and reading incessantly again, I want to go out to dinner with friends and order the most fattening thing on the menu and NOT feel guilty about it, I want to drink wine, I want to enjoy being social, I want to dance, I want to get the F out of my house and stop feeling sorry for myself for whatever ridiculous reason I come up with. A client once said to me that you have to live your life in a way that is congruent with what you can handle at that moment in your life. Right now I can handle me, I can handle what makes me happy. I can handle the things I listed. I am doing what I can handle and I believe I am doing it damn well.
I can’t handle dieting right now, I can’t handle being 14% body fat, I can’t handle CrossFit, I can’t handle high intensity training, I can’t handle falling in love (which I desperately want) and I don’t want to handle those things. I am happy with what I can handle because it is what I want to handle. Sure some days are harder than others and I get pissed about my weight and the body I see in the mirror. So I stare right back at that fucking thing and say, “You are worth everything and you look damn good.” No one can take that away from me. As a friend told me last night, the scale doesn’t measure happiness. And he’s right.
So to all those articles on advice on how to not gain weight over the holidays, F that. No one wants to gain weight but if we really had an issue with it, there would be no need for those articles. Everyone would be fit and have the body of their dreams. If you really care about something, you make it happen. If I really, truly cared about being 5 lbs lighter and 14% body fat at this very moment in my life, I would diet and I would ignore my hip pain and make it happen. But I don’t truly care about that right now. I care more about my health, keeping my body as healthy and strong as I can going into surgery and I care about my happiness. I have never been so happy and it’s the kind of happiness that no one is taking away from me. No one is taking away that smile.
PS. Do what makes you happy. Gain weight, lose weight, be social, be antisocial. Read the articles, don’t read the articles. Read this blog, don’t read this blog. Agree with it, don’t agree with it. Just do what you want, do what makes you happy, do what is in line with your beliefs and values. Ultimately, just do what grants you health and happiness and don’t forget that you are worth it. I forgot that for the longest time and I wish I had told that to myself every day of my life up until this point. Thank you to those that did and still do.