The Real Me Is Thin, I Swear!

I’ve always been a bit pre-disposed to obsessing over my weight.  It’s still something I struggle with now.  Now as in, age 28 and right now – late Tuesday night as I’m typing this.

Oh oy… should I even post this?  Maybe someone else out there knows how I feel? Maybe you can help me, tell me – how do I change my self identity?  Where is the line between needing to try harder on a physical level and needing to release delusions on an intellectual level? 

My first run in with an eating disorder was in high school.  A couple relapses happened later on, one in college and then another in my mid-20s.   And while I do have a history with ED, one that I’m not afraid to talk about – I really meant this post to center more on identity than obsession.

Looking back, I have no idea why I was so desperate to lose weight in high school. I was skinny as a rail my entire young life, from childhood until I first became sick (age 19).

age 16 rose. (i think!)

Okay, okay – I know that EDs aren’t always about being “skinny” more than they are about control.  My family life was a little off the rails during my high school years.  Through family fighting, financial issues, stress, tension, craziness, etc. – the little world that I could keep a tight leash on was the world of what I ate.  And thus, I closely and obsessively guarded every calorie.

Oh, and… I also began puking.

Our swim coach used to encourage us to puke if we “felt” heavy in the water.  After school, we’d wolf down ten pounds of Burger King and then show up for swim practice.  So yeah, vomming felt better than not vomming.  I think that had more to do with performance and me being a silly teenager, than it EVER did with my actual appearance.  Who eats so much right before hours of intense training? Doh. (My coach never ever called me fat, no one did, I was a size zero).

At 5’8, with a small frame (the whole teeny wrists and teeny neck thing), I carry weight incredibly well.  I’m all legs, I tend to be muscular, and at pretty “high” weights, I still fit in to surprisingly tiny sizes.  In high school I was 5’8 by senior year, and weighed 117 lbs.

I cherished that number: 117.

I came home on a break during college, after I’d quit swimming, and my BFF Mark told me I looked “good” now that I had added a couple pounds.  At his compliment, the others we were with that night all chimed in about how I had reached skeletor status during senior year and that this healthy look, a few pounds heavier, suited me.   It felt good to hear that, but part of me kinda hated it too.

I identify with being skinny.  Super skinny.

The ironic part about me having an eating disorder is how unnecessary it usually is (as far as having to be ana/mia to achieve thinness).  Whilst blessed with a frame that holds weight well, and being tall-ish – I am one of those super high metabolism people.  I always think I’d be great at professional eating because of how much I can throw down my gullet.  It’s a long standing family joke about being prepared if I come visit – Rose can clear out an entire pantry in one sitting.  (really, I kinda can).

It’s relative to point out how much I used to work out.  When I was a hardcore swimmer, we’re talking 20-30 hours a week in the pool.  Maybe more?  Lifeguarding could be very active too.  I did dance in middle and high school, track, lifting.  All I did was burn calories.

Then, I got sick.  At age 19, my sophomore year of college, I went into the hospital for an emergency appendectomy.  It was then that I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.  Treatment with steroids began, and I honestly don’t think I’ve looked the same since.

During that year my GI tract worsened and worsened.  I became super duper ill, landing in the hospital for 10-ish days in the spring, and having to move back home for a few weeks after that. I had a MAJOR surgery on April 17, 2003  – a small bowel resection.

I was on a super high dose of IV steroids all during my hospital stay.  I would end up spending almost 18 months on some form of oral or IV steroid throughout this time.

I ballooned.

I swelled.

This is when I reached my all-time high weight.  In the hospital, I was in the 160s.  Afterwards, I was still damn near close.

My clothes didn’t fit.  My friends called me “Drew Barrymore face.”  It was pretty crappy.  But, I had escaped the whole ordeal in far better shape than statistics would have implied (I had a full bowel obstruction and I didn’t have to get an ostomy of any kind, THANK GOD).

drew, who is gorgeous. but friends can be mean!

I was focusing on getting better.  I had a lot going on – college, my family (my parents were divorcing), all my extra curriculars, and my health.  I wasn’t so worried about my size, I knew that it was temporary.

Besides, in my mind I was still skinny.  The real me IS thin.  Right?  This heavier me was only because of the steroids.  I knew that, and I assumed everyone knew that. 

I worked the weight off, the old fashioned way.  I was exercising and eating okay.  A year later I was diagnosed with cancer and up went the steroids again.  This time, I got to be bald too. Great!

(side note – i remember running in a 5k right before i was DX’ed, and i had a really slow time.  i couldn’t figure out why my body was all wack.  it’s totes because i had lymphoma, stage III.  oopsies!  but you see, i was active in between being super duper sick).

When you have cancer, you don’t spend so much time whining about your looks, ya know? You just deal with it. Living > Vanity.

And on and on it goes… when I finally am able to get into a way of life that’s free of meds, and medical complications, and it’s just me – I’m thin.

2007: probably about 130. a very natural and low maintenance weight for me! still lots of working out, running. gymming it up, protein shakes, etc. i was in good shape in 07/08!

So, I just continue to see myself as a thin person in general.  In 2009 I weighed as little as 119lbs.  I was so close to my high school weight, eight years later!  I loved the way I looked.  And I ate like a beast.  I literally had ice cream sundaes every night.  Drive-thru meals.  I was awful (I blame nursing school stress).

nyc in 2009... (me = on the left).

But that’s just how my body can work.  When healthy, I’m a super active person.  Bouncing around from here to there, and I just burn, burn, burn.

The problem is that, in adulthood, I probably have an average weight of somewhere in the 130s- but I only base my self understanding of my appearance based on the best, healthiest years.  (I’m a real optimist, huh? LOL).

So, thus… there’s this crack in my self-image and how others perceive me.  Or rather, my self image vs. my reality.

In my brain I am a skinny little thing, in real life, I think others see me differently.  I’m scared to know the truth.  But I’m tired of feeling like an idiot.  The way people treat me now, it speaks volumes to me about how I’m seen.

I’m not sure what words to use exactly.  And I know now more than ever there’s all kinds of dramz over size identifiers; one gal’s chubby is another gal’s thin, healthy is healthy and that’s all that matters, I shouldn’t care about size.  But as “true” as I know all of this to be (I mean, I’m a licensed RN and I’ve been a serious athlete for more years than not: I know a thing or two about nutrition, health, weight, etc.) I do care about size in many ways.

People don’t make “skinny” or “little” comments towards me.  When you’ve grown accustomed to being referred to as one way, you learn to like it.  To own it.  I’ve been the brunt of plenty of skinny-hating and skinny bashing.  I’ve had circulation and nerve issues from being too bony (my butt bone used to cut off the circulation to my legs if I sat for too long – skinny girl risk!)

But now, the past 18 months have been the heaviest of my life (save for when I had the bowel surgery in ’03).

  • I got married – comfort gain!
  • I moved to Hawaii – epic local food gain!
  • Quit smoking.  big gain.
  • Then got knocked up.
  • and then, after the MC, I was put on meds that cause weight gain (Lyrica, amongst others). I’v been on meds for more than a year now.

In real life, I’m not really fitting into my entire (and amazing) size 2-4 wardrobe.  In real life, my face looks round, my legs thick.

In my brain though: I’m still a svelte ballerina!

A reality check came not too long ago.  I made a joke about wanting to be a ballerina, actually, and I was shut down.  On the premise that ballerinas have super strict body standards, it was implied that I could not meet such criteria. OUCH.   That one really stung.

I’m accepting and trying to understand: Others don’t see me the way I think of myself. 

And then when I do this pleading, this whole no really, I used to be skinny and now there’s a situational reason for why I’m not thing, they just smile and nod.  They don’t believe me!  People who know me from Hawaii, they’ve never known the “skinny” Rose in real life.  They’ve only seen her in photos.   They probably think I’m crazy and delusional.

And PLEASE, don’t go get up in arms with me.  I know that I am not “fat.”  I may be bordering on overweight based on BMI.  But if you take my muscle % into consideration, I know I’m not.

I don’t think I’m fat.  I’m not mocking the plight of others to lose weight.

Actually, I’m having a dreadfully difficult time losing weight. So it’s my plight too, now. If anything, I’m claiming solidarity in the struggle.

***

But I don’t feel like myself.  And well, I’m starting to become really embarrassed over my appearance.  For someone pretty outgoing like me, this is hard.  Very hard. I grew up a swimmer and a beach guard; to say I lived in bathing suits is an understatement.  Now, I feel self conscious.  I find myself layering.  Wearing pants when it’s hot out.  And so on.

I don’t feel comfortable in my own skin (and I know I’ve griped about this before).

It scares me – how much of this is legit?  How much is that old ED-mentality coming back in?  And because I have a history of eating disorder, if I do have a valid point right now – will people not see that and just lump me in as irrational-due-to-ED?

4th of july in 2009 on left - super sunday (a few days ago) feb 2012, on right . i know the pic on the right is hard to see, but those are the same shorts. just not so well fitting these days.

I like opening up about this, venting here.  I also worry about how this post will be perceived.  Will you see me as vapid? Bratty? Someone who clearly doesn’t have real problems?

If this is the kind of stuff I worry about, yeah, by comparison my life is great.  I already know my life is great though, and I try to be super grateful for all the blessings I do have.

Perhaps in an effort to illuminate my frustration, I’ll add: I take really good care of my body these days.  My stress levels are at an all-time low.  I’m laid back and breezy.  I run, do yoga, eat well.  I take care of myself and I do so love myself – in a good, healthy way.  I hardly ever drink booze.  No drugs.  Lots of stretching and core work, I play outside.

SIGH.

I guess I should actually see this as an epic thank you letter.  I am glad that this is the worst of what’s bothering me right now.

Oh, and before you can suggest that I “talk to someone” about it, I already do.  She says that I do have a ballerina body.  But I think she’s just being nice.  Hahaha.  She doesn’t really seem to validate my concerns about my appearance, and she thinks that I’m hard on myself.

I know for a fact though, that a modeling agency would tell me to lose 30 lbs.  ON the island of Manhattan, I’d be “plus size.”  Getting past your personal opinions on size labels, and who should call what to who…. my point is that, it’s just DIFFERENT for me.

What I am now, doesn’t feel like what I’m used to being. 

Maybe it’s a phase.  A little slump in my pretty rad efforts to stay healthy and workout and be fit.  Maybe I want to see results come in faster than they are, and that’s a why I gripe?

 

So engage me here – seriously, if you’re reading this.  Actually comment.  Have a conversation with me.

I need you to tell me I’m crazy!  Or not crazy?  I don’t know which one is better here. Be brave and you tell me.

  • Do you have any hang-ups like this?
  • Some aspect of self-identifying that you cling to, while everyone around you long stopped seeing you that way?
  • Or are you trying to escape the identifier of your younger days, and it won’t leave you be?
  • Are you slightly delusional about anything?
  • Body hang-ups?
  • Size labeling makes you sad, or happy or what?

I know I can’t be the only one who thinks about this kinda stuff or has a hard time.

It was recently suggested to me that perhaps my problem is that it’s “my age.”  

  • So, if you’re almost thirty *shudders at typing that* does this apply to you too?
  • Is it all over for us now, or what?

I’m sorry for yet another self absorbed blog.  I was just feeling all crappy about this, and down on myself.  This is something really bothering me right now.  In an effort to be honest, and present the full picture – I feel like I gotta sometimes post about the doubt, the hang ups, the weaknesses, I gotta be selfish or weird, sometimes.

I do blow a lot of rainbows out my bottom.  I know that is true.  And my rainbows are real, too.  I love optimism, perkiness, happiness.  But even I know that 100% HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY isn’t realistic.

 

If you read this, you’re a REAL GEM.  I love you! Really!

Now. Answer my questions and talk at me!!!!

as always, thanks for reading!! xoxo, hhr

Advertisements

52 responses

  1. I’m older than you (Yes, I know, not by much at all but still.) and have been dreading the big 30.

    I’m obsessing. I’m at the heaviest I’ve been in years. And I know its not in any words overweight. My BMI is safely in the healthy range. I’m in a decent weight for my height. I know logically that I am not fat.

    But I feel it. I feel like I’m wearing some strange, foreign suit. My clothes are snug in areas I don’t like. I feel bloated and ungainly.

    A year ago it was the opposite. I was struggling to keep weight on. I was in the double digits (I’m no where near as tall as you) and it was not healthy. ) I was able to put weight on so I was healthy and didn’t look awkward. But now that weight has brought reinforcements and I’m at a weight I am not happy with.

    I’ve always been given the small label. I’m roughly the same height of the average 12-13 year old. My weight is that of the average 16-17 year old. So the two don’t quite even out right now.

    I know I’ve got to accept my age. But its very difficult to manage weight with my size. I have a small frame as it is and am petite in stature, a 5 pound weight gain IS obvious and WILL show on me like 15 pounds on someone else. I know I need to accept the fact that I’m not in my early 20s and teens. But its a struggle.

    Are you crazy? Yes and No. Do I feel you’ve put on a lot of weight. Not at all. I think you look amazing.

    However, I know its hard for someone to see photos and say that when photos don’t really show how a person feels in their body.

    I don’t think you’re crazy because I feel the exact same way.

    • Yes! I’m the one who has to sit a weird way so my bony butt doesn’t cut off blood flow to my legs. And ENSURE. Oh em gee, it’s like I was always trying to put weight on.

      The all of a sudden, the weight jumped on, and now it won’t leave.

      Thanks for understanding. Here’s how it works: I don’t see a single extra pound on you in any of your photos! YOu always look teeny tiny to me.

      But when it’s in your head, or when it’s just something you KNOW – it’s hard. I’m used to walking into a store and the salesgirl always says stuff like, “maybe you should try an extra small?” and now it’s all, “you look like a medium to me; maybe a large?” It’s those little things (npi) that add up. No one refers to me as “tiny,” etc.

      It’s just this total identity shift. In my brain I’m a teeny perky 20-something. Others probably see me as an average sized 30 year old with a pudgy face.

      I know it is what it is, and we have to either embrace it or change our lifestyle, or what have you. The reason I’m all ranting and raving is because i AM changing my lifestyle and working so hard, and there are zero results. I mean, I feel much stronger, I can run farther, I have great results in those areas. But I still can’t fit into any of my clothing. I don’t recognize my face in the mirror.

      Sigh,

      You always get me. Sadly, because we relate on all this kinda stuff. Health, illness, getting old, etc. Waaaaaaah. Let’s go get soup and hug it out.

      Srsly , love you. Thank you for getting me!!

      • First off, I was just talking to Nate Tuesday night that I have an awesome idea for a restaurant that serves a couple dozen different types of soup and different types of Jello. It could be called Souper Slurpers. Even though I hate slurping.

        I turn 29 soon and am dreading it. I tried on a top the other day and it was too tight so I had to go to a Small. I was looking at the homecoming photos and realized how big I’ve gotten. Just gross feeling.

        I had gone to dinner with a “friend” a couple months ago and the manager was flirting with me, completely innocent nothing major, and my friend pipes up “Yeah she’s small but she has a huge ass, like I’ve never seen such a huge ass on someone so small” For some reason that definitely hit hard.

        Im so glad you understand me and don’t think I’m insane.

    • I meant to ask you – are you going to do anything to try and change your current weight? is it something you’re working on?

      I don’t mean to say that you should, I’m just asking if it’s something you want to do or if you are…

      only because I feel so in a rut right now. I want to know what you’re doing. Want to be buddies?

      • I’m trying! I’ve enlisted Nate’s help and we’re going to the gym together and working out together.

        We have a huge ball coming up in May, so I want to drop at the VERY least 10 pounds. I’d be thrilled with 15. So I at least have a set date so that will help.

        I’ve wanted to start running, but with as bitterly cold and windy as it gets here its difficult. (Which is a horrible excuse) so Nate is going to go running with me at the gym.
        I can always use a motivation buddy!

  2. I’m an honest person and I’ll tell you the truth…..I think you’re crazy! The comparison pictures don’t look much different and if anything, you look better on the right. You mentioned a modelling agency would tell you to lose 30lb’s; personally I think models are way to thin and have no figure at all. I’m a personal trainer and I’ve seen some big and I mean BIG clients in my studio and if you came in I would say you look in great shape. We all want to have what we perceive as the perfect body but realistically it rarely happens and we have to do the best we can.

    Take it from an ex professional sports person(football or possibly soccer to you!) and now a personal trainer…..there is nothing wrong with your body and I think you look great 🙂

    • Michael, thank you so much!! Your compliment DOES mean a lot. I do trust your word as a trainer.

      It’s just hard, getting used to such a different body. I’m working out and eating great – so much produce, cutting out dairy and baked goods, etc. – I’m running, running, running. I just feel like I don’t see the results. I feel them, my endurance has increased so much. I have more energy. But, I still can’t fit into any of my skinny jeans!

      And part of my own weirdo drama, I do love the skinny skinny model look. I’m okay with it. My husband always whines, he likes 140lb me way better than 120 lb me. He says I’m too pointy and bony, it’s not as fun to cuddle. But I keep insisting that I be a bag of bones, it’s just my own comfort level.

      I guess part of getting outside my own box, undergoing a paradigm shift of my own – I need to find a new comfort level. I need to learn to admire a different, more healthy, body type.

      I’ll try at least. (it’s hard!)

      • Did you know, a lot of body builders have a complex about how they look which is why they get into body building, to get that perfect body BUT because they’re never happy they just keep training and getting bigger!

        It’s all about learning to love the body you have and not worry about what others think or say. Like I said, a curvy figure is much more sexy on a woman than something that is stick thin from head to toe.

        You look great 🙂

      • well, thank you!

        learning to love your body is such a complicated, long and winding road. i do love so much about my body, and i’m so appreciative of what my body can do – i just always see the ways i can improve.

        thanks for the feedback and insight!!

  3. I was nodding my head in agreement to the majority of your post, you’re not alone.

    I had a BANGIN’ bod before Liam. Flat stomach, perky butt, slim legs, the works. Then Liam came along, and BAM! it was all shot to hell. I worked my butt off to get back in shape while J was gone, and I felt amazing. Then he came home, and it all came back. I’ve watched my hard work go down the toilet and that kills me. I’ve been working out and eating healthy again, but I’m not seeing any results and it frustrates me beyond explanation. I know I’m not doing ALL that I could be, but it gets hard with all the other stresses of life.

    Anyways, I still FEEL skinny too. I feel like the tiny little thing I used to be. People used to compliment me on my legs all the time before, but now I don’t remember the last time that happened. I stand in front of my mirror every single day and hope to see some sort of difference. I don’t recognize that bulge or the cellulite on my legs, it doesn’t feel like my body at all.

    According to my husband, I’m HIGHLY delusional. He claims that I’m as skinny as I was before having Liam, and that he can’t see any difference in my body. People around me would probably say the same if I asked, but I’m not sure how much I’d trust them.

    The thing that makes me the most sad is when people tell me to stop bitching because I’m not “obese”. Just because I’m a size 4 doesn’t mean I HAVE to be happy with that and that I don’t still have body issues. I’m allowed to have them just as much as the next person. It sucks that people don’t find them as justifiable.

    Sorry, this turned into a novel, and I’m kinda rambling. But awesome post. Two thumbs way up. 🙂

    • Carrie, you ARE so tiny! When we hung out last year, I felt like an Amazon compared to you.

      But I won’t tell you you’re crazy, you know your body – and if it feels different, it feels different! Even though you’re svelte, I bet you’re not the exactly the same as you were pre-giving birth. Did your hips move? Do you notice an actual difference in your body now…?

      I’m just curious to know how exactly you feel about it, if it’s something specific – or just this feeling that you have. I totally understand both scenarios.

      AND, I hear ya on post-Homecoming weight gain. Sheesh. That happened to me too! They wanna eat and eat all their fave foods. Oh man. The pizza and gnocchi we downed. Ugh.

      And finally, I do totally agree with you about relative size. Just because you’re a 4 doesn’t mean you should just “shut up and be happy.” If you’ve spent years as a 0 and all of a sudden, you’re a 4 – that can be hard. (I just made that scenario up, but you know what I mean).

      I love when you come write a novel on my blog!!!

      xoxoxox

  4. Hey Rose!
    I haven’t talked with you in a long while, but I still occasionally read your posts when they pop up on my facebook feed.
    I am 25, and in a somewhat similar boat.
    I have not always been skinny. I am 6’1 and was a size 14 by the time I was in 7th grade. I was teased mercilessly for it all throughout high school. Even though I was athletic, I played basketball and softball all year round, I still felt big. My junior year in high school I started making myself vomit. I didnt know how to or want to control my eating, so I would eat everything and anything in sight and then throw up, because I thought it would make me thinner. Instead, it just made me bloated. Despite that I continued to struggle with bulimia for the next 9 years.
    When I got to college and really started training for, and playing college basketball, I finally started to thin out a bit. I still wore a size 14, but for some reason I carried it better. I still struggle though, with my weight and the way I look. I went from 230 lbs in high school to about 190 now, which is still a bit heavy for me. At my lowest I was 170 (at 6’1”) and LOVED the way I looked then.
    I think the biggest difference between you and I is we reverse the way we think. You still think of yourself as thin and other people see you differently, whereas I still associate with myself and my heaviest and I am hard on myself because of it, even though people tell me I look great.
    Beyond that, I still am tempted sometimes, when I eat a large meal, to purge. I know it is a mindset, because when I eat I feel as though my stomach protrudes so much farther than normal…even when people around my tell me it doesn’t.
    I work in exercise physiology, and there is a lot of talk about people having a “set point” weight. It’s something that you can drop below if you are really strict with yourself, and something you can rise above if you arent careful, but more often than not, if you are following a normal routine your body tends to hover right around that set point.
    I still wish I could be back to 170#. But no matter how much I work out, or watch what I eat, I still hover around 190. I think that is where my body has decided its “set point” should be, but that doesn’t mean I like it!

    • It’s the feeling, after a REALLY big, rich meal … that little voice tells you, “well, the calories wouldn’t be so bad if you just got rid of some…”

      I know that temptation to purge all too well. It’s something that’s slow to go away. I’m sorry you had to struggle with bulimia for so long. I’m so happy for you that you’re free from it now though.

      And I know what you mean about a set weight! My set weight used to be around 135# – I didn’t really have to train, watch what I eat or anything and I’d stay there. But with my height, it was an easy size 4. With some work, some running and some salads, I coule dip into the 120s – my favorite place to be.

      It’s hard to get used to a new body. It’s hard to shake the old hang ups, or in my case, the liberties I used to assume/take thinking that I’m tiny.

      At 6’1, I bet you carry weight sooooo well. I think looking at you I would NEVER guess some of the numbers you’ve posted here.

      Thanks for reading and for sharing. I’m glad you still keep up!!!!

  5. This post sums up a daily inner battle I’ve had since I got out of high school. I was always really naturally thin in school and didn’t have to do a thing to stay that way, and then I gained the dreaded freshman 15. And it wouldn’t go away. And the only way I could get rid of it at first was stress, then forcing it off in unhealthy ways.

    Oddly enough, I got my ideal body in the beginning stages or pregnancy but only because I was puking non-stop with morning sickness and I felt awesome when I looked in the mirror. But I look back on it now and realize that’s totally demented because I should have been sad and worried for that to be happening to my body at that time.

    I weigh less now then I did pre-pregnancy but I look different and my body is different. It’s a tough pill to swallow, even when I’ve done the work and the scale says I’m even better then before because my clothes and body say otherwise. It sucks. I was just telling Steven a few days ago if I had realized my hot body days would be so limited, I would have dressed the part back then lol. He laughed it off because he doesn’t see much difference. And weight isn’t the only hang up I have. I have been really struggling with the fact I’ve dropped out of school and have been out almost 4 years already. I never planned that for myself, no one else expected that from me, and when I stopped going, I fully intended to go back but life just got ahead of me. But I still regret it all the time and feel pretty shitty about it.

    Anyway, you aren’t the only one, Rose. I think every woman feels it at some point and probably a hell of a lot more then we ever should. So no, you’re not crazy. But if it helps, I have honestly never ever looked at a photo of you and thought you looked heavy. But I know that it’s so hard to see ourselves the way others see us because we always expect the best of ourselves.

    • Thanks for understanding… and it’s sweet that you say you’ve never seen a photo of me where I look heavy. I screen what photos I post though, trust me, there are some pretty unflattering photos that get the ole DELETE button!

      I’m sorry you don’t feel the same post-baby. Maybe since you don’t work out as much it’s about having less muscle? Muscle is four times heavier than fat (roughly) – so the scale could be reflecting that you are less pounds, but less muscle overall. KWIM? You’re quite tiny by nature, so maybe little body composition changes feel more intense than they are??

      It makes me feel less nutty to know how so many women obsess. But at the same time… it makes me sad. We’re all so neurotic and worrying. I feel like a certain amount of concern is good though, like you said – we expect the best of ourselves, and I LIKE that; I’m glad that I care. I probably just need to find a better balance.

      What do you do to shelf the obsession? How do we balance?

      Thanks for reading my blog ❤

  6. I’m the opposite of you. I’ve always been heavy. In junior high I was 190 pounds. Once I reached high school the bullying just got worse and I stopped eating/started throwing up. By the time I was a senior in high school I was 135 pounds and I finally felt good (and finally started dating, which was a huge ego-boast), but no matter what I always thought of myself as “heavy”. I didn’t maintain the 135 weight for long, since I obviously didn’t go about it in a healthy way, and usually average around 150. I got up to 205 while I was pregnant and a year later I was down to 150, due to exercise and what I thought was healthy eating, but honestly I just wasn’t eating, and I felt great, but that didn’t last long. I’m now at 185 and I’m disgusted. It doesn’t matter what weight I’m at, healthy or not, I always feel “heavy”.

    I’m blessed to have my husband as my support system. He doesn’t understand my struggles as he is very healthy and fit (always has been), but he is very supportive at trying to help me get to place where I’m happy in a healthy/fit way. But I wonder when I will actually be happy because my mindset seems to be that I am always “heavy”. ‘The Real Me Is Heavy, I Swear’.

    Weight and self-image is such a struggle for so many people. I don’t think you are crazy at all. In the world we live in we are always judged by others and in return we judge ourselves. I think you look absolutely amazing.

    • I love you, V! You’re so kind!! (((HUGS)))

      I’m glad that S is so supportive of you. Having a husband who is so loving, reassuring and supportive makes dealing with these kind of issues, much easier. Duggs is very supportive too.

      Although, he’s a bad influence when it comes to eating sometimes! We both LOVE food way too much.

      All of your exercising and working out is amaze! You should be so proud of yourself. Don’t get discouraged or disgusted. Sometimes when I’m not at a place I like, I just wipe the slate clean, re-set a bunch of new goals and juts go from there. Stop reminiscing about when you were 150 and being mad about where you’re at now – and just re-set the focus to working out all hardcore, again!

      You’re so very pretty. I’m sorry you don’t always feel happy with the way you look. I understand the sentiment, but when I look at you, all I see is pretty !

  7. Rosey-o –

    As someone who has seen you throughout all the stages in your weight gain (yes I remember the Drew Barrymore face-faze – although I never heard that!), I can honestly say you are not alone in feeling the way that you do.

    I think a lot of the way our bodies were shaped in those early days had a lot to do with our late nights, and our activity and our peer pressure with Greek life. Honestly, when you have about 40 other girls talking about their body image all the time, it’s hard to not be concious of yourself.

    I remember looking back at pics from KLewis and I circa 2003 and I was a size 4 – and those britches were getting big on me. Then somewhere circa 2005/6 I “ballooned” into a size 8. I use the term ballooned loosely because I agree, one girls chubby is another girls thin.

    My body, adjusting to married life was happy at a size 8. Sometimes, if I was a good girl (and worked out regularly) I’ could be a 6. But I didn’t sweat it.

    Then I got preggers. I was SO worried that I would hit that big weight gain and it would take forever to shed. After LL came, I lost almost all of the weight right away (I only put in about 37lbs) and lost slowly the last five.

    Here’s the next catch, I noticed lately that NONE of my clothes fit. NONE. I hopped on the scale after my last pair of $200 work pants literally fell off of me, and I am below high school skinny.

    Now, where am I going with this? Skinny girl problems you might say? No. Because I know that this is a fleeting freak time in life. I’m feeding another person, burning about 600 or so calories a day nursing. But DAMN, in my head, I look good. Like better than those circa 2003 photos. (well, maybe not, my skin sure isn’t as elastic anymore!)

    But I do know that somewhere again, my body will come back to it’s happy weight (probably that size 8.) And Lord knows my closet will be happy to be used again. But I have to remind myself that it’s not about how clothes fit, but about how happy my body feels (natural, healthy eating, good maintainable exercising.)

    I think you look great. We’re pushing thirty. We are supposed to be having a mini image crisis, right? Your’re healthy. Duggs loves you. That’s all that matters.

    xoxoxo

    • Leigh, you’re sweet! You do look super fab, and you looked amazing during your entire pregnancy! Good job on losing the baby weight, that BFing will do it, huh?

      I guess my beef is that I didn’t gain weight during the Drew Barrymore-face phase because I was drinking beer and eating pizza … it’s because I was taking Prednisone, a steroid, three times a day. The main side effect is moon face.

      Now, again, I’m on these meds that do things to my body. And while I’m happy for the good that they do – I’m able to function only because of my meds, otherwise the ear/facial pain would leave me under the bed crying. But here I am (I literally just walked in from a 3 mile run that was my “cool down” after the lunges/leg workout out I did + 45 mins of abs. dayum!).

      I’ve been a beast with the workouts. I eat healthy foods. I drink water and do yoga and I’m nice to my body… but the meds I’m on make me “third space.” All the cells in my body retain water in spots that they shouldn’t. And while I take meds/diuretics, they only get less than 40% of my fluid retention. Every day I wake up and my feet are so swollen it’s hard to walk. My finger tips crack, they’re that swollen.

      I could go on… lol! But you get the idea!

      I hear ya on not fitting into a whole nice wardrobe, that is SO frustrating. I’m terrified about moving… all my winter clothes are so tiny. Oh man.

      I’m glad you’re at peace with your body. Once pregnancy happens, there’s such a certain amount of surrender that goes on. At least, I felt that way for the short time I was preggo. I know that given my health, I should feel that way too (to a certain degree) – being healthy is the main focus. And while weight is part of health, it shouldn’t be the obsession that it is.

      And for the record – you always look SUPER thin to me. I’d never guess your “happy weight” was at a size 8! But then again us taller gals are hard to read.

  8. I’ve had a totally different situation from yours but I definitely identify with this post a lot. For me, the main thing that’s different in my mind and reality is that I still think of myself as short/small. I’m 5’6″, and have been since I was about 16 or 17, but still, I spent my whole childhood being one of the shortest in my class, constantly teased for it, etc. and for some reason in my mind I still think of myself that way. Not sure if you knew this but I was growth-hormone deficient so in middle school/early high school I had to give myself shots (essentially, my body was about 2 years delayed, so when I started at 11 my body was like a 9-year-old’s).

    In 9th grade, I was 5’0″, weighed 95 pounds, and wore a training bra. By the middle of 10th grade, I was 5’5″, weighed 140, and wore something like 36C. I stopped growing by 11th grade but I gained even more weight — my highest was around 160-165. Ever since then I’ve majorly struggled with my weight and my self-image. I’ve never had an eating disorder, in fact I’ve never even dieted. I’m not a very active person either. But because of medications (mostly), I’ve fluctuated up and down between that and about 110, my lowest a few years ago (at which time people told me I was too skinny, looked unhealthy, etc.). So for half my life (I *am* 30 now!), I haven’t maintained the same weight for more than a year at a time.

    I want to be one of those people that loves her body despite its flaws, accepting of myself. But the problem is that it’s really hard to learn to love something that’s constantly changing. That’s my biggest roadblock. The closest I’ve felt to feeling comfortable with myself was when I was my thinnest, but even then, I never got a chance to really love it before it changed again. I definitely don’t feel like my body “fits” the person inside me. So, even though I’ve had different problems from yours, I understand what you mean.

    You are definitely not crazy, although I must say, I have never thought of you as even close to heavy. And you’re active and take good care of yourself — that’s what really counts. I wish I could get in better shape but I don’t seem to have the energy for it.. it’s incredibly frustrating. I try really hard to take good care of myself in other ways (the way I eat, not smoking/drinking/etc.) but no matter what I do I just have no energy. I think even if I looked “perfect” I would still not like my body because I just never feel GREAT.

    But anyway. I think what you’re feeling is very common, sadly. And the problem is that most likely, people around you don’t see you as heavy and think you look great, but because our society spends so much time shaming people for their bodies, you can’t help but be paranoid about it. I know I am. People tell me I look fine but then they turn around and make fun of someone else’s body, so it’s hard to accept compliments or even reassurance when so many people *are* judgmental. I wish we could just get everyone to agree not to judge people, because it seems to have a negative effect on basically everyone, yet everyone keeps feeding into it!

    • Celeste!!! I feel like you’re in my brain, or that at least we’re totally experiencing parallel lives.

      (((HUGS)))

      Feeling like crap, all the time, sucks. It’s so sad when your general quality of life suffers because you often just feel crummy. Feeling tired is the worst. I’m sure you’ve been to tons of doctors and have investigated what’s going on, so I won’t speculate or throw out advice… if you ever want ideas for slowly getting into fitness, talk to me. I used to jog a minute, and then walk two – all kinds of interval varieties of walking and jogging; there are ways to ease into using the stationary bike!

      I know I’m not “heavy” … but I feel like this body doesn’t properly reflect who I am. I don’t feel like myself!

      And well, the beauty of FB and my blog – I screen all the pics that get posted, hehe. Trust me, there are some unflattering shots that happen and it shocks me. Sometimes, I don’t recognize myself. Others aren’t as kind on my ego as I am, and they don’t always remove the bad ones. I had a mortifying incident at church like this recently – I wound up in an HD video, shot at the MOST unflattering angle ever, and all I wanted to do was cry/hide/run.

      I remember you as sooooooooooo tiny, and then, later in high school, I remember your figure as busty. In CosPlay and Con pics you look super tiny!!!

      I had a crazy 6″ growth spurt in 8th grade, going from the shortest kid in class to one of the tallest. So I get that, but I never saw my chest grow!

      As far as the paranoia – I know what you mean. I see girls that look to be half my size called “fat,” or whatever mean name, and it makes me worry and wonder what the heck is said behind my back. I mean, I don’t lose sleep over that kind of worry, but I think you have a very valid point about why compliments often feel hollow.

      I’m not into the judgement against thin folks either. For the bulk of my life I spent on that end of the spectrum – there was a lot of meanness flung at me for being skinny too.

      I sure just wish us ladies would be nice to each other. The support and feedback I’ve seen in the blog post has been pretty amazing. For the most part, it’s been super positive. And well, at least there’s constructive conversation going on here.

      If only it would spread out… pay it forward, the body image version!!

      • Thank you re: exercise. =) I want to try yoga since I think that would be a gentle way to start, but I gotta save up some money first =)

        I totally obsess over what pictures I post online. And I basically never post them untouched, either. I think when other people post pics we find unflattering, though, it’s not just that they don’t care about upsetting you, it’s that they really don’t see the same flaws you see in yourself.

        And yeah, we all need to work together to make sure we’re being supportive and compassionate instead of jealous and judgemental.

  9. Rose, I completely understand what you are feeling. Having danced (ballet, pointe, jazz, etc) for 12 years during adolescents, I was always very thin as well. During HS, I did weightlifting as an elective all 4 years and gained a lot of muscle. I felt like I looked great and I felt great. My dance teachers and mom told me I was getting big and needed to lose weight. My own mother even pulled out a measuring tape and measured my quads! WOW! Luckily, I was either too stubborn or loved food/hated vomiting too much to fall into an ED, but the desire to be ultra-thin (when I was already a stick) was always there. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the idiot (you know, but shall remain nameless) that I dated 11-12 grades, constantly told me I was too big but my chest was not big enough. The few times I have watched old dance videos of myself, I am amazed of the toned, muscular shape of my teen body. I yearn for those days again. I can honestly say, I completely understand how you feel. And, I am sure, that like my wonderful husband, your wonderful husband probably tells you how beautiful you are every time you admit to feeling this way. Unfortunately, we just can’t let it sink in. Try not to stress over BMI. That measurement is such a crock. I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times, but when that scary little voice in your head tries to tell you that you’re not as skinny as you were 10+ years ago, try to remind Yourself how wonderful and strong your body is. Try to remember the incredible health feats your body has overcome. Your body and your mind are inspirations to people. Your body fought it’s way back from major uphill battles, and your brain was psychologically kicking the disease’s ass all along the way! I wish I understood why it’s so much easier to believe the negative. I wish there was something i could say i have experienced that makes me not have these same types of feelings. My only advice (that I am currently working tirelessly to convince myself of) is that 30 is nothing to be scared of! Look what is in store for our next decade… Careers blossoming, children, deeper understanding of ourselves, adventures that we never saw coming, and an appreciation for what our bodies are capable of (I hope)! Get rid of the scale! Don’t calculate BMI, body fat %, etc. FEEL! Listen to your body, feel what it is telling you. This is what I’m trying so hard to do. Whether or not you can believe this good thing about YOU, you are such an inspiration to me!

    • I can’t believe that he-who-won’t-be-named put that kinda pressure on you in HS! what the heck? Ugh. Some of those Daytona guys are just sooooo no good, there was a clique of them who were so mean to girls like that. ugh.

      You’ve always been so fit, svelte, amazing!

      BMI is such a crock! hahaha. It always cracks me up, trust me… I don’t invest soooo much into the BMI, or even the scale. What’s hard for me is that I am so very well-tuned with my body. I know my body, and I know that it feels like it’s drowning right now.

      The water weight right now is just blech. It’s too much. My finger tips crack open because my fingers swell so much. The bottoms of my feet balloon out and it hurts to walk. I have meds for the water weight, but they are only so effective. It’s no good for me to have this much fluid all up in my cells. It’s the meds I’m on.

      And well, I can’t fit into clothes! So it’s hard: I can run miles and miles, and that’s great. But I can’t fit into my fave jeans, the scale says mean things, and I take like 30 pills a day. So, I know something isn’t right – know what I mean?? =)

      I’m really not trying to hate on myself… it’s just that for the past year, I’ve been in this vicious cycle with my ear/face problems, and one of the crappy side effects of the meds is the weight gain, and it has me all self conscience. and bummed that I can’t rock some of my favorite outfits!

      Oh, and I do still wish I was a ballerina! My hubs calls me his ballerina! I twirl around the house all the time; I’m obsessed with prima ballerinas, I loooove the ballet!

      And yes, like you, my hubs is so super nice and reassures me. We’re so lucky to have loving husbands. I’d be a wreck and a half without mine, that’s for sure!!

  10. Do you want to know the honest truth?! Before I moved out to Hawaii (let me add in that I too have a very distorted self image, and have had some serious problems with eating disorders) I saw pictures of you and Carly, at the beach ya’ll being in your bathing suits and I completely identified with your body I felt that we had the exact same body type. This was awesome for me, because you always looked so confident and even now I still feel that about about you, any who when I looked at these photos and saw a confident person with her body in a bathing suit with the same body as I have I thought well she is gorgeous and comfortable in her skin, so why can’t I be the same way? I’ve come to a place now in my life where I need to learn to let go of this image I have in my head that is the “perfect” body, flat stomach and toned muscles all that other stuff and also the number on the scale, I have this number in my head that is my golden number and I am not there anymore and its obsessive and ridiculous how attached to this combination of numbers. It is hard to break the mental patterns that we have created for ourselves our entire lives, but we can do it and the best thing I have done for myself is to throw away the scale and stop weighing myself.
    I think you are beautiful and you have an amazing body, and I hope you start to slowly realize it and become more comfortable in your own skin, you so deserve it!

    • OMG, you think you look like me? Now that’s the best compliment I’ve ever gotten – you are sooooooo fit! I love your bod, you’re so toned and tiny.

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I know what you mean… breaking the attachment to a the scale, or BMI, or unnatural ideas about what we should look like, is hard.

      I do tend to be obsessive about it. When I don’t look how I think I should… it just bothers me so much! Especially now that I’m working so hard, and the results just aren’t there, it’s hard.

      It makes me sad to hear you say how confident you’ve viewed me, and then here I am saying how uncomfortable I feel in my own skin. It makes me feel like I let you down, like I need to regain my confidence ASAP.

      But there’s something rad about honesty, and just letting the guard down and talking about a super sensitive topic – right?

      I am confident about many things, but right now… my sexxxxy bawdy just isn’t one.

      When my health comes back, and I get off these meds (please God let it happen soon)… I know my confidence will be back in place.

      YOu support me so much though, and you always cheer me up and motivate me with your posts. Especially the one you put up tonight, about loving your body. I’m so going to use that for tomorrow!!

  11. Also I am moving back home soon, and I have this awful hang up that I am going to go back, and they will all remember me as I was before I left in great shape and thin and then I’ll come back and they’ll be commenting on how I look bigger and have gained weight! crazy right, why should I care the sane me is telling me how crazy I am but the evil me is telling me I need to loose weight and that they’ll think I am heavier. It is so draining to think this way and I do not enjoy it but that is how I have thought for 21 years now and I need to learn to stop it, stop feeding myself that crap and stop giving in to the evil self!

    • Oh, it’s natural… i do the SAME thing. I have some friends who are always gossiping about who got fat (I mean, I’m guilty of it too – sad, but true, I’m far from perfect).

      But I know what you mean. Just dreading seeing people if/when your body has changed.

      You look amazing now though. You had just finished yoga school before you moved here, so of course you were in crazy good shape.

      I know you’ll find peace with yourself, and when you go back home they’ll all just see, happy, beautiful, dazzling, YOU!

  12. Pingback: Guest Post: Carly from Nourish.Nature.Love on What Motivates Her Most | happyhippierose

  13. Hey Hun, Im glad that you opened up about it. I believe everyone has these thoughts, weight is every person’s own personal struggle and war with themselves. I obsess a lot of every calorie, recently though I am trying to just focus on eating as much unprocessed and just raw food as possible so that I FEEL good, I’m tired of being tired and I have to have energy to keep up with the kids. So I’m definitely trying lose weight but I can’t not eat if I want to have a fulfilling day without feeling faint, dizzy, and tired from lack of fuel. Like you said, in my mind I am ‘skinny’ but in reality I am no where near my healthy weight. In high school I was about 118-125 (until I got married jan 2005), then my still healthy weight that I felt good about was at 130-135 right before we started having babies. John doesn’t have a problem with my weight at all and loves my curves, but I am not happy in my skin and not comfortable at all. I hear all the time ‘you just had a baby’, but in reality I shouldn’t have gained 55 lbs with each baby… But what’s done is done, I have to work hard now to get back to where I FEEL comfortable in my skin again. (with more obstacles also, 2 kids, no free time, and a mild hypothyroidism). Every one has their own struggles and we can all envy someone else (like I envy yours and Carly’s free time). Or I can be positive and make changes that fit my own personal situation… Love you lots! You inspire me a lot btw, keep on girl!

    • Yeah, going down the envy path gets dark, quickly – right? I know you’re envious of my free time… but I’m jealous that you have living babies. So, it’s all just life – ya know? Trade offs, we all have different things that challenge us.

      I always think it’s funny when people are “jealous” of me though. Perspective is an interesting thing… with my terrible health problems, and all that I go through, I can’t imagine anyone just wanting all this, ya know? At the same time, I’d rather have the challenges and struggles that are mine; I know so many people who go through all kinds of struggles that I couldn’t imagine bearing at all!

      ANYWAYS… back on topic – you look great, Whitni! You did just have a baby, and Gabe is very young too.

      You eat great, I know your diet is made up of so many good foods… it’ll come back. Ya know? It just takes time. I know you know that, though. I’m glad John is supportive and reiterates how good lookin’ he finds you. That helps me to feel better about myself, so much.

      And just keep getting your thyroid checked. I’m 100% hypo (radiation fried my thyroid) and I know that being hypo can make your body weight go nuts.

      Just pray for me that they fix my ear/face soon, and then I can stop taking the meds that are making me miserable!

      Love you / Miss you!!!

      • Every time you post that you went on a run it inspires me to get moving too, I love reading your blog because I can literally picture you talking to me. But for reals you are in great shape, I know I’ve said that before. I know you know you are really loved because you are so positive, spunky, and loving! You could be super overweight and everyone would still love to call you a friend. You are who you are regardless of weight, and you are rad. Blessed to have you as a sister in Christ! Btw I will def keep praying xoxoxox

  14. I think you look like a strong, amazing woman now. You look like you take care of yourself and work hard at your figure. You look extremely healthy and fit. I personally thought you looked too skinny in that 2009 picture. You looked wasted/like you didn’t have any muscles. You looked fragile, if I had to pick one word.

    Of course, I say this as someone with major body image issues myself. I am extremely jealous of your physique. But I can absolutely relate to the things you are saying. The self talk. The pep talks. The “I’m like this because of X event” talk. Hell, I’m doing it to myself as I write this.

    I don’t know if its a female thing, but most women I know internalize what’s outside much more than they should. I, like you, am not comfortable in my own skin. I shame myself because I know that it is mostly my fault (I’ve been eating like a garbage disposal lately and not exercising all that much).

    • Aren’t you running a half soon? Have you been running lately?

      (((HUGS))) I’m sorry you aren’t comfy in your own skin either. It’s a frustrating feeling.

      It’s so funny to me how different people just have such varied aesthetics. I’m far more fragile now than I was in ’09, health-wise. I was more likely to blow over in a strong wind back then, yeah. But I LOVED the way I looked and felt back then, I loved the way I was treated and well – I just really prefer that size to what I am now. Now I may look sturdier, and while there’s some good, toned muscle development going on – most of my size is water weight, third spacing from the drugs I’m on.

      Don’t be jealous of my physique! My body is a mess, LOL.

      I’m sorry you don’t feel comfy in your skin now. I have a feeling that will change as running season goes on, right?

  15. I’ve definitely had my bouts of not liking what i see in the mirror, remembering myself as lighter, fitter gal, so i can relate with you there. Finding a healthy balance is HARD. I don’t think getting older means you automatically gain weight, but i think changes are bound to happen… Our metabolism naturally slows, we’re not as active as we once were and with that comes some new obstacles. You’ve got to treat and react to these changes differently than you have before(I’m speaking in a general sense here). I don’t think you’re crazy, but I think you should get rid of that number you have set in your head. You look amazing and you’re doing great things for your health given your current medical situation, seriously. Focus on THAT!.. what you’re doing to better your body and your health.

    • Thank you so much Carly – for your support here, for the wisdom you have on the topic, and for your super uplifting post you allowed me to pimp out today!

      I feel like you really get where I’m coming from, so I appreciate that understanding.

      With everything I have going on, I’m just trying to do the best I can. It’s not even so much about a “number” anymore (although the recent numbers ARE scary)… i just really NEED to fit into my clothes. Thousands of dollars worth of clothes will just collect dust, and I’ll be shivering an awful lot, if something doesn’t give!

  16. Hi, Rose!
    Let me start by saying that I can’t believe I am responding to a blog post because putting myself out there like this is slightly terrifying. I haven’t seen or spoken to you in forever, but one of the things that I really like about your blog is I can hear you speaking. It absolutely sounds like you!

    Now onto my response…awhile back, I read your posts about your health issues over the years. As with this blog post, I connected with what you were saying. High school trauma (moving from TN back to FL followed by my father dying 18 days later) led me into this “what I put into my mouth is the only thing I can control” mentality, and so the calorie restriction began! Eating somewhere between 500 and 1000 calories a day, I maintained a 120 lb.-ish weight on my 5’9″ frame. Then, I went to college. I was suddenly so busy that I didn’t even have time to think about calories. I was eating all of my meals in the cafeteria since I lived on campus and was walking everywhere…I was eating all of the time! I didn’t even have a scale with me at school! When I went back home for Thanksgiving, my family and close friends freaked out…I stepped on the scale 108 lbs!! I was eating more than ever, yet weighed less than ever…weird. 2 years later BAM! I gained 50 lbs in 6 months with no lifestyle changes! I felt miserable and lost. I went to doctor after doctor who all said that 160 lbs on a 5’9″ frame was totally healthy and that there was nothing wrong with me. I finally found my endocrinologist. He looked me in the eye and told me he was going to figure out what was wrong with me…I had hope! This doctor helped me put all of the pieces together: autoimmune disease, basically my body is attacking my own body. At age 4, I had been diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Every 5 years or so after that, my immune system would add another body part to its hit list, and I would receive a new diagnosis. This time it was attacking my thyroid (hence the crazy weight gain.) Even after treating the thyroid issue, the weight stayed. Then, I broke my back (forced to lay on the couch 24/7 for three months, so let’s just say that any muscle in my new 160 lb body effectively turned into mushy fat!) New diagnosis: bone deterioration caused by celiac disease. The funny thing is that the most common symptom of celiac disease is weight loss. Unfortunately, I was in the ‘atypical’ category of celiacs that experience weight gain…Yay, me!!! So, I went on a GF diet and proceeded to beat my brains out exercising for hours a day trying to get the weight off. Then, my immune system decided to take on my adrenal glands (thanks, body…I thought we were friends.) Doctor says: no more exercise. I freak out. How am I ever going to take off the weight if I can’t exercise?????

    So, I stopped exercising, took a break from work to visit my now husband in Vancouver, BC, and took a semester off from graduate school (where I was studying human nutrition…ironic, I know.) And suddenly…I felt better! It was like my body sighed Ahhhhhhhhh…and before I knew it, I was 25 lbs lighter!

    In the last four years, I have maintained a healthy weight for my body (125lb), finished school with an M.S. in Human Nutrition, become a 200 hr certified yoga instructor, gotten married, and am in the process of moving to Vancouver to be with my husband. All with an ease that I never felt my body was capable of! I know that my body may not be classified as ‘well,’ but my mind and my spirit are! And when I receive some discouraging news (most recently, poor kidney function), I know I can deal with it. My healthy weight is a huge indicator for me that my body is okay. Some might say that it is a bad idea to use one’s body weight in that way, but I agree with an earlier poster that our bodies have a ‘set point.’ Just as you and I can follow our weight gains and losses with emotional stressors, our health plays a major part in it, also. I’m just on this journey of accepting it instead of fighting it. Fighting it just makes you sicker.

    (sorry for the length!)

    • Erin,

      I love the length, thanks for such an open and honest reply. I love it. You’ve always been super gorgeous, you’re such an undercover supermodel. I mean it!

      I had no idea you were going through all of this health stuff, and the emotional ups and downs. Wow. Being on bed rest, losing your dad, etc. SO MUCH TO DEAL WITH. No wonder your body revolted.

      Stress has such a direct impact on me. I’ve had to learn how to turn my stress off and just chill out. I’m sure your yoga practice helps you with that, yeah?

      It’s so hard when doctors tell you it’s “okay,” and you know it’s not. According a crude calculation they consider you “healthy” – but you know your body better than anyone, and you KNOW when something’s up. I’m glad that you found an endocrinologist who was able to help you sort things out. Getting a Dx is the crux of the battle, right? When I had radiation, they fried my thyroid – so now I have to take thyroid meds. And when that gets messed up, it affects my metabolism so instantly.

      I’m SO JEALS that you’re moving to BC. Take me with you!

      I feel like you’re my soul sister! I had no idea you were going through all of this stuff. You need to keep in touch more frequently with me. we have so much to relate (commiserate?) on. Congrats on being happily married. I find that when my hubs is home and near me, my health problems quiet down in general.

      Keep me posted on your kidney sitch, I’ll keep you in my prayers. Stay in touch with me, xoxo

      • Thank you so much for the prayers and encouragement! And ‘undercover supermodel’–you’re hilarious!
        You’re right, yoga has been a HUGE help, as much for my mind as for the calm energy it gives my body. For those of us that have these internal (sometimes critical) dialogues constantly going in our heads, I sometimes find savasana to be the most challenging part of the practice. When my we quiet our bodies, that’s often when our minds start to race, right?!?!
        You’re also right about ‘husband = generally healthy’…my doctor could tell when I returned from my visit in BC that the stress my body was under was beginning to subside and it was recovering!
        You have done such a wonderful thing by opening up through your blog! I would love to keep in touch 🙂 You will definitely be in my prayers!
        Oh, and we’re vacationing in Maui in March! First time to Hawaii and I’m SUPER excited!!! Where are you guys???

  17. Hey Rose!

    I think you might be a little crazy, but then again, who isn’t? After I got married I put on 10 pounds. And that bothers me to no end. Throwing away my old size 0 & 1 jeans & buying 3s & 5s was really painful. I know, you can’t expect your body to stay the same as it was in high school, but always having been that skinny girl, and then going to being AVERAGE just stung. People can tell me all they want that i’m skinny, but in my mind, what I was when I was 16 or 17 was skinny, and this is just average. Me @ 16 or 17 –> http://a2.ec-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/36/e02407ab56b83ad2b263ed1692d5b3db/l.jpg

    So I know how you feel. Just because others perceive you in one way doesn’t mean you see yourself in the same light. But just so you know, I think you have great bod! You do so much to stay fit and healthy and that’s all you really can do, right?

    • Thanks Megan! You have a rockin’ bod, I just saw your recent abs pic, you’re lookin goooood. Deployment is always the time to get so super fit. Are you gonna knock his socks off at HC or what?

      But , as for your reply here – I totally get what you’re saying, 100% !!

      I want to be my “normal,” I want to be what feels skinny and healthy for me – even if other people think that I look fine now. It’s a personal preference, right?

      I’m trying so damn hard to be fit and healthy, it had better pay off sooner than later. Right?!?!

  18. I totally relate to “they don’t know the skinny me.” BC (which I have to be on for regulating my cycle and because it’s the only thing that helps my vicodin-worthy cramps) + an antidepressant + being sick a lot and them not being able to figure out what’s wrong with my immune system = me being really really unhappy with my weight. It sucks when you WANT to work out and can’t do a whole lot because you always have pnemonia or strep or bronchitis or the flu. :/

    • oh katie, i’m so sorry you’ve been so sick! all those meds, ugh. you TOTALLY get what i mean – it’s not our fault! i know all too well that crappy tired feeling – you WISH you felt good enough to do anything, let alone workout.

      i gave up BC in 2007. the hormones made me crazy, so we do NFP. i get those terrible cramps, and the hormone surge every month makes me just, ugh. it’s always when i feel crappiest. did the BC make you gain weight?

      you’re GORGEOUS though. and you’re so much more than a pretty girl. you have the biggest, kindest heart – and just know that no matter what you think you look like, your radiant loving heart shines through. and girl. your outsides aren’t nearly as bad as you think. you’re a babe!

      I hope you feel better soon. xoxo

      • Oh rose … Thank you for the kind words. I’m a little teary lol. 😉 yeah the BC and the cymbalta both made me gain. I know you totally know that icky fatigue feeling all too well! I love your follow up post to this one and your blog in general and YOU! I have always thought you look amazing and have always been impressed with how you run and work out even when you’re not feeling 100%. Xoxo lady! 🙂

  19. I understand all that you have said. Thanks for your honesty– so many women struggle with the same issues. I gain and lose the same five pounds over and over… the emotional attachment I put on this is so out of proportion with the actual number and actual fluctuation in my appearance! I have a super healthy diet, exercise regularly and am at a normal weight. My goal is to just be OK with that and stop obesessing. A great book to look at is Women Food and God by Geneen Roth. By the way, you seem healthy and beautiful inside and out!

    • thanks for the book suggestion, i’ll look it up.

      i like what you said about stopping the obsession. that’s the hardest part for me. sometimes i can force myself to … take away the scale, etc. but i mean, we’re in our bodies all the time – it’s kinda hard to not look at ourselves, or not put on clothes. my obsession finds a way to measure me – i’ll find a mirror or scale, i’ll use a pair of pants and see how they fit, etc.

      thanks for reading!! i am going to look up at that book. so nice to have met you on the art blog (how cool!)

  20. Okay Rosie Rose- here goes. I was never a skinny thing. Actually, when I was a child I was a very skinny thing. Before having my tonsils out I was very skinny, but that was before the age of 8 or so. My tonsils were so swollen that I actually couldn’t eat and breathe at the same time (combined with, of course, my severe sinus problems. Yes, I was the snotty kid. If my nose was clear, hell must have frozen over) so when dinner time came around I opted to sit at the table and watch, rather than partake. I, being so young, didn’t know what was really going on, I was just repulsed at the idea of eating and never wanted to. There was even a little family joke that I had an eating button, and I would be asked to press it. Eventually, when I evidently did begin pressing that button, I would throw up everything I had eaten during dinner immediately afterwards. My mother got into the habit of using a table cloth for a quick and easy clean-up.

    Fast forward to post tonsillitis, and I gained weight like crazy. I began swimming in middle school, and that seemed to keep my weight under control. I always felt heavy though. I was always the tallest kid. Currently I am 5’8, not an extremely giant of a size, but I tend to be the tallest of my girl friends. I perceive myself to be a big girl. Last spring, I weighed in at 153, the lightest I’ve weighed since 8th grade when I saw a nutritionist. My grandmother paid for my sister and I to go. My sister is overweight and it was easier to have us both go rather than single one out. I am forever grateful for the education I received at that time.
    I understand what it’s like to feel one way and be another. At current, I shy away from the scale and just try to stick to a state of normal health. I eat relatively well, and try to exercise several times each week. I judge myself by how my clothes fit. I will never be below 140, but I would like to be around 145 someday. I am happy with myself and know I am not overweight, but it’s more often than not that I feel that way. I wish we could live and not worry or feel certain things in regards to our weight, but I believe I have come to terms with it. I have my good days and my bad days, but as long as I have my health, I will find peace with my size.
    In regards to your weight, I asked you for your secret several years back when you were in your super duper skinny era, and your response was that you hardly eat. You told me about eating cliff bars as multiple meals each day. I know what it is like to be regimented, but I have a large aversion to bars as meal replacements. I am a large advocate of clean eating and ridding the diet of processed foods when trying to lose weight. I haven’t seen you lately, but there were times when I felt you were “too skinny” if that’s comforting. I don’t know how much “weight” that holds coming from someone who hasn’t seen 130 since 5th grade, but I hope it helps.

    • Abby, I love you! In recent pics, every time I see one of you – you look great! The last time I saw you, I think we were the same size!

      I do love me some bars. Some are better than others… I have these natural ones that I like now.

      OMG. I’m super tired. I’m gonna reply to you tmrw, I promise – okay? I wanted to do all the replies tonight, but I’m just too tired to give you good, solid answers.

      I’ll be backl! ❤

    • I love food so much, and I think that’s my problem sometimes, lol.

      Okay, for the bars – I do like keeping stuff on hand that’s ready-to-go and healthy. I’m a convenience eater. So, Cliff Bars or some other kind of bar, works for me. It’s better than what I will eat if I’m hungry and on the spot. What I’ve learned that REALLY works is making more food than I need for a meal, and packing up the leftovers. Having healthy stuff that I can just EAT, is good for me.

      I think that what you’re done with your body is amazing. I truly admire how thoughtful your approach to food is. Ever since I lived across the street from a Farmer’s Market (eehhh 2008-ish), and started learning about where our food comes from, I appreciate whole, healthy foods. We don’t eat boxed stuff, and I’m a super slooooow shopper – I read labels like woah.

      We don’t do food dye. We try to limit preservatives. We like to buy meat, eggs, and any other animal products from humane and healthy farms. No HFCS, and we’re LOW dairy (only butter, can’t say bye to butter) and NO soy!

      My body just tends to be lean, when it’s working the way it wants to. I tend to be a super active person, and I grew up swimming SO MUCH.

      I think at this point I need to realize that training for 5 hours a day isn’t feasible forever. Hahaha. (I wish it was!!)… I need to find a balance that gets me feeling comfy in my skin.

      Hearing you say that you’re happy with yourself, makes me HAPPY. I love that.

      And I love your pun. What you say does bear a lot of weight with me! I’ve always respected you on an intellectual and personal level, so hey! I appreciate your feedback.

      I know that I’ve been too skinny. I had to gain weight, I was made to drink the Ensures and stuff.

      I think that my brain is so warped that my sense of “a healthy size” is so wacked out.

  21. Pingback: Let’s Make Our Bodies Our Valentines | happyhippierose

  22. hey rose

    its your ol’ pal ryan morris.. i have been meaning to comment on your blog so i am finally doing it now. in high school you were definitely thin. i remember after lunch one day sophomore year (i think) and i jumped on your back from behind and you crumbled down to the floor cos of my fat ass, haha. i think i had the opposite situation that you have described in your post. in high school i went from small (freshman year-soph year) and then junior and senior years i started getting chunky. i remember going to burger king or some other fast food place almost everyday for lunch during senior year. it was bad. then college started and i got into the gym and running at night before i went to sleep and slowly started getting back into shape… then sophomore year of college i got fat and lazy. i took a year off from college and stayed with my uncle in south dakota for 10 months to see if med school was for me, and all i had to do was work and go to the gym.

    i came back to florida and transferred to uf summer of 2004, and from 2004 – 2008 i was in the best shape of my life. i was a gym rat and did stadiums and ran all over and everything was really good… then i moved out here to utah and was introduced to the cooking of my girlfriend’s mom. 30 pounds later here i am.. and now that we have bought our own house i have finally started taking control over what i eat and am back into a good gym routine like the 2004-2008 years.

    you look great in that picture you posted on super bowl sunday.. and ive seen your facebook with your epic pictures of hawaii and about your running. you are a fighter. just keep doing what you do. you kick ass rose. miss you

    • ryan!

      i love you and miss you. thank you so much for writing and telling me about your own ups and downs.

      i remember after you started getting super jacked seeing the pics of your on facebook and just being stunned! i mean, you went nuts. in an awesome way. but, how is one supposed to keep that up forever without being a professional athlete or at least rich enough to not have to work full time?

      i love you for calling me a fighter. that felt really good to hear, thank you.

      hawaii is so rad. i’m so sad that living here isn’t forever. oh man.

      do you feel good now, being in control? finding that balance? i feel like it can be so hard to do, and once achieved, it really feels good. i want to get there so badly. i mean, in many ways i’m doing my part… i just need my brain to catch up to my feet.

      xoxo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s