I wasn’t always thick or chubby (as I usually say…when referring to my weight). In fact, I remember thinking I would never be thick, my metabolism wouldn’t betray me. And I could continue my life during college eating what I wanted when I wanted it. I mean, I tried to work out on and off during college but I wasn’t fostering a healthy lifestyle but it didn’t matter much since I wasn’t gaining weight.
Then junior year, everything changed.
I was leading a trip for some students to Thailand and I was so stressed. It was then that I discovered I was leaning on food to cope with the stress. I ate when I was happy or when I was sad. I began the longstanding pattern of rewarding myself with food. “Faitth you killed that test, eat!” “Faitth you made it through that stressful week of work, EAT!” “Faitth life has sucked and things are stressful, EAT! “Faitth have some wine tonight…wind down”.
Every day was a cause for celebration. Food was no longer eaten for my health it was my pleasure. All the food, all the things, all the time.
When I moved to Austin for almost 2 years, I was constantly stressed. Food was my go-to cure for all the drama I was facing at work, the stress of being a case manager, and every little moment of happiness I felt. I consoled myself with food and by the time I moved home I re-gained the weight I had worked hard to lose after college, plus some more.
40+ lbs gained post-college and I am stumbling my way back to health. The key word is stumbling.
This is a journey I struggle with. I am not a super athlete anymore. My metabolism has slowed way down. Losing weight is not nearly as easy at is once was for me at 21-23 years old.
I find myself trying to “balance” loving myself and my body- in its current state and chastising myself for not trying harder to lose weight. The balance between health and not moving into an obsession with my weight. I’m also learning to truly love my body. This is an ongoing process.
One thing’s for sure, I am moving away from rewarding myself with food and instead, I am working out more, making healthier food choices, and reminding myself of my value and worth no matter what the scale says. But let’s be real, that’s hard. So while I’m seeing all of these weight loss posts and get “your summer body” products, I’m reminded that I’m not alone in this journey. Most people have “all this weight” and are trying their best to accept, love, and workout their bodies.
There’s a story behind all this weight and I plan to keep overcoming every obstacle because when I look at myself in the mirror, I don’t want to think about the season of depression that I “medicated” with food. Instead, I want to see a fighter, willing to get back up and keep trying ❤️