Don’t look back in anger.

Almie Rose with JFK and JackieAIN’T NO THANG, JACKIE.

Summer is coming. It always does. And every time it comes I am horrified because I feel I’m never ~~bathing suit ready~~. And every year I say to myself, “Fuck you summer, you will not best me, I have a yoga mat.” And every year it bests me. Except.

Last May I went to Bloggers in Sin City, a conference for bloggers (shut up) that changed my life. I’m not one to join a big group of people I don’t know and have never met. But my mom said, “You have to do this” and I thought to myself, bitch please who acts like they have to be dragged to Las Vegas for a weekend? I am so glad I went.

I wrote a post about how I was freaking out about being seen in a bathing suit, because pool lounging was imminent. But when I got there I saw that everyone was in the pool and having fun and simply did not give a single fuck and it made me want to have fun too and also not give any fucks, not even half of a fuck. So I put on my lady swimming trunks (too afraid to go full bikini) and finally got in the pool.

Today I was looking back at the photos from that trip and fuck, I WAS SKINNY. I WAS SKINNY AND I DIDN’T EVEN REALIZE IT BECAUSE I WAS TOO BUSY BEING AN IDIOT. That’s just so typical, isn’t it? To think you’re fat and then look back and say, “I wish I were as ‘fat’ now as I was then.” To quote Nora Ephron (or what I remember of what she said), “If I knew now what I knew then I would tell myself to wear a bikini throughout all of my twenties.” And the thing is, unless it’s killing you, there is nothing wrong with being fat. It’s all about your attitude. And your mind. And my mind is poisoned.

(Even now I’m looking at that photo of me with wax JFK and I’m thinking, “I know my arm is skinnier than that, why does it look so big?”)

So the thing is now, I am sad because I have actual legit stomach issues and it is never flat. Not bikini ready. On Sunday at 5:30 AM I woke up to run to the toilet to throw up. And it came out of my nose as well and I almost choked to death and died. And I realized, “I should definitely get this checked out. I should take better care of myself. I should eat well all the time, and not succumb to comfort foods.” Like just now I ate 6 milano cookies and realized it was 420 calories. That’s like a meal. And it wasn’t worth it at all. Ain’t that some shit? Yeah, so my body is legit fucked up, it’s not just in my mind anymore. My stomach hurts frequently (once I had to sit under my desk and rock myself back and forth) and I have to dress like a pregnant woman so that nothing constricts my mid section. Is this not the most sexy fucking thing you’ve ever read on my blog?

My point is this: ladies and lads, you get more awesome every day. If you don’t like yourself today, then like yourself tomorrow. The only person that you have to look like is you. There is no size or weight that you have to be. You do not need to lose weight. That is a myth. What you need is to be happy and confident. If more women were happy and confident with their bodies then maybe we wouldn’t have to photoshop the fuck out of everything.

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16 thoughts on “Don’t look back in anger.

  1. beatrice

    Thanks for this: “If you don’t like yourself today, then like yourself tomorrow.”

    And, three cheers to health! I ate a bag of sour gummy worms last night and (EXPLICIT) threw up the rainbow. An hour later, I ate another bag (they were 2 for $1.50). I’m cutting this junk out right now. I can do better.

    1. Almie Rose Post author

      lolololol. I’m sorry. I don’t mean to laugh at your pain. But I respect and admire your persistence.

    1. Almie Rose Post author

      DON’T DO IT. It really, really fucks up your knees. There are loads of great 20 min workouts on hulu that are similar but are better paced so that you’re not going 30 jumping jacks and then 30 squats and then another 30 jumping jacks.

  2. michael rudzki

    Another fantastic blog! It still breaks my heart every time I hear or read something like this. You are beautiful and amazing just the way you are in this moment. I know trite remarks can’t really challenge these self-concepts that we have all (but most especially women) had forced upon us, but I’m saying it anyway: fuck what anyone else says or thinks about you – you are strong and smart and gorgeous.

    1. Almie Rose Post author

      Thank you for taking the time to say something so kind. We’ll all get there one day.

  3. Sophia

    It might be your gallbladder! I got mine removed last year after probably a month or two of vomiting and having the worst stomach pains of my entire life. It was the worst thing I’ve ever experienced, but I eventually got that shit cut out of me, and now I am awesome. Also I lost a ton of weight because I literally could not eat anything, and I feel really bad whenever anyone at work would like, GIRL YOU LOOK GOOD, because I would rather have that month of my life back and still have those 15 pounds, but also I have always had a super fucked up relationship with my weight/body in the past, and I kind of feel good about it for the first time ever. I have a lot of feelings about this subject!

    1. Almie Rose Post author

      Holy shit…wouldn’t I know though if it was my gallbladder? Like wouldn’t I be in pain 24/7? Did you experience bloating every day when this happened?

  4. Mark

    Almie, I’m not sure why I am sharing this with you, but I am. I wrote this after my one year weight loss journey. Four years later I am still keeping it off and I don’t really like to look back at where I came from, but if you are willing to share your vulnerabilities then so am I. It’s worth at least what you paid for it…

    In July 2007 I forced myself to go to the doctor for a physical since it had been a few years since my last one. My wife and mother began pestering me about it a month before after I was told that I was too big to ride one of the attractions at Six Flags with my son. That moment was mortifying for me and I guess it served to provide me the impetus to finally do something about it. Thankfully my mother and wife were there to see it and they used it as an opportunity to get me to the doctor’s office. As ridiculous as it may sound I was afraid to go to the doctor. I wasn’t afraid of getting a shot or being told that I had an incurable disease…I was afraid of being told that I needed to make some lifestyle changes. I was eating whatever I wanted whenever I wanted it. I wasn’t working out – ever. I was pretty much a couch potato with a fork in my hand and I knew it. But in spite of my silly fears I went anyway. The doctor told me pretty much what I knew before he said it: I was overweight, my blood pressure was high, my cholesterol was high, and my triglycerides were high. I was on the fast track to diabetes, blood pressure medication, cholesterol medications, cardiac problems and likely an early grave if I didn’t take some responsibility for my body and the way I lived on a day to day basis.

    I quit smoking cigarettes a few years ago because I didn’t want to be a bad example to my children. How was this any different? Eating fast food, not exercising, and giving no attention to nutrition is just as bad as lighting up a cigarette. I needed to give my kids a better example of what it means to live responsibly and I needed to start fast. I asked my doctor if he would give me some time to improve my situation. He said I had three months and suggested that I not only diet, but also exercise. I told him I would be back with good news because I did not want to have to take any medications.

    There was just one problem. I had never been a person that needed to diet or workout when I was growing up, so I had no idea of how to do either. In high school I was a stick. Food was something that I ate all the time and in large amounts. No matter what I ate I stayed super skinny. At about 26 or 27 years-old my metabolism betrayed me, and I quit burning calories as fast as I put them in. By 30 I was overweight and by 34 I was obese. I weighed-in at 279 lbs that fateful day at the doctor. I was shocked, embarrassed, and scared to be that close to 300 lbs. Now I had to figure out how to work my doughy body out while at the same time incorporating a new healthy diet.

    The first step for me was to give up eating out. I quit eating out entirely for that first three months. It wasn’t easy, I will admit. Every time I drove by one of my favorite drive-thru windows I would be white knuckling it. I wanted to stop, but I kept thinking about having to take medications for cholesterol and blood pressure and that kept me moving on by. By eating foods that I planned, prepared, and ate at home I knew exactly what I was eating and could keep track of it. And that led to the second step – tracking my diet on an online calorie counter. There are tons out there for free, so I looked at a few and decided on one I liked. By doing this every single day I made losing weight a simple matter of arithmetic. If I burned more calories than I ate I had to lose weight, right? But there was still the little matter of exercise. What was I going to do? Well I called on a good friend of mine that just happens to be a personal trainer and told him that I needed something simple, at home, and easily repeated on trips. He offered me a simple work out schedule that anyone could follow. It consisted of walking 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week and doing some simple calisthenics 3 or 4 times a week to start. And when I say simple I mean stuff like sit ups, push ups, and squats.

    The first week I lost 9 pounds and was shocked. The second week I lost 6 more pounds and was elated. After that I was hooked. Suddenly my 42 waist pants weren’t fitting so tightly. Suddenly I wanted to workout more to keep those pounds falling off of me. Suddenly watching my diet didn’t seem like such a chore. And that’s how I lived for the first three months. Walking every morning. Strength training every evening. 1600 calories in 5 meals a day. 10-12 glasses of water a day. 7-8 hours sleep every night. No alcohol. No sweets. Water only for drinks. And no cheating – ever. Three months later when I went to see my doctor I felt transformed.

    The doctor was impressed. I had lost 50 pounds. My cholesterol level went from 241 to 149. My triglycerides went from 192 to 91. My LDL (bad cholesterol) went from 150 to 80. All of my levels were in the “very good” range now. Add that to my drastically lowered blood pressure and it meant that I didn’t need to take any medication. I just needed to continue doing what I was doing. How could I argue with those results? In three months I had turned my body from an industrial waste dump into a fully functioning facility. It hadn’t been pretty, but it was getting there.

    Over the next three months I was tested. I couldn’t sustain the pace I had set during the first three months and remain sane. So I relaxed a bit on eating out, but I set rules. Only once per week and make smart choices about what I ordered. The holiday season also made losing weight tough. And the cold weather made working out everyday tough. But I stuck with my commitment to walk or run EVERY morning, and I kept my commitment to journal EVERY single thing I ate. And though I wasn’t as elated as I was at the end of the first three months I was gaining a quieter confidence. At the end of 6 months of healthy active living I had lost 72 pounds. Weighing 207 lbs I already felt transformed. My confidence was through the roof. My energy levels were as high as I could ever remember them. My back pain, foot pain, snoring, and constant feeling of being overheated were gone. I was having more fun with my kids. I was more productive at work. And my relationship with my wife had improved ten fold. My only regret was not doing something about the weight 5 years earlier. By this time I was beginning to do run/walk intervals during my morning cardio work outs. I was also doing many more reps of strength training daily. I was keeping my calories around 1800 a day, and I was feeling really good. I just had to continue putting one foot in front of the other.

    The next three months built on that and by the 9 month mark I had run my first 5k fun run (thank you Denton County Health Department for the “Take the First Step” fun run you sponsored) and was jumping for joy at the prospect of being an “athlete” at 35 years old. I had lost 90 lbs by that point and dieting and working out were no longer things I struggled to do. I excelled at them. People that saw me were shocked by the changes, and frankly I was too. And when I saw my doctor for blood work again…

    Cholesterol Total…168 (up 19)
    Triglycerides…55 (down 36)
    HDL Cholesterol…69 (up 18 )
    VLDL Cholesterol…11 (down 7)
    LDL Cholesterol…88 (up 8 )

    My doctor was pleased. He said the LDL rise would be expected with my dietary changes. But he said the overall rise in my cholesterol was actually mostly good since I got my HDL level (the good cholesterol) up so much. Who knew that raising some cholesterol could be good? I was happy. I was living a lifestyle that I viewed as not only sustainable, but enjoyable. I felt good about what I was putting into my body 99% of the time. I felt good about the level of fitness I was achieving. I also felt good about the fact that I found a balance and it was no longer a chore.

    Now I am past the one year mark and I’ve lost 100 lbs. I feel like it all started yesterday, but when I look in the mirror I am astounded. I am not the same person on the outside or the inside. I honestly can’t believe it sometimes. I never would have thought that I would be able to run 6 miles in an hour and actually enjoy it. I never thought that I would wear a size 32 waist pants again. I never thought I would have this much self confidence again either. I am someone new. This journey has been incredibly liberating, and while I know that I’ve conquered a lot of adversities there are still some down the road. Year one was about losing weight. Year two will be about maintaining that weight and keeping my new healthy lifestyle in place.

    Here is where I was when I started:

    279 lbs
    31% body fat
    128/88 bloodpressure
    80 resting pulse
    42 waist pants and XXL t-shirts

    And today here is where I am:

    179 lbs
    9% body fat
    100/61 bloodpressure
    61 resting pulse
    32 waist pant and M t-shirts

    Anyone can get the same results as I did. All you have to do is start. Once you’re getting results on the scale you’ll be hooked. Make the commitment to yourself and everyone that knows and loves you. They deserve it and so do you!

    Best of Luck,
    Mark

  5. Kaitlin

    it makes me feel so much better to hear you talk about this subject, no matter what you are saying specifically. for the first time in my life i am realizing that my body needs work and i need to be more attentive toward what i eat and exercising. it sucks because i’ve always been thin and i’m just not used to it. BUT I’M GONNA BEAT THIS DAMNIT. anyways thanks for sharing your insecurities because really you are totally beautiful and awesome so that reminds me that i am beautiful and awesome as well.

    and i’m totally freaking out about summer-bikini-time too :(

  6. Sarah

    I recently gave up meat, dairy, and refined sugar (for the most part…I’m no saint), and my belly is WAY better. Even just dairy and sugar would probably make a big difference.

    Also, maybe read The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone. It IS about veganism, but it’s also written by Cher Horowitz, so…

  7. Amy

    This is going to sound new-agey, but I recently (4 months ago) started Nutrition Response Testing and I feel a million times better (both physically & mentally). I didn’t have this problem, but a lot of people find out through N.R.T. that they have parasites!! People who have parasites exhibit the symptoms you were describing, so I thought I’d throw that into the ring. Good luck!

  8. SC

    Absolutely get where you’re coming from. Two years ago I stressed about everything I wore and how fat I looked. I look back at those photos and know I was kidding myself. My body, while not “perfect” was perfect for me. That perfection came at a price though. I’d find myself skipping meals and eating an incredibly unbalanced diet in order to remain “small”.
    Its taken a huge weight gain (who would have thought that eating normally would do that to you?) and a huge journey into self hatred and despair to realise I need a lifestyle change. Now I’m on the path back to “perfect” but in a healthy way. I’ve cut out yeast, dairy and sugar (which has absolutely changed my life) and am now incorporating exercise into my lifestyle. It’s taken me reaching an ultimate low (physically) before realizing a life change was mandatory.

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