The Weighing Is The Hardest Part

weighing

So I went to the doctor today, and I was dreading it for so many reasons. The first is, everyone knows doctors are scary. They’re like society’s acceptable bogeymen. They take your blood and judge your lifestyle. And this was my first time seeing this new doctor (thanks, Obamacare, for screwing with my insurance), and I was especially nervous. Thankfully, she was a doll.

But another secret reason that I was apprehensive about going to the doctor is that I know I’ve gained some weight, and I was afraid of being weighed. Yup, that’s something I’m ashamed to admit, but there you go. I told the nurse I didn’t want to know my weight, and she complied.

BUT THEN, I found out anyway, by mistake. I saw the number. And my heart sunk into my fat chest. This is the most I’ve ever weighed. It’s the highest that number has ever been. If it was a Donkey Kong score, I could be proud of that number. But it wasn’t. It was my weight.

How many times am I going to write about my body before I’m over it? I mean, really?

I don’t see men do this. In my entire life I have only once heard a dude say that he had to lose weight (and he totally didn’t, he looked great, honestly. I don’t mean “great” as in, “I don’t want to hurt this person’s feelings, so I’m going to use the word ‘great'” — I mean actually great.) Why am I so bothered by my weight?

I think a big reason is because I don’t understand why I gained weight. I exercise and I barely eat, because I take adderall, and it suppresses my appetite. (I want to go off the adderall, I hate it. I’m talking to my psychiatrist about how to do that, safely.) But it’s like, how is it just my luck to be the only person who GAINS weight while taking adderall?

I’m getting old, you guys. I think that’s the only thing that can explain it. When you get old, the weight is harder to come off than when you were a goddamn teenager. And it’s crazy, because when I was a teenager, I was also complaining about my weight. I was trying to remember when I first started to hate my body. It started in elementary school. I hated my body because I thought I wasn’t tall enough. Then in middle school, I hated my body because I thought my breasts weren’t big enough. Then in high school I hated my body because I didn’t think my stomach was flat enough.

Am I ever going to be done hating myself? How much more can I put myself through before I’m really, truly, done?

So I don’t know where to proceed from here. I can continue to hate my body or I can try loving it. I’m really good at helping others love themselves; I just can’t get myself to give in. I just did a photo shoot and I’m trying not to judge every single photo of me with unhelpful thoughts like, “Double chin here”, “Fat stomach here”, “Large thighs here.” I should instead be looking at the photos and thinking, “How cool that I did this photo shoot, I look awesome.” But it’s like Tom Petty said, “The weighing is the hardest part.” (Okay, fine, he actually says “waiting.” But I needed a pun, I need puns so badly.)

Has anyone on the planet successfully given up their body hate and welcomed the body love? I want you to tell me how you did it. Let’s just talk from our hearts.

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18 thoughts on “The Weighing Is The Hardest Part

  1. D

    Boy oh boy, grab a slice or three of pizza and take a seat, this is going to be a long one…

    I weighed 400 pounds. I spent a lot lf time avoiding scales, mirrors, and anything else that made me deal with reality. I didn’t know or want to know exactly how fat I was. If it wasn’t defined, then I could just be in denial about it. But, the results were there – out of breath always, hard time tying my shoes, squeezing intoovie theatre chairs, seeing my skinny friends lean back while I felt like I was leaning forward because of my mass. It wasn’t until after I lost weight I saw photos of my old
    Self, and I cried.

    Oh by the way, for those of you who don’t know me, I’m a man.

    I lost weight. A lot. An entire person and a half worth of it. I threw out 54 inch waist pants and 4XL shirts. I was at a 33 inch waist. Medium/large shirts. Hell, I could wear Radiohead shirts imported from London! Those things are made for tiny blokes! And girls, oh man girls noticed me! They finally wanted to kiss me! And take off their clothes in my presence! It was a natural daily high to experience so many new experiences. I was proud, arrogant, confident, but also miserable. I drank and I drank and I drank. And I made sure everyone knew what I thought about everything in the world since my voice mattered now. I put all my value in how other people now saw me and treated me.

    Somewhere along the way, though, I realised how shallow that was, except I didn’t acknowledge how shallow that was. I just felt empty, and I couldn’t figure out why.

    My engagement fell apart, I went back to college, I gained some weight back, I moved back home after graduating. I was miserable, depressed, and constantly looking back on the past. The positive side of doing that was acknowledging I had been at my happiest when I was fat. I was miserable, anxious, and depressed when skinny. I acknowledged it wasn’t the weight that was the real problem here, it was my self worth. I met someone who sang my high praises and showed me all that was good inside me. When they left my life, I was miserable, but I soon got over it when realising I was all the things they said I was, and I didn’t need them around to validate that.

    That was the starting point of changing my mindset, valuing what I have and what is good about me. You know the saying “no one is perfect?” Embrace that. Every one has flaws – for some people that means egotism, for some it’s foolishness, for some it’s forgetfulness, for some it’s clumsiness, and for some it’s not having a chiseled skinny body. And that’s
    Ok. There is plenty to be gained in life and society without your area of expertise and success being having a picture perfect body. Your success could be in your dependability, creativity, empathy, artistic ability, ambition, whatever.

    Me personally? I’m still fat, I’m rockin XL shirts and just barely slipped into 38 waist jeans. That’s a shirt size and 4 inches on my waist down from 5 months ago. What’s my secret? I focused on what I’m good at – being stubbornly determined and hard working to achieve a desired goal. Going to the gym wasn’t about getting skinny, it was about me filling out Fitocracy logs, gaining points and seeing my level increase. It became a routine. I’m very routine-oriented. I made working out a routine. I made counting calories and going to restaurants I know the caloric intake of a routine.

    And, yeah, I’ve been noticing weight loss, clothes getting looser, shirts crumpled in the corner that I discarded long ago and lost hop of wearing again pulled out and put on, fitting comfortably. But, I also have acknowledged this isn’t my focus, it doesn’t control my life. It doesn’t affect how I feel about myself or where my self worth is coming from.

    That’s my story. It can’t be your story. You are a woman and I can’t even begin to imagine the stress and burden of being one in this modern age. I know I have had it much easier because no one talks about their weight with me. My guy friends don’t, and my female friends don’t want to show their struggle outloud, I have sisters, I get it. But I shop on Express.com, I see how that guy looks in that fitted shirt, cardigan, skinny tie, and sleek slacks. Do I have a moment where I want to look like that and imagine the pretty girls I could attract looking like that, how much easier my single dating life could be? Sure, I’m human, I have those moments, but I shrug them off, I pat myself on the back, proverbially, and tell myself it’s only a matter of time before I’m on that level. I stay motivated, stubbornly dedicated.

    Find what you’re good at. Incorporate it into your daily decisions, how your spend your time and whom you spend it with. Change your routines and your lifestyle. Be mindful of what works for you and what makes you happy, what you can accomplish and the strengths you possess that makes those accomplishments possible. Keep doing those things, make your mind healthy. Then, focus on getting your body in shape. Find an activity that you enjoy and love. Do it, a lot. Regularly. Just make it part of your day. It sounds hard – when you’re ready to do this, you’ll find the dedication easy. It won’t seem like work or monotonous. I go to the gym five days a week. I used to be quite content being a 42 inch waist and XXL short wearing couch potato. I hate missing the gym now. I’m not special, I just found what makes me happy and life work, and being motivated to achieve those things became priority one.

    The end.

    1. Almie Rose Post author

      D, this was so great, it could be its own post! I had no idea you had these struggles. Thank you for sharing them, and for sharing your words of wisdom, which is indeed what they are.

      My problem that I’m realizing, is that I get into a routine and then I find a reason to abandon it — usually that I’m too busy. And then a full week goes by without working out, so I think, well, fuck it, and I let another week go by. Then I get aghast and start working out again. So I don’t really have progress, I just have a lot of stops and starts.

      Anyway, thanks again for sharing your story. Really appreciated!

      1. D

        Thanks. I typed it on my phone hence the rampant typos, sorry.

        I understand the feeling of missing a day or any span of time and saying “forget it, I’ll miss all the days.”

        It is a mental game, 100%. One of the best moments of the day is the hot shower I take in the gym when I’m sore and have just finished working out. When I am tired or feeling lazy, I concentrate on that moment in the shower, that feeling. I get completely immersed in that moment and make it so I don’t want to miss it. To get to that moment? I gotta work out. And I never regret or, it always feels good. I concentrate on that good feeling and reward, and it gets me in the gym every time I don’t wanna. Fitting into smaller clothes has only added to that, so now I can also say “and smaller clothes has felt better, and when I reach [some milestone], that’s gonna feel better.” Strap in and lock down. It takes time to start seeing results, but once you do, you get addicted.

        Anyway, I’m not trying to preach at you by any means, so I’m sorry for the lecture. It’s nice opening up once in a while, I don’t do that much these days.

        D

  2. Simone

    I agree with what D said above (which was one of the best, most well written comments I’ve ever read, BTW)

    What I’ve learned is that there is always going to be a time when you think back and say “Oh, I wish I was as skinny as I was when I was that age” or some fictional future time when you think “If only I looked like this…or when I look like this I will..” However, I have to remind myself that all of this backward and forward thinking is pointless because all we really get is the present.

    So, I’ve tried to switch my thinking. Instead of thinking in terms of “thin/fat” or “young/old looking” I try and think: “Am I healthy? Do I feel healthy? Am I putting good things in my body?” Diet is a huge part of maintaining a healthy mind and keeping my anxiety at bay. Instead of focusing on what I shouldn’t be eating, I focus on all the healthy things I can eat & enjoy (like avocados! veggies! salmon!) Instead of working out for the sake of losing weight, I try and think “I’m doing this because I want to be strong & fit” Then it becomes more about what my body CAN DO vs. what it looks like. Of course, I’m not perfect – sometimes I break from my routine & sometimes I still beat myself up, however I feel so much better when I don’t. I read somewhere the quote “if you’re tired of starting over, stop giving up” Anyway, it really stuck with me.

    FYI, this body image stuff is hard. It’s not just you. However, for the record – having met you in person and known you online, I can say that you’re a really beautiful person both inside and out, not to mention funny & talented. Hang in there. Keep your head up & you’ll get there.

    Love xox

    1. D

      Thank you, Simone. And if you’re the same Simone who wrote the article Almie linked on her Apocalypstick Facebook the other day, I had/have this feedback for you.

      “I always say the best-written pieces are ones you don’t relate with at all, but are still moved and touched by. This is rare, and Simone captured that very thing. Superb.”

    2. Almie Rose Post author

      Thank you, Simone. And thanks for the lovely comment. This: “However, I have to remind myself that all of this backward and forward thinking is pointless because all we really get is the present.” is something I’m going to try really hard to focus on.

      xoxo.

  3. M.

    At 25, I feel your pain still. A few weeks ago, when my doctor weighed me in a check up appointment, I found myself almost apologising and justifying the extra 2lbs with clothes weight. A few weeks later, at the pharmacy I always go to, the lady behind the counter noted how skinny I looked. I thought I had gained weight over the holidays, especially being off adderal (different name, same effect) for those days off. By a standards I have an average hourglass shaped body, on the tall side, and I have had self image issues since I remember. At some point I realized I had always allowed others to have a say in how I shaped my self-image. Snarky colleagues, bad boyfriends, the works. And taking that authority back is no easy feat, as claiming your strenght to forget, forgive and overcome isn’t. But at the end of the day, I’m fighting for it. I find dressing right for your body shape does wonders, as does pampering yourself when possible, even with small things. Educate yourself to hold back the snark you wouldn’t press on others. This week, I saw some developed pictures from a roll that spanned from last August to this August. And there were two photos of me with the same garment in each summer. I have lost enough weight to be considered slimmer and healthy, and somehow it really hadn’t made a difference. Don’t focus on the measurements – that can be caused by a number of things, and exercise expands body mass/muscle weighs more. I’d be grateful it’s not medical, and consider cutting down on alcohol. Instead, focus on being nice to yourself – nobody loves a mean girl, and we all bully ourselves a hell of a lot more than we should.

    1. Almie Rose Post author

      ADDERALL IS THE WORST. IT IS MY SWORN ENEMY, I UNDERSTAND.

      “A few weeks ago, when my doctor weighed me in a check up appointment, I found myself almost apologising and justifying the extra 2lbs with clothes weight” — this SO sounds like something I would do!!

      And finally, this: “focus on being nice to yourself – nobody loves a mean girl, and we all bully ourselves a hell of a lot more than we should.” is so true! I never think about how mean I can be to myself. Thank you.

  4. Ellie

    Wow, this was such a great post to read! I love reading your pieces on guys and love lives on The Gaggle and this is a refreshing post. I think weight is one of the most unspoken things about women, especially those of us in our twenties. We all think about it–not the number per se, but if our stomach roll shows or if our face looks fat.

    Thank you for your honesty!!

  5. anonymous dudebro

    Almie I just wanted to say you look great and have no reason to hate your body. As proof of this, before i read this post I clicked onto your site through random facebook links and saw your profile pic and, immediately looked you up on facebook cause you’re pretty… (sorry that probably sounds creepier than I intended.. maybe do something about your privacy settings? πŸ˜› :D) So if you can’t see it yourself, take it from an anonymous stranger who creeped on you on the internet πŸ˜€ :S πŸ˜€

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  7. Brittany Ann

    Girl, reading this post and the comments has brought tears to my eyes. Just earlier today I collapsed in my boyfriend’s lap sobbing because I was terrified to go play at probably the coolest water park I’ve ever seen. We are with his wonderful, skinny, beautiful family at an amazing resort that includes an indoor water park and my boyfriend of course has been looking forward to getting in our bathing suits and having the time of our lives. But an hour before we were to leave, I put my bathing suit on, looked in the mirror and immediately felt my eyes burning with tears.

    I never really struggled with my weight until i entered my twenties. I was skinny, had awesome tits, long red hair… My thing was acne. Acne was my devil for the entirety of my teenage years, and I always assumed it would for some reason magically end when I hit my twenties. No such luck. And now those years of eating whatever I want and not gaining a pound have caught up with me.
    I have in recent months started to transition into eating vegan. That seems to help with self esteem as well as health, but I end up eating dairy still a little more often than I’d like and I beat myself up for it, then I beat myself up for beating myself up. I am actively working on my mindset and my perception of myself and the world around me. I am constantly trying to teach myself to love and appreciate the unique wonder that is me. This is truly the hardest journey I’ve been on in my life so far.
    The main thing I am practicing is showing love and giving out as many compliments and smiles as possible to those people I can see that same struggle in. When I see a woman who is anxiously sucking her belly in, I find the thing I love most about her and make sure she knows about it. I tell people “I just have to say, you are very pretty” or “you look quite nice in those glasses”
    I have found this to be so far the most effective way to reach the love I have for myself. First I have to find myself in others, see that I love them, then realize that as it turns out, I love myself too.

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