February 01, 2017

Weight Loss Woes


It's been a minute and A LOT has happened. I'm not going to get into these details (not yet anyway) but I wanted to write about something I've been struggling with most of my life. Looking back, I feel as though, I shouldn't have been worried so much about it when I was younger but now, well now I should be worried.

Growing up, I was la gorda of my family. My sisters were much leaner than I was when we were younger and I was constantly reminded of that. I grew up thinking I was fat. I was always obsessed with losing weight but even when I did lose weight I was still the fat one, both to my family and myself. It had been drilled into my head so much that I looked at myself and believed I was overweight. I remember buying my prom dress and having my mom and sister tell me I needed to lose weight, I was a size 6, about 120 pounds. I was 18 then. I am about to be 30 now and I'm a 12 or 14. I weight about 185 pounds and I can tell you with certainty, that I was not fat when I was 18. I feel like it's a latino thing to nitpick on weight and this kind of obsessive commenting on people's weight is very damaging to the head. I grew up with this complex and I feel like in a way I was almost coerced to get bigger. The instant I realized I was actually overweight it was like my eyes opened up and I thought if I hadn't let my thinking get me here, I could actually be in better shape.

Now here's the thing. All this time, I was being told to lose weight. "Go exercise," they said, but no one taught me how to eat. I think this is a big deal. I was constantly being told I was big but I wasn't given the proper tools. In the long run, this has affected my ability to maintain my diets. My family thought that losing weight meant eating less. Sometimes, eating less is the right thing to do but I usually don't eat too much. I do tend to eat "bad" but I don't overeat. I don't have breakfast but I do have lunch and dinner and here and there I'll snack.

I have a strange relationship with food. Well, it's not strange. I love food. However, I also tend to use food for comfort. This is why when I do eat I go for the fries instead of the salad. The fries bring me joy, the salad does not. I realize that like everything, changing my eating habits, is really just that- it's creating a habit. It's completely overhauling what I thought I knew about food and re-educating and disciplining myself.

A few months ago, I was told I was pre-diabetic and that's when I really knew I had to change how I ate and exercised. Recently, my family took a hard loss to gastric cancer. That shit crept up on us and took away my cousin Mariela. This was another wake-up call, probably the thing that shook me (all of us) to my core. I really want to be healthy, for myself and for my family. Besides that, I really want to be comfortable in my body but I don't want it to consume my life so that all I think about is HEALTH OR BUST. I am working on it. I'm starting out small and trying to build these habits. It doesn't help that I'm stressed the fuck out with my last semester in school, an internship (or trying to find one), and a job. I don't sleep much and that's another thing I have to work on. It also doesn't help when people give you unsolicited advice. Me telling you I want to be healthier doesn't mean you have the license to tell me what I shouldn't eat. I'm not asking anyone to help me out that way because what I'll do is eat worse. I know it's a stupid thing but it just doesn't work for me.

The whole reason I wrote this in the first place is because I want to commit to change my life and this is like a little contract with myself because I'm putting it out there and holding myself accountable. I would like support but not in the way I mentioned above, to be honest, I don't know what it should be. I guess even reading this is support enough!

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