I went from this
All in just a span of seven years and in the last three years of this transformation were more of like yo-yo dieting and emotional roller coaster ride of binge eating.
I was in the rock bottom and I was too physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally weak to keep that same kind of motivation I used to have to fuel the same fire I had to continuously seek for fun filled sports to try every single day to keep the pounds at bay.
Related Article: 8 Life Lessons Hitting Rock Bottom has Taught Me
My mind was clouded by questions I couldn’t seem to find the answers.
Related Article: What Motivates You?
Related Article: Midnight Thoughts: Dear Life, where are we going?
My depression got worse and worse and the only thing that felt good was food and sleep and for my body type, it is never recommended.
Related Article: Never a Size Zero
Though I still got guilty every time I would choose to snooze after a long day of learning, teaching and string of odd jobs, I couldn’t force myself to see the good in spending more time in the gym when I had other more important issues to face.
Related Article: Self-Discovery and Mental Meltdown
In my hiatus, I have realized a lot things about my journey to losing weight.
When I lost weight, I would secretly stare at other people’s butt, thunder thighs and big midsections.
Since I was able to lose nearly half of my weight, I was thinking these people are lazy. They lack motivation.
Related Article: Things to Remember When You are About to Give Up
I questioned their lifestyles. I questioned the type of food they eat. I questioned their love for their lives. I would stare longer at their clothes and their taste for such. I questioned every little thing about them just because of how much they weight.
I forgot that I was once like that. If there is someone who should be able to understand more the kind of comfort food and the couch could give, that’s me.
But because I finally found my motivation to keep going, I forgot how it feels when I was the one in that situation. And just because I have my own motivation for losing weight, looking so good and to be liked for example, it should also be theirs.
I forgot to respect their own identity and uniqueness.
This is a hard pill to swallow but I had a very bad relationship with food.
I wouldn’t admit that I crashed dieted. I just suddenly started counting calories and removed a lot of food in my list.
I wouldn’t admit that my hair started falling and stopped growing. I would often be rushed to the hospital because of low blood pressure and anemia. I was not eating red meat and if I did, I would workout for two hours or until I was close to passing out.
My skin would bruise in the slightest bump and I must take other supplements just to make up for vitamins and minerals I stopped getting from food. I was too strict with myself.
This created havoc that until now, I can’t digest lactose and I have Gluten issues.
When I lost weight, I started feeling extremely good that I wanted to show off my new body and newly acquired beauty.
I would shop every week, everyday or every pay day. I didn’t care about money. I must look good at all cost. I must have all the latest fashion trend and nicest make up brands. I have spent money I haven’t earned. I was even asking money from my parents if my salary didn’t last until the next.
Related Article: 16 Things I No Longer Buy Since Becoming a Minimalist
Lost Self Respect
Our country, the Philippines, is a macho country. We are conservative in such a very odd way like our church doesn’t approve contraceptives and our schools don’t teach sex education. So it is not a surprise for a 15 year old girl to get pregnant but expect everyone to be talking about the girl like a Hollywood celebrity.
We take double standard society seriously that we base the respect we would give to a lady on the length of her skirt. The longer, the better.
During my weight loss journey, I didn’t care about this. I made sure that my skirts and dresses were so short and I didn’t care of I lost everyone’s respect because of the new joy I found in flaunting my new body although inside me, there’s a little voice saying that I have lost a little respect for myself too. Well, culturally speaking.
Related Article: Why It Feels Powerful To Be A Woman In A Male-centric Society
Mental Health Ignorant
My country isn’t a fan of mental health hygiene. We feel that we have a certain immunity just because our focus should be improving the quality of life we have. We must not have time for mental hygiene like the time we allot for gossip or social media stalking.
Related Article: How to Reduce the Stigma Around Mental Health Concerns
Our knowledge and concern about mental health isn’t something to be prioritized. This made me lesser sensitive and lesser compassionate in the underlying factors as to why a person was on the heavy side.
I wasn’t even considering the fact that they might be under medication or the fact that they are choosing to be like that is to be kind to themselves and do what makes them feel good.
Related Article: How to Survive Depression and Live a Productive Life
During this stage, I was such a people-pleaser. I always, of course in the subtlest way possible, would fish for compliments. I needed to be praised to feel loved and accepted and to know that I am doing something great. I got self centered.
I got so hooked in what other people would say. I got easily affected if I didn’t get the praise that I was expecting. I would then work harder to be able to get that praise I was always craving for.
Losing a great deal of weight gave me stretch marks and loose skin that wouldn’t go away no matter what I did.
I didn’t want to go under knife though but it just left me with low self-esteem. I was always conscious of my flaws. In my head were the perfectly photoshopped photos I keep on seeing from my mountainous glossy magazine collection.
Related Article: How to be Body Positive
These glossy magazines made me confident but also anxious at the same time.
Related Article: 5 Easy Steps To A Healthy Self-Image
There are so many food that I still couldn’t eat until now. The smell is enough to make me gag and feel sad.
Watermelons, canned tuna and cucumbers for example. I went overboard before and would just eat them everyday for nearly two years just so I would lose weight. I also now have hard time eating what I cooked. Eating the same food over and over gave me a taste fatigue.
A Grinch for Life
If the Grinch was only stealing Christmas joy, I was the Grinch for life during my weightloss journey.
I allowed my life to only revolve around the amount of food I would eat, number of hours I would devote to working out and the amount of new clothes I would buy to look good. All for a job and a life that didn’t make me feel aligned to what I strongly feel I’m alive for.
All these I was when I was a certified gym rat.
I was convincing myself that I was doing them to be healthy but I was lying to myself. All I ever wanted was to look good and feel accepted.
I was seeking validation from the outside even if I wasn’t happy on the inside.
I was convinced that no man will ever like me if I am on the heavy side. I always questioned my worth. I always based my worth on the numbers I saw on the scale, tape measure or the tags of the clothes.
When I moved out of my country, no one ever made me feel that all these mattered. I am surprised because I still kept on repeating what I have been constantly told in my own country which lead me to continue losing weight even if my body was telling me that something was not right anymore.
Somehow I started looking at myself like how these new people see me.
1. My weight never bothered the men I dated.
2. Those harsh words I kept on hearing must stop. I stopped trash talking myself.
3. Physical department is not the only thing that matter.
4. It is always a good idea to explore. To leave when a place doesn’t offer me so much anymore.
5. The people I surround myself with matter in my mental health.
6. Self love is the best thing I can practice.
7. Continue sparkling. Be the light in the dark.
8. Like what my first boss kept on saying, “Kill people with kindness.”
I might have more flesh in my bones now but I feel way better than I used to. I know my body, my mind and my soul need some good rest. I needed to be kind to myself.
The next time I would start a fitness journey, it is to celebrate and honor everything my body allows me to do. I am aware that this body will perish. I must not focus all my waking hours thinking of what makes it imperfect. It’s my soul which needs more TLCs.
How about you? What are your fitness motivations and how does it make you feel?