2019 has been a crazy year for me. I’ve had so many ups and downs I can’t keep track anymore. One thing that’s gone down is my weight, by about 25 pounds. That was shocking to most people, including myself. I’m here today to hopefully shed some light on my own personal weight loss and the stigma that comes behind gaining and losing weight.
I’ve never been overweight in my life. As a matter of fact, I’ve spent most of my life being very skinny. I don’t think many people realize that skinny people get body shamed, too. Many people want so badly to be skinny or slender because they think that body type is what’s beautiful. It’s all over billboards, magazines, and social media. I’m here to tell you us skinny girls get teased and shamed just like beautiful voluptuous babes out there. It’s a dog eat dog world out there and it’s a pain in the butt!
At the beginning of 2019 I was sitting comfortably between 155-158 pounds and had been for a couple years. That was a little heavier for me, but still within my healthy BMI range. I felt uncomfortable, bloated, and last year I had to buy a whole new wardrobe because nothing fit. I then began to stretch some of those new clothes out because I was still gaining weight. I never knew just how much excess weight I was carrying around until this year.
As I began my trauma and emotional healing work in therapy I noticed some changes. First they were mental. I was feeling much better and able to cope with that emotional healing we’ve been talking so much about lately. The mental ease of going through my days was welcomed, the time off from work was needed, and what I didn’t know was the weight I was carrying was all a byproduct of severe, chronic stress and anxiety.
I lost my job at the beginning of the year. That was rough. It was a Thursday morning and I was already late for work because I had a counseling appointment. I was actually so mentally ill at that point that I was going in to ask for some time off, medical leave. My counselor told me if I didn’t help myself immediately that I’d end up with some irreversible illness like fibromyalgia. Ain’t nobody got time fo dat! So as I was going in with tears to tell my beloved supervisor I needed time off, she took me to a private room and let me know the company was downsizing and my position was being eliminated. What. A. Relief! Seriously!! I wasn’t happy there and my work reflected that very real fact and I think they noticed. Losing my job was the best thing that could have ever happened to me because it jumpstarted my major life overhaul. I was sad to go because I loved the people I worked with, however, this was the fire I needed lit under my ass to get my life together.
I ended up taking four months off of work and focused on healing myself. I’ve never done anything like that before in my life and I must admit it was difficult to navigate through, at first. I’d spent the better part of 13 years working so I didn’t really know what to do with myself. All I knew was that I hurt, both mentally and physically, and that I could hardly get out of bed in the morning. I HAD TO make some major changes! I already had a pretty good diet so the next thing was sleep. I was NOT sleeping. Hardly at all. But I was exhausted allllll the time! After I got that somewhat under control, it was exercise. I just wouldn’t do it. Couldn’t do it, for some reason. I finally started yoga again and that too would change my life. Shortly after, I tacked on meditation and I was off to the healing races! Finally, in late April, I made the decision to stop drinking for a while. It’s now been four months, and with great confidence, I can say it’s one of the best decisions I ever made!
Ok ok ok, Kayla, this all sounds fine and good, but what about the weight loss? Be patient young grasshopper, I’m getting there. All of this work I was doing was helping me realign the energy in my body. The careful diet, the sleep schedule, my counseling, yoga and meditation, lack of alcohol (downers), starting new meds for my bipolar. These were all ways I was healing my energy and physical bodies. The stress and anxiety I was carrying was making it impossible for my body to process anything in a healthy way, mentally or physically. So by taking the major stressors out of my life and focusing on what was healthiest for me, I began to lose weight. At a rapid pace might I add. In January I was 158 pounds. By April I was 145, and June I was 130, which is where I’ve been sitting comfortably ever since.
I was astonished! Twenty-eight pounds in six months?! How in the world did that happen. Well…I worked my ass off (literally and figuratively) and I got myself healthy. I changed my lifestyle, took out some major stressors, focused on my diet/sleep/exercise, put my nose to the grindstone in therapy, and never gave up. I wasn’t trying to lose weight, I think that was a major part of the surprise, but I did. This was my body thanking me for taking care of Her. This was my body finally feeling comfortable and free. This was my body telling me I was getting healthier. But there were still stigmas behind losing the weight.
Soon people began to notice and worry. This was extremely frustrating to me. I’d just done all this hard work to get myself mentally and physically sound, and people still had something to say about my weight. “You look too skinny.” or, “It’s nice you’ve lost weight, but don’t lose anymore.” or my personal favorite, “Are you eating?” WHAT IN THE ACTUAL FLIP?! People, people, people. If you’re going to comment on someone’s appearance or weight, which you should normally refrain, tell them they look healthy! Tell them they’re glowing or they look radiant. Because of the comments, I began to feel less confident in my weight loss and like I’d done something wrong. I felt healthy, I looked healthy, I had energy, I had goals and motivations, I had it all. Or so I thought…doesn’t matter how well you’re doing, there will always be someone who has something to say. My two cents, don’t listen to them. I finally had my annual physical and my doctor congratulated me on the weight loss, told me I looked healthy, and when I asked about my BMI she said I was at 20.1, which for me, is extremely healthy! So shush up all you naysayers!!
I feel phenomenal, I feel healthy, I’m comfortable in my own skin, I feel confident and more in control of myself. All of my hard work has been paying off, and so can yours. That’s what I want the audience to get from the post today. Not that I have a story about my weight loss, but that it took a lot for me to get to the healthy state in which I’m currently residing. If you want to make a change, you have to make a goal and do something daily to make that goal happen. I’m still practicing that, and it’s also what’s gotten me through this entire year of healing. You can do it too! I believe in you!
Oh beautiful people, I’ve continued on for far too long again. I truly appreciate you all! Thank you for joining me and have a wonderful weekend.