Last night I cried in my boyfriends arms because he offered me ice cream.
Yep I did that. In a terrible moment of vulnerability I balled to him because I felt bad about my weight gain.
This makes me feel somewhat shameful, but not for the obvious reasons. Mostly because I've spent two years really focusing on positive body image, and also attempting to spread that message and help others. And here I was broken down because of a 30lbs weight gain.
I don't know why I did it, but yesterday I went on My Fitness Pal (a calorie counting site, that I was a member of) for the first time since I began this journey. (well at least part of it was because a friend told me that semen was infact listed as a trackable item...anyway I digress...)
The decision to give up weighing myself and dieting was a complete 180 turn from the previous year, where I had began a blog detailing my "shameful" eating past, and generally put myself down, and "motivated" myself to get thin by calorie tracking and exercising and even basing my smart phone choice on the ability to have the myfitness pal app where ever I went.
At the point I quit MFP, I was down 23lbs and the smallest I'd been in a while, but something finally clicked and I thought..this sucks. I refuse to do it any more, and so began my journey down a completely different road - one that encompased fat acceptance, intuitive eating, Health at Every size, body love, NO diets and no weighing myself.
I have absolutely ZERO regrets about this, its the best thing I ever did for myself, but when I went on myfitness pal yesterday and saw that when I quit, I weighed 198lbs, the old thoughts and feelings and shame and bullshit came crashing down. Today I have no exact idea what I weight but I know its somewhere around the 228lb mark - over 2 stone heavier.
I had rather smugly thought that I was weight stable and suddenly seeing those numbers - for a second they became all powerful again.
My clothes are definitely tighter and I feel as though its all happened in the last few months and I don't really know why. I've been eating what I want for 2 years and didn't feel like I was changing...and then BAM - up two dress sizes.
The most stupid thing about this, is that it all fits in perfectly with my beliefs about dieting. That in fact my lower weight was never going to be maintainable (past the 5 year mark) and I've gained back what I lost plus a few pounds interest. I know from my own experience and the experience of others, not to mention actual studies that this is the most likely outcome of intentional weight loss.
Two years I've worked to change my mentality. I don't hate being fat. I like myself in general, I feel better and more attractive that I've done than any point of my life. And so I feel fraudulent being upset about it all. Sometimes our emotions just have to be felt even though they don't fit in with our beliefs and logic.
Logically this is not a big deal, and I've been very vocal about my thoughts around weight gain, and fat and weight and diets so I guess that's were the fraudulent shame comes in.
Its all OK though. I wanted to write about this because I've been doing some work around body image with my roller derby team (#harlothappybody) and I really wanted to show others that body confidence, and self acceptance really is a roller coaster journey, one that will have many twists and turns, highs and lows, but its a battle 100% worth fighting.
I don't want anyone to think that I don't have moments of insecurities or I'm smug in thinking I'm wonderful all the the time, because I don't think any of us do.
My plan to deal with the way I've felt in the last few weeks:
- To not worry about it and to re-immerse myself into positive thinking and good sources of varied media rather than mainstream "O.M.G she gained 2lbs, here's how she lost it with her new miracle diet!" kind of crap.
- To absolutely make sure I'm not weighing or measuring or thinking about stupid numbers that have no baring on anything.
- To reconnect with my body though intuitive eating and getting more exercise. My eating is a bit broken, I do use food to soothe and dieting is has NEVER has been the answer to that.
- And finally to let my body size lie where it lies, as long as I feel happy and healthy in myself.
As for the ice cream...I had a few bites. It was pina colada ice cream, but I wasn't hungry, so I didn't need to eat a bowl of it. And that is how I roll.
(If you're interested in Intuitive eating I highly recommend this handy pocket guide!)