Graduation is approaching and I’m not going to be a senior in college for much longer. I felt it appropriate to stream-of-consciousness my journey with my body for the past four years. I’m healthy. I say it with hesitancy (after walking out of the gym after 20 minutes on the stair master) because I question it. I still have off-days where all I can think about is going to the gym or how the handful chocolate chips I consumed out of a craving are going to mean an extra 10 minutes on the elliptical. There are days when I’ll lay in bed all day putting off my workout. That’s the real side of my college fitness experience.
This morning I saw an event notification for a campus event “Eating Disorders and Body Love: The Things Mama Didn’t Tell You.” A flashback of myself running on the treadmill in my living room every night getting yelled at by my mother and brother for making the mobile home we lived in too loud for them to hear the TV ran through my head.
I remember thinking how I was shamed for being overweight, but never encouraged to embrace a healthier lifestyle. I remember thinking that running on the treadmill would make me skinny. If I went to bed early instead of eating dinner, I would be skinny. If I followed a diet promoted by the pro-anorexia blogs on Tumblr, I would definitely be skinny.
I’m not the 10-year-old in elementary school who sat in her pediatrician’s room while her mom suggested she go on a Jenny Craig diet with her. I’m not the 13 year-old in high school with an eating disorder who everyone applauded for losing weight so quickly. I’m not the 14-year-old who binged on peanut butter when she was kicked out of her home during junior year of high school. I’m not the 16-year-old ashamed to talk to boys because of fear of getting rejected. I’m not the 18-year-old who cried for being over 200 pounds and decided to try Pilates. But, I was.
And some days, I still feel like I am. And it’s okay to embrace the different you’s who made it to where you are today. It’s okay to love them, too.
The funny this is now people come to me for work out or eating advice, and I’m not sure I’m the best person to offer it, even now. Because who am I, someone who has had the most chaotic experience with weight, to tell someone else what to do with their bodies?
I walked into the gym today, went on the stair master for five minutes, almost had an anxiety attack because of all the people in the vicinity, went to hide on the spin bike for 30 minutes and walked right out. I’m sure this is normal, but it made me feel like writing.
It made me feel like writing about who I was and where I am and how I ended up on a spin bike at SDSU on a Monday night thinking about how they correlate.
Four years ago, I was a senior in high school preparing for prom. I knew I wasn’t going to be asked to prom because I wasn’t confident, and always hid behind the insecurities I felt about my overweight body. I graduated and landed at my heaviest weight just two months later.
Eight years ago, I was graduating middle school with the thought I would never be thin. I graduated and landed at my lowest weight six months later after an eating disorder.
I’m graduating this year after four of the healthiest years of my life, and I’m scared. I’m scared of the unknown, but mostly I’m scared of how my fitness journey will adapt in a new environment where I’m not working at the campus gym or walking miles to class everyday.
I don’t know where I’ll be in two or six months from now. I can say that the past four years of maintaining a healthy weight have been a mental game in itself. I’ve been in- between the same 6 pounds for the past 3.5 years.
I’m scared, but I’m fine. It’s okay to be scared as long as you remember you’re going to be just fine. Writing helps, too.