I can pinpoint my hate affair with my body to a pair of pink pants. Someone gave them to me and implied they may be a little small but were worth a try. They were a women's size14 and were anything but small. As a young teen, it killed me knowing someone thought I might not fit into them. I couldn't see me in the mirror anymore, I saw my fat.
I spent the remainder of my teenaged years fighting the bulge I didn't have. I look back and pray for the body I hated. I promise God if He gives it back to me I'll love it like I should have then. I developed a selective case of bulimia. I knew I liked food too much to become anorexic so I chose binging and purging; of course there were several stints I pulled with not eating as well. I remember overhearing a girl say I was too skinny and was sure she must have been talking about someone else. I hovered between 95-115 those years. At my lowest, 95 pounds, and I could still see a muffin top, saddle bags, meaty arms and fat, fat, fat!
Then I got knocked up and gained almost a hundred pounds, not once but twice. By the time I was 21 I had ravaged my body with overeating in pregnancy and methamphetamine use when not. My weight had fluctuated from 120 when I first found out I was pregnant to 184 at delivery, down to 140 before the next little guy, then right back up to the 180s. By God's amazing grace I was delivered from drug use in May of 1999 but I was left with more than one mess from that time in my life. Physically, I didn't know normal weight or how to get back to good, or where good even was for my body.
I spent my 20s nominally overweight. I admit that before ephedrine was outlawed I bought pills and took up to the daily recommended limit daily (maybe slightly more than the recommended limit if I'm honest – which I don't want to be but probably should be. I still count my clean time at May 1999). Again I think it was a gift of grace that took them off store shelves. Once chemical means of altering my weight were removed I was faced with the reflection in the mirror. Me. My fat. My body. I didn't know what to do, so I did a little exercising (I've always been a highly active person) and counted calories when I felt like it. My weight fluctuated between 130-170 for most of that decade.
Then my grampa got sick and I made a point to spend as much time with him as I could. He was the greatest man that I have ever known, and I've know lots of great men. He went home too soon, partly because of poor food and fitness choices through-out his life. I promised him I'd take better care of myself.
If my teens were too skinny and 20s too fat, I've dedicated my 30s to honoring that promise. I started walking with friends the month Gramps died and slowly, gradually worked up to running. I found a video yoga program, Outstretched in Worship, and practiced Christian yoga several times a week. I started eating on purpose instead of conveniently or emotionally. Since then I've held steadily between 130 and 140. I did gain 14 pounds when we moved from Western to Central Washington but that weight was shed within 18 months and hasn't returned. I think I'm healthy, I think this is a “good” weight for me … but...
I still hate my body! Not a little dislike, I am utterly dissatisfied with it. It's all wrong and lumpy and stretched and broken from decades of abuse. I have 2 more years until I hit the big 40. It is my hope I can get there and finally feel satisfied in my skin. I want to look in the mirror and be able to accept how I look and love it. I believe that means I should still shed another 10-15 pounds and tone my flabby, abs. I regularly run, walk, and participate in a corssfit-like exercises program at my CrosSprot gym. I have largely given up yeasty and white-flower laden products. I am mindful of what I eat and I hope I can find happiness in my own skin...someday soon.
Will I? Can I find the magic number on the scale that tells me I'm “there,” will I ever look at myself naked and see a body that I like ever again? Will I ever get rid of this hanging sack of flab in my lower abdomen? I know I won't be perfect but I'd like to stand proud and see a body that shows intentional work and dedication and restoration.
Please share your plan or advice or inspirational story with me! I'm open to ALL tips and recommendations that do not include surgery and dietary-supplements at this time. BUT if I hit 40 and am not “there,” then those two options are on the table!