This will be a pretty random and TMI post, but then again it's not like the last five posts I've written have much of a segue.
I weighed myself yesterday (as I do on a semi-sporadic basis), and before my eyes I saw a number that I haven't seen in a while. In fact, it's probably the lowest weight I've been since junior year of high school.
I'm not writing this in an effort to collect compliments about this rather prolonged journey of weight loss since my college years. Instead, I just want to reflect on how my thoughts of body image have progressed.
I find that as my weight goes down, my thoughts on body image become more positive. Indirect correlation.
Ever since middle school, I've always been hard on my body. It was too wide, too short, too squishy. My image of myself was further deprecated by some pre-teen boys who would ask mercilessly why my legs were fat. I remember burning inside whenever that question was asked, and would dread to wear any shorts in my closet. Coupled with some awkward braces, awkward body hair and a very awkward personality, I dug further into my personal shell and hoped to never emerge. I often would cry in the shower, wondering why I got stuck with a body like mine.
As the stress of high school's social and academic norms became terribly unbearable on my weak esteem, I had to find an outlet. Starving my body and exercising it to the point of exhaustion was the only way I could "punish myself". I felt that if I was not mentally strong enough to handle high school, I may as well take it out on my body. I whittled down my daily calories to ~500 (which consisted of carrots, apples, salad and a lot of gum, which I also tracked) and started to work out for 3 hours a day.
Jeans became loose. Bones began to protrude. Compliments from family friends started to flow in. Head-aches pounded daily. Obsession with calorie limits made me paranoid. Weighing myself started to become my hourly ritual.
I will never forget the dichotomy of feeling so miserable when achieving a sought after goal.
Things have changed now...way better than I would have expected. I picked up a love for the outdoors (thanks to some really great people in my life), and soon my life did not revolve around my weight. I've long stopped reprimanding myself for parts of my body that aren't ideal. I don't understand the point of wishing your body looked a certain way.
I've learned that happiness does not necessarily replace weight that you've shed.
Yes, I've managed to shave off pounds, but that really is the secondary or even tertiary benefit. I've gained a lot more understanding for the beauty of any body and most importantly, a passion.