On April 24th, after having dangerously high blood pressure for the first time in my life, I quit smoking. I got real about avoiding the scale like it was a demon trying to steal my soul or a value statement about my life choices. I ordered a digital scale that determines body fat percentage, metabolic rate, metabolic age, and other body mass percentages.
I’ve been a large person all my life. Even at my fittest, I have always been a size 12 or better. For me, BMI is a liar. I have large hips and a large bust and I’m only 5′ 7″. So my BMI is always high. I stepped on that scale and was at 54% body fat. I was in shock.
I’m body positive. I don’t judge people for their size in anyway. I’m a firm believer that big is beautiful. I’m also a firm believer of being the best me that I am capable of being. I am capable of doing better, and so, if I want to live longer, I have to do better.
I ordered some cookbooks that are largely plant based as after MUCH research nourishment is the most important thing! It is commonly stated on fitness sites that weight management and active living is 20% what you do and 80% what you eat. I felt trapped. I thought to myself, “I don’t eat that bad.” Then I had a reality check, BAD and GOOD have no place in discussing food. Calories are calories. I had to stop believing some lies. There are only three…that’s right THREE macros that food falls into. Protein, fat, carbs. THE END.
What?? So veggies….yep carbs. Fruit…carbs. Pasta…carbs (but also protein). I had to get real about my disordered eating. I mostly ate high-fat-high-carb food. I blamed our income on my lack of good choices. Since removing boxed food from the pantry (again, because this is what I can do. Many people don’t have the ability or energy to do the things that I can), our grocery bill has gone DOWN from 150/week to about 70/80 a week.
Drinking water, water, water, water, water and switching to non-dairy milk has helped my body burn the fat it’s stored around my middle. Which brings me to what no one has told me. The loose flappy pancake tummy roll of doom.
My belly fat is shrinking and my cheek bones have started to make an appearance. For anyone interested, I only work out like 3 days a week for 35 to 55 minutes. It’s not like an intense regimen. But now, I have space under my stomach that it hard to care for. It’s not tightening fast and it’s messy and awkward. My workout gear won’t stay up but I don’t fit a smaller size yet. So I have to rub antiperspirant and powder in all sorts of places and have more than one shower a day.
As an owner of larger bust, my ONE sports bra had to be ordered from overseas and cost around 100 bucks. I only have one! And as I lose mass, it starts to rub. The chafing and need for medical creams and ointments is real.
We need to talk more openly about these things because they are painful emotionally and physically—and are common reasons people with the physical ability to exercise regularly will give up. My goal isn’t to be a specific size or body fat percentage…though I had to put that in my fitbit for stats purposes. My goal is to get back to the person who ran a 10km race 3 years ago in 1 hour 35 minutes. Right now, I can’t even run for 10 meters.
The other thing no one told me about weight loss is the guilt I would feel. I feel like I’m betraying the other big bodied people in my life. I often feel like I can’t talk openly about my journey because it’s considered diet culture or fat phobia. I want to be clear, I do not think fat is bad/ugly/wrong. I do think that diets and fads ARE bad/ugly/wrong. Learning what is good for your body, YOUR BODY not someone else’s, is not part of diet culture. Lets nourish our bodies, our souls, and our relationships.