I used to be 260lbs. Although, in hindsight, the weight I carried on my shoulders seemed far heavier than that. An eating disorder is a tricky bitch that wears many different coats, one of them being a fat suit. Emotional eating, like almost all vices, is a giant, painstaking game of chicken or the egg. Was I eating because I was sad/hurt/mad or was I sad/hurt/mad because of my eating? It was the latter, as I was only desperately searching for something to cut the edge off my pain. Being obese as a young adult is an internal heartache I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Kids are fucking cruel.
I remember the moment I realized I was fat. Sure, prior to the come-to-jesus moment, I knew I was a little overweight. I knew I finished my plate faster than the other girls, and I knew we couldn’t share clothes. But I didn’t really know I was that fat. It was in 8th grade. And I could be bias, but 8th grade might be the absolute worst year to find out you’re not like the rest. I was walking back from the bathroom and I heard a gaggle of shithead boys mimicking the sounds of a truck in reverse. At first, I didn’t realize what the spectacle was. And then, like a bag of bricks to your teeth- I realized it was me.
I struggled with my weight all throughout high school and a few years beyond. I would tell myself everyday that tomorrow would be the day I make the change. Today I could enjoy my shitty fast food that I convinced myself I was treating myself to. Like every goddamn day was the last supper or something. Well, like all good last suppers, they had to end. And they did. Within two years I had lost about 80lbs and hosted a baby in my belly for 9 month, but afterwards I found myself feeling weak and defeated. My life was a repeating cycle of homework and class and diaper changes and late night feedings and I wasn’t honoring or making time for my body the way I needed to. And then, on a cold and damp afternoon in February, I did something I had never done: I took tiny little 5-month-old Ivy on a run. We didn’t go far, only about 1.5 miles. The next day we ran 2. And the next day we ran 1.5 because I’m not a superhero. But then a few weeks later after averaging 2 or so miles a run, I heard that sweet little woman inside my Nike app whisper into my ear something I never ever thought I would hear. She told me that I hit my “best time” for a 5k. Tears immediately began pouring down my face. I had just run a fucking 5k and if you’ve ever been 260lbs- you KNOW that at one point in your life, that seemed impossible, unthinkable.
You see, being obese teaches you a lot. It teaches you to grow thick skin, it teaches you to make the jokes before others can, but it never teaches you that you are capable of change. If anything, it reminds you daily of your failures and your sorrows each time you look in the mirror or feel the sting of unwanted stares. Running was so foreign, so off-limits to me prior to my weight loss. But the second I realized I had run 3 miles, I had never felt so free.
This week we are focusing on the mind, the body, and the soul. In my experience, there is a unique and fragile dependence between the 3. When I failed to honor and love my body, I inadvertently damaged my relationship with the rest. Now, almost 100lbs later (thanks, FRANCE...and everyday since that I keep blaming France) I understand that my wellbeing is cumulative. So today, we want you to remind yourself that your body is powerful. Remind yourself that your body doesn’t need to look a certain way; it needs to feel a certain way. Take a moment to look in the mirror and see the potential you have, rather than the pain you hold. Whether it means going for a run, taking a yoga class, or even just doing 5 pushups with your knees on the ground- remind yourself of your physical power. We foxes hold a kinetic energy, today is the perfect day to unleash it.