Bigger, but better

Thursday, June 21, 2018


I feel myself getting a little bigger every year.

Just in little ways. My stomach sticks out a little now; it didn’t two years ago. The size medium shirts that used to hang off my frame now fit me better than my size smalls do. Every year, I force myself to buy bigger jeans sizes. They fit better and feel better, but the principle of it irks my pride. 

I’m not stupidly fat, nor am I rail-thin. If you looked at me, you’d probably say I’m normal. Pear-shaped. I have arm fat and will probably never have abs. My face, like my body, is flat and wide. The scale goes up every year when I force myself to step on it. In eleventh grade, I cried because I hit one hundred twenty pounds. I thought my life was over. Then I learned to live with it, just like—one year later—I learned to live with one hundred thirty. After a short dip in weight, I’m at one hundred thirty-five now (for reference: I’m barely five-two, stocky, thick thighs), and fighting the fact that this could potentially be the New Normal.

I don’t want this to be the New Normal.
I don’t want one hundred forty to be the new normal.
I don’t want one hundred sixty to be the new normal.
I don’t want fat (whatever that means) to be the new normal. You know, I used to think my biggest fear was not working hard enough, but now I think it’s the idea that maybe, just maybe, I’ll have to go on that show My 600-Pound Life on TLC. Or Biggest Loser. Or even the fact that, one day, I'll have to stand in front of my mirror and accept the fact that I’m fat. 
It could happen.
I’m currently in Hawaii right now, writing this.
The last time I was in Hawaii, I was so aware of my face and my body that I was obsessed with it. I was obsessed with my thighs, my face, my eyes, how I looked in pictures. We had a family photoshoot in Oahu, and I felt fat the entire time. I look back now and scorn my hundred-and-seventeen-pound self. You don’t know what you had, I tell myself. I’d love to be a hundred seventeen pounds again. 

But at the same time, even though I’m bigger now, I’m a lot happier, mostly because I’ve learned to stretch my perception of myself to fit where I am. I celebrate the things that I do and the things that I am instead of hating myself for the things that I am not.
What I am not:
Kayla Itsines
Abs 
Vegan 
A Model
An Instagram Model
Any Kind of Model
A Person Who Needs To Have Abs For Any Professional Reason Whatsoever
What I am:
Sweet tooth
I really like vegetables
Only exercises for the endorphins
Exercised for the first time today in a month
(Currently feeling the endorphin rush)

I’m healthy(ish). Some days I eat like garbage, but I love salad (not soaked in dressing), fish, chicken, fruit. I'll skip the Cheetos but will likely say yes to Maui Onion chips. My kryptonite is sugar, and it’s a never-ending battle for me to control the craving to eat it. And, in fact, control is something I've had issues with in the past. I’ve tried counting calories before, and it made my life torture. I’ve crash-dieted before, and it’s the worst. I've tried to starve myself before, but I always got hungry. I've never had an eating disorder, but on a few particularly horrible occasions, I wished I could be anorexic. Or that I had the guts to be bulimic. Or that I could be thinner. (Just a little thinner. A bit lighter.)

That phase of my life is over now, thank God. I’d rather eat what I want when I want and be a little heavier than be thinner and constantly think about food and myself. But I’ve only realized this after years of self-loathing. And my perception of my body, now that it’s split, will never be repaired. I’ll never go back to the days of eating whatever and not thinking about food. Food, and exercise, and how it makes me feel, will always be on my mind; there will always be a split between my mind and my body, and my mind--no matter how much I try to stop it--will always try to find ways to attack my body. For the rest of my life, I've realized, I will invariably think, every day, about how I am, what I eat, and how I look. It’s one of the curses of being a girl, and of being me. I've accepted it.

Today I had a banana, a cinnamon roll, and two slices of orange for breakfast. I had roast beef, a slice of tomato, and pasta salad for lunch. For snack, I ate Maui onion chips, macadamia nuts, and watermelon; following that, I consumed most of a grande caramel macchiato from Starbucks. Tonight I will either have a burger or a salad; considering the scale and composition of the snack, it’ll probably be a salad. But maybe it’ll be a burger, because it’s Hawaii. I’ve already eaten pretty badly today, but that’s okay.

I do what I can when I can, and that is enough.

10 comments

  1. Man, you've been through quite a lot!

    I'm glad that you accept yourself now.

    Reminds me that I should probably do some exercise and eat a bit more. However these days, I don't have as much of an appetite as before :/

    I also accept myself though I'm a little under but I wonder if I'll ever be as active as I once was. Or if I'll ever eat as healthily as you *cries*

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    1. Dude, I don't eat that healthy lol. But I'm glad this resonated with you, and thank you so much for reading and commenting!

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  2. Thank you for this blog post! I'm overweight, but I wasn't two years ago. Any picture I put out of me is of me several years ago, looking beautiful in my skinny(er) body. I'm 160 lbs now. It's funny, because I've been on this journey realizing that I've been doing this whole "food" and "lose weight" thing wrong. Eating healthy is something I need to pray about, to do because my body is a temple...but I've been just doing it because I feel uncomfortable when I look in the mirror, and it's leading me to a lot of anxiety and difficult nights. It's lead me to cry because I ate a slice of pizza, and think of myself in unhealthy ways. And somehow in the midst of this journey I've been lead to your blog post. So another thanks!

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    1. Aww, thank you so much for reading! I completely feel you about the anxiety and difficult nights things; I've looked in the mirror multiple times and honestly just hated what I see. But thank you so much for reading and commenting! I hope you have a great day :)

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  3. aw wow...this is good. i love hearing deep thoughts.

    and this subject...haha yeah it's a struggle for a lot of girls i think, myself included. it's tough, but your outlook on it is admirable. <3 thanks for sharing.

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  4. YOU ARE THE BEST RACHEL OMG (I tried to comment this on your freshman year post but my laptop didn't like it and then I forgot and went back to studying oops). Basically every single one of your posts says things I think far better than I could ever express them. I know I'm a normal weight, even though the fresher 5 is kind of hitting me right now (funny fact: I think it's the fresher 15 in the US because it's in pounds, and there are 3 kg in a pound, and maths translates to different pharses. Does this even make sense?). ANyway, I agree that being a girl is sometimes worrying about your weight, and I don't know what to do about that, except try to love myself.

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    1. Oh, it's called the fresher 5 in the UK? That's so interesting! And thank you so much for always reading and commenting on my posts! It means a lot to me :)

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  5. I recently checked my weight at the doctor and it didn't make happy like at all so this post resinates with me so much!! Loved this as I do all of your posts. :)

    Nabila | Hot Town Cool Girl

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  6. I've 100% felt all of this. I know logically that I'm small, but in being a dancer and having everything revolve around what your body looks like...it doesn't make the already unhealthy thought patterns any easier. But it's comforting to not be the only one. And for the record, you are so beautiful, sweet friend. Love you.

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