October 2, 2016

I am a size 16... and that is ok

So I just had an ah-ha moment. I am going to get very personal here so if that bothers you, stop reading now and come back for my next post.

Here's a little back story. I have struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember. My anxiety came in the form of panic attacks that, although I appeared calm and quiet on the exterior, I was absolutely freaking and screaming on the inside. My attacks often caused symptoms of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and I had an enormous fear of fainting. Since my 20s, I have also struggled with depression. After hitting the lowest point I have ever hit a few Decembers ago, someone made me realise that it was more than just being bummed out...but that I was suffering from depression. This made me realise that I had felt these feelings before and had previously suffered from depression.

When I reached this low point, I seeked the help of a therapist as well as my doctor. Although I had been taking anti anxiety medication for 4 years, I now needed something different in the form of an antidepressant. After finding my "secret recipe" as I called it, and taking some much needed time off, I slowly began to feel better. But it came at a price...

In less than a month, I gained 40 lbs. and I was devastated. I hoped that when I would start working again and moving more, it would go away. Almost 2 years later, I am up to 50 lbs weight gain since starting this medication. I have tried several things, including 21-day fix which had actually worked for the duration of the program.

But the reality is that I hate exercising and I love my evening snacks. I am also the mom of two active boys, who works full-time and has little time for herself {heck, I can't even go to the washroom in peace}. So programs that require a lot of time and effort are just not for me.  Note that I don't eat that unhealthily because I am basically maintaining my weight. But I am not eating to lose weight either, and that is my own fault but also my choice for now. And stopping the meds is also not an option at this time as the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages.

What hit me today is that, I can look good even at this weight. Sure I used to wear size 8-10 and now I wear XL and 16-18. But those are just numbers. It hit me that maybe it is ok that this is the new me. There are ways to dress myself to flatter my new shape and the sooner I accept that this is me, the sooner I will stop stressing about it and start feeling better about myself. Maybe it is okay if I start shopping in the plus size sections and stores because lord knows I will feel more comfortable in my own size than trying to squeeze into way-too-small sizes.

What bothers me most about my weight is that the bulk of it is in my stomach area, which means that at times I look pregnant and people do ask me if I am expecting. But I need to shrug those comments off and embrace my new self. Of course I admire people who are skin and bones, and I will always be envious of them. But if I choose to keep eating what I eat and being as active {or inactive} as I am, than that is my choice, and that is ok.

Once I realised this, I searched plus size fashion on Pinterest and what I found amazed me: these women are gorgeous! They have learned to embrace their shape and love their bodies and dress to make themselves look awesome. And I can do that too. I mean look at these ladies: gorgeous!

You know what doesn't help people like me who struggle with weight issues is the stigmas and the misconception that we HAVE TO BE thin to be happy. Do you know that according to this chart and my BMI, I am OBESE? Now how warped is that?

So to all ladies out there who have struggled with their weight and with their self-worth, or even to you skinnier ladies who struggle with your own issues, know that you are beautiful in your own way and in every single way. You were put on this earth for a reason and made as you are for a reason. So make it count and be happy.

And to everyone who wants to judge me and who doesn't like what they see, they are not worthy of my time. I choose to embrace me and to be happy about it.


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