Being Healthy and Happy

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

I hate the word DIET.

It holds such negativity and bad memories for me. It has been a word that has been a constant thorn in my side for as long as I can remember.

I went on my first diet when I was 10. I weighed 112 pounds and the doctor told my mom that at my age, I SHOULD weigh 90 pounds. I was a chubby kid. I won't lie. But I was cute and I was happy. I thought nothing was wrong with me. I loved books, had a bubbly personality, loved sparkly things, and laughed a lot.

Then I was told I was overweight and needed to lose weight.

Dieting made me unhappy. I didn't realize it then but it changed my life going forward. As a kid, I could not understand why I could not eat cookies or have a slice of pizza. Instead, I was eating tuna, lettuce and tomatoes with no dressing at all. I lost the weight in record time and was "thin" for a little while. But once I got off the diet and went back to regular life, I gained the weight back and then some.

Thus began my life of yo-yo dieting.

It got a point where about 10 years ago, I stopped dieting altogether. I was in the midst of my third time doing Weight Watchers and as I sat there in a meeting, listening to some woman, crying about how unhappy she was to be fat and how she just HAD to get thin, I had to leave. I spent years hearing the women around me say the same things. How they needed to lose weight for this party or that reunion. How they felt so ugly and huge. And I often wondered why I didn't feel that way.

This is going to sound weird but sometimes I forget my size. I don't walk heavy and honestly, I feel light. I walk with a strut, head up high and keep on moving. Then I catch a glimpse of my reflection in a store window or mirror and I am reminded that I am fat. But fat was never a word that bothered me UNTIL others made that word seem so disgusting and ugly.

So I gave up dieting. I wanted to be happy and I needed to take that added pressure off of me to be a certain size or eat a certain thing. I couldn't do it anymore. I have spent my whole life being overweight and dieting on and off. It was this constant yo-yo that became overwhelming. Being fat never stopped me from living life. I traveled the world. I continue to have a successful career. I have great friends. I never had a problem getting a man. I dress nice and have no problem finding nice plus size clothing. I basically lead a normal life.

That's not to say that I escaped the rudeness that fat people have to endure in this world. People can be critical, judgmental jerks. That much is true. Their words and insults hurt me deeply. But I never let it stop me from living life in the best way I could.

Then a year ago, I started having heart palpitations. Now I have always been healthy to a point. I went to the doctor regularly and the only thing I have battled on and off with is my blood pressure. But I've never had diabetes, cholesterol problems or anything serious like that. So of course, I went to the doctor.

As I blogged last year, I was diagnosed with extremely high blood pressure and it was affecting my heart. The doctor was shocked that I was still walking around because basically, I was a walking time-bomb.

This scared me "healthy". I gave up soda (my 1-yr "anniversary" will be Dec 27th), started eating more vegetables, gave up fried foods and gave up fast food for the most part. I occasionally have a burger or indulge in some Taco Bell once in a while but I am afraid to even look at a Big Mac or step foot into a Five Guys. I read labels now and that keeps my fear going. I talk a lot about being fearless but in this case, I welcome the fear because it keeps me on the right path to be being healthy. It motivates me to keep walking and being active. It keeps my shopping cart empty of bottles of Pepsi and Devil Dogs.

A year and a half later, I feel great. I always thought I had a weak stomach and that's why I was always sick. I now know it was because I was eating the wrong things plus drinking soda. My blood pressure is normal and has been for almost a year now. And added bonus...I'm down 3 sizes. Ironically, I'm still fat. But now I am fat and healthy.

What does that say to those naysayers like Maria Kang aka The Fit Mom who say you can tell someone's health by looking at them and that people who are not physically fit should not love themselves? I wrote a piece about Maria Kang on the PLUS Model Magazine blog and I have to say, it's hard to be objective when it comes to people like that because she reminds me of all the people in my life who have criticized me on my size and didn't take into account that I am a human being.

I believe that loving yourself is the foundation of everything. Self-love makes you want to be the best person you can be, which includes taking care of your body and being healthy. Instead of criticizing women for loving themselves and being proud of the body they are in NOW, she should be talking about low self-esteem issues with young girls, how negatively women are portrayed in the media, yo-yo dieting issues and eating disorders. Let's tackle the real issues here and not attack those women who are one step closer to living a healthy life because they have achieved the hardest step, which is loving and accepting yourself for who you are.

Who you are today does not guaranteed who you will be tomorrow. Loving yourself means wanting to be better. So evolving and growing in life is a natural step in that journey. I love where I am today and I am excited for who I will be tomorrow. And that's what counts. For now, I am fat and healthy and I embrace that.

Dress: Igigi (it's fabulous and my fave at the moment!)

1 comment

  1. Good for you! This brought tears to me eyes and you are so right! I understand you when you say ''sometimes you forget your size'', that is so true for me as well. I never realized I was fat until I took a good look in the mirror because before I realized I was pretty I never actually took a good look in the mirror to see ME. I just glanced at it and decided what everybody else seen was true, just a fat girl. But when I finally took a real good look the image I perceived back was that, yes I may or may not be bigger than others but I am beautiful and everything God made is beautiful! So who's right is their to tell me if I'm beautiful or not or if I can love myself, my body. I mean to me it seems like if a person can be bold enough to tell others to ''not love themselves'' then they obviously feel terrible about themselves and no one ever told them self love was and is the best love!...

    Thank you! :)