Talking about weight
Hey all. So I've watched quite a few friends post really intense statements about how they hate seeing skinny girls, it makes them want to cut out their own fat with a knife, and a lot of self loathing statements. I've also seen a lot of concern about obesity and that we shouldn't go embrace being overweight because it's super unhealthy and people are only talking about it because they care. And I get that, but this isn't going to be about that, this blog is my concern over the mental health of people who are overweight, or *perceive* themselves to be overweight.
So full disclosure here. I will be turning 38 in two and a half weeks. I have three children, and that DID have a profound impact on my body. I have severe mental health issues, which the medications also had an impact on my body as well. I am currently 5'2 1/2" tall and weigh 217 pounds. I am well in the 'obese' category for body mass, and have spoken with my doctors about it.
You never see pictures of me beyond selfies, because I am able to hide my weight rather well in them, and feel a confidence that I am pretty, and not some grotesque fleshbeast out to eat small children for breakfast. Now bear with me, as this was a sudden decision to post this, so you guys are stuck with dirty mirror selfies in the bathroom, which aren't that great. This is me right now.
When I was 16, I weighed around 120 pounds (was already as tall as I would get), and was pretty curvy, but thin. I was confident in my looks because I had, as my dates would say 'a bangin' body'. This continued up until I was pregnant with my first child. I never experienced being overweight, and had that idealism that I would always look the way I am, forever. That confidence was reinforced when after having my baby girl, I managed to regain my prepregnancy weight and shape within three months. I looked great, I felt great, everything was great.
And then the psychosis began.
The women in my family have a fairly long history of mental illness, and being abuse victims. It's a vicious cycle and one I had been keenly aware of and terrified of repeating. I damn near did when I had my first mental breakdown and began to experience the hallucinations in more harmful ways. I was hospitalized for trying to cut things out of my skin that I could see crawling around, and for basically bein ga huge danger, and then I was put on an antipsychotic and proceeded to gain 80 pounds in 2 months. It was alarming and terrifying to say the least. I was taken off the meds, and struggled to get my weight down, and managed to get around 160. Then I was pregnant with my second child, and that's when complications began. I was put on bedrest for nearly the entirity of the pregnancy and several months afterwards, and once again ballooned up to around 250 pounds. It dropped to 200, but iwth my third child I had given up any hope of getting under 200. No matter how much I exercised, how well I ate, something always seemed to happen to cause me to need to be on bedrest, or on medications that altered my weight, and so on.
I will not be having any more children. My doctors are not putting me on antipsychotics anymore and I'm in therapy for the ptsd, and so far my weight seems to have stabilized about here. I eat healthy, I take my dogs for hikes, I go for long walks, and I lift weights etc. But this is where I am right now.
For the longest time, and even now, I was terrified of having my picture taken. At conventions fans would come and meet me and ask to have my photo taken and I'd hate it becuase it takes ten or twenty pictures to get one where I don't look godawful in it. I am not naturally photogenic at all. I did not post full body pictures of myself very often because I was, and am, very embarassed to show how I look. I've had people befriend me online and when they meet me in person, become disgusted and no longer speak to me because I am obese. It is a fact of life for me at this point.
Why am I posting all this? Because I read my friends who see skinny girls and want to hurt themselves. I see my overweight friends who are sweet and wonderful and for whatever reason *cannot* lose weight, give up any hope for themselves. Because their self worth is loaded into how much they weigh. And I realized that I cannot be that person who is scared of their own weight, and still tell them that it's okay, it will be okay, and they are wonderful people. That their weight does not make them more or less valuable in the world, unless I can say that to myself.
So. Here I am. I am overweight. I have a mole on my chin that I try to hide every time I take a picture. I am selfconcious of my body and anxious when I meet people for the first time, that they will dislike me because of my rather large ass. And I am saying to my friends, it's okay. We still have value, we are still incredible and unique people. Our health issues do not make us worth more or less than anyone else, and we can reach for our dreams.
You can do this. Please don't hurt yourself. You are wonderful. Your weight does not define your worth.