A couple months ago, I went to a new doctor for the first time since beginning my new insurance plan. When I stepped on the scale, the nurse tried weighing me between the 100-150 lb range. I chuckled, “You’re optimistic — I like it!”
I weighed the heaviest I’ve ever seen on the scale. Since overcoming my eating disorder, I never weigh myself, but it also isn’t something I fear. As I’ve built muscle, my weight goes up and I like it — it proves I’m getting stronger.
This summer, I indulged plenty. Eating more, drinking again after my St. Patty’s Day fiasco, and I was also trying to work out less. My body could tell I was one high-intensity workout away from an injury, and I knew it was time to take a step back. No more than 3-4 high-intensity workouts a week, and at least one rest day. Earlier in the summer, I was slightly worried about gaining fat and losing muscle tissue, but I knew it was essential for my overall health.
Now, I may have gained weight, but I am overall the happiest I’ve ever been. I’ve been sleeping more, I’ve been stressing less, my tummy issues are almost nonexistent, I’ve been more social with friends and family, and I’ve been enjoying more leisure time. I’m not constantly rushing to one appointment to the next, and I’m not meticulously planning all of my meals. I’m listening more to what my body needs, not what I think it should need.
According to BMI, I’m technically overweight at 5’10” (the doc never said this either. I checked online urgh). I know this is bullshit — I still have defined abs! — but I also recognize I’ve got a little more fluff. I’m not so chiseled anymore (if I ever was lol) but I am stronger. I recently did my first unassisted chin-up, and I’m able to run 10 miles on my own!!
Some days are harder than others. I’ll put on my favorite pair of jeans that are more snug than I would like. I’ll see a picture of me with a little muffin-top and I cringe. Still, I’m able to recognize that this weight was not put on overnight. It took time, but I also needed that time to recover.
While my self-destructive ED behaviors are long-gone, I still face minor battles with “unhealthy/bad” foods and over-exercising. I recognize that over time, these are still destructive, and I’m slowly building a better relationship with food, exercise, and body image.
Maybe I am heavier than I’ve ever been, but I’m also happier and healthier. Fuck your BMI — I’m doing just fine.
++ Mary K