Growing up I wasn’t a fat kid – I wasn’t a skinny kid, either. However, most of my family was overweight, and had been their entire lives. My mother said it must’ve skipped a generation with me. Then one day, during high school, she met up with me at school, took one look at me and said, “You’re starting to get a little poochy.”
That, my friends, was the beginning of a long struggle with my self-image.
I subscribe that BMI is a crock, and not just because I have always been technically overweight by it. I’m short, but I have high bone density and I am naturally curvy. Not to mention the, er, places on my body that retain a lot of fat. So I was always happy around the 140 range. I considered 130 ideal, although BMI said 115. Trust me, at under 130 my bones start sticking out and there is nothing healthy about it. I’m practically starving myself. So I always maintained my body in the 140 range without thinking about it.
Then I moved abroad.
I don’t know what happened. Maybe it was a perfect storm of a new diet, way more exercise because of my job, and my body naturally aging. But when I was abroad for a year my weight gradually dropped to 130. I came home, weighed myself, and was pleasantly surprised. Then a few months went by. My new career is very sedentary unlike my old job. I also eat American food again, which is naturally high in fat and calories. I gradually gained weight. I thought I would taper off in the 140s again, but I didn’t. It kept climbing higher. When I reached 155 I started watching what I ate and exercised for a half hour every day. Mixed up aerobic workouts with high intensity interval training. Well, I definitely got toned. But I never lost any weight.
It’s been over a year since I moved home now. Since then I’ve bloomed into the 160s and am still climbing, no matter what I do. I’ve tried replicating my lifestyle from abroad to no avail. The weight itself doesn’t bother me as much as the extra fat does. It literally gets in the way of my life as I try to bend over – my flexibility is completely shot, no matter how many stretches I do every day. Not to mention what it’s done to my wardrobe. None of my bottoms fit any more, and the extra fat all over up top means my shirts barely fit either. I have a round face so fat tends to show up there very quickly as well. I can’t afford new clothes.
I don’t know what to do. I’ve sort of stopped thinking about it. I still watch what I eat and exercise regularly, though. I figure if nothing else, it’s probably my body aging and my metabolism dying. As long as I stay healthy and concentrate on toning, I should be fine for a while. But I dread the next trip to the doctor’s office, the almighty shrine of BMI. Looks like I’m finally joining the ranks of my family complaining about their weight.