Up and Down

I’ve struggled with my appearance most of my life.

Since I have full-body eczema, I have always been insecure about my skin. Since the skin covers the body, there was a lot to feel embarrassed about. And from there, on the long list of things I didn’t like about myself, I couldn’t help stress about my weight.

When I was in elementary school, I was always on the heavier side. Our family called me and your uncle tabachoy orĀ tabachingching and poked “fun” at us, but no matter how many times you say “It’s just a joke” that doesn’t stop the comments from hurting. No level of sarcasm can hide the fact that it’s how they really saw us.

Near the end of middle school and towards the beginning of high school, I dropped a lot of weight. My skin was still a cause for concern, but at least I wasn’t chubby with a bowl cut anymore. I was praised for my newly lightened physique, and it made me feel good.

I didn’t get that way healthily though. I didn’t exercise. I wasn’t eating right. In fact I was barely eating at all.

That was the point in my life when my depression was really starting to kick in. I didn’t want to do anything but stay in bed all day. I would sleep 12 hours if I could. I’d skip breakfast every day, eat a meager lunch, and an average dinner. The weight dropped because of that, and nothing else.

At that point in my life, I was 120 pounds.

Late in my sophomore year in high school, I had gained a lot more friends. I had more energy, I wanted to go out, I was happier. My sleeping (and eating) schedule had regained a sense of normalcy, and I had jumped to 135 pounds. But because of my bigger build, it didn’t show all that much.

I don’t like to admit this, but in junior year the only way I had noticed my weight was on the rise was because of my Naruto headband. In freshman year I would wear it around my waist almost every day, but near the end of high school it wouldn’t fit anymore. I’m a huge loser lmao.

So late into my senior year my weight had only risen again, and I was around 145. So I guess writing it out, it seems I had gained about 10 pounds a year. Go figure.

I tried to be healthy and exercise, but it wasn’t so easy and I wasn’t so motivated. So that didn’t last long.

Then enter my freshman year of college. I was 160 pounds, because I had spent the summer before going out and saying goodbye to friends left and right.

Because the campus had 3 gyms nearby, it was super convenient for me to workout whenever I got bored. I didn’t like to stay in my dorm room so often so I used the gym as an excuse, plus I made friends that motivated me (for a little while at least). So after the first semester, I was back to 150 pounds.

But then, in the middle of my second semester, I got pregnant with you.

Obviously I wasn’t so keen on watching my figure.

Long story short, I was roughly 185 pounds at the end of my pregnancy. But after you came out, I was only at about 170 again. I thought, ONLY 15?!

The stress of taking care of a newborn baby didn’t make me want to exercise. Just the opposite, all I did was stress eat and laze around with you.

There were periods of time where I would try to create an exercise routine, but nothing stuck, so I would give up really easily.

3 months ago, I was 175 pounds. I was always tired, I was still wearing my maternity clothes, and every little action made me stop to catch my breath. I could feel how unhealthy I had become, and there was nothing more embarrassing for me. To want to raise you to be a fit and health-conscious individual but not lead by example?

I changed the way I was eating, and I worked really hard to establish a routine exercise schedule. So now, I’m 155 pounds, and I feel really proud of myself. I hope and pray I’ll be able to keep it up.

It felt bad to wear pregnancy clothes, over 2 years after giving birth. It felt bad to not be able to carry you because I got tired too easily. It felt bad to not be able to play with you because I just wanted to eat and nap all the time.

My energy is returning, and though I still have depressive episodes where I don’t think I can even get out of bed, I can feel myself getting better, even just a bit.

The point I want to make from this is that, I was never so focused on fixing my appearance until I made the decision to do it for myself. I wasn’t happy being thin for the compliments. I would never have considered dieting just to look good.

I started dieting because I wanted to feel good about myself, and I wanted to be healthy.

I used to worry a lot about what people thought, and it really plagued me. But, even when I was at my heaviest, I still slapped on lipstick and a crop top because I loved my body.

I don’t even know if I’m making sense anymore because I’m typing this past midnight and I’m tired.

But throughout my entire roller coaster of a weight journey, every pound lost or gained taught me something about loving and accepting myself. Even if I were 200 pounds right now, I would still love what I saw in the mirror.

So when you’re old enough to feel insecure, remember to treat your body kindly.

If you want to diet, do it for yourself.