Hey guys so this past week, I had a doctor’s appointment. It was just a check up and to see if I still needed to get a vaccine.
So I get my height, weight, and eye sight checked by the nurse. The usual. Then I was redirected to an examination room where I could wait for the doctor. So I sit there waiting for the doctor, and since I was the only one in the office, the doctor came by pretty quick.
They look at my chart on their laptop and notices that I gained 5 pounds.
*GASP* “Karen, you gained FIVE pounds?!”
and without missing a beat I said, “it’s probably just muscle because I’ve noticed my legs have gotten more toned.”
To which the doctor responds, “Yeah, but your BMI is a ____. You’re ‘overweight’ for your height”
Simply put, I was called fat. When CLEARLY I am not.
They brought up the literal Body Mass Index chart. In my opinion, that chart is a messed up construct used to classify people by how fat/overweight they are. No one uses that when they’re talking about their weight, like I don’t go around saying ” I’m a *insert bullshit BMI chart number here*”. In fact, no one really knows what those standards are and if I were to ask someone what their BMI is, do you think they would know? NO.
We live in not just a body sensitive world, but also a body positive one.
Body sensitive, in that now, what you communicate to a patient or anyone can have profound effects on their mental/emotional mindset as well as their own perception of themselves. There are some people who cannot have their weight be said out loud or who refuse to have their weight being done for a doctors check up because of this.
This is all in reference to a psychological theory called Social Comparison Theory(SCT). SCT is when you see where you stack up in a group and how there are certain attributes that you latch onto. So say someone says “you’re very gorgeous and you would make a man very happy”, you tend to latch onto this attribute of being very gorgeous. You find yourself in a group with other gorgeous people and you see where you stack up from “gorgeous” to “not gorgeous”. When you see that you don’t even stack up in said group, then you leave the group and see where you stack up in another.
This happens a lot more on social media. So you are still latched onto the “gorgeous” attribute, so when you go on sites like Instagram and Facebook, you actively start searching for gorgeous looking people and therefore seeing if you even compare to these Instagram models.
When we focus too much on that and we don’t see that we can compete with this standard of beauty, what happens is we internalize an awful load of negativity about ourselves, causing depression, cutting, and eating disorders.
But… We also live in a body positive world where there is now, more than ever, a light being shone on mental health illnesses and eating disorders. There are CELEBRITIES who struggle with mental health illnesses and are verbal about their ongoing struggles. There are communities that you can join that are centered around positivity and spreading awareness of these things. Which is amazing.
Losing weight isn’t something that should be taken lightly. While it is easy to say, it’s very hard to do, because it’s all part of the emotional and mental process of being consistent with diet and exercise.When that doctor basically told me I was “overweight” for my height, I thought HOW?
- Go to the gym about 3 or 4 days a week, as my schedule permits
- do loads of cardio followed by lifting weights
- When I eat out, I try to eat healthier alternatives
- But at the same time, I don’t deprive myself of some good chocolate chip cookies, fraps, or other delightful snacks.
- I try not to eat too much bread in one day
In my eyes, I think I am healthy. I don’t really pay attention too much to my weight because it does INCREASE and FLUCTUATE.
I am healthy and have come a long way from where I was since my freshman year of college.
I was dorming and I was at a school that was out-of-state. It was maybe my first time being away from home for a long period of time. Prior to me living on campus, I was taking medication that opened up my appetite and helped me get on a good sleeping pattern. The only problem was, it was my freshman year and the freshman 15 was in full swing. Only I didn’t gain the freshman 15, I GAINED THE FRESHMAN 45!
Where I went to school, they practically fried anything AND everything they could get their hands on. Hey, it’s not their fault, they were trying to appeal to the mainstream college student.
But I would soon realize that losing weight was a hard and grueling thing for me to overcome. I realized that it wasn’t as easy as it was back in high school, where I could scarf down fries for lunch and then head to my gym class to burn it off.
I found out that I had an anxiety to eat, whenever, wherever. In order to combat it, I had to internalize 3 questions…
- Was I actually hungry?
- Was I bored?
- What is a healthier alternative to what I’m craving?
Once I got that under control and was able to rationalize my eating habits, I was able to schedule and work going to the gym AROUND my schedule.
To up my self-esteem a bit, I learned some yoga/meditation and booked a photo shoot with really good photographer and friend. (I’ll put the link to her work at the bottom of the post!)
Granted, I am not a perfect person. I fell victim to wanting to drop in weight every week, but sometimes my weight loss journey came with a lot of setbacks, which I learned is okay. Those setbacks were designed to motivate me further towards a healthier lifestyle, without constantly depriving myself of ice cream and cookies.
Losing weight is more than just the appearance. It’s more about how you feel. If you don’t feel okay, then do something to change it. Work towards a healthier and happier you, without taking drastic measures to see where you fit. Working towards a healthier and happier you doesn’t necessarily mean lose or gain weight, it could just mean that you are working towards a better version of yourself, starting from what’s inside and being able to project how you feel about yourself, outwards.
You are enough.
For more of Lin’s work, check out her wix site Here!