Losing Weight: The Part No One Talks About

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.

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Family vacation in Bermuda (December 2017)

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?

I…

  • 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!

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here I am with a public speaker that was at my school (March 2016).

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.

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here I am at a place called the Gorge in New Hampshire (September 2016).

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.

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Fancy Dinner with some of my friends (January 2018)

For more of Lin’s work, check out her wix site Here!

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The Power of Forgiveness

Hey guys! I hope all of you are enjoying the first few days of the new year! If you’re having trouble finding ways to be motivated in your goals or have no goals for this year, check out my previous post Living Life With Arms Wide Open to see how you can get on the right track this year!

For the next couple of weeks, I am going to be doing a series called, “The Power of…”. My aims are to outline different ways in which you can incorporate certain virtues into your lives and become a better person.

So let’s get started, shall we?

Forgiveness. Where do I even start?

Forgiveness is a powerful thing. It sounds so easy to do, yet it is one of the hardest things a person has to overcome, depending on the severity of the issue. Sometimes, people go years, maybe even a lifetime without forgiving someone who has hurt them. Other times, it takes years and maybe a lifetime to forgive someone. The thing is: forgiveness not only helps you grow, but it helps bring peace within yourself.

I mean imagine having a deep seated hatred for people who have hurt you in the past. You’re mad. You’re furious, over every little thing they do and have done to you. What good are being mad and bottling up that anger?  It is not good for you, at all. You hurt yourself more, in the long run.

That’s why I don’t hate. I let go of all the people who have hurt me. When you let go of the people who have hurt you, you have room for more people in your life. Granted, if a relationship with someone close to you has drifted, due to a fall out, try your best to make amends on your end. If, after trying to make amends on your part, doesn’t work out or the person doesn’t answer you for whatever reason (phone number change, wrong email, etc), then take on the task of forgiving yourself.

As a kid, I used to get bullied. Now I know what you’re thinking, “kids just say the darndest things, they don’t mean it!”, what if I told you their words cut deeper than I could ever imagine? The same way one were to pluck away at the petals of a flower, is the same way bullies were able to pluck away at my weaknesses. I’ve been called everything in the book. It was awful. I did whatever I could: ignore it, tell them off or have my parents get involved with the school. One of the the three actually was proven effective. Thankfully, my last year in middle school, no one messed with me.

My point is, After I graduated from middle school, I was able to forgive the people that hurt me and most of all forgive myself. In the end, I went to a different high school than everyone else that year.

Don’t just forgive, to forgive. Forgive to close a chapter in the book that is your life. You don’t want to harbor any pain you have from that relationship. What will happen is it’ll pour over into all your other relationships and that’s not good either. It doesn’t allow you to heal. To grow.

Remember, the whole point of any change in your life, it starts with you.

If you’re trying to be a better person, start with yourself. Start by applying the power of forgiveness, by taking steps towards forgiving yourself and by forgiving others. If you feel that you should seek out a higher power, then do that. Personally, I seek God and I feel that when I ask for forgiveness, I could do it all in the comfort of my home or at church on my own time. When I have my time with the Lord, I don’t see a priest, but I let myself be free in God’s presence, speak from the heart, and pray at my pew.

It’s all about putting in the work and putting it all into action. The path to greatness doesn’t have to be hard. Just take it step by step and day by day.

Forgiveness is a powerful thing, Meredith. Not only to make the other person feel good, but to heal you. You need to forgive her, Meredith. Forgive her for not being Derek, for being the wrong Shepherd, just enough to remind you of what’s missing, but not enough to bring him back. That’s not her fault. You need to forgive her. You don’t have to like her, you don’t have to love her, but forgive her. So you can forgive Blake, for being in that room when a wrong decision cost you your husband. Forgive Derek for dying too soon. Forgive yourself for hating him for dying too soon. Let it go, Meredith. And forgive.”

Forgiveness. It’s the right thing to do.

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