This is a little off topic, but then again, my views don’t fit into the allopathic approach. My emotions are connected to my body, and this is just another issue that makes me grow in tune with my body and away from ill health.
They call me petite but I was actually very chubby when I was little. My family thought I was cute, but they had to. My brothers were all very slim. So were the celebrities I liked. I didn’t like being chubby, so I was lucky to hit puberty and start growing up and not out. In high school, my friends and I dieted and exercised trying to keep slim. I think a lot of them still do that, and I’d still be doing that if I hadn’t become chronically sick later in life.
I continued to be an average weight, jumping between 115 to 125 pounds. Anything in between was okay by me. Sometimes I’d weigh less and be ecstatic. On the rare occasion I’d weigh more and be upset.
Then I contracted Lyme disease. At one point in my struggle with Lyme disease, I felt too sick to eat. I went from 125 pounds to 100 pounds. To give you an idea of how little I was eating, I actually gained weight on a juice fast! I always wanted to be 100 pounds. COOL. Wait, not cool! I was finally “thin” but it was only because I was wasting away.
I’ll keep this article short. It doesn’t have to be long because the lesson is simple. Aspiring to be thin is not healthy. Aspiring to be healthy is healthy. In hindsight I don’t know why I wanted to be so thin. Hollywood aside, I no longer think I look good when I’m 100 pounds. It was always a nice thought, until I associated it with my demise.
Working at a gym, I made a lot of fit-friends. I complained one day to one of them – a coworker hired as eye-candy with a BMI of less than 10% – that I wanted to be more toned. He said to eat less calories. Sorry, man, but I can’t cut foods I love. Sure, I can keep track of my macros and micros for the sake of health, and I can eliminate foods that I am allergic to. But if wasting away taught me anything, it is to love food and to strive to be healthy. I can’t afford to have an unhealthy relationship with any foods when my alliance with them is so new.
With food as an ally, there is no pressure to eat what is “right” and instead I eat what naturally interests me. Without dietary pressure I don’t eat 9 cups of kale a day to be healthful, nor do I binge on cheap candy out of shame for not eating 9 cups of kale. I love root vegetables, fruit, honey…shiet, I eat ice cream to help me sleep! I got upset with myself for eating too many carrots, once upon a time, because of their carb content. Sick or not, please don’t be like that!
I won’t cut calories, but I will use them efficiently. I weight train without worrying about getting “big,” without measuring my waistline or checking the scale. I instead look for results in how easily I walk up the stairs or how many more push-ups I can do. Then, when my muscles feel sore post-workout, I take it as an sign to chow down on whatever my lil’ stomach desires. Why go to weight-loss websites for my health advice, when I can go to bodybuilder forums instead? I’m not out to lose.
Sick-and-Skinny “Fat” Lesson
I can see why my fit friends put their looks before their energy – they’ve never battled to hold on to their weight, or their lives. It was so easy to be vain back then, but my vanity has been usurped by my aspirations to be strong. Now, instead of thinking about my looks, I think about how exercise boosts mitochondrial content and gets my lymphatic system going; looking good is just a secondary thing that follows.
When I feel strong and healthy, it shows on the outside. And if you ask me, aspiring for these instead of weight-loss was the only way to know what my beauty-standard weight would be. And I must say, even without my vanity, I look prettttttty good.