After a series of health concerns, I began spending all of my time at a doctor's office. Regardless of what I was there for, the nurse kindly asked me to step on a scale. I kept thinking to myself, "Why didn't she let me take off my shoes? Why did I wear jeans?! That adds at least a pound!" I dread looking at the scale. I know that I have gained weight over the past few years. I can make all the excuses in the world, but it's my fault because I have let it happen. I don't eat as healthy as I should. I don't work out religiously anymore. My metabolism certainly isn't what it was six years ago in high school. I worry myself sick over what my weight is that I can no longer enjoy life, because I am so ashamed of how I look.
People would scoff at me and say that I look fine, and maybe I do. But when I look down all that I can see is what's wrong. I feel like a stranger in my own skin. I'm disgusted by what I see in the mirror that I no longer look. Whenever I go to take a shower, I turn my back to the mirror so I won't be repulsed by the monstrosity I see before me. Again, people will laugh and say I'm ridiculous, but they don't have to live in my body.
I don't remember when my obsession with my weight began. It must have been in high school right before my senior year. I saw my friends in bathing suits and obsessed over the size of my thighs. I quickly learned how to stand and angle myself for pictures so that it wouldn't look like I had gained any weight. I was always active, which allowed me to quickly burn off whatever junk food I ate. However, I became more aware of what I was eating. I cut out soda and junk food as best I could. I began exercising intensively and religiously. I was beginning to feel comfortable in who I was.
All of my progress was disrupted when I was diagnosed with a form of dysoautonomia when I was 19. My condition, POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome), affects my heart rate and my blood pressure resulting in me passing out upon standing from a sitting, squatting, or resting position. When I began trying to workout post-diagnosis, I found it difficult and often times had to stop whatever I was doing for fear of passing out at the gym with no one to help me. Over the years, I have learned my best bet is to exercise at home, but progress is slower due to my decreased stamina. Therefore, I find myself denying myself any of the yummy things in life. When friends want to go for a late dinner and drinks, I stick with water. When anyone is munching on a cookie, I tell myself my almonds are just as good. Life is miserable, especially when you don't like yourself. I'm still navigating my life and learning to love me, but it's not all empowering and positive all the time.