I may just be ‘back for good’, now, finally! I’ve managed to organize my schedule to maximize the amount of time I have off, am all but quitting teaching online AFTER work (because 10 hours teaching at my office wasn’t enough for me!), and will now have THREE WHOLE NIGHTS OFF to do things that I want to do, or to just relax!
My old schedule at my office saw me getting home at 11:30pm Thursday, taking Friday off (and sleeping half of it away), then waking up at 8am on Saturday to work at 10am. Same deal on Sunday night into Monday off, into working on Tuesday. My boyfriend and I realized that while we DO think we should continue to work the weekends (where we have more bookings than on weekdays, normally), we needed to start taking 2 consecutive days off, in order to actually feel like we could relax.
Because when you have a day off, sometimes you just want to lay in bed and watch movies. Which is kind of what’s been happening, meaning we’ve really felt like we were wasting our time.
Now that that’s discussed and out of the way, I want to talk about something that I’ve been afraid to talk about for a long time. I feel like I can talk about it now, and discuss how it probably happened and WHY I was afraid to discuss it.
As early as October of last year, we realized that I’d lost a significant amount of weight. Not a few pounds, but a LOT. As I was traveling and living out of a suitcase, I noticed the change because effectively NONE of my clothes fit me anymore, and my ass seemed to be MIA. We didn’t have a scale, so I wasn’t too sure. One day, we went to Mark’s parents’ house, and I used theirs.
It turns out I’d gone from about 135 lbs down to 108. Which is to say: ‘the least I’ve ever weighed since 10th grade’, and also ‘possibly underweight’. When I read the scale, I actually thought it was off-balance. I actually tried to FIX the scale, because the number was too low.
As I’d mentioned in previous posts, I’d been dealing with some serious health issues. I was mostly off my meds, which meant my auto-immune system was probably in hyperdrive. I couldn’t walk well. I had to spend a lot of time sitting or in bed. I wasn’t eating much, as MS also causes a loss of appetite. So there were a multitude of reasons why I lost the weight. Factor in a diet change due to leaving the states and going to Europe (this will automatically cause you to drop weight, trust me), and now walking a lot more. The causes were clear, and I’d seen them before, when my mom was suddenly diagnosed with MS, and the weight just fell off of her.
The difference between her and me (of which there are many, but let’s focus on this one) is that she had been actively trying to LOSE weight, after having gained and not lost a decent amount over the years. She’d been trying lots of different diets and was doing all that she could (as her health faded for unknown reasons) to shed something like 20 lbs. And then the diagnosis came, and it was like the weight just fell off of her, as if someone had given her a terrible, magic pie while whispering ‘thinner’.
And she was ecstatic about it. I understand why, and I don’t blame her for it. MS had done for her what all of her efforts couldn’t. She was ok with the weight loss, even as her body began to deteriorate.
I was a different story. I’d gained a small amount of weight towards the end of my stay in Germany, but was pretty ok with it and just bought some larger (awesome) clothes. I’m no stranger to weight fluctuation, so it wasn’t surprising. Sure, a few pounds coming off would have been nice, but I was more concerned with being healthy. As you saw in my ‘run for 27 minutes each day’ trial last year, I was in decent shape and had gotten rid of a few pounds. I was sitting around my ‘happy/ideal’ weight.
But then we left the states, I ran out of meds, and maybe all of the stress started to have an effect, and pushed me into a non-relapse. And all of the weight fell off. And I was angry about it.
I was angry for a few reasons.
First, I was mad because I wasn’t actually trying to lose weight, and it magically came off. I was mad because of all of the effort I had put in at other points of my life to lose weight and get in shape, and how hard I’d worked during those times, only to NOT lose an inch.
Second, I was mad because I felt like I had no control over my body, which is a common concern in my life, with the MS and all. Why did I even bother trying to be healthy and fit, when these big things seem to just magically happen on their own? Why do any of us bother?
Third, I was angry because I was underweight, or near enough to it. All of the eating in the world couldn’t bring me back up. I tried.
Fourth, I was also angry because we spend a lot of time here talking about healthy lifestyles and fitness, and this was the absolute OPPOSITE of all of that, and I’d gone and done something that many people are trying to do, without even trying.
I was also angry at myself, a little bit. My mom was excited to lose weight. Most people might be ecstatic at the loss. I had maybe wanted to lose 5 lbs, but was planning to get healthy again, back on my meds, and then start running. I was angry with myself for not being happy I’d lost weight, and angry that I’d been deprived of the journey I was supposed to take to get there.
So I was in this stupid spiral of being angry about losing the weight, and then being angry at myself for being angry in the first place. And I felt like I couldn’t talk about it, because maybe people would look at me and think I was humble-bragging, or whatever they call it. And to add to this, I just expected it to come back, like it always seems to when you’re a female.
I think I’m able to write about this now only because it’s been a year, and the weight hasn’t come back. I’ve had a year or so to get used to this new body, even though I’m still learning how to shop for clothes for it. I’ve come to terms with what happened, and am trying to be nicer to myself about the way I feel and how it went down. Maybe I didn’t have to work very hard for the weight loss. Instead, I had to be ill for 6 months and almost unable to walk or write (I literally JUST got my decent handwriting back, and have been working on that since December, too).
It’s not a nice trade, but maybe involved a different mental strength than the usual way we go about it. And saying ‘mental strength’ is maybe a bit of a stretch, since I was a damn monster while I was off my meds and not able to do things. I’m really not sure how anyone put up with me, since I was pretty seriously depressed about the whole thing.
All of this over the past year has forced me to re-write a lot of my fitness goals. There isn’t really a single part now that has any thought of weight loss, it’s all fitness and how to get back to it, now, since I’ve lost all semblances of strength. I’ve got a follow-up post coming about that, too. But I had to get this out, first.