If you’ve been around here for awhile, you know that numbers really aren’t my thing. Give me a sentence to diagram any day of the week, but ask me to do some calculations in my head–no thanks.
My entire life, there’s only been one number I’ve worried about–and that is my weight.

I’ve never blogged about it here before, because it’s something that people don’t necessarily need to know, if I’m being 100% honest. But I think that by sharing a small part of me it might help just one other person out there who feels the same way or who has gone through some of the same things.

In junior high, it became very apparent to me that looks matter. Everywhere I looked, there were no other chubby girls (how I viewed myself), so I stopped eating. I stopped eating to the point where my parents began noticing, my friends began noticing and my pants were a bit looser–and I liked that. But I didn’t start eating again after I’d lost a few pounds–I continued to not eat. I became an expert at being “not hungry”, moving food around and simply throwing food away. The skinnier I got, the skinnier I wanted to be. I was addicted to the feeling of being in control of my body.
This went on until my parents intervened and I felt ashamed. What was wrong with me?

I learned that nothing was wrong with me and people that struggle with eating disorders do not “choose” this way of life. I had nothing to feel ashamed of–yet I still did.

They say that eating disorders are something you will carry with you for the rest of your life. I kind of thought this was a ridiculous notion, but here I am, more than 10 years later, still working to prove to myself that I AM good enough, skinny enough, in good shape, etc.

I like to believe that I have more good days than I have “fat” days, but it’s hard to pinpoint that exactly. Sometimes I feel like I spend more time thinking about the number on the scale than anyone should in a lifetime…and that’s just in a single day. Usually it’s prompted by one of the thousands of insanely gorgeous people on the beach in Hawaii or seeing the Sport’s Illustrated swimsuit edition.

On my fat days I mentally tally all the food I eat and deem it acceptable or not. I obsessively try on my “fat pants” and make sure they’re still too big. And in a sick and twisted way, I loved finding out that my wedding gown was too big for me to the point where the fitted bodice sagged down.  

But what do you mean “fat” days? Well, here’s a perfect example. Last Saturday, Dane and I made plans to meet friends of ours for dinner and drinks to celebrate National Margarita Day. I knew about it all week, yet when Saturday came, I felt uneasy about how many calories were in enchiladas and margaritas. I felt uneasy to the point where I didn’t eat all day, because I knew I’d be consuming a full day’s worth that night. I even considered saying I didn’t want to go so I could forgo all those calories altogether. This manner of unhealthy self-doubt doesn’t just affect my diet–it affects my life.

If I really sit down and reason with myself, I know that weight is not something I should worry about. Truly, I can recognize that. But a person’s subconscious can be evil and disgusting and can control you in a way that you never imagined possible. As much as I try to “cut myself slack”, “give myself a break” or (my personal favorite when people tell it to me) “chill out”, my mind never stops thinking about the number on the scale. It can be truly exhausting.



 I found this ^ photo on Pinterest and it really stood out to me. It’s a mantra I need to repeat to myself daily, because weight SHOULD NOT define you. Weight SHOULD NOT make you feel bad about yourself. And weight IS NOT what matters most in life.

There are so many things in life to be happy and excited about–loving yourself in a healthy way should be at the top of that list. At the beginning of this week, I started making a conscious effort to eat more, move more and genuinely try to feel more comfortable in my own skin, because everyone deserves to be happy.

**This post was meant to be helpful to any readers who may have similar feelings of self-doubt. I recognize that none of these characteristics I talked about are healthy, so please refrain from patronizing or critical commentary.

February 27, 2014

RELATED POSTS

  • This is beautiful.

  • Thank you for sharing. I am older than you (just turned 40) but see alot of myself alot in you (I was 25 when I married my husband who was (at the time) in the military..I moved to seattle (I am from MD)… anyway, . For what its worth, I think you are gorgeous. Love reading your blog, your recipes, your wedding info and the pics of you and Dane. I know it took alot of courage to post this. bravo!

  • Thank you for sharing this! It's so easy to get caught up in the numbers and lose sight of how you are actually feeling…also I love that I am not fat, I have fat. I've never heard it said like that before, and it's so true!

  • Whoever said that eating disorders affect you for the rest of your life was right on point. I had an eating disorder in my early 20's. I was nearly anorexic– taking in less than 500 calories a day in order to lose weight. At first, I got a lot of compliments on my weight loss, and that just spurred me to go further, and ultimately take it too far.

    Now, I am 41 and still worrying about that number on the scale. I started running in my early 30's, and that helped me balance food and weight. Now that I am older, it is harder to keep the number on the scale where I like it, and I find that I am constantly battling myself and the scale. It's only 3 or 4 pounds that I'm talking about, but they always seem to be a big deal to me.

    It's a constant battle that gets exhausting. And you are right–everybody deserves to be happy.

  • Proud of you bff 😉

  • This really resonates with me. Although I feel like I have the opposite problem sometimes :/ I like food so much that I'll bargain with myself in order to find excuses to feel 'okay' eating something horrible. I know I'm not over weight or FAT (and duh, neither are you, gorgeous girl) but its definitely something that consumes my mind. I feel like no one else understands because they seem to glide through meals and days effortlessly. Thank you for sharing your story, Kait! xo

  • I seriously love this post. So raw and honest. 🙂

  • This is really beautiful – I struggle a lot. I lost 75 pounds and then I have 20 pounds left to lose and I obsess over the scale all the time now. I see a nutritionist almost once a week now though to keep things in check, because I would "just forget to eat." Even though I knew I should have been eating, I was just choosing not to. : ) You are gorgeous!!

  • Great post. I completely know how you feel. I've struggled with my weight my whole life and its so hard. Our society puts SO much pressure on girls to look a certain way and fit into a certain mold. Its hard to put it out of your mind everyday but I feel like I do the same thing, think about it ALL DAY. Thanks for sharing this!

  • Thanks for sharing your story. I can relate. I've never had an eating disorder (I think I just like food too much), but I do struggle with my self image and the dreaded number on the scale. I was in so many sports my entire life, and then after high school, I really wasn't as active any more. I've gained weight but I know I'm not "fat." I'm starting to learn that it's not about the number on the scale, it's about how I feel. Our scale stopped working about a month ago (maybe that was a sign), and so now I can't see that number and I'm happy about it. I've been trying to work out a little more and eat healthier and I'm feeling better. I think positive self-imagine is something that a lot of women struggle with, so again, thanks for sharing your story so we know that we are not alone 🙂

  • You're amazing! I need to show this to my 5th grade girls who are already doubting the way they look at their bodies. Thanks for being so real with us!

  • This post speaks to my heart in a whole new way. I've struggled with weight and self esteem my whole life and seeing this made me feel less alone and made me feel better about myself. Thank you so much.

  • So brave of you for sharing this! I've always struggled with weight til the past couple of years when I said "screw you" to the scale and focused on eating right and feeling good about myself no matter how I look. Sure I have my days too but boy is it such a relief to not fret day in and day out about it like we all did in high school. YOU are beautiful, friend.

  • It is so brave of you to share this with us, and I want to thank you for that. Although I have never experienced what you did, I understand the concept of always wanting to be "better". I'm by no means overweight. I'm fairly skinny, actually. There are still days where I look at my body in disgust. Sometimes I don't even leave bed because I don't want to put on any unflattering clothes or eat any fattening foods. My problems stem from years of depression and anxiety, but they still hurt. It is still such an upsetting feeling to have such negative thoughts about yourself, especially when you are told that you cannot exactly control them and that you might struggle with this for years to come.

    Stay strong. You are a beautiful woman, inside and out.

  • This post is amazing and love that you wrote it! I want you to know in case you have any doubt that you are incredibly beautiful.

    Jamie
    greyskysaturday.wordpress.com

  • I love this and I love you. You are SUCH a beautiful person inside and out and I've also struggled with this battle my entire life. I commend you for sharing and just love you to pieces.

  • I recently stumbled upon your blog, but I just wanted to say that it takes a lot to share something so personal with the world. I know a lot of people will relate (I definitely do). I've had many similar struggles, and only relatively recently have I began getting a better hold on things, and finally truly having a more positive perception on health/wellness. You are brave, and beautiful. Thanks for sharing!
    Al @www.herbearings.com

  • I just stumbled across your blog today. This is the first post I was reading of yours and my first impression of you. I'm so impressed. It takes a lot to admit that you're constantly worried about your weight. Most of my friends and family know its something that I struggle with but I do my best to deny it to them daily. I tend to go through periods where my decisions are extremely unhealthy but I just can't stop. Unhealthy as they may be, when the weight falls off I like the way my body looks.

    The hardest part for me is that I work with young girls everyday. I am both a dance teacher and a stylist at a social occasion/pageant store. In both I am constantly telling girls regardless of what size they are that they are beautiful just the way they are. No number should matter or change how they look at themselves. I feel like a liar when I say this though. I'm a size zero and I'm not happy with myself. I don't even take care of my body like I preach I should. I am most definitely better than I was and I make myself eat every meal, I just do my best to make healthy choices and work my butt off in the gym. You should be really proud of this post. Your blog is now a staple in my daily blog land routine!
    http://www.pearlsandsass.wordpress.com

  • This is such a wonderful post and thank you so much for being brave enough to share it! Prayers for you sweet girl

  • Thank you for sharing this. While I wouldn't say I've dealt with a diagnosable eating disorder, I certainly have some super warped thoughts the area of my weight… and I can identify EXACTLY with the getting worked up over how many calories I might end up eating later in the day if I go out (and I always exercise accordingly in the morning) and weighing myself every day (and I just had a baby 4.5 months ago – ridiculous to pressure myself in this area!). I know this obsession isn't healthy, but because I can't help myself and still think this way even though I know I shouldn't, it's easy to be hard on myself because of it. So it does so help to know I'm not the only one with these thoughts running through my head. You're so right that it can be exhausting – but reminders to love yourself and be kind to yourself from people who know exactly how you feel are even more helpful than hearing that message from someone else. So, thanks. And sending that reminder right back to you… you're great 🙂

  • Bravo for posting this honesty. We all have demons. Being able to face them is certainly the hardest part.

  • I'm so proud of you for your bravery in sharing this post with the world 🙂 You are truly beautiful on the inside and on the outside & I just wanted to remind you of that. XO

  • Ended up here after reading 27 fab things about you on your birthday post, thank you for sharing the realness!! I needed this today! Also hope your day had been filled with love!

  • So your last post led me to this one (happy birthday by the way!! Welcome to the 27 club!) and I think it's so brave that you shared your story. I have a story that I hope to share, someday. When I'm ready. It's hard though because I realize a lot of people don't understand why someone would do this and I feel like it comes across as me wanting attention because I was never "fat" or whatever you want to call it to begin with. But it wasn't exactly about that. It was always a control and coping mechanism for me and even though I'd like to think I'm "cured" of it, I still weigh myself at least once a day to make sure I'm under a certain number. It's always in the back of my mind like something I have under control even. I'm not sure it will ever go away, but talking about it and hearing encouraging stories from others is something special. So anyways, thank you. And you're beautiful!!

  • Pingback: One Year Later: A Diet & Exercise Transformation - CommuniKait()