Hey MizFit lovers!
I am Maria and I write a little (not very well known) blog called RealFitMama. I write about everything from almost pooping my pants on a run to running a 5k with my daughter; from exposing myself to all of the internet and then exposing myself for a second time. I love to write. I love to write about food. I love to write about my life. I love to write about my daughters. I really just love to write.
It’s what I want to do when I “grow up”.
Today I want to write about fat talk and why I don’t do it anymore.
I have struggled with my body and feelings towards my body from a very early age. I don’t really know what started it or when it happened, but I was young and it hit me hard. I would compare myself to girls at school, girls I saw on television and girls I saw in magazines. I was constantly going on this diet or that diet or skipping breakfast only to gorge at lunch. I vowed not to be like all the women in my family…fat.
My younger sister was naturally thin. She never worried about what she ate, how much she ate, what size her jeans were or what size they weren’t. I did. All the time. And I couldn’t stop.
I never told my parents (or any adult for that matter) but I struggled with disordered eating all of my life. I had a love hate relationship with food that just got worse and worse until I would skip eating all together for days at a time.
Once I saw the number I thought I was looking for show up on that bathroom scale I would allow myself to binge on cereal, chips & dip, ice cream or whatever I could find. Then, without hesitation, I would start the whole cycle over again.
Looking back I wasn’t fat, but I was definitely over weight. At the age of 16, being 5’5″ tall I weighed 145lbs. Obviously not fat. But was in desperate need of getting into shape and learning how to eat and be healthy.
I walked around with this secret for many years. It ate away at me. I would tell myself I was too fat to be loved. I was too fat to have a boyfriend. I was too hideous for any guy to ever be interested in me. I would crack jokes around my friends about my “ghetto booty”, my “thunder thighs” and my “birthing hips” to make my weight not so serious.
But also I was hoping that someone would say, “Oh Maria, you’re beautiful. You’re not fat at all.” All these negative comments and hateful thoughts about myself caused me to do things to my body that no one should ever do.
At night, after everyone had gone to bed, I would sit in my room with a sharpie and mark on my thighs and hips. I would draw lines to signify how thin I wanted them to be. I would draw circles on my stomach to represent the “fat” that I wanted to be removed. I would stay up late into the night marking up my flesh and crying about how fat I was. Most nights I would cry myself to sleep with a pain in my stomach. That pain was almost always hunger.
After graduating high school I started working at a local restaurant and moved into an apartment with my boyfriend. A lot of the people that worked there were using cocaine, meth or drinking all the time. They were all so thin. They were all so (seemingly) happy. I wanted to be like them, but not like that. Drugs were something I could never bring myself to try. THANKFULLY!
Instead I would decide every night exactly what I was going to allow myself to eat the next day. I would come up with my workout plan for the next day and I would stick to it. Faithfully. I ended up losing a bit of weight. I think by the time I found out I was pregnant with my daughter I weighed about 130lbs.
I was so excited to be pregnant with our first child that I gave myself a “free pass” to eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. When I went into labor with Linsey I had ballooned up to 200lbs.
Something in my brain clicked that day. I knew I didn’t want to be “fat” like the women in my family, but I knew I didn’t want to obsess about weight for the rest of my life either. I did not want to be drawing on my fat with a sharpie when I was 45 years old and I certainly did not want my daughter to be in her room at 15 years old drawing on her thighs with a sharpie either.
I made a choice. I vowed never to say, think or feel hurtful things towards myself again.
This vow was harder than I thought it would be, but as the days passed it got easier. I started to learn about food and what was healthy. I started to exercise in a way that I could maintain and enjoy. I started loosing weight slowly and stopped weighing myself everyday. I continued down this path for 6 years. I began training to run my first marathon. I was loving exercise, had become a vegetarian and really felt good about myself and my body.
Then I found out I was pregnant again. We were going to have another daughter. I knew that the decisions I had made when Linsey was born were the reasons I wasn’t freaking about being pregnant and gaining weight again. I knew how to do it in a healthy way. And I did. When Regan was born I had only gained 32lbs.
Now that my girls are here I can’t imagine ever behaving the way I did when I was younger. I still have my days when I’m not in love with my body, I feel like I have eaten way too much or I feel bad for skipping a workout, but I don’t let it consume me. I move on and start again the next day. I still weight myself, but not obsessively. I weigh once a week or once every two weeks. I no longer count calories or obsess over how much I’m eating. I stick to general rules of health. Eat until I’m full and then stop. Workout for at least 30 minutes 4-5 times a week.
I’m comfortable in my skin and love my body more now than I ever have in my life. I’m so comfortable that sometimes, when it’s really hot out, I will run in shorts and sports bra without thinking twice about it!
Fat talk destroys who you are and who you can become. Fat talk is abusive and dangerous. I swore when I became a mother that my girls would never hear the word fat and I have stuck to that for 10 years. I want to raise happy, healthy, strong women that know they are beautiful inside and out. I want them to know their mother loves them and that their mother loves herself too.
Regan, 3 years old (below)
I would never speak to them the way I used to speak to myself. My goal is that I have ended a cycle of destructive, negative and hurtful obsession over weight. Only time will tell…
It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not. ~ Author Unknown