Weight {To Be} Lifted

This post is full of raw emotion.. and took a lot for me to put out there. Even though there’s only about 4-5 faithful readers of my intermittent blog posts-it’s very personal stuff.  And long—so bare with me.
 

This past fall I struggled a LOT mentally. I  alluded to it on the blog but was debating whether I ever wanted to delve into it any further. One word:

DEPRESSION. I fought with myself for months as to whether I actually was depressed… or if it was just a phase. Life after college was so anti-climatic and un-fulfilling. I guess I expected to be happy immediately with life as an ‘adult’. Suddenly (apart from Tyler), I felt completely alone. All my friends went off to their duty stations around the world (all went Active Duty), started jobs as teachers and nurses… and here I was. Confused to what I want to do job-wise, friendless, and lost.

It was the first time ever that I wasn’t being challenged in a classroom environment, being surrounded by people, etc. I wasn’t just a little lost-I had absolutely no idea where to go. My evenings after work were spent working out then wallowing at home-often over a glass of wine and tissues while I cried. It took a lot of discussing things with Ty and my mom but eventually  I agreed to get help. I have been on anti-depressants for a while now. They were working but I think it may be time to up the dosage or change which one I’m on because I feel myself reverting to how I was a few months ago. I just am unhappy with where my life is right now job-wise (despite starting a new job) and what I want to do as a career. But now  there’s an additional element with my depression-lack of self-esteem and severe body dysmorphia disorder.

Like most HLB’s-I do not have a healthy relationship with food/weight/body image. While I know I am not ‘fat’ (that word makes me cringe) per se, I also know that I am not thin/toned/etc. I have always struggled with my appearance. Growing up I was a swimmer so I had broad shoulders and a bigger build than all the twigs that I walked the halls with. Looking back I had a killer body, but even then I was never good enough.

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Yes even in those pictures I thought I was fat.. never was happy with my body.

Insert years of yo-yo dieting (Atkins, SlimFast, etc.) and my weight was forever fluctuating. Then came college-also a time where it was up and down. When I started running I lost a lot of weight over a summer and everyone thought I looked great. Then junior & senior year happened and I gained it all back.

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Fast forward to now, when I’m almost a year out of college-and I’ve not only held onto the College weight I gained-but I’ve put on additional weight. I guess sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day with minimal activity will do that for ya. Like before, I know I’m not ‘fat’ but I am very unhappy and disappointed in how I look. I know with how much I work out that I should be much more lean. Unfortunately it’s not just a thought when I look in the mirror thinking ‘Karla, you should clean up your diet and workout even harder’… instead of this brief thought I have a full-on and dehabilitating OBSESSION with my weight and appearance.
 

I know you’re probably thinking ‘everyone has some self esteem and body image issues’. This is true; to some extent everyone does. But mine has been blown so far out of proportion. I stand in the mirror for a good ten minutes everyday critiquing my body. Both Monday & today after I left the gym, I sat in my car and bawled for at least five minutes because I saw myself in a mirror at the gym and was overwhelmed with pure disappointment–feeling like I will never be good enough.

Tyler and I don’t argue much but 90% of the arguments we do have revolve around my self-esteem/confidence issues and always being negative about how I look. “Why can’t I eat what I want to eat? Why do I have to work so damn hard to lose a half pound? Will I always be the girl that feels guilty after eating pizza?’ The negativity surrounding myself then pours into our relationship. It’s a constant downward spiral. If he loves me and thinks I’m beautiful..why can’t I?

This is not healthy. I know this-but I haven’t been able to fix it…. Yet. I’m sure the anti-depressants do help a little bit, but it’s not enough. I’m not sure if I need to see a psychiatrist about these problems I face every single day or what I should do. I do know that I cannot keep letting them consume me-it’s stealing the normal ME and I want to be back. I want to look in the mirror and feel proud and happy.

I want to be proud of my big legs because they let me run. I want to admire my broad shoulders because it’s a reminder of how good of a swimmer I was {they carried me to state records and Nationals twice!} I want to be okay with my ‘love handles’ because it’s a part of who I am.

For now I do know one thing. I have decided to re-start my journey with Tone It Up. If you haven’t heard about TIU yet-go check it out! These two women are beautiful and incredibly talented trainers who really seem to know what they’re doing.. the transformation stories always are so inspiring! While it is a ‘diet’ it is more about a lifestyle change—which is exactly what I need. I’m hoping that through this journey and process I can learn to not always crave {& often give in} to pizza when I’m with Ty, regardless of how much I love it because then I just feel guilty and even worse after eating it. I hope to learn to LOVE healthy eating, and realize it is not as restrictive as people say. I hope to learn to experiment in the kitchen more and really restrict, if not abolish, my ‘cheat meals’. But most importantly, I hope to learn to love myself regardless the results.
 
Should I still seek a psychiatrist or a dietician? Probably… yes. I will be making phone calls soon I think.
 
I started the 7 Day Slim Down Monday.. I took “before” pictures (which be glad I’ll spare from scaring you with) and took my measurements. I’m really hoping this week, while challenging, will be the kickstart that I need to move towards the body that I want and deserve to get for myself. It will be tough eating exactly what I’m prescribed to this week but success will taste sweeter than any food I’m not allowed to eat 
 

The real challenge will be when I’m at home with Ty this weekend for a family birthday party—they have cake and some of the BEST food around scattered on the table. It will be a true test but I think I’ve finally hit my lowest. Which means all I can do is go up right? 

So… that is where my mind has been the past few months. If you made it this far-bless your soul. 

Tell Me: If you have had any issues with body dysmorphia and depression…. let me know so I don’t feel alone! <3 

 

13 thoughts on “Weight {To Be} Lifted

  1. I just want you to know that I’m here for you. As a former swimmer, I can 110% relate to you and these sentiments. I still struggle with it and growing up being slightly larger than a normal high school girl was REALLY hard. I feel like that was the beginning of a lot of my problems. If you ever want to talk, email me girl! It’s not easy. I will say that cutting things out completely will not work. You have to let go of the idea that weight tells your health and focus on wholesome intuitive mind-body connection. Not an easy thing to do at all!

  2. awww Karla, kk, so BDD is going to effect your self esteem in a big way. The exercise is good for you, not to lose weight, though this is your goal I am sure, but for the way you will feel working out. Being an athlete you know how great you feel after work outs. This will help your depression too.

    BDD is treatable with therapy, so yes, seek some counselling. CBT can do wonders. :-) Seek some help, don’t feel shame please.

  3. You’re really brave for putting this all out there. I’ve always struggled with feeling like I was overweight. Just remember you’re beautiful. You looked fantastic in every photo you posted. I’m wishing you the best of luck in your journey and you definitely have my support.

  4. I think one thing to remember is that a bad relationship with food, exercise and body image can not only be fixed by physical changes. I know that is on the forefront of your mind but honestly I think you are a beautiful girl with a lot to offer. Don’t forget that.

  5. I’m glad you shared this with us. Not glad you are going through it but you shared it in such a way that is different from anyone I’ve read posting. You know that it’s not a healthy realization and have taken time to reflect on it. Hoping things work out for you my friend.

  6. You are NOT alone. I am a teacher and I work with a lot of students (male and female) who deal with issues similar to this. Thank you for sharing your honesty with others so they can know THEY are NOT alone!

  7. Wow. You’re not alone. I think the most important thing is to change the way you think. It’s easy to stand in front of the mirror and be critical of every aspect of your body, but you have to change that pattern by not allowing yourself to be so critical. Once a negative thought pops in you head counter it with something totally awesome you’ve accomplished (I’m sure you can think of a few things – if not make a list to refer to when you start feeling down). It will help. Become your own best friend. Treat yourself the way you treat others, it will do wonders in changing how feel. Good luck!!

  8. I am so proud of you for putting this out there, and as always you are NOT alone. I swear the past few months have been the hardest times for me with not having a job or being in school. I pick myself apart regularly and it’s taking a toll on my relationship and my boyfriend constantly tells me how beautiful I am. I’m with you, why can’t I see what he sees??

    For me it wasn’t about cutting out certain foods (well kinda) but more about adjusting the foods I was eating. Going vegan (not to say you should do that) caused me to lean up and recreate certain foods that I once loved. I can say cutting out certain foods and recreating them has opened new doors for me, and I never feel deprived. If I want a cupcake, I earn it even if that means just a walk. It’s all about finding that balance. If you ever wanna talk don’t hesitate to contact me!! I need girl talk anyway! ;) HUGS!!

  9. Totally know where you’re coming from…my psychiatrist put me on meds that can be used for depression and anxiety to help with the obsessive thinking that we do about ourselves, our bodies, food, etc. I also see a therapist and she enlightens me about issues that are leading to why I take it out on my body…I promise you can be the girl that doesn’t feel guilty after eating pizza! Way to put it out there and share your feelings- the more you do that the less you have to deal with in your head!

  10. I am so proud of you. You may not realize this, but the fact that you shared this post & the photos of where your at today shows such confidence sweetie. I wish 1. you could see just how beautiful you are, and 2. I could give you a much needed hug. <3 Hang in there, and just try to love you for YOU. Maybe instead of looking at your flaws, pick one positive out about you everyday, and work from there!

  11. Thank you for sharing this. These raw, honest posts are are the hardest to hit “publish”, but they are usually the most rewarding. This really hit home with me today. I can relate entirely to many of the things you mentioned above, i.e. how it our relationships with our bodies affects our relationships with others. I wish you the best in learning to love yourself… and I’m going to go check out TIU :)

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