I have had a mild weight problem since I hit puberty; I didn’t lose my baby fat like most of my peers. My mother had a significant weight problem, and she struggled with it her whole life. My metabolism isn’t amazing, but at 16 I managed to get to a weight I was comfortable with. Soon after I was diagnosed with a thyroid goiter and then less than a year later, after a family tragedy, I fell into a deep depression.
During the next 5 years I gained, and then lost 80 lbs. I hated myself and stopped really living. I felt like my old self inside, but my mirror mocked me. I tried to watch what I ate, and I tried to exercise but my weight kept creeping up. My doctor told me I wasn’t working hard enough. I could feel the stares from the strangers on the street and the pity from my friends. It took me 3 years to realize that the anti-depressants (perhaps with a side order of thyroid issues) might be the problem. It took me another 1 year to convince myself that they were definitely the problem. It wasn’t until I lost the weight that I convinced my psychiatrist. I’m still not sure my family doctor believes me.
I went off my medication despite the concerns of the people around me, especially my father. But, the weight was making me so depressed I was willing to take my chances. Within 1 week of being off of them I’d lost 10 lbs. I lost the other 70 in 10 months. I counted calories and worked my ass off… literally. The gym I went to told me they’d never seen someone lose weight so fast without a personal trainer. (I might have been fat, but I was still cheap). At that point I vowed to be more aware of my body and never let that happen again.
And then I got asthma.
I managed to stay within 20 lbs of my ideal weight for 4 years. Then I started have throat issues. I felt like I was having allergic reactions hourly. I tired everything I could think of to fix it. I saw multiple doctors and took a few trips to the ER. To this day no one knows what caused it, but they decided to finally remove my thyroid goiter. During this I was on anti-anxiety medication to help me deal with the almost constant, terrifying feeling that my throat was closing up. 50 lbs later I was taking myself off of it and kicking myself- again.
I am now within 15 lbs of my ideal weight. I work out hard for an HOUR every SINGLE day.
Almost every medication I take on a daily basis has “weight gain” somewhere in the side effects.
I will always have to work way harder than most people to maintain my weight. I will always have to watch what I eat. I will probably end up on medication at some point in my life that makes me gain weight again. One of the fun perks of having chronic illnesses.
But to all those people who look at me and judge:
I am not lazy. I am not a pig.
What I am is someone who can never take her body for granted.