The Chronicles of Body Image

Bawdy Goals ? What are those ?!

Please leave my body alone!

The idea of the perfect body plagues us every day with social media and fad diets about getting abs in 10 days.People who have abs congrats to you for your achievement but staying on your diet to achieve said abs me neva shem no sorry* I have been active all my life, and at some point In my adult life considered myself an athlete. I was running miles to help me detox from a lot of anxiety medications. I was swimming to drown the noise of the world underwater. I was kickboxing to release whatever pent-up aggression I was working on with my therapist. We do not realize the full impact body image has on our mental health until we do not have a choice but to deal with it and accept it. I also had to learn and realize that my 30-year-old body does not have the metabolism of my 15-year old self, which could survive at McDonald’s every day. My body was changing to accommodate the illness and the healing it needs for me to keep fighting.

When my health started to decline in early 2018, I was on a tic tac diet of prednisone. If anyone knows anything about prednisone, it activates the beast of eternal hunger in the process of saving your life. I was one of those people who would wake up in the middle of the night and make a whole steak dinner. When I was on high doses of the steroid, I still worked out but still managed to gain 20 pounds in 2 months, so 141lb to about 161lb. This was very alarming to me, but boy, was it drastic and dramatic to people that knew me as this active person and assumed I had ” let myself go,” but I was in a battle for my life and with a medication that I could not win. I think I could still gain weight on steroids even if I ate a celery a day. Prednisone or most steroids are supposed to help your immune system reduce internal inflammation, but the most DEMONIC common side effect is weight gain and the moon’s face. The side effects for me at the same time were destroying my self-image, confidence, and just my soul. Clothes did not fit right I had to size up to numbers I thought I would only expect when or if I got pregnant. This was daily internal dialogue in my head. Omg, I am gaining weight, and I did everything I can not make it as evident yes, I tried a detox tea.

Internally and mentally, you are watching your body change, so are the people around you and providing their unsolicited advice about how you need to eat less, you need to work out more, and omg, I didn’t think I would ever see you without a neck. All these comments sit with you and based on your state of mind, and some people opt to starve themselves, over workout, or be like me and start wearing my husband’s shirts to hide my body. Not only was I hiding my physical body, but I was hiding how bad my physical illness had become. I let people assume I was overeating or whatever narrative they created in their heads.

I was furious at the way I looked. How could my body possibly betray me after so many years? And to make matters worse, I had a wedding dress to fit in and somehow manifest this feeling of being the most beautiful girl in the room. * side note here why do wedding dresses not come in the regular sizing? Who made up the rule that they fit tiny, and then they tell you it’s a size ten? WTF Nah, dog, it’s not because I came in wearing a size ten dress from taj’e .

Anyway, finally I was in remission, HALLEJUAH ! and slowly started to feel like myself off prednisone, and the water weight was the first to fall off. The compliments began to flood in about how much weight I was losing, and all the hard work I was putting in the gym and pool was paying off. What “people” did not realize food tasted like metal when I tried to eat, so I ate as little as possible to avoid that nasty aftertaste that left me nauseous. So it was a lot easier to lose the 20 lbs I had gained, but I started to lose more weight than intended.

I did outrageous things like signing up for long-distance runs that I completed even with an injured knee with encouragement from friends. As my wedding got closer, my seamstress was the first to worry that it looked like I was losing more weight at a faster pass than she could keep up with every fitting. Finally, she gave me an ultimatum eat chipotle for a week, or I would not fit my dress. She would not have time to alter it. I kid you not, and we had to fill me in with sponges so no one would notice that the dress was too big and it was falling off or look unshapely. This was one of the sickest I had been, but I still powered through. I mean, I planned a wedding during a pandemic and lost 30lbs. I could do anything. I remember waking up before anyone else and went to the emergency room for pain medication and hydration. All because I needed or wanted to have the best time of my life with the man I love and the little friends and family who were willing to risk their lives for us. The only person who knew was was my husband, and he never drank that night because he wanted to make sure that I was going to make it through the night with no episodes

Three months later …….

I do not recall ever being this sick. I believe I’m closer to 180 lbs because I have 2.5 liquid IV fluids in me every single day for 6 hours! ALL because some of my organs were/are shutting down and struggling. I joke that if I move fast enough, I think you can hear waves of water inside my body. It used to bug me a lot when people would make comments about my weight ohhhhhh, you are so skinny, ohhhh geez you are so fat. I could honestly give a rat’s ASS ! this penguin-shaped moon face having body keeps and fighting for me to stay alive. SO I DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOUR OPINIONS!

Body changes are a major depressive component in a lot of chronically ill individuals. We mourn the people we were mentally, but we also mourn the person we were physically. Maybe one day I will “go back ” to my preferred weight or size but till then, screw it and anyone who has issues or ideas of what a person’s body looks like as it goes through sickness, pregnancy, weight loss, and weight gain. I will be rocking this penguin body and moon face till my body is ready for us to do something about it( prednisone makes you look round and chubby; I have a husband who kisses these chubby cheeks and tells me I am the love of his life)

Next week, when I shuffle into cardiac rehab, I am not walking in to lose weight; I am walking in to exercise my heart and build endurance so I can stay alive as long as God will’s it.

Be kind and mind your business about another person’s weight.

Kindly,

LGC

Be kind, Be light <3

4 thoughts on “The Chronicles of Body Image

  1. “My body was changing to accommodate the illness and the healing it needs for me to keep fighting.”

    I loved reading this.
    It’s so true, my weight goes up and down all the time. I’m just trying to make it through the day. I already feel guilty about my illness, that having to worry about food and weight makes it so stressful. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Always ❤️ . Our bodies are magic they create and bring life into this world . The adjust and readjust based on its basic needs for us to survive although painful at times. And then to think that body image does not stop at just our weight. There are other physical changes we must accept surgeries , hair loss etc . Choosing our battles is hard do I choose societies standards of what I should look like “healthy” or do I abide my bodies standard to survive

    1. Exactly and there is not even such a thing as a perfect body . If there was God would have created all of us exactly the same

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