I have been small my entire life. By small, I mean skinny and by skinny, I mean skeletal. I didn't weigh over 100 lbs until I was pushing 30. I've hovered around 95 most of my adult existence and worn no size above a 1. I wrote a blog about it a few years back because I was growing weary of assumptions and being told I couldn't complain about my body because of it's size. All I ever wanted was to gain a few pounds and be able to shop beyond the juniors section.Be careful what you wish for...I turned 30 in 2014. Before my wedding that year, I left my job at a massive beer garden where I walked about 11 miles during any given shift (I wore a pedometer once, this is accurate). I took an office job where I sat the majority of the day. My pants fit a little tighter. I didn't pay much attention. My bathing suit on our honeymoon fit more snugly than it had that previous summer. I was surprised but I had just gotten married. It was happy, newlywed, snuggle time weight that I ignored because I had gained weight for the first time like, EVER.I never watched what I ate. I drank. I have never really exercised (the aforementioned blog explains all). I never really needed to.I turned 31. I moved to Burlington. I weigh 25 lbs more than I did a year ago. I feel like I'm filled with a dozen lead balloons. And that's when I realized three fundamental truths at the exact same time (No, YOU stop quoting Hamilton).
- I was now IN my 30s. My body had decided I needed to prep for future tiny humans to pop out so it grew width wise. I suddenly had hips that dug into the waist of my jeans and thighs that rubbed together when I walked. My face was round and I lost my jawline somewhere in my neck. My stomach developed a round pooch like it was practicing for pregnancy. My clothing was no longer just tight; it started not to fit at all.
- I walked everywhere in New York. I'd walk any where from nine to thirty blocks just to get where I was going, especially when it was nice out. Some day I would walk the length of Central Park just for funsies. I stood constantly whether it was at work in a restaurant or selling Broadway merchandise or in line at an audition or waiting for the damn train. I was constantly moving.
- I never ate. I drank a lot. I was in a steady state of anxiety every day. I survived on granola bars and nuts. I usually had one actual meal a day. The rest of my diet was coffee, water, fruit, and macaroni and cheese. My body was the opposite of nourished.
I know what everyone is thinking. I am not a fat person. I can not call myself fat. I do not call myself fat in public or in mixed company. I get that I am still small. I am actually at weight for the first time in my life for my height. But I went from 95 to 120 lbs in a matter of months so I think I can kind of invite myself to the girls complaining about gaining weight party. Oh...I can't still? I will be greeted with dirty looks and exasperated sighs? What the hell do I have to do to get into that party?I stopped taking pictures of myself. I hated how I looked. I wanted to model again when I moved here. I had one shoot, was miserable about how I looked and disregarded any of the shots because it wasn't me. Acquaintances asked if I was pregnant. Newlyweds move to the 'burbs, wife gains weight, I can see the trail that would lead them there. A note on that: That is fucking rude. You do NOT ask someone that EVER. Others made what they assumed were 'cute' comments or looked at me differently when they saw me post move. It wasn't a judgmental look but a "Oh...you look...like that now" look. I started making it a conversation piece right off the bat by mentioning how I was now human size and ignoring the silent screams of my soul dying.I lost my self image. I was the tiny girl. I'm not any more. It's strange to adjust to the body that I thought I wanted. Surprise, shopping is still hard because now I have hips but also thighs and my calves exist and WHY ARE PANTS THE WORST INVENTION OF ALL TIME? I The three truths came floating back into view. I never had exercised or eaten properly. I had left a city that has a constant current flowing through it where I had to run to keep up. I am now happier, less anxious, cooking and eating two-three full meals, walking less, driving more, and I have an adult woman's body at long last because I am, technically, an adult woman whose bony body has revolted and said PUT BABIES IN ME NOW LOOK I'M READY. I am not alone. This is a common struggle. One I never thought I would have to face until after I had a child and had all the new mom struggles. Turns out, it happens before you even think of reproducing. When people tell you your body changes at 30, BELIEVE THEM. It does. Your size 0 will be a thing of the past and you'll find yourself wearing Jessica Simpson designed jeans from TJMaxx that you affectionately call your "fat pants". New York was my gym. I held on to my minuscule stature until I left that city and that was a huge wake up call. I have to take care of myself now. I have to watch what I consume. I have to make myself exercise every day because the restaurant I work at now is not nearly as large as the ones of the past. I'm not clocking in 11 miles. I'm not even getting to one.And, guys, working out is HARD when you have never done it. I am sore after like 15 minutes of yoga. I can't admit that because, again, just like when I was skinnier, I am not the right size to complain according to most women of the world. My problem with that is, even when I weighed 90 lbs, I was out of shape. I have no strength in my upper body whatsoever and God forbid I have to run for my life because I would become a zombie victim in a matter of minutes. So, don't judge me because I may have your ideal weight because once again, it's not mine either in spite of the fact I always thought it would be. The struggle is real for everyone. I now see my body, feel my body, and I know I have to step it up so it doesn't fall apart. I get sore, I get hungover easily, I gain weight if I eat a block of cheese. This is not new scientific information to anyone but it's a fresh development for me. Would this have happened if I still lived in the city? Biologically, yes but not to this degree. My anxiety would continue to eat at my appetite and I'd probably be back flying around like a bug trapped in a jar. Being in a new city, no one really knows how I looked before and I've found it's more acceptable to talk about weight with them not knowing my past as a skeleton. I may not be in the party, but I'm at least in the entry way looking in.