Week 03: Weight, What?

15 Jan – 21 Jan 17

You can tell from last week’s post that I have body issues. As an overweight person, it’s already a given that I have a fear of weighing scales. I was traumatized as a kid. In the 3rd grade, the doctor who performed our medical exams posted a chart of the weights of everyone in our class. Because it was posted on our classroom door, everyone (read: my classmates, their nosy parents, and our judgmental teachers) saw that I was indisputably the heaviest in my grade, by at least 5 kilos if I remember correctly. Of course, people took that as a cue to inform me of what I already knew.

It didn’t really stop in the 3rd grade. Even until this day, people think that telling me to lose weight when we meet for the first time is acceptable because I’m fat. Some go as far as telling me that they knew someone obese who suffered a heart attack at 40 and subsequently died, in a way that they expected the same to happen to me if I don’t lose weight by the time I got back from the bathroom. I know they mean well, but it’s made me sensitive, like it’s entirely my fault, when that’s not really the case. Besides, how different is telling someone to go on a diet from telling them to end their affairs with their secretaries or to switch their hobby from doing drugs to something legal?

I digress. I’m trying to change my lifestyle, not for other people, but for myself. There is truth in saying that my weight may take my life early, and I want to live long enough to do everything I want to do. Six months ago, I weighed myself after a three-week-long vacation in the States, where I ate nothing but Chipotle and deep-fried food. I officially weighed zero kilograms, which was a bad thing because that meant I was so heavy, the needle on the weighing scale went back to zero. In spite of having that information, I didn’t do anything about it until two months later.

I started going to yoga, and slowly enjoyed practicing it. I’ve made adjustments to my diet that although made me feel deprived when I first cut out specific foods, now made me feel better about my body. I made it my goal to become a healthy person in general, not just to lose weight; weight loss will merely be a desirable side effect. I made it a point not to track my progress through numbers, but by how I feel to cushion any disappointments from not dropping pounds as quickly as I expect them to. And it was effective. I felt better in making fewer modifications in the yoga poses, in being able to touch my toes, and in needing to buy smaller clothes. The only reason I wanted to weigh myself is because I want to skydive at the end of the year, and I needed to know how much more I needed to adjust to reach its weight limit.

Before stepping on the scale, I prepared myself to be either immensely happy or mildly disappointed. Still, I was feeling more optimistic because I was positive about the progress I’ve made. Lo and behold, I no longer weighed zero kilograms. I was now 15 kilograms (30 pounds!) west of zero. Although at my current weight, I’m still obese and way over the weight limit to skydive, I’m still 15 kilograms lighter than I was six months ago, and I couldn’t be prouder.

by Royce

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