A Battle Worth Fighting: How I Got Fat
Posted: Wednesday, Nov. 07, 2012
Photo by: Nathan Abplanalp Photography
Alyn Wharmby is an Ohio native turned middle school teacher and graduate student, currently earning a degree in School Administration at UNC Charlotte. She is beginning her new life with fiance Erik and chihuahua Bella on July 13, 2013. Contact Alyn here.
Im still afraid of the word fat. No one wants to be called or feel fat. However, part of the process of losing weight and keeping it off is acknowledging WHY you gained the weight in the first place so as to keep it from happening again. So, Im taking the journey all the way back to the beginning to analyze where along the way I managed to pack on the pounds.In the interest of going all the way back to the beginning lets start with high school. At age 16 I was a comfortable 125 pounds and the same height I am now. I had a bit of a growth spurt that left me thinner than I was as a kid. At 17, my thyroid issues started, and after battling with hyper and eventually hypothyroidism, I put on a hefty 25 pounds in about three months. Still, at 150 pounds, I wasnt overweight. This was, however, the beginning of a lifelong struggle with beating the bulge.Then in college, I put only the usual Freshman 15, though I think I put it on in my junior and senior years. When I began teaching I weighed in at 165lbs. I remember buying all new clothes to begin teaching, which helped weed out all the old clothing I had that didnt fit anymore. Surprisingly, I only remember being vaguely bothered by the weight I had put on.It was after I began teaching that the weight started to bother me. I had still been gaining weight and had encroached on 175. I went to Weight Watchers religiously my first two years teaching and lost 20 pounds. After my first year teaching I began dating my fiancé, and we moved in together a year after that. Getting comfortable and moving in together added that 20 pounds back along with five more putting me at a squishy 180. Now I really felt awful. It wouldnt stop there, however. When I started going to graduate school at night I gave up on exercise and healthy eating, and put on another whopping 20-plus pounds . topping out at my highest weight ever -- 204 pounds.The day the scale hit 200 was my turning point. I felt awful. I was cranky, moody, stuffed into all my clothing, and tremendously insecure. Feeling fat affected every single aspect of my life. I was too uncomfortable in my own skin to even consider mentioning my struggles to anyone. I am a perfectionist and a control freak -- how could this one area of my life get so out of hand? I figured that I could take care of it on my own, hiding my fear of being fat and my hatred of my new flabby body.Turns out, it doesnt work that way. That was September of 2011. I found a nutritionist, went back to the gym, and started researching. If the Get Fit Challenge has no other impact on me, it will be worth it for the reason that by blogging and acknowledging my effort I have found others who are in the same boat. Putting my weight out there was, at first, something that made me panic. Now I acknowledge that everyone knows what I weigh, and have seen that no one treats me differently because of it. It is far less stressful for everyone to know that Im working on losing weight than for them to think Im working on gaining it. Ive gained work-out partners, running buddies, diet advice and a more reasonable perspective on my own appearance.One year and two months later, Ive dropped 25 pounds (after last months four pound loss) and Im eating healthier and getting much stronger. I am by no means out of fat territory yet, but look and feel better. If thats not a battle worth fighting -- I dont know what is.
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