I was diagnosed with Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome when I was seventeen years old. In a nut shell according to the Doctor, I had a hormonal imbalance. His take on it? Losing weight will help your symptoms, but PCOS almost makes it impossible to lose weight. Good luck. By that time in my life I had spent three years working out in a gym on a regular basis. Before that I was involved in dance, I grew up on 16 acres playing in a meadow, creeks and the woods. By the time I was diagnosed I was a size 18. Over the next couple of years emotionally I gave up with the Doctor’s words ringing in my head. I felt like it made no difference what I ate or what my activity level was, it was all headed to fat anyway.
My weight went up, and before I became a mom, while my spouse was spending his time in college classes, I had the time and energy to start devoting myself to working out again. And I worked out. Five to six days a week I would do cardio for 30-60 minutes and weight train for 20-30 minutes. I was eating the same as my thin husband. And guess what? I started out those two years of focused health at 264…and I ended those two years at 264.
Something broke in me a little more the day I realized no matter how strong I was, I was always going to be fat. And I decided I didn’t care anymore. Over the next two years I was on an intensive personal self-growth track to figure out how to love me the way I was. I really felt like I realized I would never be thin. And I most certainly didn’t want to spend my life not liking myself.
And guess what? In 2008 I really became okay with who I was, and what I looked like, and started to love myself more. It was at that point that I could look at myself in the mirror, and feel love for myself, and was able to ask myself, “Kelsha, what do you want in this life?” And what I wanted was to be able to live. Live free of the diseases I was headed toward. I wanted to live expressing myself creatively without feeling hindered by carrying around 100 plus extra pounds. I wanted to live, play with my kids on the floor, and ride down the slides with them.
So, in the Fall of 2009 I had weight loss surgery. And between October to July I lost 130 lbs. As the lbs. melted off, I started to see on the outside what was always in the inside. A woman full of passion for enjoying the outdoors, a lover of dancing, a girl drawn to fashion, a woman that started to look like she had all the knowledge of health and fitness that she had.
What does this all have to do with anything? When I was in my teens I worked out to be strong with the hope that it’d result in weight loss. When I worked out in my early 20’s it was in a desperate attempt to shed the weight. When I had the weight loss surgery, it was to accomplish something with some help that I had worked so hard for. But, where do I stand now? After losing 130 lbs. you can imagine my skin is not tight. I have tummy skin that no matter how many sit ups I do it will never tighten. In fact, the more I work out, the better I eat, and the more weight I lose, it all makes the skin that much more…Soft?!
And so, along with that, and a physical assault that happened to me that proved I wasn’t strong enough to stop it, something else broke in me about eight years ago. I realized, no matter how much I worked out, no matter how much I watched my food intake, I will never have the body of my dreams. Maybe even more devastating was the realization, I’ll never have the body of a man’s dreams. When I realized that, I stopped caring again. I’m still active because of my life style choices and the activities I enjoy doing, dancing, hiking, biking, and caring for my property…But, for a long time now I can’t make a consistent effort to do it.
What is your motive to work out? Just like my other journeys through self-body love, I have realized there first comes a breaking down. And then it transforms in to a new way of thinking. A new way of feeling about the process.
My tummy skin is "too" soft, and my once large breasts have lost some of their stuffing.
What motivates you to work out? Are you in the space of working out because it makes you more sexually appealing? Do you work out for strength? Do you work out for the social aspects of classes or a running partner? Do you work out to feel alive? Do you work out to stay more in your body and out of your head? Do you work out for fun? Do you work out purely for the health benefits? Do you work out because you live in Boulder and you’re odd girl out if you don’t?
And if me writing about my loose skin, my less than perky breasts, my sometimes plummeting self-esteem and my less than stellar sex appeal helps someone out there, then that’s how I know my uncomfortable, stretching me to my limits, trial by fire is well on its way. I always know something big is about to shift in me by the panic I feel inside contemplating sharing the real me with others.
Share with me your reasons for working out?