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It was probably every girl’s worst nightmare. Just any day at work, I reach up to get something down off the shelf. Then I hear it, the pop of the dome on my jeans drastically leaping free.

I looked down at my jeans, now gapping open around my hips. It’s almost indecent! I look around the room, I’m alone. My dignity is saved! Thank God. I look at the floor, the dome is laying about half a meter from where I’m standing. Embarrassing situation rectified!

If only it was that easy. This is the second pair of pants I’ve ruined in the last few months. Last time it was my favourite pair of moleskins, they split dramatically across my right gluteal fold (Luckily that incidence was in the privacy of my own home). I really need to stop trying to squeeze myself into pants that are too small. I need bigger jeans!

When I was in my late teens and thru my early-early 20s I was a stick. Chicken-legs, flat stomach. So my sudden increases in weight have come as a real surprise. I’m honestly talking about some serious weight gain. I used to weight in at a tiny 40 kg; I’m now 50 kg. So what 50 kg is still nothing (right?). But that’s a 25% gain in total weight (I’m a scientist I excel at working with percentages). Most people hate it when I complain about weighing 50 kg, so I should mention that I’m less than 5ft tall (so 40-something Kg is normal weight for someone of my height).

I have a few theories about my sudden weight gain.

Age

People say your metobolism slows down with age. It’s something I’d always been weary of. My mum had been a stick in her day too, but had put on the pounds after having my sister and I. I thought I had a few more years to rectify my bad eating habits, and start going to the gym. Thirty, that’s the age people usually tell you to look out for. Is it possible my metabolism has already slowed down at early age of 23?  Are my days of eating everything and still being underweight gone?

Competition

My two male flat mates are convinced that I’m putting on weight to prepare for the winter. Well not so much the winter. They believe that their eating habits (basically eating anything that isn’t moving, and is made of organic matter), are forcing my body to compete for food resources. Furthermore, they think my body might sense a possibility that they would eat all the food; leaving me to slowly starve, so the extra weight is acting as security in case this arises.

The Break-Up 

So my weight gain started not so long after breaking up with my ex (who I’d been with for three and a bit years). He cheated on me with a girl who worked at McDonalds. I ran into him a few months later. We were chatting, and I mentioned that I’d put on some weight. Girls are silly like that. I’m not sure why I’d even been hinting at it. I guess I had put on two cup sizes, and I being silly just wanted him to notice how fabulous my boobs have been looking. But really I didn’t want him to say anything. Boys please note a girl never wants you to comment back when she hints at getting fat. But being the complete wanker-of-an-ex that he is, he of course said something.

“It’s probably because you haven’t been getting any recently. You know the lack of cardio and that, you wont be burning off the calories any more.” 

Ah!!!!!!!! I could of scratched that “I’ve totally seen you naked, and now your not getting any” smirk right off his face. (If only doing so wouldn’t have made me a total psycho). So I just smiled and said “I’ve been getting plenty. Apparently my E cup boobs are fabulous”. I hadn’t been getting any! So this was some sort of horrible pant popping no sex breakup muffin top. Mortification, I have nothing else to add.

But I do want to mention, that since this encounter I’ve been getting plenty. I haven’t lost a kg, I’ve just had lots of fun.

Now I’ve finished whining I want to point out that it isn’t all bad.

Here is my final theory

I’m Happier 

I haven’t always been the happiest person. I’m still not the happiest person alive. But I’m getting there. It’s simple. I’m happier without my ex (and a whole lot of other baggage I don’t need to go into), so I’ve started gaining weight. Often when people get depressed they either loose or gain weight. I was depressed. When my depression was at it’s worst, my weight dropped to 38kg. My doctor was pretty concerned. They made me stand against walls so they could take in my profile, and asked me lots of questions about my menstrual cycle. Apparently it was a medical wonder that I could have so little fat on me, but still have D-cups and a period (that really is what my male doctor informed me. He was very professional, despite this comment). So now that my depression is gone, it’s natural that my weight would return to normal.

The problem here being that I had started seeing 40 kg as my “normal” weight. I was even convinced that it was “healthy” (my BMI was 18 so I was on the cusp of being healthy). When I weighted 40 kg I was actually underweight. 40 kg is nothing, even on my 4ft 11 frame (yes I’m tiny). So if anything the weight gain has been good for me. Sometimes it’s just hard to convince yourself of this. We live in a world where all weight gain is seen as bad. You want to tell every tummy jiggle “no naughty, go play somewhere else”. But reality is being too skinny is just as a big a problem as being too fat.

At my skinniest the sort of complements I got were “Wow! You could be a model. Well if it weren’t for your height. But your so slim!”. These days I get complements such as “Wow your looking great! Too be honest you used to look too thin but now your looking great.” Society tells me that the first complement is better. I loved the idea that I had a body like a model, and that if it wasn’t for me being more than a ft short I’d been rocking the catwalk. I liked that when I looked in the mirror my body resembled what I saw in movie sex scenes. But I need to remember that the latter is more well-meaning and a true complement. I feel healthy these days, I have more energy, and I get less tired from day to day activities. Besides I can still rock a bikini 10 kg later, I don’t care if there are now a few more jiggles.

I’ve also joined a gym. I’m not even trying to loose weight. It was just that suddenly gaining 10 kg helped me to see that having some healthier habits might help me to keep a stable healthy weight during my adult life. I got myself a personal trainer and everything. I’ve been doing cardio to help stabilize me weight, but also weight trainer to gain strength. I also want to say, I’ve been doing all sort of squats and dead lifts. So my ass is looking pretty “bootylicious”. Forget being fat, I totally popped that dome with my pant popping bootylicious ass. Ok my ass is still pretty small. She’s going to kill me when she reads this, but Olivia has a fabulous ass. I’ve always been slightly jealous, so I’m pretty happy now that I’ve got my own.

To finish I just want to share some of Liz Gilbert’s wisdom from “Eat Pray Love”

“Let me ask you something. In all the times that you’ve undressed in front of a gentleman, has he ever asked you to leave?”

“No.”
“No – exactly! Because he doesn’t care. He’s in a room with a naked girl. He’s won the lottery! I’m so tired of saying no, and waking up in the morning and recalling everything I ate the day before – counting every calorie I consumed so I know exactly how much self-loathing to take into the shower. I’m going for it. I have no interest in being obese, I’m just through with the guilt. So, here’s what we’re going to do: we’re going to finish this pizza, and tomorrow, we’re going to buy ourselves some bigger jeans.”

I’m off to buy some bigger jeans!

– Lillian

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