A sensitive subject for me but I wanna talk about it. So I’m gonna J
I’ve always been a relatively small person. My family is naturally on the short side, and I can’t think of a single person who I would categorize as overweight.
The hilarious part about this is, my family likes to eat…a LOT.
In fact, when we get together for family holidays my cousin and I immediately give each other that “look” after dinner. The look that says, I’m so full I can’t stand myself.
And it’s true! My entire family has always stuffed themselves to the point of having a hard time breathing afterward.
Yes, we joke about it and it’s all fun and games until someone (wink wink) starts having health issues (that would be me).
Growing up in a Lebanese family certainly had its perks. Grandma would always make traditional Lebanese dishes like kibbeh, tabbouleh, majadra, hummus and grapeleaves. To this day I have a love for these dishes and I often crave them!
Luckily my mom and a few of my aunts got ahold of Grandma’s recipes before she passed on, and I’m hoping to continue some of these cooking traditions in my own family.
All recipes aside, I have had digestive issues since I was a child. I’m most definitely not saying it’s from the delicious food I was eating growing up (even though I did eat a lot of very glutinous bread with my hummus).
But what I want to bring to light is the overeating that was happening, regardless of the type of food I was putting into my body.
If you remember from my last blog, I talked about stress eating. I truly believe that all this overeating at family events was not just due to the level of food yumminess, but also due to the internal stress I felt all throughout my childhood.
But I didn’t just overeat at family events. I overate pretty much everywhere I went. I used it socially to help “cover up” my social anxiety. All that nervous energy I was feeling was sure to go away if I just stuffed myself.
It was like having a nervous twitch, except instead of twitching I would just eat and eat…and eat.
But I somehow remained relatively small all those years. I had fluctuations in my weight most definitely, but for the most part I stayed in a certain weight range.
As I moved into my early twenties I really started to get even skinnier, and stay that way. My roommates used to ask me where I put all the food I was eating. Honestly, I think I had so much adrenaline pumping all the time that I just burned off all the calories quickly!
All right. Let me get to the real point of all this.
Yeah I come from a thin family.
Yes I grew up overeating.
Yes I overate due to my stress and anxiety.
And yes I stayed relatively thin.
But I don’t tell you this to brag. Instead I tell you this to bring to light a subject that is somewhat taboo, and that’s being uncomfortable in your own skin because you are underweight.
When I moved to Seattle from Detroit, I lost a LOT of weight. In fact, I am now the skinniest I’ve ever been in my adult life.
My skinny jeans and leggings are saggy. My vertebrae are protruding from my back. My thighs do not touch, and I’m not used to that. They have always rubbed together…at least a little bit.
I had so much anxiety, I didn’t even feel like I was absorbing nutrients anymore.
And I get comments. LOTS of comments.
You are so tiny!
Eat a burger!
Are you eating enough?
Are you ok?
You’re so thin…why do you workout?
And I’m sure there’s more.
Here’s what I have to say about these comments…
They don’t bother me! They really don’t. I’m not offended one bit. I know people say these things because they are truly concerned, and I never take offense.
Because I KNOW myself, and I know why I lost that weight. I lost it from the heavy stress of relocating. And it most definitely was not purposeful weight loss.
And on the topic of why I workout…the answer is simple and that is to stay strong both physically and mentally. As a matter of fact, it is because of yoga and fitness that I was finally able to let go of enough old baggage to relax a little and stop stress eating.
Yoga and fitness in general are my natural anti-anxiety medications and I fully intend to keep going with it, regardless of how small I may be.
I no longer wake up with adrenaline pumping every morning. I can take a walk down the street and feel calm, grounded and centered. And the truth is I eat a LOT. In fact, I eat all day long. This time though, it’s healthy food. The food my body’s cells need and crave.
I know that over time my weight will even out again, and I will be able to tell my story loud and proud about how I overcame the stress of relocation and healed holistically.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m most certainly not complaining. I did get damn lucky that I got some tiny people genes!
But I have a whole new respect for women who get stared at for being “too skinny.” And we can’t just assume that because someone is skinny, they are healthy. That is not necessarily the case.
Don’t worry, I’m working on getting me back. Each day as I add new healing foods and meals to my regimen, I can feel my body, mind and spirit getting stronger.
I know I’m moving in the right direction. All is well.
This is my story <3