Hi. My name is Kim and I am an unhealthy person. And I mean a very unhealthy person. Now, most people take one glance at me and say, "Whaaaat??? Noo!!! Then how do you stay so skinny??"
I’ll tell you how. It’s a secret. Are you ready?
Me being on the "skinny" side has NOTHING to do with how healthy or unhealthy I am. In fact, I could probably guarantee if I became a little healthier through proper nutrients, a well balanced diet, and gaining some muscle, I would probably gain some weight, maybe even go up a size or two. Now don’t read that wrong, I absolutely don’t starve myself, exercise excessively (or at all...), portion control, calorie control, basically anything that involves self control... you get my point.
My lifestyle pretty much goes like this: see, want, eat. Crave, find, eat. And did I mention I have a sweet tooth? Well, I do and it's a major one. I always have... so you can safely assume the kinds of things I typically eat in a day if you do the math. My "exercise" regiment is just about the same. Feel it, do it. Don’t feel it, don’t do it. Now I’ve never been one to be super active, but as someone who has in the last seven years dealt with a sleep disorder on top of that... I think it's safe to also assume, I don’t ever "feel" it.
So tell me this... why is it that we assume if someone is skinny they must be super healthy and if someone is not skinny they must not be healthy? Do you see how messed up this logic is and why it can totally derail people, in any body type, from simply being motivated by just being healthy??
Maybe it's just me, but I feel like my brain has been trained by media, advertisements, and other outside sources that healthy=skinny. With that logic, the reverse would then be true... skinny=healthy, now I for one am living proof that just ain't the truth. But even still, because I've always been "skinny" or small, (ever since I was a little girl), because of this mentality I've grown up around, it's easy to let my subconscious go along with that nonsense - that I must already be healthy or have no need to practice a healthy lifestyle, simply because of the body type I was born with?....???
Maybe that's why I've always rejected the "health/fitness" world so strongly... because it's always been presented on a platter of "getting skinny, losing weight, getting that beach body, getting toned, ect." And I hate that. It feels so surface level and petty. HEALTH is not petty or surface level and many of these programs probably have great ways of getting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but with the main goal being "weight loss" so much of the time I have an adverse reaction. I don't need or want to get toned, lose weight, gain weight, etc. I just want to be healthy. I want to be strong enough to feel confident in moving my furniture around however many times I darn please, I want to have the endurance to be active and play with my children, I want to be able to practice some self control and not doom myself to an early life of heart failure because of all of my sugar intake and the lack of nutrients. That's all I want.
We're just about dive down to a whole other level... and go on a bit of a rant. I just had a realization. I've never struggled with body image, but I've definitely struggled with "image". That's probably why I act so adversely to the tactic of image that comes with health and fitness. Let me explain. I was the ugly duckling since an early, early age. I really struggled with friends beginning, from what I can remember, in first grade. That struggle became even more real when I hit second grade. I would often get left out, had girls gossiping about me, making fun of me... it wasn't fun. I still to this day remember this one time one of my "friends" was sitting next to me as we all gathered around for reading time. I quietly asked her, "why does _____ not like me anymore?" ( Referring to one of our other "friends"). What she said stuck with me much longer than it should have... she responded "She thinks you're ugly" and when I asked why she responded with, "well Kim... it's true." Ouch. That carried with me through everything. Whenever I was left out, made fun of, being gossiped about, it was all because I was ugly. I grew up through all my school years being paranoid about how I looked. Somewhere along the way I really did gain a genuine love for fashion, makeup, and all of that fun girly stuff... but still always felt like I was having to prove to those girls... to myself... that I wasn't ugly. No one should feel that way... because of how they dress, do their hair, and most especially because of their body type.
Everyone comes in all shapes and sizes. NO ONE was meant to be one particular size or weight. We all were meant to take care of our bodies however which means trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. But guess who gets to decide that?? You. Only you. Okay and maybe you should probably listen to your doctor too. But my point is, what we see in the mirror does not always determine what's on the inside. How a person’s body looks does not necessarily equate to how healthy they are or are not. I just think sometimes we let appearances be the determining factor of what's happening to our bodies on the inside.
And here's another thing. It's completely deflating and motivating the wrong thing. Someone who tries and tries to lose weight by eating healthy and exercising may feel constantly defeated by not hitting their "goal" of weight loss even though what they are doing is awesome and building a healthy lifestyle.
Now maybe I shouldn't have such a strong opinion on the matter. I mean, after all, I think we have already determined I am arguably the least healthy person on the planet... I don't eat good, I don't exercise, and as mentioned earlier, I have never struggled with body image. But I know plenty of people who do. There are easily more people in my life that do struggle with body image than don't. And guess what... they are absolutely beautiful on the inside AND out, and I wish they could see what I see. I LOVE LOVE LOVE what is said in this Youtube video. When I saw it, I was just like, yes. Just yes.
I can't tell you the amount of times people say, 'wow, you're so skinny, you must eat super good or exercise a ton'. I always feel uncomfortable and never know what the correct response it to that. So when I was probably like 12 I adopted the same answer I often give people even to this day. "I actually eat really bad and don't exercise, but I'll probably die super young from some health problem because of how bad I eat and how little I exercise" (said sarcastically). But all sarcasm has a bit of truth to it doesn't it?
This leads me to this little current life event which has led me to start this highly resisted "health journey". I went to the doctor a few weeks ago over a weird bruise on my thigh. Because I'm a hypochondriac... have I mentioned that on here? Just kidding, I'm not, but depending on life I also kinda can be. Anyways, I came in ready for what I knew was probably like a five minute thing over a bruise, some random symptoms I've been having for a while, some for a month, and all just kind of varying things that were probably nothing but just thought I should make sure in case it's something... cause... you know... I have two living breathing adorable human beings to prove two MAJOR times it actually WAS something. If you have no clue what I'm talking about... please refer here and here. (Also... happy sixth birthday to my cute Everett yesterday).
Back to the story - I went in and went over all the routine questions with the nurse. Then the doctor came in and started rapid fire asking me questions about some of the symptoms I was experiencing and commented that my pulse was high. He asked if I was nervous. I laughed. I have anxiety.... when am I not nervous? But no, I was not like in a state of anxiety or nervous there in that moment. He then commented that my eyes were super dilated. After some more discussion, which I honestly can't even remember most of, he thought it would be good to do a whole bunch of blood work (which was the worst blood draw EVER) and other stuff too. So basically, I came in for a bruise and walked out having done a ton of blood work, urine sample, (TMI? sorry... I personally don't classify medical stuff as TMI), orthostatic test lying down, sitting up, and standing up, a neurological exam, and an EKG. It was a hypochondriac's gold mine! I'm totally kidding, but come on, you know it was kinda funny.
I actually was not, (am still not) all that concerned about it. But here is what I'm getting at... If you know me at all, you may have been wondering why Kim, the queen of health resistance of any kind has randomly decided after 27 years that now is the time to finally start on a healthy lifestyle. Well, I'll tell you. After that EKG mentioned previously, the doctor came in to explain it to me. He said something along the lines of, and I quote, "now, see these blips here... if I were looking at this for a 60 year old who is potentially heading into heart failure, you know, clogged arteries and stuff, I would think it was normal, but on you and someone your age I'm a bit perplexed." I kid you not, visions of me, every time, since the young age of 12, saying, "yeah, but I'll probably just die young because I eat so bad ha ha ha ha ha", began instantly playing through my head. I almost laughed out loud. I go in for an echocardiogram tomorrow, (yaayyyyyy.....), and then at some point when I can swallow my vanity, I'll go in to get a heart monitor to wear for SEVEN, yes SEVEN, embarrassing days. And we'll see what turns up from all of that. I really don't think there's anything to be overly concerned about though... and remember, that's coming from a, (occasional), hypochondriac.
Needless to say, if everything comes back normal, which it probably will, it has given me the wake up call to not just say I'll probably die young if I don't get healthy, but actually do something about it. SO this last week I drew up a very, very rough "get healthy" plan. I mean, baby steps, right? I also would LOVE YOU FOREVER if you have any resources or tips for people like me, who are still in conception for this whole "healthy life/exercise" thing as I adjust and create a plan that works best for me along the way.
SO. Join me on what is bound to be a hilarious and embarrassing journey in becoming a normal functioning human being who is at least somewhat healthy and not at risk of dying from heart failure. At the age of 27.