Monday, June 29, 2015

stress made me chubby... and people still frickin' LOVE me.

'Cause Spanx are a girl's best friend.
As someone who's got a pretty heavy web presence, and will even be on the old fashioned boob tube on Syfy in a few weeks, there's basically nothing that makes me more nervous than the fact that I've chubbed out over the past eight months or so. There was very little I could do about it. It's not like I've been nomming on McDonalds and eating bon bons while lying on the couch. In fact, one of my profs pointed out to me that he knows my schedule must be busy because every time he sees me, I'm running. I literally started wearing running shoes to school every day because my schedule didn't allow for leisurely strolls from place to place. I ran upstairs every day like I was frickin' Rocky Balboa or one of those Washington D.C. interns, all the while surviving off of a half cup of greek yogurt and a small bag of chips most days. Not super healthy, I'll grant, but also equaling out to about 900 calories at most probably 5/7 days a week. But I'm also on several medications to deal with various mental health issues, and the stress I was under that led to my averaging 3-4 hours of sleep most nights meant my body was like, "Screw you. I'm punishing you with fat." It's 2015, the height of fitness culture. This is basically like my body deciding it never wants friends or success or respect, or anything else that validates a human being.

Or so I thought.

Clearly, people find me to be a disgusting beast.

Despite the seemingly unstoppable expanding of my belly, arms, and boobs, I'm still a pretty confident person. I'm still a fairly witty person. I still smile constantly, dance like no one's watching, hug anyone who asks, affirm folks whenever I get a chance. And because of all that, people love me. And lest that sound like I'm bragging about how super awesome I am, I don't think awesomeness has anything to do with it. It's about being the kind of person who makes other people feel good. It's about choosing not to to spend all my time thinking about the way I look, and instead just focusing on having a really good time with the people I love. And that seems to more than compensate for my increasing body mass. Go figure.

I almost didn't post this amazing pic because of my chubby arms.
Now, I don't plan for this to be my permanent state. Hopefully my stress level will become manageable, my need for medication will dwindle, and all the running and squatting and push-upping I do will finally balance out my body's apparent need to sabotage itself. I want to avoid whatever health issues come along with carrying too much extra baggage. But either way, I'm kind of glad for this terrible season, because I realized that what I have to offer is so far beyond my measurements. So many people told me at my friends' wedding the other day that I looked great, at a time in which I feel like I look like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. I don't think they were blowing smoke and trying to make me feel good about myself. I think when you genuinely love and like people, and like yourself, there's this radiance that others can't help but see over everything else.

Listen: I know there are people who were at my high school reunion, or at my friends' wedding, or who follow me on instagram who are probably like, "Oh, damn. She got FAT. lol." But screw them because they haven't walked two moons in my moccasins. They may feel like they're better because they weigh what they weighed in high school, but even if I'm heavier than I want to be, I live the life I want to live. I read books I want to read, meet celebrities I want to meet, podcast with one of my best friends every week, dance with another of my best friends at his wedding, and get told constantly that I'm talented, intelligent, beautiful, inspiring. Why do I effing care if I'm also overweight? That is the dumbest thing on the planet. I am worth so much more than my stupid, chubby arms.

And so are you. Because most of you are right there with me, for various reasons. You want to be the person who spends a couple hours at the gym every day and can pretend to like gluten free, vegan food, and has time to prepare such things even if you ARE the kind of person who enjoys eating what is essentially dog food for humans. No, seriously, that stuff is the worst, but I'm proud of you for deluding yourself into thinking it tastes good. You want to be the person who has a B-cup and never has to wear Spanx, despite the scourge of genetics that you should accept says, "NOPE. I have made that physically impossible." I mean, make sure you go to the doctor and you're not slowly killing yourself, but if you're fat and healthy and a good person, you are what the world needs. People don't constantly affirm me because I'm special. Unless you're a douchebag, you're probably just as awesome to be around as I am. It's summer, beach time, and it's as good a time as any to stop shopping for the perfect cover-up and start being the winner Shia LaBeouf knows you can be. Let's do this, chubby folk.