Almost two years ago now I began this journey of eating more food and facing the restriction (and ultimately the eating disorder) that I didn’t know I had. 

March 2021. I knew I had a pattern of not wanting to eat, resisting making food for myself, and being anxious about food – but I didn’t know how deeply it was rooted in my being, this obsession with trying to be healthy. And let’s face it, skinny. 

Getting fat has been one of the best things I have ever done for my mental and emotional well-being.

Eating food, and all kinds of foods, absolutely – but I mean even the experience of being fat.

It brought up so many thoughts I didn’t know I had. It had me face what it meant about me if I was no longer conventionally “attractive,” if I was no longer the athletic superstar I had grown up being, if I was fat and puffy and could only shop at plus size stores and could no longer fit comfortably in normal sized chairs. 

I am not suggesting this as a way to heal your issues, I’m just saying that for me, it did. The parts of me that were so calculated, so obsessed with how other people perceived me, started to fade away. There was no trying to appear a certain way when my feet were so swollen I could only wear men’s work boots two sizes too big, clothes that didn’t match, clothes that didn’t even fit me correctly because I gave up buying new ones after buying basically every size 4-24 on my journey. 

I moved to a new place and pretty much everyone who has met me in the last year has met the heaviest version of myself. There was no hiding anymore, for me. I was fat and taking up space and that was just how it was going to be, so I either had to adapt and heal my shit, or drown in a pool of misery and feeling sorry for myself. I chose the former. 

In all of this, I somehow… relaxed. Being well-fed meant my moodiness that had been with me ever since I can remember, disappeared. I woke up happy, and even when I had normal emotions come up, there was this baseline happiness that stayed there underneath it. I felt and still feel more connectable, more open with people, just content in who I am.

In the past 4 months I have lost 33 lbs. 

I am excited about it. 

 

This is a strange place for me to be in because I haven’t been sure of how to share it. I still am not sure. The last thing I want is to turn into someone who talks about and champions weight loss. 

And, the last thing I wanted when I began was to be someone who talked about her body and food at all. The first post I ever wrote about it, I genuinely thought was going to be the only one. I remember whining to Jordan about how I didn’t want this to be happening to me, and then writing it and saying to myself, “I will just share it once, and then go back to talking about my other things.” 

But the reason I shared it in the first place was to tell you the truth. To share the truth of what I was going through and where I was at, and to share the patterns I was noticing. 

And I knew at the beginning that it was likely I would go on a journey of gaining weight, plateauing, and then losing some. But I never imagined I would gain more than 30 lbs (I ended up gaining 110). There are multiple videos of me from the beginning saying, I might have to gain 30 lbs, with a horrified expression. 

I also didn’t imagine that I would be here almost two years later, still in the midst of the process, as heavy as I am now. 

 

Physically, gaining weight has not been fun for my body itself. Jordan and I have both enjoyed certain aspects (my boobs especially, which sadly have already begun shrinking away). But for my body, it has been hard.

The hormonal issues I had before I began are still there – I think they started to get better when I gained weight and then once I passed 50 lbs up or so, they started to get worse. I still have swelling, my joints hurt and get inflamed. My tissues all felt like they stiffened up. My belly was so big that I couldn’t reach my pussy, let alone put a finger inside myself – I’ve been checking my cervix since my early twenties, so this was devastating for me. Jordan had to trim my pubic hair for me. My feet hurt a lot. 

Earlier this year I started to really miss moving my body more. It has been really slow, since April, starting to go for some walks and things again. But nothing stayed consistent, because as I moved, I started feeling injured. My knee would hurt, then my shoulder, then my back. 

Even as I moved more, my weight did not budge. I switched back to a more pro-metabolic way of eating in April, which I documented here and here and here and here – not from a place of restriction, but from a place of desire.

My weight stayed the same. 

In August, I lost 10 lbs. I had no idea why, I didn’t do anything on purpose, it felt like the weight just disappeared. I noticed because my clothes felt looser, so I stepped on the scale. Then in September, I lost 10 more lbs. 

I was encouraged by this and in October started moving my body more regularly, going for walks, going to the gym. My weight stayed put – lifting weights made me hungrier, and I listened and ate. I didn’t care if I lost more weight, I just wanted to be able to move again, and I was enjoying moving. 

I haven’t been to the gym in a few weeks because my knee flared up, and then my shoulder. I have multiple bodyworkers and have seen trainers and it is a mystery, maybe part of the hormonal stuff I am finally healing, maybe not. 

I can’t remember when I weighed myself, but I know I lost another 5 lbs, and then another 8 more, putting me at where I am now.. 33 lbs down and around 80 lbs up from where I started. 

I think the biggest thing that shifted for me is that I felt ready to lose weight.

In August I realized there was a part of me that had equated the woman I’ve become now with weighing more, and I had a fear that if I lost weight, I would lose who I’ve become. I really love the woman I’ve become. 

I realized that was there, and reassured myself that I would be able to stay myself if I lost weight. I also let go of some relationships that were not good for me. And the weight just started to fall off. 

Honestly it feels great. It doesn’t feel great because I think skinnier is better. It feels great because it is easier to move and I am having so much fun going for walks. It feels great because I feel happy that my body feels safe enough to lose weight and like I have done well on the journey, that I have reached this place. It feels great to be able to buy some things in normal stores. It feels great because I can touch my cervix and I can sit in chairs with my knee up again like I used to. It feels incredible to look in the mirror and start to see the shape of my face return slowly, again. 

I feel like I waited for my body to signal to me that it was ready and when it did, I started participating. The past week is the first week my step count has changed, gone up. This week I’ve been trying to walk 5k steps a day, which I know is not very much, but is more than my usual. Because health wise it is not ok to be as sedentary as I have been. 

Jordan has lost 40 lbs this year, and that has also been fun – to watch our bodies do it together. He naturally gained weight when I did from the change in our diets, and I think too from living in a pandemic and general lack of movement. I think we both became extra ready to lose weight after returning home from visiting my family in the end of September, watching my sisters with their kids and thinking, if we’re going to have children, we need to be able to move around more easily. 

It feels like I am able to make decisions to take care of myself now from a place of love. Not from paranoia, not from obsession, not from anything else but love.

There is such a part of me that wants to celebrate – to say, hey everyone, I lost 33 lbs!!

I have never seen anyone lose weight in this way. I have only ever watched people lose weight from diets that looked miserable. 

I am not restricting food. I eat anywhere from 2300-2600 calories a day. I did a week of counting a few weeks ago to see where I was at; I don’t track regularly. I eat ice cream, steak, orange juice, bacon, raw milk, lots of fatty meat, yummy things. 

But my fullness levels have shifted, I do notice that. The fear I had for a lot of this journey, questioning “am I still hungry? How do I know if I am full? what if I stop eating and get hungry again immediately?” is almost entirely gone. 

So I am definitely eating less than I was eating a year ago. It is pretty strange, because for my entire life I have had to eat these huge portions. Even before I gained weight this happened. I think because I didn’t eat enough food, when I did choose to eat, I had to eat a lot at once. I often needed bigger portion sizes to feel full, and I felt like people around me didn’t eat enough food – even when I was skinny. 

I always thought it was so strange when I would read that a serving size of meat was around 4 oz. I needed more than that, 6 at least. 

Now I often will eat 3-4 oz (along with other food) and feel completely full. 

So that has changed, I am eating less than I was before but not on purpose, and still enough calories for my body. 

I can also see in the last couple years where I took on a lot of beliefs about life that were not mine, and it feels as though the weight is releasing as I release those, too. 

I know I will never lose all the weight I gained, because I truly don’t want to. I imagine my body will end up around 30-40 lbs up from where I started, because that was where I felt physically the happiest. I think that’s probably where I should have and would have been as an adult, if not for my fear of gaining weight and habitual restriction.

I also feel like some of the advice I received on this journey was not actually very helpful, and some was detrimental. Maybe at some point I will come back and share more about how these different pieces were wrong. But a lot of the sources I loved at the beginning – The Fuck It Diet, Tabitha Farrar, etc – even and especially the expert doctors I saw two summers ago – I would not necessarily recommend now.

But it’s hard to say, because I don’t know if I could have healed my emotional and mental stuff around food to this extent if I didn’t go “all in” in the way I did. That has been worth everything. The freedom to be able to learn things about food and intentionally nourish my body without obsessing. The return to a true intuitive place with eating. I think very few people in this day and age have that to this extent and I am so grateful for it.

And, the journey itself has been hard physically on my body. 

I will keep updating with any new parts of this journey, as I have felt committed to documenting it. When I was going through it, all I wanted to read was someone’s step by step account of what it was really like for them. At some point we will do something with the extra videos we’ve recorded that no one has seen. I also have all the old videos/stories from my old Instagram that was banned, and we will put those somewhere public too. 

If you want to read back through the beginnings of my journey, everything is compiled into this piece here:

Everything to do with my food journey in chronological order

If you liked this piece, you might also enjoy:

Raw liver & oysters: how gaining 115 lbs led me back to the same place, but entirely different (aka how I healed an eating disorder)

When to intentionally nourish during eating disorder recovery (podcast)

How food became neutral to me

What do we lose when we try to fix our bodies?

Here are some hints you have disordered eating