It’s that time of year. You know what I’m talking about: all the billboards and advertisements screaming, “Lose that holiday weight!”, “Get bikini body ready!”, “Your best you is waiting!” And yet as another New Year comes and goes, I find myself asking if it’s really worth it to get on the bandwagon again.
In 2014, I was in a really good mental place. I stopped paying attention to the scale and focused more on how my body felt. Taking a ready-to-wear (RTW) clothing fast and creating clothes that actually fit me well really helped me appreciate my figure. And to be honest, I’ve felt really awesome overall in recent years. That mental state hit a roadblock with a visit to the doctor in early 2015, when I learned that I gained 40 pounds rapidly, putting me at the heaviest weight of my life.
In hindsight, I suppose it shouldn’t have been a surprise. I knew that my jeans felt a little snug, and I expected 10 pounds or so, especially with travel (thanks for the buffets, Vegas), changing birth control medications (according to my doctor, I’m sensitive to changes in appetite, but the medication itself isn’t responsible for my weight gain. Suuuuurreeeee….), moving, and generally letting my fitness and health take a backseat. Still, dealing with this news was rough. Much of my life has been a battle of reconciling my frame with what’s ideal or even considered “healthy” by that oh-so-annoying and outdated BMI measurement. With my height and frame, I’ve teetered in the overweight to obese category pretty much since I hit puberty.
The funny thing is that even at my lightest weight, I really hated my body. I fell into a dangerous cycle of binge eating and then working out for hours afterwards, sometimes upwards of 3-4 hours a day. In hindsight, it’s clear that I was struggling with depression and self-medicating through excessive exercise.
I focused so much energy on keeping the scale down that I forgot how to enjoy things, including working out. I seem to be in the minority on this, but I actually love working out! Especially weight lifting. I’ve always been strong, and spending some time pumping iron totally makes me feel like a badass.
This year, I’m going to get back to that healthy mental place again, but this time I want to do it with a healthy body as well. I’m going on this weight loss journey from a place of self-love rather than loathing. There’s no deadline like my past attempts at weight loss. No magical number in mind. Just getting the point where I feel healthy and energetic again. I think that bringing garments back into my sewing rotation will help. My emphasis for the moment is on knit garments and patterns with clean lines for easy alterations should garments need tailoring.
So friends, I want to ask you: how do you handle weight loss and body positivity? Sewers: how do you deal with weight fluctuation and garment making?