Ki’s Fitness Journey
Like many others, I’ve struggled with
weight my self image my entire life. When I was growing up, I was skinny. But I didn’t know that until I was thirty something. I was skinny but I never had the Barbie doll or super model shape that other girls had and I never really fit in with the “popular” crowds. There were a few times that I was called fat and so eventually all that sunk in and I just always thought I was fat. See, the problem wasn’t my weight, the problem was how I saw myself.
I have a few objectives in creating this website:
- Inspire others
- Hold myself accountable
- Provide tips I’ve learned along the way
- Help get the right mindset for success
When I was 17, I enlisted into the Air Force. I met the weight requirements but I was about 10 pounds shy of being considered overweight, so I was told from the start to keep an eye on it. If I remember correctly, I weighed about 125 at that point. Basic Training has a lot of physical activity so there weren’t many problems there. I had hurt my knee right before basic training and I’ve had problems with it ever since. The rigorous exercises we had to complete in order to pass basic training were very hard. I was able to complete all but one: sit ups. I needed to do a certain number of sit ups in under a specific amount of time. I was able to do that on anything but concrete. So I was given a waiver to get past that portion since the tests were on concrete and everybody saw that I could do them everywhere else. Hundreds of them. I passed basic training. My first year in the military went just fine.
My second year in the military, I injured my back. I pulled a disk, the L5-S1. Bad news. I also sprained both of my ankles and my knee. During this year, with all of the injuries, I gained weight. I ended up 5 pounds overweight and was put on the weight management program to get it down. I struggled with that because those injuries didn’t happen all at the same time, they were sporadic so I spent a lot of time sedentary that year. Since I couldn’t exercise much, I started trying different diets to lose the weight.
By the time year 3 came around, I stopped the fad dieting and ended up gaining double what I had lost. During this year, I was told 27 times that I was pregnant…when I wasn’t. I ended up being diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and put on birth control to manage it. I was meeting with a nutritionist and doing regular exercises as well as talking to my primary care doctor about how to get rid of the excess weight.
My doctor began working on a medical retirement package for me because with all of the injuries and the PCOS, he predicted I would not be able to get or stay within the Air Force regulations for weight management. Unfortunately, before he was able to get that submitted, the Air Force discharged me for failure to manage my weight.
Naturally, this career failure absolutely destroyed any confidence and self esteem that I had gained as a young adult. I was serving my country, I got married, I was raising a step daughter, I was excelling with my military career…I just couldn’t get the weight down. After getting out of the military, it was difficult to find anything other than an entry level job because military skills don’t transfer to civilian life. This kept my confidence level down as well.
Now here I am, 16 years later and 90 pounds overweight, just barely past the start line on this journey and ready to share what I’ve learned along the way.
I think I’m ready to reset my mind and get in the right place to live a healthy, fit…badass life. Throughout this journey, I am challenging myself and I challenge you to eliminate the negative voices in your head that hold you back from seeing progress. I’ll explain more on this later but for now lets just agree that the journey starts with your mindset. If you think you can’t, you’re right. Are you with me?
Beck’s Fitness Journey
I can’t say that my self-image has been the most positive in the past. For my entire childhood, I struggled with the opposite end of the weight spectrum. I was too skinny. Sounds like a problem most people would like to have, right? Not really. I would say that some people downright bullied me because I was smaller than most people.
My earliest memory of a child is a teacher telling me I was too small to play red rover with the rest of the kids. She said that I had to sit beside her while the game was played. Being singled out as “too small” followed me all through elementary school.
Middle school wasn’t any better. I’m absolutely certain that the sweet kids that leave elementary school get possessed by a demon and flung back into the world as sixth graders. There were particular people who would badger me with taunts of “You need to eat a sandwich” daily. Among other less than ego building comments. I was a girl who fit the thin standard that everyone said they wanted to achieve but I was constantly body shamed for being so. I wasn’t a popular kid. I hated school and found any reason under the sun not to go.
Nothing changed until High School. At age 16, I began to feel massive pains in my abdomen. A year later I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). I was told many things at that young age that would terrify me right into an eating disorder. One, if I didn’t have kids young, I would never have them. Two, if I broke 170 pounds, I’d balloon up to obesity in no time. And three, because of the formation of my cysts, I could look forward to many abdominal surgeries that would increase my weight.
I had my first surgery in the 1995-1996 school year because my ovaries were so covered with cysts that one was the size of a grapefruit and the other the size of an orange. I failed my senior year. During my fight with the cysts, I found myself with a tummy for the first time in my life. People would start asking me, “How far along are you?” or “You are so skinny but you really need to work on your abs.” I became bulimic.
Bulimia and I were the best of friends and the worst of enemies because no matter how much I expelled, no matter how much physical exercise I put my body through, I always had that tummy. I got married three months after graduating high school. I continued the self-destructive patterns until I got pregnant. The body shame changed the moment I got pregnant.
All of a sudden, people glorified the fact that I had a stomach. It was great!! I loved it and I ate. Shortly after the birth of my precious, wonderful and amazing child, food was still my friend. But now it was my best friend. I was in a failing marriage with constant separations and reconciliations. I was starting to notice that my child didn’t actually fit the standards of “normal” and coping with a possible disability.
To say that my self-esteem was total crap would be an understatement. Instead of focusing on myself and health, I ate. Then ate again. I gained a massive amount of weight in months with no intention of losing it anytime soon. For once, no one was talking about how I looked. I felt horrible all of the time. But no one was talking about me being big like they did when I was small. Not on person. I felt liberated and horrible all at the same time.
A change came in 1999, when Ki got married. It was the first time since I had my daughter in 1998 that I had seen myself in photographs full bodied. I was wearing two belly scrunches, a full line bra and a midsection corset under that dress and I was still looking entirely too round for my own liking. While no one was saying anything about my weight, I felt awful. I fell back into the same patterns and routines of bulimia and over exercise with results but not enough to be skinny.
From that point, I bounced back and forth between a bout of bulimia and over eating. It was a toxic mix. Here I am at age 38, finally understanding that I have to achieve a healthy mind as well as body for my overall happiness. I hope to inspire others to not live behind baggy clothes. To raise their heads high instead of looking at the ground. To feel beautiful every single day at all sizes! To have a healthy mind, an energetic and free spirit, and a bad ass body!
Talk to you soon,
Welcome to Forget Skinny!