Sequin Gowns & Mermaid Crowns : Let's Talk About This: It's Ok to Be Unusual

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Let's Talk About This: It's Ok to Be Unusual

This post is brought to you by unnecessary guilt and embarrassment.  I am not the kind of person who is easily embarrassed, nor do I often do things to warrant guilt.  So you can imagine how this is affecting me.  It's time for me to get it off my chest.

The Journey

My entire life, I've been a warrior in the weight loss battle.  I always thought I'd just gotten the fat gene, because I couldn't understand why I was always so heavy.  I've been "big for my age" since as long as I can remember, but it didn't really bother me until I hit middle school.  I've tried so many diets: Weight Watchers, calorie counting, cutting out soda, the works.  Some of them worked for a bit, but then the next thing I knew, the weight was back.

My freshman year of high school, I started Jenny Craig.  It sucked.  What teenager enjoys eating mediocre food out of a microwaveable tray? None.  I would have much rather had a cheesesteak.  But I did it, because I was at my highest weight and I just didn't feel like myself.  I also had gym at school, so I was getting in a good amount of exercise.  On that program I lost 30 lbs and was at my smallest in my sophomore year.  Then I gained most of it back by the time I graduated. [below: left- freshman year of high school, right- sophomore year of high school]

Entering college, I was terrified of the "freshman 15."  Lord knew I didn't need another reason to gain weight.  Since apparently just breathing made me fat. At 18, I still didn't know why I was so heavy.  I got lucky, being in theatre and having dance classes.  I actually lost weight my first couple years of school.  Except for the usual 10 pounds of pure food and cookies I gained every year during the holidays.  [below: left- freshman year, right- sophomore year]

By the time I graduated college (2 years ago) I had gone on Jenny Craig again (and failed) and tried many other methods of not eating the things I wanted.  I was on the heavier side again, my shape had transitioned from boy like to woman like (aka. momma hips) and I was actually the most unhappy I'd been in a long time.  [below: left- junior year, right- senior year]

When I moved back home, I stayed about the same.  I continued to try different diets and yo-yo'd a lot.  There was a point where I lost some weight because I was working out often.  But it still just boomeranged back on me.

Fall 2013

In the midst of all this, I had a doctor's appointment with my endocrinologist.  If you don't know, Endocrinology is the study of the endocrine system, which includes hormones, the thyroid and other things that aren't relevant to this story.  Lol.  If you want to learn more, I googled it for you.

Anyway, back in middle school, I had learned I may possibly have something called PCOS: Polycistic Ovarian Syndrome.  Which is, in a nutshell, a syndrome of the endocrine system that effects your cycles, hormones, appearance, and your heart.  When I was talked to about this, I was still too young to determine whether I had it or not, so it just kind of faded from the picture.

Several years later, my doctor tells me that she thinks I do have it.  Wonderful.  Tell me more.  She put me on a medication that was supposed to help with the symptoms: weight gain being my main issue, but also excess hair growth, whacked out hormones, and stomach problems.  So I said ok and started the medication.

Summer 2014
Fall 2014
January 2015

March 2015

A year and a half later (today) I am aware that I have PCOS, and my dose of medication has been upped a few times. But I've never felt better.  I'm at the lowest weight I've been since high school, and my other symptoms are improving.

Me in the tightest clothes I own. Gahh. 

The Guilt

After a lifetime of diets and exercising and craziness, I have done practically nothing in comparison to lose the weight I've lost recently.  And I feel horrible about it.  Everyone who loses a lot of weight always has these incredible stories of what they did to get there.  And when people ask me, I'm just like, #blessed? Like I don't know what to say.  Do I want to go into this whole life story I just told you with every person I encounter? No. But do I want people to think I'm taking medication just to lose weight? Absolutely not. I just know how I used to feel when girls who look like friggin' JLo have the metabolism of a 10 year old and sit there and eat chili fries while I sit there picking at my salad. I just wanted to kill them, really.  Like I would kill to have your metabolism.  I didn't kill anyone, but I do have that metabolism now.  So I don't want to throw it in people's faces.  Know what I mean?  I'm ranting now, but you get the idea.

But I told myself it was silly to feel that way!  Why should I feel guilty about where I worked so hard to get? Maybe it was not the "usual" way, but it worked for me.  I had a syndrome that was causing me to be heavy, not my lifestyle.  So now this medication has balanced the two.  My lifestyle now represents my appearance.  I eat well, I exercise often.  I junk food binge now and then, but otherwise, I'm healthy and I look healthy.  Well, I'm getting there at least.  I'm definitely no little skinny thing.  I honestly don't think I ever will be.  But I'm okay with that.  And I'm going to embrace my unusual way of being.  I finally feel right in my own skin.  I finally feel like I'm getting to where my body is meant to be.

So I hope everyone gets from this that it's okay to be unusual.  In any sense!  That's what make you interesting, and that's what makes you you! I hope my story is taken as fascinating and not aggravating.  And I want to hear what makes you unusual!  Link me to your own stories or comment! :)

PCOS is more common than you think.  It effects 1 in 10 women and can occur in girls as young as 11.  To find out more information about PCOS, check out the links below!

XO, Briana

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