For much of my life I have been fat. I started out at five pounds, nine inches, and grew into a flat-chested ten year old. Then one day shortly afterward I was a 36B. Overnight I rounded out and it just kept coming, so that by 18 and headed to college I was 242 pounds. I had grown up with the mixed signals of massive amounts of homemade sweets and breads with the dictate to clean your plate on one side and on the other hand, the suggestion that I should push away from the table.
When I got to college, I met a man who encouraged me to eat differently. I had never had a raw vegetable. He spent time with me running and even teaching me to swim. With the diligence of an Olympic athlete, I took and kept the weight off, until I married.
The weight crept back not so much due to diet, as to the lack of exercise. I learned to drive, moved out to the country, stayed home more often than not. I was no longer the young single free partying college student. Then I got pregnant. And again. And with the steely commitment to hours of exercise a day I managed to get my weight back down to a healthy 180. Wow! I was young.
I think I would track my life in pounds as much as years. In my best, happiest, healthiest life, I was 200 pounds, regularly. For a week I was under 200 at 195. It didn't last long. That was at 45.
To maintain my weight at 200, I worked out almost 30 hours a week. It’s not as bad as it sounds. I taught aerobic classes five days a week and I actually worked out as I taught. I biked with one friend, ran with another, walked on my own. I was movement extraordinaire. It was fun. I was doing what I loved and loving what I did. I looked good and felt wonderful.
Today, after many life changes, I am back at 240. I workout more days than not. I like to exercise and would do more if I had the time to commit there. Once my doctor told me I would feel better if I lost weight. I sent her a picture of me in a supported headstand. On my return to clinic she asked me what I was going to do and I told her, buy bigger clothes.
At 50, I am committed to my comfort as well as my health. I have found that when I have been comfortable in my body, others are as well. I have yet to take a lover ( younger, older, fatter or thinner) that was not delighted to be with me. We can choose to open our hearts, to be vulnerable, alive, awake, and aware. That has nothing to do with my body size. We cheat ourselves and each other as we allow judgments to interfere with being in the present moment.
Once I realized the power of being all of who I am, my weight became an attribute similar to my hair color - okay and changeable.