My Internal Monologue of Weight Gain (and Loss)

I try to stay as body positive as I can in public, digital and IRL, but I’m not about to pretend that I don’t have any hangups about my body. I try to make a habit of reminding myself that all bodies are good and there is nothing wrong with carrying a bit of extra weight, but I find that these two parts of my brain bicker like an old married couple.

I eat more (and extremely poorly) when I’m going through some emotional turbulence. These days it’s been a mix of dad-related anxiety and mourning my late kitty.

Little man got hit by a car. He was 3 years old.

Hawksley used to try to eat all the cats’ food until he made himself sick. I 100% used this logic in justifying my overeating. Hawksley would want me to gorge my face. I’m honouring him!

Some days I’ll tell myself that eating so much unhealthy food is not being kind to my body. My skin is breaking out and my energy levels are low. At the same time: fuck all y’all I want Cheetos and I have makeup for my skin. People try to act like gaining weight is the worst thing that can happen to you and I don’t want to buy into that narrative by becoming overly concerned with my weight.

(at least that’s what I tell myself)

So I allow myself to gain some weight, and not fault myself too much for my emotional eating “away move” (as we call it in therapy). What’s the worst that can happen?

I get mistaken for pregnant. Some dude at work wished my luck with my pregnancy. Didn’t ask, just wished me luck. I’m not overly affected by it since I know I gain weight solely in my belly. I’m a little soft. Could pass for 3-4 months preggo I guess.

Worry not! I’m good at picking out flattering clothes. Except… woops, nothing fits anymore. Leggings, let me embrace you! I’m just going to pretend my denim collection isn’t there.

Now I gotta fit back into my clothes because I’m certainly not going to pay money for new clothes as a result of eating too much cheesecake.

Time to re-discover my love of fitness. I really genuinely like to work out, but getting started after a break like this is always difficult and telling yourself “I want to be thinner” doesn’t always cut it. What does cut it is “I want to be strong again” and not getting winded by the stairs. It may take a while but I’ll get back on track with eating well, indulging within moderation, and working out, and slowly my body begins to feel like my own again instead of the physical results of emotional strain.

Soon I’ll be back to being a boss champ and posting to my fitness Instagram more regularly (@nikfitonium). At least until the next emotional crisis.

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How to Spend a Mental Health Day

I am a huge advocate for the idea of “you do you,” especially when it comes to mental health. A lot of conditions make a “normal” life schedule difficult to navigate and you need to know what you need. A low-stress 9-to-5 job can still be exhausting as I have found out. Although I push people to take time for themselves to recharge, I am very bad at following that advice. Most of the time I work myself until I shut down for 4 days from exhaustion. Yesterday I called in sick and took my first mental health day that wasn’t accompanied by physical illness. How did I spend it?

I slept in until the afternoon and I didn’t feel bad about it.

I had been sleeping poorly and I know it contributed to my feelings of exhaustion and wanting a day off. I stayed in bed and laid in the sun. It felt amazing. I got out of bed rested and full of energy and the sunny day wasn’t hurting either.

Put on Netflix and got ready for a run.

I live for Linctavia. I hope I don't come to regret that comment.

I live for Linctavia. I hope I don’t come to regret that comment.

Spring is finally here but the sun is still on its way down by the time I get home from work. I took advantage of being home in the afternoon to get some exercise in. I put on an episode of The 100, which I can’t stop watching no matter how hard I try and no matter how much I dislike Clarke. I made myself a pre-workout snack, got dressed, and did some warm-ups in my room. I finally got to use the FlipBelt that I got for Christmas. I packed my key, iPod and extra Kleenex.

The run was amazing and if I didn’t run out of Kleenex I probably would have stayed out there. My mom gave me a puffer that took care of my cold air asthma (coughing and wheezing), so the half hour I spent out there just felt like flying. After a February that did not get warmer than -15°C, it felt so liberating to go out there and feel the sun and breathe the air.

Post-Run Selfie

Feeling pretty accomplished!

Self-care like a motherfucker.

After my run I took a lavish shower to end all lavish showers. Okay, maybe not that lavish, but I used my expensive LUSH products. Back in October I splurged on a tub of Ro’s Argan body conditioner and decided that it would be my reward for working out.

Ro's Argan run

Every time I use that stuff I come out of the shower feeling like an absolute goddess. After the shower of champions I used their Wiccy Magic Muscles massage bar to ease my muscle soreness, then got my top half all made up and pretty.

Look how cute I can be!

Do something productive!

For me, that was shooting my next video. Getting that off my plate took it off my mind giving me some more mental ease. Maybe doing work on a mental health day isn’t for everyone, but this is the work that I want to be doing rather than the work I put myself through for a pay check. Your productivity can be anything. I also like to craft to feel productive because I spend time doing something creative and at the end of my session I made something. I made something with my hands.

Chill with friends.

By the time I was finished filming, Kim came home from work and we spent some time together. We fixed ourselves some dinner and watched a Disney movie — this time it was Atlantis. I’m a sucker for anything based around the legend, and Milo totally reminded me of Daniel Jackson from the Stargate series.

I went to bed feeling like I had spent the day wisely, got things done, and took care of my body. Any notion of guilt I had for taking the day off work had melted away because I knew I really needed this. I probably need it more than I allow myself to have it, but hey I gotta make money somehow.