How to Lose the Last 5 Pounds
Throughout my adolescence and early teen years, I was overweight. Not morbidly obese, but definitely not skinny like all the kids my age. My mother insisted that I wasn’t fat, I was just “built differently” than those around me.
That worked for a while, but young kids can be cruel, and I was teased for my appearance throughout elementary and middle school- even being coined the undeniably clever nickname “Angelard” (you can laugh, I know, it’s funny) by some of my classmates. It also didn’t help that my twin was teeny tiny growing up, and although we’re fraternal and look nothing alike, people would often compare us: “You’re so much bigger than her!”
While I’ve surely repressed a lot of it, I still have vivid memories of leaving the mall in tears after yet another unsuccessful shopping trip. This can be attributed to the fact that not only was I about 40 pounds overweight, but that there are so few clothing options for young girls who aren’t stick thin (but that’s a whole other conversation). Take my extra spare tire(s), coupled with my braces with rubber bands, and I was one real shit-show of a 13-year-old.
[Sidebar: God, weren’t braces awful? I refused to ever wear any color other than clear and I was completely anal about brushing them. And those monthly orthodontist visits when they would tighten them- so so painful. Thank goodness I survived and have straight pearly whites to show for it.]
My decision to lose weight was pretty anti-climactic. It wasn’t some bogus New Years resolution, it wasn’t to get boys to like me, and it wasn’t because my doctor would give me one-sheeters about “making healthy choices” after every physical. I think I woke up one day and decided that my life would be a lot easier if I just went to the gym a few times a week, and then I did. Despite popular belief, it’s actually much easier to bust ass at the gym for an hour a day than it is to sit around wishing you had the willpower to bust ass at the gym for an hour a day. So, much like every other life decision I have made, the one to lose weight was based on sheer laziness.
I’ve been an active gym goer since my freshman year of high school. Despite a few days off here and there, or one-off weeks where I was too sick or tired to get my shit together and go, I’ve basically been working out the entire time. Interestingly enough, this almost correlates perfectly with the timeline of my pot-smoking. And even though it’s been years since I lost the bulk of my weight, it’s funny how I’ll never think of myself as skinny.
It honestly feels like yesterday when I couldn’t find a pair of jeans to save my life, or when dress shopping was a nightmare. I still get surprised when I’m able to walk into an American Eagle and have the first pair of pants I try on fit me, and I’m still filled with insecurity if a boy doesn’t like me: “He must think I’m fat and ugly.” What’s funny is that even as I type this I’m thinking to myself that the only reason the AE pants fit is because their sizes run big, not because I’m in shape.
But the whole point and inspiration behind this story came last night after my workout. I was doing circuit training, and successfully pushed myself to complete an hour of pushups and situps and lunges and squats. As I stripped down to my bare essentials and hopped in the shower, I congratulated myself on a job well done: Keep it up and you can finally lose those last five pounds and be the skinny girl you’ve always wanted to be!
I don’t know if it was the water pressure (which is amazing) or my new loofah (also amazing), but immediately after thinking the aforementioned thoughts I realized that I’ve been saying the same thing to myself for the last 10 years. And guess what? I still haven’t lost it. Am I more toned? Sure! Will I always strive to be in better shape? Absolutely! But something tells me that when I’m 50 years old, I’ll probably be standing under a shower somewhere post-workout, thinking that if I just did XY and Z I would finally rid myself of those last five pounds.
The reality is that I am who I am, and my body is what it is. I’ll never have six-pack abs, but at least my legs are super bad-ass. And while I’m sure tomorrow I’ll end up back at the gym under the same guise that if I just push myself a little harder I can look better naked, in the end I’ll always be an (in shape!) late-night-Thai-food-eating stoner. And I think I’m OK with that.