That's right. The title of this article reflects my Body Mass Index or BMI. A BMI of 32, well, that means I am obese. Such an ugly-sounding word. Oh-beese. Hear what I mean?
My recent bloodwork test results show that my BMI considers me obese. After a lifetime of being overweight, I honestly thought to myself, “Well, at least I’m not morbidly obese.” Yep, Jen, there’s that.
Detailing my weight struggles
I’ve written in past essays all about my weight struggles, often signing off with a positive and hopeful we-can-do-this closing statement. But recently, I’m realizing that isn’t so easy. I feel like an addict. It's the truth.
Addiction can be defined as not having control over doing, taking, or using something to the point where it could be harmful to you. And I worry that I’m addicted to food. I think about food all of the time. Wondering when is my next meal? What am I going to eat? Honestly, I enjoy eating far too much.
I sort of feel like I could say that food is my weakness. But after living with multiple sclerosis for more than half of my life, weak is not an adjective I’d use to describe myself.
Look around in public today, I am not alone
So instead of calling it my weakness, I will call food my compulsion. Semantics, right? But compulsion isn’t much better. So what is food? Is it my comfort? My pain? My conflict? Or is it just my issue?
Certainly not. Look around in public today, I am not alone. Reports indicate that the United States adult obesity rate stands at 42.4%.1 Nearly half of the country is obese, which is further evidence of an obesity crisis in the United States.
For me, it is miserable being overweight and as the old adage says, “misery loves company“ and that statistic proves I am in good company. But why? Is food that delicious? Or are we all using added calories as a coping mechanism? I’m not sure of the reasons or the solution to the country’s obesity issue, or, more specifically, to my personal issue.
Weight should not define me
It's just that I have to do better. To be more mindful. I was trying to get food off my mind and enjoy an audiobook the other day when the book’s author verbally smacked me across the face.
Right there in the living room, Rachel Hollis’s words reverberated with such a sting. In Chapter 17 of her book Girl, Wash Your Face, she declared that weight should not and does not define a person. “Amen! I couldn’t agree with you more, Rachel!”
Her writing continued, while weight doesn’t define you, the care and consideration a person shows to his or her body does. Deep, right? I’ve always known that weight should not define me, but that part about care, mind blown! My body does deserves better.
MS damages my body enough
The myelin sheath covering my brain and spinal cord has been stripped. My body deserves for me to treat it better. It's important to value it. I need to show it some appreciation.
Sure, it doesn’t work the way it should. My legs, arms, and bladder have all had better days, that said, my body deserves my help to keep it performing as best as it can. Rachel added one more point that was the true gut punch I need to remember the next time I’m mindlessly overeating.
“It is an offense to your soul to continue treating your body so badly.” Wow. My soul? My body? Yes, both are mine. I have precious time with them both. Food is wonderful and yummy and fun, but it isn’t worth the negative aspects.
Maybe reading these words will finally sink in. I deserve better. What about you? Are you struggling too? Does your body also deserve better? Perhaps this is some calorie-free food for thought.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. We want to check in. How are you feeling?