For The Love of Fat.
Since I started getting serious about intuitive eating, I have gained weight. Throughout my life my weight has fluctuated, depending on how torturous I was to my body. But once I loosened the reins, my weight comes back to that sweet spot. This sweet spot is the weight at which my body performs best. But she and I have had differing opinions about this sweet spot.
In the past, she always wanted this sweet spot to be higher than what I have been comfortable with. But at the end of the day my opinion really doesn’t matter. She is the boss. It has taken me awhile to accept that, but now I have learned that she is only looking out for what is best for us. So I have stopped the fight.
This sweet spot weight is also called natural weight, or a set-point weight, which is defined as a weight that your body can maintain–effortlessly. Isn’t that incredible? Effortlessly. What a word. What a feeling! Especially when it comes to weight management. I could not imagine this to be true before my intuitive eating journey, but that was because the set-point in my mind did not align with my body’s actual set-point.
A person’s natural weight can vary, and depends on many factors. Some of which we all know, sleep, nutrition, and movement. But other factors are more subtle; these being how happy and healthy your thyroid is, how balanced your hormones are, and what your history with dieting is, to name just a few influencers.
Our society has led us to believe that weight and weight management is always going to be a struggle. We believe that every morning we have to wake up and fight the good fight of being healthy and fit. And this is true, to an extent. This is the reality for those who think that their body must fit the western society ideal in order to be beautiful.
At my natural weight my self-esteem seems to be as finicky as the temperature; one day it is low and then the very next it is sky high. But along my journey I have noticed some exciting things about myself. Last winter I was miserable, and freezing cold, even in my house, under the covers, sitting on a heat grate.
But this year, as the mercury drops, I have made a wonderful discovery–I am not as cold as I used to be! I have been able to walk around the park with Stella (my pup) and not feel like a frozen popsicle. I have cold temperature stamina that I have not had in a long time.
This might also be correlated with the fact that my body temperature is getting closer to normal. The previous year, my temperature was hanging out around 96 degrees Fahrenheit, but it has been rising to a more normal temp.
My fat has been a great source of frustration throughout my life. However, this past year, it has shown me its importance and utility. That utility has shown its face when I need to be kept warm during the cold days of winter. I can now be outside and not be a miserable skiing companion. I also can have a normal menstrual cycle. Balanced hormones never felt so good!
By looking at the extra few pounds that I am carrying around in that way, it doesn’t seem so bad. And guess what? It is not the end of the world to be a pant size bigger! Maybe my body knows a bit more than I do. Although, don’t get me wrong, some days I despise that extra flesh. But I am getting better at pulling myself out of that self-defitting downward spiral. Especially with these cold 20 degree days, I have a newfound appreciation for all that my body does, including the fat.