I am just going to apologize right off the bat here because this may be a long winded post, but I feel it is necessary.
Like many people in this world I struggle with my body image. So much so that I have been diagnosed with an eating disorder. I struggle between over eating and starving. Loving the things I eat, then hating myself for even eating at all. But on top of that, I decided a few years ago that I really wanted to embrace my desire to be a model and cosplayer; but my life decided otherwise.
I saw all of the images of beautiful, busty girls in fabulous costumes and I admit that I am truly envious. When I was a teen and into my early twenties I rebelled against the idea of being a model, even when I had been offered a contract with different agencies. I was rather tomboy-ish and didn’t really know how to apply makeup with any skill let alone wear anything outside of my daily look consisting of hoodies and jeans. As I got older and began to embrace the idea of a model and taking better care of myself.
Health Issues and Gaining Weight
For a very long time I had been experiencing overwhelming pains in my lower abdomen area. This started around the age of 15 and of course, I went right to the doctors. They all told me the same thing; that it is perfectly normal for a young girl to experience pain like pre-menstrual cramps and that I was simply being melodramatic about how painful my period cramps were. Basically, I was told just to “suck it up” for many years. There were several other signs that something was wrong, but no doctor wanted to take me seriously and they all just accused me of having a low pain tolerance.
Then, when i was 24 I started feeling extreme bouts of random pain that would quite literally have me on the floor.
Finally, after years of begging someone to take me seriously, I finally found a doctor that understood and decided to run tests. It was a tumor. I set up a surgery date, then the day before my surgery I came down with a bad case of the flu and thus couldn’t be operated on. I rescheduled my surgery, but no matter how many times I called or went into the office to confirm the date with the surgical staff, no one ever agreed to a time or date. In my frustration, I gave up on trying and decided to wait the 8 months until summer when I could take a semester off of school for recovery. This way I could catch up on my studies.
Again, life had other plans. I woke up one Thursday morning with the intentions of showering then going to my Archaeology class for a mid-term test only to find myself on the floor in pain and vomiting. I was freezing even though I was indoors and sitting in front of the heat vent, and I was shaking so much I couldn’t hold anything nor stand. The man I was seeing at the time forced me to go to the E.R..
It was reviled that the tumor was twisting my organs and that I also had an infection. I could not be operated on until the infection was cleared and so I would spend the next week in the hospital.
After my surgery, naturally I needed to have my rest and recovery period. I had lost my job and would lose access to my financial aid for college because of the time I missed. Even after going through a lengthy appeal process and explaining my reasons including doctor’s approval, I was still denied.
Over the years I continue to struggle between finding a stable job, trying to get back into school so that I could finish my degree, and trying to reclaim my health. And I gained more weight than I had ever had before. Between being unable to move prior to the surgery for fear of triggering the pain, and the recovery time post surgery, then fighting the depression of losing everything I had going for me because of my illness I found it hard to take care of myself and be active.
Getting Fit Isn’t For Poor People!
Between the parts in these years when I had a job, I took the time to eat better and invest in tools to allow me to work out as well. I bought weights, a yoga mat, yoga lessons, silk aerial lessons, gym memberships, dance classes, and a jump rope. I wanted to do anything and everything I could to not only lose the weight I put on, but also improve my fitness in the process and become stronger.
But I simply couldn’t balance paying for these fitness desires as well as life’s necessities. I worked minimum wage jobs getting less than 20 hours per week. I know nothing about what it takes to workout and get healthy. If there is anything I can say that I took away from going to gyms and trying to get fit it’s that I have no idea what I am doing.
Like any intelligent person would, I turned to my gym asking for a personal trainer (don’t even get me started on how horrible the customer service at Planet Fitness is!) which didn’t turn out to be a possibility for me because of my work schedule. So I turned to books, but with so many bullshit diet tips and tricks out there I didn’t even know where to start. Then I looked to the scientific community. What is the science of weight loss?
Obviously; exercise of pretty much any kind, eating healthy whole foods, and being happier. . . .Clearly I was screwed.
I do not have a diagnosis on what causes the issues with my head (chronic migraines and nausea), all I know is that many activities trigger my symptoms. So at home exercise is a touchy subject for me.
Next on that list is eating healthy. Have you been food shopping lately?! My stars! I can’t even buy the ingredients to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for under $7 let alone cook any of these healthy meals that websites claim to be cheap and easy to make. As I said, I have been jumping between jobs for a couple years now and I try to make up for my funds by working as a freelance photographer. (And that certainly doesn’t pay the bills.) So as much as I would love to be a granola eating, quinoa loving, super berry freak, I simply cannot afford it.
Finally, science says to be happier because happy people have more motivation and energy to get things done in a day. Mental health does not work that way and you can’t snap your fingers to be happy. My fairy godmother filled up on too many Chipotle burritos and has been in a food coma for a long time now. Bibbidi-Bobbidi-snooze.
I tried to search online for fitness and health plans for people who are broke and I came up with nothing. You see, joining a gym is just out of the question for me right now and food all comes down to what can be afforded this week. So I think it’s time I took matters into my own hands.
Surely, there has to be a way that anyone can get fit and healthy without digging into the bottom of their wallet.
My plan is to do all the research I can on home fitness and healthy eating. I will try to set a weekly budget which I hope will be a reasonable amount anyone can try to live by. I will then set up an exercise routine as well as find at home exercises I can do without triggering my symptoms.
I will be honest, I am not sure if this is going to work. I am not sure if I can reach my goals this way. And I am also not sure if my mental and physical health will allow me to follow this plan through like I should.
But I have to try. I can’t let the fear of failure hold me back, nor can I let my limitations tell me “no”. So, hopefully, I will continue to update on this and if my plan is a success I will create a detailed plan that anyone can follow.
Time to count my pennies and work my butt off!