It’s like Asimov’s I, Robot only less fun and the movie adaptation would star Michael Cera in drag as me instead of Will Smith as the lead guy.
I’ve been exhausted lately. Not post-blood clots nap time exhausted, but so tired that I actually have to lie down or I will pass out. The fatigue starts behind my eyes, like my brain is trying to massage them closed, and then my body gets so drowsy that standing up becomes too difficult.
Like, what the fuck?
I’ve also gained weight, about ten pounds. Which makes me uncomfortable to talk about, but fuck you I’m going to talk about it anyway. I don’t generally gain weight. I’m not bragging. I gained about 15 pounds on birth control back in 2006, lost it all in about 2009, and kept most of it off until this fall when inexplicably I started packing on the pounds like a bear setting up for hibernation.
OH MY GOD THAT MAKES SO MUCH SENSE. I AM GOING TO GO INTO HIBERNATION, GUYS.
But I’m an active lady. I’ve been working out like five days a week since 2012, and eating whatever I want to since before then, so I was a little* distraught at this weight gain.
(*little = I had a panic attack and cried about it, because we all know that I have serious body image issues)
I posted about it on instagram last week, because I’m trying to keep myself from developing disordered eating habits, and nothing keeps me more accountable than posting about the shit going on in my brain onto the annals of the Internet.
So I have to write this because it's important. I struggle pretty severely with body dysmorphia, meaning I don't see my body the way it actually is. I see its imperfections, which causes me to pick at my skin and have panic attacks when I step on the scale. I've been working out pretty heavily lately with the @spitfireathlete app to gain muscle mass (mostly so I can FINALLY beat my 56 yr-old jacked mom in an arm wrestle… Lady is crazy ripped) and I weighed myself today. I am 5"7' and almost 140 lbs. I cried and asked my mom if she thought I was fat. She knows this is a tricky subject–we both have had eating disorders. She said no but I didn't believe her. I still don't. But I worked out at @fitnessinthecity with my friends today and did another workout when I got home, and stared good and long at my muscles at the gym, because I need to. And I realized that I need help. Before this turns into an eating disorder again, I need to remind myself that #iamstrong and #iambeautiful and #iamhealthy and the number on the scale is a reflection of my strength. I want to see myself the way that I am. And I am a motherfucking boss. #girlswholift #loveyourself
The shitty thing is, I don’t think I’ll be comfortable at this weight because I own a tape measure like an asshole and know that I’m not at the measurements I want to be, like an asshole. BUT.
After I cried and after I asked my mom if I was fat, I sat long and hard and thought about my body. I’m exhausted all the time. I’m eating better, actually, which means I’m not shoving chocolate into my face 24/7. I’m working out six days a week with heavy weights and cardio. I do yoga at least three times a week. My skin is dry. I have a rash. I’m cold. I’ve gained weight. My hair is super brittle.
AHA I HAVE HYPOTHYROIDISM THE MYSTERY IS SOLVED!
Okay, so actually, the first thought I had was that I developed an allergy to my anti-anxiety medication, and I called my psychiatrist and left him a message crying about how tired I am and also telling him how scared I was to switch meds because last time that happened I WENT SO BONKERS THAT MY FRIENDS DIDN’T WANT TO BE MY FRIENDS and also I scratched myself until I bled because I was worried about a text. So let’s avoid that scenario at all costs, shall we?
But then I thought about it a little bit longer. Last time I had my blood drawn my thyroid levels were “low” and I took a med for about three months to “boost” it and that was that. But, like, hypothyroidism doesn’t just go away on its own. My mom’s had it for most of her life. As did my grandma. So I needed to see someone stat, and also that way I would have a reason for why I was packing on the pounds other than my impending hibernation.
So, like any sane person, I walked into my doctor’s office and asked for a blood test. Without really saying that I wasn’t feeling well. Just saying I needed it because I was worried.
And then the PA was all, “We haven’t seen you in 3 years so that ain’t gonna happen, bruh. It’s 2016. We saw you in 2013. Sucks to be you. We won’t see you without a physical first, ya dig.”
AND INSTANTLY I STARTED SOBBING. Maybe I should have led with, “hey, I feel terrible and I’ve gained weight but I’m not depressed and also could you please draw my blood?” and it took my mom 5 minutes to calm me down on the phone so that I could go back in there and try to schedule a physical. While crying.
The secretary was all, “we can’t get you in until the 4th,” and I was all, “sob sob sob, okay, sob sob.” Then she was all, “Psych if you want to see this person we can get you in on Monday,” and I was like, “sob sob sob yeah whatever sob sob.” And THEN she was like, “wait… so you aren’t feeling well?”
Sob. Sob. Glare. “No. I’m not feeling well. That’s why I’m here.”
“Oh, well, in that case we can see you in ten minutes.”
And Bitchy McPAface was whispering to another secretary and I HEARD HER SAY, “I bet she’s pregnant,” which made me feel all sorts of emotions. Mostly anger. And crippling fear.
So I finally got my blood test and I’ll find out soon whether I’m pregnant, have hypothyroidism, or am just preparing to hibernate.
Drum roll please….
I’m NONE of the above! My exhaustion and muscle-tiredness are caused by overtraining. Yeah, you read that right: I’ve been working out too much, having completed my transformation from Nerdy Whitney into Bro Whitney, except I kept eating food like Nerd Whitney and that left Bro Whitney’s body inadequately prepared for the amount of work I was making it do.
The solution? I can’t work out. I HAVE TO TAKE A BREAK FROM MY MUSCLES. That is so hard for me, you guys. Exercise has been my biggest anxiety/mood control for years, so having to force myself into even more laziness has been a real challenge.
Like, will I even have biceps tomorrow?
But my significant figure asked me how many times I worked out a week, and I said probably about 8 or 9… But at the peak of my overtraining/exercise addiction, I was working out maybe 12 times a week for a total time of at least an hour and a half per day. And I was still eating around 1800 calories a day, which is… Not enough to sustain said activity.
For perspective: Before Monday, I hadn’t taken a day off from some kind of physical activity (either weight training, yoga, or my gym) for over a month. And my body was like, “FUCK YOU WE NEED A BREAK.”
So I’m taking a break. And judging by the amount of girl scout cookies I have eaten in the past three days, I am also now preparing for hibernation. Mmmmnomnomnomsamoas.