The Chart

Can we talk about “the chart”?

You know. The chart. The one the doctor points at when he tells you you’re overweight. That chart.

I’ve been on the “wrong” side of that chart for the better part of 3 years. I was hanging out on the low end of “normal” for a decent chunk of time when I had that wedding dress and tropical honeymoon as motivation, but then fell off that bandwagon and struggled to catch up (because running sucks).

Quarantine certainly didn’t help. The “Covid 19,” people have been calling it. You know, like the “Freshman 15,” but lonelier.

Recently, I got it in my head that I didn’t want to go in for my next checkup and have my doctor tell me I’m overweight on his chart and therefore will be a moose when I’m pregnant one day. I somehow convinced myself being even 5 pounds on the wrong side of this chart will put me and any future babies I may make at risk of all kinds of scary shit.

I slapped my ass on a diet.

And I lost 25 lbs.

Let’s take a moment to celebrate that, because ya’ll know that shit isn’t easy when you’re pushing 30 and hate running.

Now let’s talk about how that backfired and threw off my cycle, thus making it exceptionally difficult to predict ovulation and good ‘ol Flo, who follows the mantra “better late than never” to a T.

All because I’m fixated on the chart.

Who designed that thing, anyway?

Why do we let ourselves get so caught up in what society calls beautiful and what the chart says we should weigh? Apparently being 5’5” and 150 lbs is overweight, and I call bullshit. Yet here I am, making sure I’m well under 150 just so that I can say I’m on the “right” side of the chart.

Am I brainwashed?

I’m sure there’s science to support the chart, and I’m sure it’s a great tool used to keep us healthy and on track.

But I am not one of those 2-D people illustrated on the poster.

I am me, with my own unique body type and health needs.

Don’t let the chart nor any other social expectations take over your life. Use the chart and your doctor as a guide and be the healthiest version of yourself, but don’t let yourself become obsessed with an unrealistic expectation.

I need to take my own advice, but as I said in Hot Potato, it is much easier to tell you what to do than to tell me what to do. Be healthy and be happy. That’s my best advice to us all. Chart or no chart, I’m sure we can all agree with that.


Cheez Itz and Diet Coke

The towel unraveled from my sopping hair and fell at my feet. A feeling of insecurity washed over me as I studied my naked body in the mirror. I turned to the side and studied the excessive curve of my shape and the way my thighs rested together.

I knew I wasn’t fat.

I knew that.

But I also felt




I pressed a hand to my belly, tugged at my flab, then sucked in my gut, imagining the way my body used to look.

I lost over twenty pounds just for the wedding.

And worked out three times a day and ate only 1000 calories to do so.

It should come as no surprise that such a lifestyle is not sustainable.

Like, at all.

So, I put it all right back on.

I think I felt ashamed, standing naked in my bedroom with a towel at my feet, because I had worked so damn hard for my wedding body, and somehow, I managed to let it slip through my fingers like sand. How quickly I let that motivation and determination leave my system and render me vacant.

It took me a long time after our nuptials to finally accept that my body simply is not designed to be slender and muscular. It just doesn’t want to be 130 pounds of muscle. It would much rather be a little squishy.

The way his arms hold me at night tells me that’s okay.

Let’s face it: without the motivation of a beautiful dress on a beautiful summer day, it is incredibly difficult to justify slaving away at the gym three separate times a day and living on hardboiled eggs. That doesn’t make me happy. You know what does make me happy? Cheez Itz and Diet Coke. At what point are we willing to sacrifice bliss for the stereotypical perfect body? I may not be slender and muscular like I was (again, for a hot sec), but I am curvy and no less beautiful.

That wasn’t easy to come to terms with. It’s almost natural to get stuck in comparisons of what you once were or what your friends are or what your sister has always been. Once I stopped comparing myself, I could just look at me for me and focus on liking what I saw in the mirror.

What am I saying here?

Love yourself.

You’re beautiful.

Be confident and let yourself shine as you tackle adulting.

And buying yourself a perfectly fitting power suit won’t hurt, either.