Living in a post-medication body

When I was 8,  my doctor said I was in the perfect height/weight ration and thus needed to stop snacking. I should use snacks as a reward ONLY, something to look forward to on a Saturday or a Sunday. I didn’t know what to do or say because I played outside a lot and obviously my food choices were not negatively impacting my body- she just said I was perfectly balanced. When I was older, I realized she had her own body-image issues and was trying to push that on me as a patient. Once I realized that, I decided that my body is mine and only I get to decide what it looks like. If I want to eat cake all day and never exercise, I can live with the effects of it. If I want to eat steak and salad and jog 8 miles a day, I can do that too (ahahahha I don’t like steak or jogging ahahaha).

About two years ago, I had a major depressive episode. I lost a little weight in the months leading up to its peak, but then I started on anti-depressants. I lost 20 pounds in a month. I was out of work during that time, and when I went back my body looked like a shell of itself. I hadn’t been that small since middle school, and I had very mixed feelings on it. So naturally, everyone wanted to know how I did it. What tips could I give them. It was a very personal experience and I wasn’t comfortable sharing it with most of the people who asked, so I usually just shrugged.

I had to get used to a smaller body. I needed new pants, and most of my dresses hung off me. I could no longer eyeball clothes in a store and know if they would fit, as I had for over 5 years. And what would happen when I went off medication? Would I stay small or gain my Kerry weight back? I didn’t know.

In September, I started weening myself off my medication. I usually gain a little weight in the winter anyway, but since my body now had to readjust to a medication-free metabolism, I gained back everything I lost 2 years ago and a little more. I was more comfortable in my body, felt more like myself, and was so glad I saved all my old pants! I knew it would be a while before my body adjusted to a post-mediation metabolism and a while before I fully accepted myself again. Just like it took a little while to accept the smaller version of me. But I was ok with that.

OH BUT WAIT. A couple of weeks ago, I got a new doctor. She measured me and weighed me and asked about my diet. Maybe two alcoholic drinks a week, a non-smoker, I don’t drink coffee. She wrote my answers down and didn’t say anything about it. We talked about how I was on medication but I went off in the fall. We talked about how it was a long winter. She said I need to stop drinking soda. She said I need to loose 4 pounds and, although I’ll still be too big, I’ll be at a better weight. This was crushing. My doctor basically called me fat. No one had called me fat since my Gram in high school. I relayed the experience to my boyfriend and he said, “Mhmm.” After a few minutes he said, “You look good to me.”

For the first time in 19 years, I hated my body. Hated it. The rolls on my stomach when I sit. The stretch marks on my thighs from when my hips came in. Not since I was 8 had I scrutinized my naked body so harshly in a mirror. Poking and pulling and squishing and flattening. Staring at myself, I looked and felt defeated. I realized I’d given up the power I took when I was young. This is my body. My skin. My stretch marks. My stomach and legs and arms and I live with myself. I live IN myself. Constantly. Only I get to decide how I feel about it.

I don’t care who you are. If you think there is something wrong with my body or if you think there is something wrong with the way I look, that’s your problem.

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4 Responses to “Living in a post-medication body”


  1. 1 ksnapped April 21, 2015 at 11:17 am

    I hope you dropped that doctor like a sack of potatoes! Life is tough enough without a medical professional giving you terrible information like this. I’m outraged for you! I may not know you in “real life”, but you are beautiful.

    • 2 TheTragicWhale April 21, 2015 at 12:28 pm

      Real life, smeal life, amiright? Thank you for your kind words, and honestly I asked for a not-judgy doctor! Can you image what the other ones are like?!

  2. 3 Jessica April 21, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    What an awful doctor. I currently weigh the most I have in my entire life and I couldn’t be happier about it! I’m so happy that I’m finally healthy enough that I can actually gain weight that I’ve just embraced it. And I don’t care what anyone thinks about my body. I love it and that’s all that matters. I hope you’re loving your body too. I think you look great!


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