Kitchie Ohh: Thanks, I Feel Awful

Topless photo of Kitchie Ohh with natural large breasts
Kitchie Ohh. Photos by Jeff Cohn, Copyright 2024

Text by Kitchie Ohh, Copyright 2024


Thanks, I Feel Awful


Well, here we are again. Another year over, another just beginning. Once again, I am not making -or advocating the making of- resolutions. I’ll spend the next 365 or whatever time the universe has allotted to me, being the best me I can be. But who is the judge of that? The best. What does it even mean?

For the longest time, every thought I had about myself was the worst. So much of my identify and self-worth was tied up in how others viewed me, physically. I’ll feel better and people will like me more when … I tried so hard; then tried harder to stop that way of thinking and acting. But, recently, I slid so far backward, so quickly, so easily, that I almost didn’t recognize it. Or myself. 

I think we can all safely say that the period of time since March 2020 has been a crazy ride. The pandemic, the sudden end to life as we knew it and a figure it out as we go along new way of doing everything. At the time, I was working in what would be deemed an essential service agency. The stress of the “what if we shut down?” thoughts and everything that went into assuring staff and clients alike that this would not happen was rough. Having a role that allowed working remotely was a blessing and a curse. I could stay safe and healthy but see no one and go nowhere. I was relieved to still have a job and a purpose, but felt like I had almost lost complete control over everything else. 

I am a creature of habit; routine helps me make sense of things. So when every step of my daily to do list came to a crashing halt in 2020, I had to start over with a new one. For years I went to the gym every day after work. I meal prepped, typically the same healthy ingredients in different combinations breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I was successfully maintaining a significant weight loss. It’s horrible and kind of embarrassing to admit, but one of my first thoughts at the beginning of the pandemic was fear that I would gain it back from inactivity and stress eating. Which I kicked myself for and then proceeded to stress eat and do nothing, gaining several pounds as a result. I began beating myself up for it and threw myself into creating the new routine.

Step one, acquire a home workout platform subscription. Step two, find a program that needed little to no equipment. Step three, meal plan and prep. Easy peasy. Things started off okay, it took a few weeks to get into the groove, but I did, and even started to enjoy the program. Then work began getting more stressful. I found myself throwing myself harder into working out because I didn’t have to think about anyone or anything else when I was doing it. I started noticing changes, I definitely lost a few of the found pounds. I liked that, a lot. Suddenly I found myself working out multiple times a day. Wake up, workout. Lunch break, workout. After dinner, workout. The virtual “friends” I made, all following the same program at various levels were great for the personal connection I was missing but they were also terrible influences in disguise. Every day, we checked in with what workouts did, what we ate and what we were planning to eat, complimenting each other on class milestones and physical transformations, encouraging one another to keep going, calling it ‘accountability.’ Really we were all just comparing ourselves to one another, one-upping each other, doing our best to feel fitter, better, prettier, more perfect than people we didn’t really know. 

I loved having a new routine. What I loved even more was seeing the weight drop off as a result. I lost more than I had gained back. I was the smallest I had ever been in my adult life. Eating the caloric equivalent of a toddler’s diet while working out for 2+ hours every day will do that to ya. I was posting my progress on social media, reveling in the virtual praise. When the pandemic restrictions started to ease just a little, I took any opportunity that presented itself to see people in person, distanced or masked, at work, with family, or friends. Without fail, I was greeted with compliments. I minimized the effort and deflected questions, especially from the people who knew me best. I knew what they were going to tell me, I already knew it myself. I had developed an eating disorder. Hey, guys what? They’re not just for teenaged girls. I was obsessed with the need to burn off every excess calorie because it might come back with thousands of its friends to ruin my new look. And so I only consumed the bare minimum but burned the maximum, every day. My pants were smaller, but my hair was falling out. My stomach was flat, but I hadn’t had a period in months. I couldn’t get warm, my hands and feet often went ghostly pale and lost feeling at the slightest temperature fluctuation. But I was thin. I felt like shit, but I looked great. For vanity’s sake I kept it up for two years.

One day, it finally clicked how miserable I was. This was an extreme (and extremely dangerous) reaction to feeling like I had lost control. I counted and restricted everything, planned my day to the minute, because I was in charge of this one little part of my life. Somehow, it had gotten way out of control and taken over. I see the irony now. 

I slowly began to reduce the workouts and use extra time to actually relax; only berating myself a little bit for being lazy before realizing how tired I was and how much I needed to slow down. I increased my calorie intake, veering off my trusty, super restricted, weighed and measured food prep menu one meal at a time; only panicking a little when going over my “daily limit.” It took me quite a while to stop logging every ingredient of every meal to know the exact macros. I deleted the apps at the beginning of this year and have purposefully not made or eaten any of the go-to meals from that plan. The final thing I had to do was cut the virtual ties with my “fitness friends.” I left the accountability space. I stopped reporting calories in and out to anyone. I stopped watching others set and hit goal weights or share another nonfat, low-carb, no sugar, it’s almost got enough substance to be considered food, healthy recipe, and pretend to enjoy it.  

I still have a routine. Most days begin with a workout, but just one and under an hour. I eat what, when I want and no phone app is involved. Sure, I have gained some weight, and had to purchase new pants. But, I’m definitely healthier, especially mentally. Some days are still harder than others. 

You would think that recognizing and changing unhealthy behaviors would make it easier to avoid them in the future. Sadly, as I look at myself in the mirror, or in a picture and begin the inevitable self-criticism, I sometimes find myself thinking that if I go that hard again – just for a few weeks – I’d look better. That’s the problem, I know it would work. Those smaller equals better feelings and compliments would come again, but I now know their steep price tags. 

So as we start this fresh new year, my non-resolution promise is to remember worth isn’t dependent upon an external standard of beauty; especially if achieving that standard requires compromising health. The people that love and respect me don’t do so because of my dress size, or because I choose a salad over a pizza. And those that do care about those things, aren’t worth my time. 

No matter what the flood of email and social media ads might say this month, being our best shouldn’t mean the skinniest, most attractive, hardest to attain and maintain version of someone else’ perfection. It should mean being the happiest, healthiest, most genuine, truest to ourselves versions. That’s what I’m striving for, this year and always. 

Whatever your stance on resolutions, Happy 2024. 



Kitchie Ohh is a full-time professional fundraiser who has worked with a number of health and human services nonprofits in the Philadelphia area over the last 20 years. She found her passion for modeling after a pinup-style photoshoot in 2013. Since then, she has worked with many talented photographers, stylists, hair and makeup artists in a variety of styles. She has been featured in- and on the covers of – multiple print and digital publications. Over the years, she has branched out from pinup studio modeling to serve as a figure model for live sketching, walked a runway, and was part of two campaigns for Philadelphia designer K. Vaughn.

In addition to her philanthropy-focused career, she has volunteered with art, historical, and community organizations, and even the events team of a local brewery for a while, pre-pandemic.

You’re just as likely to find her whipping up something deliciously plant-based in her kitchen or knitting a sweater as you are to find her on a photography set. Her motto is “be both.” The model and the homemaker, sultry and sweet, serious and silly. All the things, all at once. To access additional articles by Kitchie Ohh, link here:

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