Generally speaking, most people have good intentions when they make stupid comments. I get this, and try to compartmentalize and rationalize their indirect meaning, but all too often, I dissect them, tear them apart and make them into something detrimental to my overall mental health.
For instance, when I lost all my weight I was pretty damn skinny. There were bones and excess skin and shoulder bones protruding from everywhere. And everyone was all “You’re too skinny, you need some meat on those bones”. To which I replied (in my head, of course) FUCK YOU. I mean really? I shed 180 pounds of “meat” and worked damn hard to do so.
When I looked in the mirror back then, I felt beautiful and accomplished. I saw all of my imperfections and embraced every single one of them. I wore shorts for the first time in 15 years. I wore a bathing suit that didn’t have shorts or a skirt attached for the first time since I was a teenager. I could order a cheeseburger and not wonder if the waitress was silently judging me. I could wear pants whose size didn’t have a ‘2’ in front of it. I was no longer considered plus size, but the all American, average sized woman. I felt amazing.
But as it usually happens in my life, the rain that I thought was watering my flowers in life, was really just the Gods pissing all over my happiness. Over the past year I have gained 10 pounds and gone up a pant size. And there it stuck. For all the world to see and judge. And I tell you this for two reasons:
1) It’s relevant to the whole “people speak with good intentions” theory
2) I am going to use it as my platform to get off my fat ass and do something about it
Weight gain is a slippery slope. You start out gaining a couple pounds and thinks it’s no big deal. You can lose that by taking a morning constitution. You think you can put in a few more laps on the treadmill or make that extra loop on the digital display on the elliptical machine and work it off. Eazy peezy.
Then you gain a few more and think it’s still ok. As long as you don’t go past that weight. That magic number that makes you give up and say fuck it, pass me the Ben and Jerry’s, throw out all of my skinny jeans, and load up the sweatpants and baggy shirts.
That’s where I am ya’ll. In the land of loose khaki pants, Victoria’s Secret oversized sweatpants and “flowy” shirts. Because I am on the verge of giving up and giving in, but still not so far gone that I could stop making excuses for myself, get my shit together and do what I know needs to be done.
I need to throw out the comfort clothes, the comfort foods and the backup clothes that hide my stomach, and take my ass to the gym. I need to sweat and swear and hate it all, and then put on a pair of skinny jeans and know that I worked my way back into them. I need to set my pride aside for a minute and remember where I came from and what a shit storm it was to get to where I am. I need to stop making excuses for myself, cork the wine (and the whine), put down the latte and make a change.
Because I can’t stand for one more second to hear something tell me I look “fine”. Or for them to say “You look perfect now. You were way too skinny before.” Because, this tells me they can tell I have gained weight. And while I appreciate the support and enthusiasm, it’s these half truths that got me to 317 pounds in the first place. No one wants to tell their sister/daughter/wife/best friend that her ass is spreading like the continental divide. And I appreciate that to an extent, but fortunately for me, I know the harder truth to swallow and I need to digest it and move on with life.
I think what bothers me most is that when I look at women who look just like me, or my more curvy and voluptuous friends, I envy them. Because I think their bodies are beautiful. I think they look like women and mothers and human beings with a story and that is magical to me. So, why can't I see myself that way? Why can't I accept this body that I have been gifted? I think it's because I am afraid the minute I stop obsessing and worrying is the moment I let it all go and end up right where I began. And to me, that was not beautiful or magical.
So, where is the balance between sane and insane? Where do I draw the line between acceptance and criticism? When will I look in the mirror and see myself the way others see me? I guess I will have plenty of time to figure that out as I strap on my sneakers and begin my next chapter.