This is one of the hardest posts I have written. It is something that affects me every single day. I try and I try to just like this body I am in. Which makes it is extremely hard to get to the love part. I had always been skinny, even after giving birth to both the boys, I lost the pregnancy weight fast. Then twenty some years ago I stopped smoking for the first time. At the same time I started a job across the street from a pizzeria. Oh yea dangerous stuff. The office manager and I would go almost every day and eat there or pick it up and eat in the office. I went from a size 7/8 to 11/12.
It is funny how I have always considered myself fat, though not as a teenager. I never had body issues when I was younger, I never thought of it. It was after I got married that I started thinking of myself as fat. When I look back at pictures of me I am amazed that I thought I was fat. I was far from it.
Eventually I started smoking again but the weight did not come off. I did finally stop smoking seven years ago, for good this time. However, my weight has increased from that size 11/12 to a 16. I have dieted; Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Atkins, Sugar-Busters, and I exercise. I do yoga and walk/run. I haven’t in the last couple of months due to some health issues and I have been itching to start again. I do nothing less than thirty minutes which is a little over two miles for me. Yet, I cannot lose the weight.
I have a hard time looking into the mirror and seeing my body, whether in clothes or naked. I wish that I could love this body of mine like my husband does. He doesn’t see the rolls of fat and always wants to make love or tells me how hot I look. Me on the other hand, find it hard to even get in the mood because of this body. I am trying though. One thing I keep going back to is one of the reasons I quit. It was to be more healthy and in order to do that you have to at least like your self and your body.
I had visions of being leaner and healthier and being able to run a marathon. I need to keep those visions in my head. Even though, I must add, I did run a marathon. It was two years ago (hmmm maybe three now), and it was a Nike Women’s Marathon that gets held all over the country. That year the opened it to remote runners using your iPod. Using the Nike+ system it kept track of your miles. Once done and hooked up to your computer it sent the information to Nike. I finished the marathon and was so proud of myself. I did it with running and walking. However, this spring I want to run a 5K, and I mean run, no walking at all. Well anyway, back to this body.
Every time I see an ad with clothing I like I get disappointed, wishing I could wear it, but I know it would not look good on me as it does on the models. Where in the world are the plus size models? It doesn’t help that my Mother has to reinforce my weight issue. “Don’t you wish you still had a 22″ waist?” Umm Mom I was 13 when I had a 22″ waist, isn’t that a little unrealistic? I have to keep reinforcing the good when she does that but I don’t, not every time anyway. “You know when I was your age I was really thin and I had four kids all within five years.” Sigh, I know, she can keep going and I really don’t want to put it all down here and rehash them. There is a deep seated reason I left NY and moved to NC, one that sits just under other reasons why we moved.
Instead of looking at the advertisements and wishing I was that thin, I am going to start doing things a little different. I am going to look at my eyes and marvel how pretty they are (so I am told over and over again). Hey how about my ass, that is not bad at all, it is small and has a nice shape to it. Hey, did you know my body cannot be that bad, it runs and it walks, it can do yoga (even to the amazement at some of my yoga teachers, who are surprised at how agile I am). Heck this body outdid my boys in karate. We are not talking just easy to learn karate, these people were sadistic with the things they made us do. I eventually left, I am sorry, a heavy 45 year old woman should not be doing some of the things they were having 10-18 years old do. Work up to it maybe, but not go full head on and expect to be able to do it. That was just the warm-up, exercise phase. I had no problem at all with the actual karate. However, I need to remember my youngest remarks to me one evening. ‘Mom I was so proud of you, you even kept going after I was totally done for.’ Yeah it made it all seem worth it.
It really irks me when I hear someone telling a young girl how she is fat or getting fat or gaining weight. Especially when she isn’t. Come to think of it, I don’t hear that being told to young girls who actually are overweight. My Dad will do it to my niece, who is far from fat. She lives on a farm and that girl can throw a bale of hay or do anything that needs to be done. She is a cheerleader and all around great girl, for who she is, not for her body. Yet she is very impressionable, like all young girls. When I hear my Dad say that I give him hell. Little do they know what kind of seeds they plant.
So even though I am not to the point where I can love my body, I am taking the first step and can say I do like my body. Not for what it looks like, but for it’s amazing qualities and what it can do.
“This post is part of the 2011 Love Your Body Day Blog Carnival” which starts today. Where voices all across the nation will be heard in blog posts about some of these topics:
» Advertising/media influence on women and girls
» How I learned to love my body
» Airbrushing and other tricks that create unrealistic beauty standards
» Cosmetic surgery
» Dieting and eating disorders
» Negative, narrow gender stereotypes
» Loving your body and disability – This one is even harder because I find it very hard to love my disability
» Children’s body image awareness
People will post their links to the Now’s page for Love Your Body, so if you want to read more from other amazing women, please go to the link and look in the comments section for more.