I’ll warn you, this is a heavy post. Or a ridiculous post, depending on how you see it. But I’ll start by being really shallow and telling you how crazy I am about my new Jil Sander patent orange sandals 🙂
Onto heavier stuff…I’ve been on a serious shopping/buying bender lately. I’ve tried to even the outlay by selling a lot as well, but I feel bad about it because I don’t want to be adding a lot of things to my wardrobe now. I know exactly why I’m doing it – I’ve gained back about 12 pounds since losing 30 last Summer and being at a comfortable weight last year around my birthday. I’m buying things to cover myself up and hide my body again (hello? cardigans…), in spite of the rising temperatures. And I HATE it. Even losing the weight I did made such a big difference: my cholesterol went down, I lost my saddlebags (mostly), and my arms were less flabby. Gaining back 12 of those pounds is SO depressing. And just re-confirms my belief that as I have all of my life until now, I’ll struggle to lose weight and keep it off. Honestly, I don’t think I can ever get down to the healthy weight I want to be. Which is not even that low, it’s certainly not my “ideal” weight, it’s just where I KNOW I will be comfortable and feel “free.” I just need to lose 35 pounds from here and I’ll be deliriously happy.
(because I write a lot more…)
But every time I think about it, I am overwhelmed and paralyzed with fear. The fear that I won’t be able to keep it off (as usual); that I’ll be so happy and proud of myself for losing the weight, and free from my constant feeling of discontent with my body, and THEN IT WILL COME BACK. Like it has over the last several months. It always comes back.
I’m going to be 40 this year. I don’t want to be disappointed in my body/weight anymore. But I really don’t know how to fix it. Sure, I can just lose weight and keep it off. Sure. No problem. I can also just learn to be happy with the body I have, but I’ve tried that. And it doesn’t work long term. I remember how it feels to be thinner (never thin) and more in control, and I loved it. I hate what I am now. I hate that my priority is not my health. I’m disappointed in myself that I’m NOT DOING THE RIGHT THING when it comes to my Body, my Temple.
Ok. Rant over. Moving on. I did not write that for sympathy, or to get comments like “you look great! what are you talking about?” I don’t want to hear it. I KNOW I look okay on the outside, but that’s not even what matters. It does, but only because the way I feel on the inside clouds & influences the way I feel about how I LOOK on the outside. How ironic is it that I longed for the time when I wouldn’t care anymore what anyone else thought of me, and now that it’s here, I can’t enjoy it. I don’t care if everyone else thinks I look “great” or whatever, I don’t FEEL great, and that’s the ONLY thing that matters. And for the record, I’m going to stop saying that (“oh, you look great!”) to people when they confide in me that they’re not feeling that great about their body – it doesn’t help. I will sympathize with what they’re feeling, not make them feel worse by essentially telling them they’re full of shit. Which is what you do when you tell someone they look great when they don’t feel great…
Since I didn’t just write that for sympathy or reassuring comments, why did I write it? Because I had to get it out. And because FOR MYSELF, I do not believe I can be healthy while carrying around extra weight. Even adding back 12 pounds is causing my knees to hurt again, my ankles are sore, and I know my cholesterol is inching back up & up with every pound. That probably isn’t true for everyone, every body is different, and there may be lots of healthy overweight people. I am NOT one of them. And I’m tired of all the posts/articles written on body image being super-sweet and positive, focusing (and blaming) only on the outside influencers of how we feel about our bodies instead of the internal ones. Sure, maybe the internal feelings of discontent have been shaped over time by outside influences, but at this point in my life, that isn’t valid anymore. As a nearly-40-year-old woman, I need to step out from behind that curtain and own up to making my body healthy. I don’t care about being model-thin or looking perfectly proportionate, I just want to look in the mirror and feel good about how I look.