It’s a constant struggle that affects so many aspects of my life. And again, I’m in this grey area where I don’t hate myself enough to try to kill myself trying to achieve perfection, but I’m not happy with what I see. I don’t even need to be supermodel skinny to be happy with myself. I just want to feel healthy and be at a weight that allows me to do all of the things I’ve always wanted to do. To do these things without fear and without being self-conscious that I will be the stick that breaks every single camel’s back.
I want to be a weight that allows me to go shopping and buy and wear all of the cute clothes that would go great with all of the cute shoes that I can’t wear. I want to be able to go out with friends and not have to lie or have excuses as to why I’m not shopping with them. I want to be able to walk into a store and not come out of it with tears in my eyes or being so frustrated that I just give up because nothing looks right or yet again, another designer has made a pair of pants or a shirt that shows my size but is clearly 2 sizes too small. I just want to be able to go out and not have to think or worry about something as superficial as my weight. For once.
One of the toughest parts about feeling inadequate physically is all the emotional and mental anguish you put yourself through. It took me years to really accept everything. I think that for a lot of people, it’s hard to really admit anything because they think, I’m not THAT bad. I’ve seen people with that condition and I am NOT like them. And you don’t necessarily say this in a negative way towards those people. You say this in a way that you just can’t accept that you are “crazy”.
I look at myself in the mirror or just even down at myself and I see nothing but fat, everything. My legs, arms, stomach, face; everywhere. I watch these shows like The Biggest Loser, Extreme Weight Loss, & My 600 lb Life and I am nowhere near that weight, but I see their arms, legs, stomach and that is exactly what I see when I look at myself. I know that if I really think about it and break it down, it wouldn’t be physically possible to look the same as these people since I don’t have that much weight on me, but I see it. I see the imperfections, the cellulite, the flab. I see it all.
This doesn’t just stop with my weight either. This goes to every part of me. I see my hands and I just see how incredibly big they are; like sausages or something. I see my feet and I feel like they’re clown feet. Just long, wide and huge. I’ve been told that I’m wrong, but it’s not what I see. It’s not what I think. No matter how many times I take a step back and tell myself to think logically about things, I can’t overcome those thoughts and feelings.
One day, I hope that I can be one of those women who is unashamed, proud even, of every inch of themselves. But for right now, this whole body confidence thing is so foreign to me. It just doesn’t make any sense. I don’t know how to wrap my head around it. I cannot remember a time when I was comfortable in my body. I would get close to feeling like, wow, I might be okay with what I see in the mirror and then something would happen or something would be said or of course, my anxiety would get the best of me and down the drain it all went.
Now, I think to really get down to the heart of things, I have to go back a bit. See, when I was younger, my nicknames, other than “princess” and other cutesy names were things like “chubs” & “gorda” (that’s fatty for all those non-Spanish speakers out there). Now, for some, that could come off as terms of endearment in some ass backward way, but for someone like me, I took it personally and to heart. I remember being in elementary and junior high and doing everything that I could to avoid eating in front of people. I would just either not eat or do the elusive covered mouth chewing, that we all know means no one can see that food is in front of my face.
Going into high school, I just wouldn’t eat. It made it easier this way. I would just say, “no thanks, I’m not hungry.”, “I already ate.”, “I had a big breakfast.”, “I’m eating an early dinner.”, “My stomach hurts.”. Honestly, the lies could go on for days. I would rarely eat and it would normally be when I knew I couldn’t go another day without having something in my body. The lies when I got home were about the same. My mom would pester me and I would eat and then feel beyond guilty or eat very little and just get out of there as soon as possible. To make matters worse, I would work out with no luck of losing weight; I just stayed the same size. It didn’t matter how little I ate or how much I worked out, I was just stuck. The rule that you would lose weight if you burned more calories than you consumed did not at all work for me.
The first time I started losing weight with any kind of success was when I was 17. Now, I wasn’t “fat” before this. I was average. I was 5’3”, 130 lbs. I was curvy. I wasn’t pencil thin by any means but I was where I needed to be. I was so insecure that it wasn’t good enough. I was still being called all of these names. I would be told that I was chunky, chubby, big boned. I would be told I couldn’t wear something or that it didn’t look right on me. I honestly don’t know if anything would have convinced me that I was okay the way I was.
I finally got the flat stomach of my dreams when I was getting closer to my 18th birthday and I was so excited. I had these pair of jeans hanging in my closet that I was sooooo ready to wear and then… life happened. I found out I was pregnant. I was finally losing weight and I was freaking pregnant. Like, seriously? The universe has one hell of a sense of humor.