We’ve become good friends in real life and now that she lives here in the Midwest, we can get together in person more often.
Naturally, the conversation at one point or another turned to food issues and she said something that caught my attention.
We were talking about our old obsessive compulsive ways and how unhealthy it was to be so rigid and everything, and then she said, kind of wistfully, “… Yea but we were both thinner then.”
It was the truth; I couldn’t deny it. Plain as day, she was right: I was thinner then.
But I surprised myself by pushing back a little and offering a different viewpoint. Yes, I was thin then, but I wasn’t necessarily happier; I just had never had a thin body before … and so it was novelty for me.
I admit, I loved everything that came with being thin for the first time — being able to shop anywhere and buy (almost) anything, needing a new wardrobe, suddenly getting attention from guys (other than my then-boyfriend-now-husband)… I loved the confidence that this new body brought. I ate it up.
But what I’ve found to be interesting is that even with these extra pounds on me now, I still feel like I carry that confidence.
And so I heaved a sigh of relief … because I’m really kind of OK here.
Even though I’m in my “half-way” body today, I feel like when I walk into a room, I do make eye contact. I do keep my head up. I do walk with a purpose.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is, for as much as I want to lose these extra pounds that have been plaguing me for the past three years, they clearly aren’t plaguing me so much that I’ve stopped sabatoging myself or stopped living.
I don’t want to live that way again; a life of total restriction and obsession had no luster and was difficult to maintain … it made me miserable to be around, and drove myself to therapy … quite literally!
Yes, I fully agree that I was thinner then … but being thin did not make me happier. Feeling good in my own skin did … and while weight loss helped boost my self-esteem, once the novelty of thinness wore off, the disordered eating monster took over.
Plain and simple, I just don’t want to go down that path again.
Yes, I’d still like to lose some weight, but if I don’t? It’s not the end of the world. I’m still me … not my thinnest me, not my heaviest me … I’m more of a a balanced me — and, incidentally, that’s what I’ve been after all along.
Finding that place where I can “be” without too much effort. And I’m kind of OK here … it’s taken me a long time to see it — and I have my days where I cringe (i.e., seeing how chubby my face has gotten) — but for the most part, I look in the mirror and see a strong, successful professional woman and blogger who has worked hard to get where she is.
And I look in the mirror and see a woman with a fabulous husband who loves her and her body exactly as it is –at any size — and an amazing network of family and friends who have supported her on this long, jacked-up-at-times journey.
Truly, I’m blessed in so many ways. And you know what? I wouldn’t trade that for anything … not even being thin again.
It’s almost like I’ve been waiting to exhale … and now I’m finally able to take the deep breaths I’ve needed to for so long.
How about you? How are you feeling today, in this moment, about your own body image? Does it fluctuate?