“Half-Way” — I’m Really Kind of OK Here …

This weekend I had coffee with a friend  I met via WW Online several years ago.

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 happierI 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?

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17 thoughts on ““Half-Way” — I’m Really Kind of OK Here …

  1. How amazing Lissa, that you can say ‘It’s not the end of the world’ to have a few lbs to lose after such disordered times in the past, and mean it. You’re my hero! For food/weight issues to have taken a place of lesser significance in your life is truly triumph indeed! That’s fabulous! I swing wildly from thinking ‘it’s not the end of the world if i dont (for example) weigh myself twice daily’ to stressing out if i DONT do it. And i just got to goal! Right at this minute I feel ‘content’ with my body largely because i ran 4 miles last night and that always helps me to ‘feel’ thinner. I imagine after I’ve eaten lunch in about 2 hours I will ‘feel’ fat but i KNOW that if i want to continue working out like i do and enjoying the strength and power my ‘new’ body has then i need to feed it. It really is a constant mantra! Your blog really makes me think and realise that there is life beyond all this stressin, and for the most part im ok and have it in perspective. I guess I’m trying to say thank you’ – your honesty is wonderful and refreshing.

    L x

  2. I’ve thought about this often. My weight has fluctuated so much over the years and when I think back to the times I was “thin” and the times I was “fat” (or at least thought I was), there is NO correlation to my happiness! In fact, a couple times when I was at my thinnest, I was actually really depressed, and those times are hard for me to think about. Oddly enough, I still thought for years that if I reached some magical unattainable goal weight I would finally be happy. It makes me sad to think that I wasted so much time obsessing over food/exercise (especially exercise) for nothing — but it’s a learning process.

  3. I was definitely not my happiest when I was my thinnest. It has taken me years to really “get this”. Being happy is more than worth a few extra pounds.

  4. What an awesome “a-ha” moment for you! I love this statement the best:

    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.

    That is no small feat, to be happy “in this body” and to realize that you are surrounded by positive, loving influences in your life. Congrats 🙂

  5. Honestly I’m struggling with my body image right now. I’m stronger because I’m lifting weights and doing other strength exercises and I’m running/doing cardio more but that has shown on the scale with the addition of a pound or two. My mind is so conditioned that the number is most important but I need to remember that I like feeling strong. Between a rock and a hard place.

    1. Missyrayn, I think until we let go of the perfectionist tendencies, it’s that endless battle between feeling good enough and not good enough … and it’s a vicious cycle.

      You’re right though — feeling strong is REALLY what matters most.

  6. Hey lady. This comment doesn’t directly relate to this post specifically, but it made me think to tell you about this book I am reading: It’s Not About Food.

    Have you read it? Someone gave it to me, and I was shocked at first because it is about eating disorders (I’ve never been diagnosed with an eating disorder, nor do I believe I’ve ever had one). However, I am still amazing at how enlightening it is for me. Whether someone overeats, undereats, or anything in between, it really is helpful. I think you would like it 🙂

  7. i’m so happy for you, melissa! i can hear you exhaling. what a great place you got yourself to. what an accomplishment from where you were.
    as for me, my body image is mostly good. i’m at a happy weight and i’ve been holding it for about 17 months. i’m still fighting the disease, but i grow in awareness each day.

  8. What an incredible conversation. I’m really glad to hear you feel comfortable where you are now.

    My body image flucuates daily. One day I’m confident, enjoying the fact that I’m no longer a “stick” the next day I feel gross or “fat” all day. But you really make a great point here. I would say that I’m much happier and confident overall in a place where I can be flexible and enjoy life, than when I was too skinny, rigid, and had to be anti-social due to my eating habits. It takes a lot of pressure off now.

  9. love this part…
    “.. 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 never thought of my ‘thinness’ like a novelty before but that is exactly what it was. I was just as confident as I was before I lost weight. After giving up the scale I am truly the happiest I have ever been with myself. Thanks for posting your journeys!

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