Friday, October 24, 2014

You're Not Fat

Age 21

I see a lie, a betrayal, a bad experience and a challenge. 

There are only two mirrors in my little apartment, and the one I actually look in only shows my body from the bust down - from this angle it is very easy to fool myself into believing that the worried glances my family gives me about my weight are overreactions. 

When I look in the full-length mirror, I am punched in the gut with the disgusting feeling of the body looking back at me that doesn't feel like the one I believe I have. That mirror betrays me every time by taking away my false sense of security which is why I rarely look in it for very long. 

I can trace my weight gain to high school - sixteen and at a new school where I ended up a very lonely girl no one talked to or bothered to learn my name. I became completely sedentary when the depression of being invisible hit. 

But luckily, life isn't over after one hard blow - I get to go back into the ring for another round. College is a beautiful place where everyone is respected and listened to and people remember your name. 

Taking on the challenge of going to college and working part-time gave me the courage to save up for the trip of a lifetime in Europe that I leave for in 9 months. Signing up for that trip gave me the courage to realize that I am not happy in this body - not because it doesn’t fit into society's standards or because I feel a need to fit into a certain size. I simply don't feel good in this body and I want to feel alive again and am slowly succeeding in that goal - losing 4 pounds in just one week of being active and drinking water! 

Doing it because I want to has made all the difference and I am slowly learning not only to understand and listen to my body, but to love it and the person who lives in it too.    

Friday, October 10, 2014

Age 45

I tend to stay away from looking in the mirror for fear I may not be happy with what I see. I'm overweight. Not obese…well, according to medical standards, borderline "obese." I curse that machine at the local grocer by the pharmacy. At 5'7", I weigh 190-ish pounds. I say "ish" because for the last couple of months, I have fluctuated all over the 190 to 200 pound range.

Don't get me wrong, I am thankful for a body that still works. Nonetheless, I find myself feeling so completely fat and unattractive when looking at other women. It's hard, but I will sometimes like what I see and think, "Yeah, I have some attractive qualities." And then I'll be somewhere and see how younger and much thinner women get all the attention. They may even be not as attractive, they can have a not-so--pleasant personality even, but if they’re thin (it is my experience to see most male species do this), they will always get looked at first – both in social gatherings or on the job.

Recently, I had an epiphany though. I am so tired of being sick and tired and feeling ugly. I am going to push through my fear of failure. I am going to focus on what I do have – nice long hair, big brown eyes and a large chest – and work those qualities! I am going to try to implement healthier eating habits and get some physical activity in my life. Not going to go crazy, just take it…"one day at a time." Most importantly, I'll be doing this for me. Which, in turn, can be beneficial to my family. The way I see it, if I start with me, I can then take care of those I love – mainly my hubby and two boys – for years to come.