I’m going through psychological warfare, I just know it. And I’m here to tell you my story with my battle. Some of you will scoff but all women no matter what their size deal with it. So here goes.
I’ve been relatively thin and healthy my whole life. Other than being the smart girl, I got the most comments for being “tiny”. Not sexy, or hot…just tiny. But I will take tiny over…not tiny. Over the years because of my pint-size, I came to this point of vanity where I felt like an absolute blob if I could not fit into a size 2 anything.
Whatever size God makes us, most women would choose to be at least two sizes smaller. It’s a fact in this culture we live in. I wish I was mature or wise enough to be above it, but I’m not. I see the flat abs of movie stars and models and then I look down at my pooch. That’s my thing. I know my legs will never be super long and sleek. I know God gave me a short, stumpy limbs and fair skin with moles and freckles. But the abs? I should be able to work hard and get THOSE.
So when I was planning my wedding, I wanted to be immortalized in pictures with the flattest abs that I could get myself. But seeing that I’m 44 and like food and live a busy life, it was definitely a goal I had to work very hard to achieve. But I did it. I lost 5 lbs for the wedding.
It was the last 5 after losing 20 over the course of the past 5 years. When my husband walked out the door…my diet began. You know the break-up diet. I lost a lot then. And picked up running and going to the gym because that’s what you do when you suddenly find yourself single after 23 years with someone. You get yourself in shape. I slimmed down and felt like I looked as good as I could look. And I was single so …every little bit helps. I was extremely disciplined for 5 years.
But the last 5 lbs are the hardest. I ate a lot of celery. I ran three miles a day, did 40 min on the rowing machine and did ab work on the mat. I ate only chicken, some turkey lunch meat, and lots of salads. I was motivated but it was not fun. But I did it.
So after the wedding, we honeymooned in Boston and New York City and I chose to enjoy myself in part by eating heartily. I deserved it! It felt so good. Baked Ziti, pizza, spaghetti, wine, penne pasta in vodka sauce, more pizza, more wine. I figured I could gain 5 back and be fine. But then I gained 10. Before you all roll your eyes, 10 lbs is a ton for my small 5’2″ frame. I’m up two sizes for my pants and it’s as if I gained it all in my tummy and butt. It’s been almost three months and the eating has continued.
But as upset as I am when I put on my clothes…saying, you look like a mom again. But when I get those hunger pangs I rationalize with myself again why I should keep eating whatever I want…saying, you know how to get serious you will be able to lose it again just one more hamburger first. And I go for the emotional gratification in the moment instead of the goal of looking awesome this summer in a bikini. WHY?
Three basic reasons and they are probably the same for all women with my scenario. 1)there is no wedding. 2) I’m married and my husband loves me no matter what. 3) I LOVE FOOD. The only other excuse is that I had a terrible cold in January and the cough has lingered for months. Coughing and running don’t go well together.
The external motivators are gone. No more fear of being so fat no one will want me. No more fear of not looking my best at my wedding. Now I’m just fat and happy.
In order for this to really happen for me, I have to be the one that cares. I have to be the one that motivates. And right now, I don’t have it in me. I actually want to be fat and happy for a few more weeks until I start training again. I haven’t abandoned working out all together. I run a couple of miles a couple times a week. But I know that’s not enough for what I’ve been eating. And of course the yoyo thing that keeps happening is that because I’m lacking motivation I get a little depressed and beat myself up for a bit each day. Yes…after the meal.
So here’s my question. Why is this such a big deal to me? I know I’m in open rebellion. I know I’ll get back on track soon because I know that I will not want to stop looking good and feeling fit. So why am I beating myself up over it every time I put that french fry in my mouth?
Why can’t I just be ok with putting on a few extra pounds?
I think that I’m afraid that I will hit a point of no return. And that’s either a healthy fear or one steeped with shades of this body image disease we women get no matter what our size. I wish I wasn’t so vain. But I know I am.
Everything sold is designed to make you slimmer, younger, prettier, or stronger!
If Freud was right and we all have an id, ego, and super ego. Then the little kid in me is bargaining to keep it open just a little bit longer because it’s so fun. The teenager in me wants to look as hot as possible with the least amount of effort and is a major procrastinator. And the adult in me knows the longer I wait to get back in the gym the harder it will be to get to where I am happy with my body.
Who will win? For now, all of them are winning. They take turns. And that is my psychological warfare. It sucks. So you can scoff if you want but no matter how big or little I am, the battle is real.
And I guess the take away from this post is that we all probably battle with this more than we want to think about or admit. We internally know which one is winning. And we know what we have to do to fix it…but for now…we simply don’t care enough. Maybe we need weddings, and single life to jolt us into the realization that we are not fighting fit. Maybe happy, secure, relationship do breed a tendency toward complacency. Maybe this is just a very natural thing to struggle with. So maybe I should …we should all…just give ourselves a break every now and then and work toward balance, moderation, and contentment.
Eat what I like just not too much of it, don’t put off exercise so I don’t feel guilty, and be happy with the body God gave me instead of the one I see in magazines.