“I’m perfect just the way I am.”
“I accept my body for how it looks.”
“My weight has no bearing on my self esteem.”
“It’s not about being on a diet, it’s about changing my diet.”
“Kale is delicious.”
I want to be skinny.
I want to look at my body and not see the extra weight that I need to lose.
I want to wear clothes designed for a slim figure and not curse myself for how it looks so different on my body than it does on the model in the catalogue.
I want to LOOK “healthy” – and part of me doesn’t even care if that means I AM healthy.
Even when I remind myself that the only times I’ve ever weighed less than I do right now what when I was sick for weeks and throwing up everything, when we moved interstate and I was so stressed I barely ate anything for a month, or when I obsessively exercise and calorie count – and was pretty much constantly hungry.
None of that is healthy; but hey! I could squeeze myself into a size 8 so it’s worth it – yeah?
OR I can tell myself the opposite. I can tell myself I love my body; and it’s partly true. I love what my body has done – I’ve grown two little people in my body. I’m grateful for my general good health. My body gets me where I need to go, I’m not exactly marathon runner (not exactly = not even a little bit) but I can walk from A to B if I need to. My body does the things I need it to do to get me through my everyday life.
So when it comes to sticking to a healthy diet and exercise regime I get caught in a loop of lies that ultimately leads to failure:
Because if I “love my body just the way it is” and “I’m happy with my current level of health and fitness.” Why can’t I just skip the workout and have that extra slice of cake?
So I don’t exercise and I eat whatever I want and every evening I feel shit about myself because I never stick to my plan and I’ll never look a certain way. Clothes shopping will remain that soul crushing exercise of trying to find outfits that “flatter” my “curves” (ie, make me look less fat).
I’m going on a holiday at the end of next month and I want to wait until the week before I go away to buy my outfits for the holiday, because I’m planning to be skinny by then.
So, that’s a good plan, isn’t it? I can picture myself shopping for an outfit, with my fit and slim body, where all the cloth actually look good on me and I generally feel good about myself.
Oh wait. I’ve played this game before. Where I set a date and a goal, and I reward myself with clothes when I achieve that figure; and then immediately put back on a few kilos once that goal is achieved. Then clothes that I so lovingly bestowed upon myself are left to sit in my wardrobe as depressing reminders that they fit for about 35 seconds, because the HARDEST thing isn’t getting to a certain weight and size, it’s sticking to it.
So, what’s the solution?
Stop lying to myself and accept that I don’t love my body just as it is an endeavor to change it; and work hard every day keep it changed. Forever.
Stop lying to myself and accept that I won’t ever love my body as it is and just eat a moderately balanced diet and maintain a reasonable level of exercise and know that I’ll just never be any different.
Or is there some kind of healthy, sensible, realistic, honest middle ground? If so, what is it?
So, pretty soon after publishing this I got a call from my bestfriend. She was kind of pissed off at me for being stupid and told me that I don’t need to lose weight, that I’m beautiful as I am – and all those nice things. I grumbled and moaned because I know it’s a bit stupid, and I do know that even the women in the catalogues don’t look like the women in the catalogues… and I realised throughout the day thinking over this again and again, that the idea of losing weight to be X size seems so much more manageable and achievable – it’s something that I can potentially control – rather than working on myself on the inside and trying to love my body as it is. The latter is actually a little scary; because what if I can’t? What if I always look at my body and think I look fat (even if apparently other people don’t see it…?) ?
Also I actually went back and re-read a weight-loss journal from last year, and I’d had it in my head that I was SO FIT last year, and this year I’ve been so lazy and put on so much weight…. and I discovered that I actually haven’t. I’m about the same weight I was at the end of the year – and I DID like my body THEN. I DID enjoy clothes shopping and I would even check myself out in the reflection of windows because I was proud of how I looked.
The crazy thing is my body hasn’t changed – but my self image has.
I still don’t have an actual conclusion for this – I really do wish that self esteem could be worked out in 800 words or less.
I need to focus a little less on changing my body and focus more on changing my mind, so that I can honestly say that I like my body as it is.
AND I’m going to go shopping for my outfit next week rather than waiting until I’m X size.
Maybe I need to rope my BFF along as a cheerleader….