Tuesday, August 21, 2007

That Woman

I never thought I would be that woman. The one who said "oh, when I lose 5 or 10 pounds...." I never expected to have a closet full of clothes that I hope to fit back into some day.

But, I am that woman.

I am not fat. No, and I won't ever say that I am. In fact, I rarely talk about weight at all because I have dear friends who really struggle with their weight, and it feels like a slap in their face to talk about it. I'm told frequently that I'm thin. And mostly, I am. In fact, I weigh only a few pounds more than I did when I graduated college. The weight has, however, rearranged itself.

I've been blessed with pretty good genes. I was super skinny growing up, and in high school hid behind over sized shirts (if I were that thin now, I'd slip on the skinny jeans and strappy tank tops! But back then, in the days before Kate Moss and Calista Flockhart, curvy was in, and curvy I was not. I had a boy draw a board in one of my yearbooks, because my chest was that flat. Nice, huh?)

I've curved out a bit (in fact, my husband says "if only that boy could see you now!"). But the area I wish wasn't quite so curved is my belly. It has always been the place where I held any excess weight, but even more so now that I've borne a child.

I'm tired of being this woman who wants to weigh less, but doesn't do much about it. And so.... I am putting myself on a mission. To lose the weight, yes, but really, to feel good about the weight that I am at. This is the key thing for me. I need to lose the expectation that i will look like a super thin super model. I don't think I will ever again wear a bikini (I think of how I lost 10 college pounds so I could wear a bikini on my honeymoon, and how self-conscious I felt then. Oh, if I knew then what I knew now I would have worn that little number with pride!). I'm OK with that. But I want to feel good about my body. So... I am going to try to lose weight, yes. But weight is just the number, the easy thing to measure. I am also going to work on improving my posture, which is a problem. I am going to build strength in my arms and back. I want to feel good in this body. My plan is that by Christmas, if I am not on my way to losing this little bit, that I will get rid of those clothes I am hanging on to "in hopes" That I will readjust my thinking of what my body can be. Because I don't want to be unrealistic. And I don't want to spend the rest of my life staring wistfully at the lovely clothes I can't wear. But I also don't want to accept something that I can change. And if I find I can change it, then hurrah for me. But if I can't.... well, what I have is not bad. It's not. I just want to be more confident, more comfortable, and to know that I have accepted my body not because it's "ideal," but because it is what it is, and longing for something else isn't worth the emotional effort.

But wanting something and not trying to get it, well, I'm sick of that. I'm changing that, starting now.

18 comments:

Lawyer Mama said...

Good for you!

nomotherearth said...

Wow, if I wasn't pregnant right now, I could have written that post. (Well, I was never skinny, but I am flat-chested...so exactly the same only totally different..). My goal after baby is to get back to a body that I can be comfortable with.

Sober Briquette said...

YAY YOU!

Babe, you gotta get this one down now, because as you get older, your body will change in ways that you just cannot imagine at this point.

I'm reading "Michael Tolliver Lives," by Armistead Maupin, and at one point, Michael says of aging "I'm not ready.... I'll have to get over this, I know, since I'd rather not leave this world in a state of panic and self-loathing. I'd rather there be peace and a sense of completion."

That said, I heaved an entire 34 gallon plastic storage bin full of running clothes I haven't used in 6 years. If I need them again, I think I deserve something new.

Amy York said...

You can do it! It took me a very long time to lose the 60 lbs that I gained post childbirth. But it's doable ... Keep in mind that your belly may never be the same. I try to look lovingly at my "baby belly" as battle scars from the beautiful miracles that I helped create. :)

Tracey said...

A woman's body isn't what they show in magazines. Even those models are so severely air brushed and touched up that they probably can't recognize their own bodies. A woman's body is curvy and bone straight, squishy and tight, floppy and firm... all of those things. It's unfortunate that we all have this image of ourselves looking worse than we actually do. I try, SO hard do I try, to just be content with what I am. And I am, to an extent. Or at least until I have to get into a bathing suit.

jen said...

i want to do this with you. i am so sick of not doing this.

aimee / greeblemonkey said...

I have spent my whole life working on this :) I can tell you I am closer than I have ever been!

thailandchani said...

It's always in the belly. That's where it collects and refuses to go away.. particularly at my age. So I think you're wise to do it now. :)


Peace,

~Chani

slouching mom said...

And with that attitude, you will surely succeed.

Jennifer said...

Yay, you!

I was where you are now about 4 months ago and finally, over the course of those months, have lost the remaining "baby" weight. So, the scale now reads the same as it did before I had three babies. The body however, is definitely "rearranged". (And, yes: my belly has taken the biggest hit.) I am now coming around to the idea (FACT) that the number on the scale won't change that I've had three babies and three c-sections. My body will never be "the same" -- regardless of what the scale says -- and that has to be ok. Coming to accept that is...a very up and down journey for me.

I love your attitude and approach!

Aliki2006 said...

You go and do it!

You inspire me...

Julie Pippert said...

Exact same here.

And...I got there.

So...YOU GO GIRL!!

blooming desertpea said...

"I've been blessed with pretty good genes. I was super skinny growing up, and in high school hid behind over sized shirts (if I were that thin now, I'd slip on the skinny jeans and strappy tank tops! But back then, in the days before Kate Moss and Calista Flockhart, curvy was in, and curvy I was not. I had a boy draw a board in one of my yearbooks, because my chest was that flat. Nice, huh?)"

Funny to share this paragraph with you - thinking back, I felt ugly and today when I look at pictures of me then, I think I was beautiful. That sucks in a way, doesn't it?

Today my motto is: you just have to feel good in your body no matter what number the scale shouts at you - in fact, I never stand on a scale, I'm not interested in a number!

Christine said...

can you read my mind? seriously, you said what i was feeling about 5 weeks ago. with some determination and very realistic goals i have lost 9 pounds as of today. i don't ever think i will be the skinny college girl of the 90s, but i am proud of the physical feats my body can do, and i have lost the weight while not obsessing. You can do it, too! YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!!!

niobe said...

I'm impressed by your goals and your determination to achieve them.

The only thing I really dislike about my body is the c-section scar. But I don't think it would bother me at all if, y'know, I had the babies that should go with it.

Heather said...

I've been oh so very flat chested most of my life. I was told that I could where bandaids instead of a bra. I did indeed go braless to my own prom, but considered it humiliating and not sexy.

As for your body---good for you taking good care of yourself. I keep wanting to exercise...I suppose I need to suck it up and take action! Maybe you'll inspire me. Keep us posted.

Meanwhile have you seen this amazing post about these issue by my friend Catherine? Check it out:
http://catherinemcniel.blogspot.com/2007/04/body-image-and-pregnance.html

thirtysomething said...

I could have written this one girl!
I am also often told that I am thin, and people wish they could have my shape. But I look in the mirror and long for the 'shape' or lack thereof, I ahd pre-babies. I am also ona mission, albeit a secret one, to just calm down and be comfortable with my body, that i won't look like I did when I was 20, and that, for the most part, I have a healthy, normal body.
I could stand a little bit more motivation on the exercise part though! Like 30 crunches a day would do wonders I think...but, well....

ewe are here said...

I think I could have written this post...except for the fact that I've always actually enjoyed being small on top. (Sports, and all. :-)) And dead on about the rearranging of body fat in the tummy region -- I really need to get off my (slightly wider) butt and do something about it, too.