Did you know that one out of like one women hates the way their body looks? Can you believe that statistic? Every single woman hates something about her body. (These statistics have not been proven.) She could be too tall, too short; too hippy, too boy-shaped; too busty, too flat; too flabby, too skinny; etc etc. I mean really, turn to the woman next to you and ask “Hey, what do you hate most about your body?” and I promise you she’ll respond pretty quickly (and if she doesn’t, that’s because she is mentally sorting through her many insecurities).
I’ve disliked an array of things about myself over the years (and recently while reminiscing with an old friend discovered a slew of personality traits of yore that I wish I could forget), but it always comes back to my weight, except for a brief period in 2007 where I worked retail full time and dropped way below my norm due to walking 40 hours a week. I’ve never been quite as slim as I wanted, or if I was near there I didn’t like how flabby I felt. There was a whole lot of negative going on, let me tell you.
It started when I was born. Yup, you read that right: BORN. I was born three weeks early and weighed over 9 lbs. From the moment the nurse begrudgingly gave me to my mother (I was apparently so ugly and fat that the nurse thought my mother wouldn’t love me) and they didn’t allow me to take to the breast, I was on a diet. They limited my milk/formula intake, and once I was eating solids those were limited too. It didn’t help much and at age six months I was wearing clothes fit for a two-year-old.
I’m pretty sure I was “normal” size eventually, albeit short, and I don’t recall struggling too much to be skinny until I got to high school. I was aware that I had no boobs, braces, and unfortunate haircuts. Basically, I hit puberty late – my sister and I got our periods in the same year (me 15, she 11) and I didn’t get my first real bra until I was almost 15. Right before I turned 16 I became a lady, and with it came hips and a booty. I still had a pretty flat stomach, perfect for all those belly shirts (oh the late 90s!) My mother, always the influence, was constantly dieting, so when I was 16 she suggested I try the Atkins Diet with her.
This was the early days of Atkins, where they banished all fruit, all veggies (except celery, I think), all grains and pretty much anything else that wasn’t meat and cheese. I ate meat and cheese for days on end. I probably smelled like pepperoni that entire time because my favorite snack was (and still sometimes is) pepperoni with cream cheese. *drool* However, I stupidly decided to continue this diet during my dance recital week (when I was dancing every night for hours at a time) as well as when I was on steroids (for stress, due to dance recital and upcoming prom – which was the same night as the dance recital). In less than five days I dropped at least 10 lbs and a one or two clothing sizes. The night before my dance recital/prom, my mother and I were up until the wee hours taking in my costumes and dress (they never fit me again). The day after dance recital weekend I stopped the Atkins and gained all the weight back within two days.
Needless to say, I have issues. I have tried a lot of diets: Atkins, South Beach, college student (microwaveable mac and cheese and booze), poor college graduate (pb&J and booze), low-carb, low-fat, low-calorie… From spring of 2012 until around Christmas 2012, I tracked every single thing I ate (and lost 10 lbs!). I’ve barely worked out (high school), sorta worked out (college… does sex count?), worked out hard core (multiple gyms, personal trainers, etc) and lucked out (retail working!). Since graduating college in 2006 I have fluctuated between a size 4 and a size 10 (or a 12 in some brands), my largest being where I was last spring (which, in comparison with the average woman is actually not big at all, but for someone my height, I’m considered overweight). Though I have dropped 10 lbs in the last year, I am still not comfortable with my body.
(I partially blame my mother for my insecurities, she doesn’t mean it, but her obsession over her own weight rubbed off on me and my weight loss successes were usually met with words of jealousy or indifference. Don’t take offense Ma, I love you.)
My friends don’t see what I see when I look in a mirror. Several friends have expressed jealousy over my curves or told me I was crazy to think I was overweight. But as much as they tell me I’m wrong, I can see all the flaws. I know what I look like underneath my clothing. They don’t realize that the main reason I wore dresses and skirts every day for years was because I couldn’t find pants that actually fit me. They don’t know I loved tights cause they held in all the bad stuff; and big over-sized cardigans because they hid everything.
The worst part of my insecurities is that I’m actually not that big. I’m aware that the average woman is several sizes bigger than me. I’m aware that I have an almost flat stomach and an ass that just won’t quit. But between the number on the scale and the number on my jeans, I have never felt bigger.
So why am I writing this all out? Well, after years of different diets I’ve decided to try something a little more extreme. Starting April 1st, I am participating in a 30 day program to help me get fit. This program involves protein powders, fiber supplements, regulated snacks, energy drinks, special tea – it’s sort of crazy. I have to cut out dairy, gluten, soy, and sugar, as well as a lot of other foods. No coffee and no alcohol (I know, right?). I have to monitor everything I eat and drink. It’s going to be a killer. And I’m pretty excited.
I have a friend who did this detox back in February – she lost 12 lbs and a couple inches and looks incredible. And she feels incredible. She inspired me to take this step. Not only will the program help me slim down, but it’ll help me revamp my diet and get on the right track.
I know this isn’t what I normally write in this place, but I felt the need to write out what’s going on in my mind and my plan going forward. I have a challenging 30 days ahead of me. And I hope to have a lot of people on my side.
I’m sure I’ll be back with updates or thoughts or entries about how I OMG NEED A DRINK THIS WAS THE WORST DAY EVER or something, but that I can’t have one (full disclosure: I will be allowing myself one alcoholic drink and perhaps a slightly unhealthy meal, once a week). I hope you’ll be reading.