I remember when I was younger looking in the mirror at my pale skin and my long legs, my glasses, my awkward stance. I felt out of place I guess. I’ve had moments in my life where I’ve looked in the mirror and I thought, “what a great hair day!” or “I feel really good today.” or “Wow, I look pretty.” But then there’s other days, you ate too much or you wore the wrong top and you feel fat, you look wrong, heavy, uncomfortable. That day you hate your body.
Women, we have this love hate relationship with ourselves, our bodies. Everyone wants to blame standards and society, but maybe it’s just how we are.
I’ve never been fat, but I’ve rarely been or felt thin. I lost 25 pounds on a well known diet system now some ten years ago. Before that I lived at the gym, 2 to 3 hours a day, so any weight I lost was probably muscle. I looked good before and I looked thin after. Did I ever really love my body? I had my days.
After four years of never having a brownie or a hamburger out, I started to crack. With the diet that will remain nameless, when maintenance goes wrong, it goes terribly wrong. I lived on a system which was the same as my original target for losing. What that means is I never ate more than the minimum amount of calories and fat a day that were suggested for losing weight, even after I was not losing anymore. In essence, I didn’t eat much other than veggies and well veggies for 4 years. It worked because I ate a lot of equal and splenda and all those things that later created a world of medical problems for me. Eventually, I realized I couldn’t eat the diet sugars anymore and I started craving all the foods I’d been missing for years. Once I gave into one craving suddenly I realized I was a very hungry girl who was missing out on a lot of simple food pleasures. I was never more devoted than during those 4 years, ask anyone that knows me. I lived by the system. I knew the system better than anyone. I lived, ate, and breathed the system. I was working the system, till I wasn’t.
So about two or three years after that, when the original 20 – 25 pounds I had lost returned, I decided I needed to try another diet. This time I wanted something that required no thought, just exercise, and good food. Because I now had a world of medical issues, a high sodium diet was not recommended, nor was a high protein diet. So after much consideration I chose another diet, we’ll call it diet system B, with premade food, low sodium and no fake sugars. I lost 25 pounds.
Then I noticed the food labels changed, the fake sugars creeping into the ingredients. I couldn’t eat these. Wasted money, wasted food. My list of foods I could eat while sticking to the diet started to dwindle.
In no way relating to the diets, I did have another medical issue creep in. I was diagnosed with a complex mass in my abdomen, my ovary they thought. Turned out to be benign and on the outside of my uterus – thankfully. I had some reactions to the surgery and some complications with my throat from the breathing tube. As a result, I lived on a cold liquid diet for 2 weeks. When I could finally eat again, sorry but diet food wasn’t cutting it. I needed more than four bites to feel satisfied at that point. And so it went…
Both diets are good systems, this is not meant to hurt their profits or their following in any way. Unfortunately for me, in the end, neither diet was a life changing fix. Now here I am, up again, back at the starting weight – for a now 10 – 12 year period having gained, lost, gained, lost, and gained roughly 20 – 25 pounds isn’t that horrible….I’m 10 years older and at the same weight I was back then. Problem is, I’m not the same size. Every time I’ve gained and lost the weight returns in a new unusual fashion. I wonder if men have this problem. I think it’s God’s little joke on us – we try to improve our bodies and maybe it’s His way of saying we are messing with something we should not mess with. I wasn’t overweight, I wasn’t obese, I’m not now. Yet, I still desperately want to feel thin, want to lose that weight, want to wear that bikini again (which I think in my 35 years I’ve maybe worn a grand total of 4 times). Only now, I feel less and less able to wear said bikini.
Maybe I’m just having a fat day. See women, we have those. It’s those days where we ate too much salt, didn’t drink enough water, and the scale balloons up about 3 – 5 pounds literally overnight. In a day or two, with some care and a few prayers, the scale adjusts itself, usually. So those days are fat days. But I’m going to a friend’s wedding in a few days and I’m having one of those days.
To make matters worse, I’m a single female. I never want to feel as though I keep a man simply with my looks, but we all want to attract one with them. Every guy friend I’ve ever had says confidence is what attracts a man. I agree, it’s true. However, it’s so hard to stay confident, and I’m a confident person, but it’s so hard to stay confident when you are having a fat day.
Why am I telling you, these random strangers, some of them perhaps single attractive men, if they are still reading…..why am I telling you this? I’m not sure. It’s after midnight, I should be sleeping. I was unwinding watching a tv show and an overweight woman was giving back an engagement ring. I found myself with tears. Was I crying at the great acting or was I crying because I related on some level?
All I have ever wanted was to love and be loved. And some days I feel great, confident, secure, pretty, attractive, you get the idea. Other days, I feel none of that. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that, heck I’m probably in great company. But if I can’t seem to consistently love myself, will I ever find that special someone to love me back? Ironically, I think having that someone, that support is what helps you remember to love yourself, how to love oneself. Without it, a single person just takes a little longer to get back to the zone.
So maybe I am just having a fat day….and here’s hoping tomorrow, I’ll love my hair, love the scale, and love myself all the same. For all you women out there that agree, thank you!!! It’s nice to be in good company. But just to be safe….since I’m not sleeping anyway, the elliptical beckons. Good night all…..