I want to talk about something that I have struggled with for most of my life, as I know a lot of women do. Since I was probably about eight years old, I have struggled with my weight. I was NOT overweight or even close to it at eight years old, but that is when I kind of became aware of self image, looking pretty, etc. I have A LOT of women in my family, and I think they have all struggled with their weight, which is probably what led to me this realization so young. One of my Grandmothers, in particular, has also been so critical about my weight with me for my whole life, but I don't want to talk about that here.
When I was in seventh grade, I decided I was fat. I was comparing myself to girls that I probably shouldn't have. Girls that had been involved in sports or dancing since they were, like, 2. I have never been any sort of athletic or even close to it EVER in my whole life. I'm really not ashamed of it at all, it's just who I am. I prefer to sit and read a book than go out and shoot some hoops. Plus, I am probably one of the clumsiest people in the universe and have absolutely zero coordination of any sort. So, I was pretty much meant to NOT be athletic or anything since day one. Anyway, I was comparing myself to these girls who had completely different lifestyles than I did and I decided I needed to be like them because I was a 13-year-old girl, and you know how that is. (SIDENOTE: Speaking of 13-year-old girls reminds me of one of my favorite books, The Virgin Suicides. In the beginning of the novel, the 13-year-old Cecilia attempts suicide. When she is brought into the hospital, the doctor said something like "Why would you want to kill yourself?" to which she replied "Obviously, doctor, you've never been a thirteen-year-old girl before." Pure genius. And if you're a girl, you know what Cecilia is talking about here!)
Around this time, I developed this pseudo eating disorder. It was really nothing that serious and eventually took care of itself. What I would do is get on the treadmill in the basement (where I was unsupervised) and run and run and run until I would literally pass out. I never knew how long I was out for, but I would eventually wake up and do it again. In addition to the crazy unhealthy exercising, I would not eat lunch at school. Plus, I never ate breakfast because I was thirteen and would always take like 384387 hours to get ready! So all I really ate was dinner, because I was in front of my parents, and even then I mostly just pushed it around my plate. I lost a lot of weight like this and when I decided I looked good, I just stopped and w
ent back to my normal habits again, except I kept the terrible weight paranoia.
I went into high school at about 110-115 pounds and I loved myself. I loved how I looked (I wish I had some pictures!). I got a lot of attention from guys (which really was important to me at the time, so so so so stupid.) and everyone would always say how good I looked. Anyway, over the course of high school, I gained weight, which I am positive is normal. By the end of high school I no longer weighed what I had when I began and it killed me. It made me grumpy, incredibly self-conscious and jealous of everyone. At this time, I probably was still not over-weight, just pissed that I was no longer a size two.
Since coming to college, my weight has gone up and down, up and down. It usually
goes something like this: I come back in fall and lose weight and stay there. Then I go home for break and gain. Then I come back in for Spring semester and lose some then gain A LOT back. Then I go home and lose. WHAT THE HECK.
So today I came across this blog post. Which led me to this blog post. Which made me think and get excited. Clean eating will be a challenge for me for A LOT of reasons. Firstly, I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE candy. I have a terrible sweet tooth. Secondly, I count pasta and bread as two of my main food groups. Thirdly, I drink a lot of coffee and would please like to sweeten it. Fourthly (I told you it was a lot of reasons) I live in a dorm room and am kitchen-less. Whenever you hear me talk about my "apartment" I mean my room and a bathroom, which I absolutely love and am VERY grateful for, but really wish I had a kitchen times 459. So, making ALL of my food is probably not very realistic for me. I have a meal plan and it is completely feasible for me to eat healthy at the Food Zoo (our cafeteria) but it will be pretty difficult with the whole no preservatives, no processed food rules since this place feeds thousands of students a day and uses BUTT LOADS of preservatives. My saving grace here will be my out nights, which is when I intend to follow this diet as well as I can on my budget and schedule.
So, I am looking forward to a healthier lifestyle, not a diet. I want to be DONE with struggling with my weight and feeling insecure. I am sick of dreading summer because of my less-than-bikini-body. I am sick of not being able to wear whatever I want and hating pictures of me. I want to go back to loving my body and not just so that I can feel hot. I want to be healthy and comfortable in my body. I want to remember my twenties as being full of adventure and excitement, not as being too lazy and insecure to go out.
I would like to add here that I have an incredible boyfriend. He never knew me when I was like a whole four pounds, but wouldn't want me any other way than I am now. He thinks I am beautiful and desirable always, which I am always inexplicably thankful for. He understands my struggle and understands that I want to be healthy, once and for all.
Sorry for the incredibly long post, I just wanted to talk about this because I know so so so many women struggle with this. I am with ya, but we can make some positive changes that will last forever and make us happy and satisfied =).
I am going to leave you with some pictures of myself that I love, which I hope will give me some motivation in the future.
This picture was right before freshman year of college, when I think I looked pretty good, even though I wasn't 120 lbs. =)
This was my sophomore year, about 120 lbs. Thanks to Jamie for posting this picture to Facebook of her eighteenth birthday! I love it.
This is the summer between sophomore and junior year. You can't really see my body but my face was skinny and I think my smile is so much prettier when my face is skinny.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
I look forward to everyone's kind words and encouragement while I work to make myself healthier.