Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sorry About Your Weight

I'm not a small girl.  I'm not necessarily round with rolls, but I think most people would describe me using words like "big boned" and "curvy."  

I have struggled with my weight and body image for all of my adolescent and adult life.  My chest started developing when I was 9, and I really don't think it has stopped yet.  I have had outer thigh "saddle bags" since early high school.  My DNA wants me to be an hourglass.  And not like the little hourglass you use with a board game.  More like the big hourglass that the wicked witch uses in "The Wizard of Oz."

I had three children in five years, stacking pregnancy weight gains on top of each other.  I did lose a decent amount of weight after my second child was past nursing age (my body won't release one fat cell while I'm nursing no matter how hard I try).  When I became pregnant with our third child, one family member said to me, "Really?  That's a shame when you just finally lost some weight."

When I was in college my husband (then boyfriend/fiance) had a roommate named Sam who was a "big guy."  He was a good sport and used humor to address his weight.  One night we all went out to dinner together.  When the waitress first came to our table, she said, "Sorry about your wait."  Sam quickly replied, "Is that a fat joke?"

That became one of those lines that we remembered and reused over the years.  I always wished that I had Sam's ability to address my weight openly and with humor.  

I am a perfectionist.  {I think we've established that.}  To me, being overweight feels like wearing my failure all over my body for everyone to see.  You can take one look at me and see that I have an unhealthy relationship with food.  I am undisciplined with regards to exercise.  I don't understand basic principles of fitness that everyone else seems to have nailed long ago.

When I'm waiting outside my son's school every afternoon, the other parents don't know that I graduated college with a 4.0 GPA.  They don't know that I can sew nearly anything or rock your world with my Oreo cupcakes.  They don't know that I've overcome obstacles or that I try to serve God in any way that I can.  

But those slender, well-dressed moms can easily see that I have failed at the basic task of caring for my own body.

Over the last two years, since my daughter was born, I have truly tried to lose weight.  I have walked until my joints ached.  I have made small and large changes in my diet.  And yet the scale barely budges.  I even went to the doctor and asked to have my thyroid checked because I just couldn't explain why I couldn't lose more than 5 pounds.

I have mixed feelings about New Year's Resolutions.  But this year I decided that no matter how trite it seems, I would try once again to lose weight.  I am turning 30 in April, and I thought how amazing it would be to enjoy a birthday dinner with my friends and family without constantly adjusting my clothes and wondering what everyone was thinking about my shape or what I was eating.

Finally, I have tasted a bit of success.  As of today, I have lost 22 pounds since January 1.  I do feel like I'm working VERY hard, and I know that I still have a long way to go to get down to a healthy weight.  Right now I'm feeling a little discouraged because people around me don't seem to notice my weight change, and I don't feel much smaller.  I don't really believe that I will get down to a healthy weight or that I will be able to maintain my weight loss.  I'm glad that I finally started the ball rolling, but I know I still have a long way to go physically, mentally, and emotionally.

I know so many people struggle with their body image, no matter what their weight or size is.  I want to be vulnerable {hard as it may be} and share my story in the hopes that it can help just one other person.  In future posts, I will be sharing tools and foods that I have found very helpful as I'm trying to lose weight. 

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