Let me start by saying, I’m not huge. I am a bit chubby, and if I had to take a BMI test it would say I am just over the line for the obese category. I’ve had an obsession with my weight equating to acceptance and love since I was in middle school. At the time all of my friends were smaller than I was and though we all suffered from the media’s perception of beauty it was twice as hard to watch my smaller friends find faults in themselves as it seemed those faults would be worse in someone who is bigger.
The media equates thinness with beauty. If you aren’t thin you aren’t beautiful. In college I remember a guy I liked telling me, I’d be gorgeous if I lost weight. That really hurt me as I knew that weight shouldn’t matter you should love someone for who they are. But that thought always haunted me in the back of my mind.
I lost the weight and met my ex. Throughout our relationship my weight was always an issue. I was never thin enough, which means I was never attractive enough. This was enough to make myself even more insecure than I already was. When we finally separated I was at my heaviest and I had a lot of emotional baggage. I always tell myself I don’t want to change for someone else. If I get healthy it is for me, alone.
“Does losing weight make you more attractive?”
“For you alone?”
I’ve always wanted to feel confident standing in front of the mirror. Somedays I am okay with my body and other days I don’t want to look at it. I may have to blame society’s conditioning for how I view myself and why I find it so hard to love the person I see staring back at me. If I had to ask myself why all I can see is all the pain and negativity I have held onto over the years, I’d give a slew of reasons. I’m not very big, but I can tell that because of the media and comments from loved ones (including offhand comments from family members) I am not enough as I am.
One of the worst phrases in the world and one that breaks my heart starts with …
“If only you…”
…hearing that hurts. The worst part is living with that every day. I have friends and family who tell me I am beautiful as I am. And yet, I, myself can’t look in the mirror and say the same. I can’t see what they see when they look at me, so I don’t want the compliments they send my way.
“Why don’t you want compliments?”
To me, people say things like that to be nice, but they don’t necessarily mean them. Or I’ll just wonder how they can say that when I’m with another person. It doesn’t matter who the other person is, I will see myself as less than that person. I’ll refuse to take pictures or not want to share the ones with me in them. I’m ashamed of how I look.
Because I can’t compliment myself I find it extremely difficult to accept them from others. I feel like this is part of how messed up my self-worth has become as a product of self-sabotage and negative thinking through the years. Unless I have resting bitch face ( I might have this, I’m not sure). When I’m out with thinner friends, I’m never approached or the crazies come near me. Somehow it makes me not want to hang out with friends, because I have a fear of if we go out I won’t be noticed, because I am bigger.
Is it a bad thing? No, it isn’t. Matter of fact I have a better figure than many of my friends and I know this even if I’m carrying extra weight on my frame. I also know that I can meet men out with these friends, but they are normally the kind that are only out for a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am. So looking at this I know that my size has nothing to do with receiving love from someone. It is just a concoction of my brain to keep me down and unhappy. My unhappiness leads me to binge-eat these negative thoughts away which is the opposite of what I should be doing with myself.
Everyday is a full circle, because if I lose weight and get healthy for myself I worry that if I do meet someone its only because of my outward appearance and not my personality. It also somehow reinforces the old criticisms I received of, “If only you were thinner…” which means that all those people who caused me pain were right. And I hate proving assholes right, while proving the old adage, “Someone should love you as you are,” wrong.
I’m in conflict with myself. I fear being successful at losing weight since I believe it is one of the few ways to seek validation. However, if I really take a look at myself through my adult life I notice that when I was my happiest and the surest of myself, my weight naturally settled where it needed to. During my most depressive times it balloons as I am a serial yo-yoer. So do I need to lose weight to be loved? In reality, the question needs to be changed to…
“Do I need to lose weight to be happy?”
The truth of the matter is I will not get to where I want to be over night which means I need to find a way to get healthy where I can accept myself as I am. Where I can choose to be confident in who I am and work towards that. Why can’t I be happy with where I am now? Why do I feel the need to lose weight? I promised to spend more time loving myself this year and I am failing at that goal. So to the bastards who told me I can’t be loved as I am, fuck you. To the society that says I don’t measure up, fuck you!
I am taking these words back. I am fine the way I am. I may not believe it. But I can at least make an effort to tell myself that I’m a catch and that my weight won’t stop me from meeting someone. That the person who is meant for me is not someone who is caught up in all of that bullshit. I am gonna work hard towards loving myself as I am while doing what I want for me. I want to be healthy and confident in body and mind. And if that means that I start with where I am and move slowly in the right direction I will.