So over the past year I’ve lost about 50 or so pounds. I’ve had to change my whole wardrobe, and lifestyle. It was all great until it started becoming more of a ‘let’s see how little I can eat’ game, and I began starving myself.
The thing was, I didn’t lose anymore weight. My weight stayed at around 138 lbs to 145 lbs, and the days when I would be able to restrict would be followed by binge eating days. However, the weeks of only eating fruits and veggies caught up to me. I became iron deficient, my hair began falling out (due to protein and iron deficiencies I would think), and I was always tired and weak.
I put this huge burden on myself- get to 130 lbs or you will stay fat forever, don’t eat this or you will be fat, why aren’t you as thin as your classmates, why don’t you have a thigh gap or a xylophone, why are your pants tighter, and so forth. I was constantly feeling inadequate to the standards I had put for myself, and my self confidence went down the drain.
But this weekend, I went shopping with my mom and sister. We went into American Eagle, and I began looking through the jean shorts. I had no idea what size to pick out. Mind you, last spring and summer was spent wearing baggy shorts and tees, and I only bought jeans at Forever 21, where they use the waist by inseam measurements, not the number system.
The last time I bought jean shorts at American Eagle was in grade 8, when I weighed 190 pounds still. I was really a size 12, but I remember squeezing into size 10 shorts to make myself feel better about my weight. My fourteen year old self wanted to be as far away from plus size as possible. (But if you are plus size, that’s fine too. I was just really insecure). When I said squeeze, I mean squeeeeze. Those shorts were so tight I couldn’t really walk in them. They had NO give. God, it was awful. The shorts squeezed my thigh fat out so that my cellulite was grossly apparent, and I felt like more of a whale than ever. I remember doing squats in them, bending over, anything to get them to stretch. Ididn’t work, and I never wore those shorts out in public.
So with these thoughts in mind, I half heartedly picked out a size 6 and 8. Those size 10 shorts could now be pulled over my thighs even with the fly and button closed, and fell off my hips. But who knew how much I had stretched the poor things? Anyways, I tried on the size 6 first, not knowing what to expect.
It was too big.
It like puffed out at the crotch and was loose around the butt and thigh. I couldn’t believe it. I got a size 4, and tried that one on.
They fit perfectly.
I was quite shocked. Size 4? Yeah right. Still, I tried on other shorts and capris. All size 4. All fit perfectly. This might be vain, but it made me feel victorious.
I realized that that feeling of victory was the first good feeling or thought I had had of my body in a long time. I was so wrapped up in being stick thin, at being 130 pounds, that I didn’t even realize how much progress I had made since a year ago, when I was an unconfident, 190 pound grade nine. The fact that I can actually fit into those jeans put it into perspective for me.
I don’t need to be super thin. I don’t need to be skinnier than all the girls at school. I don’t need to starve myself to feel worthy. I certainly don’t need to eat only an apple, some veggies, and coffee every day to lose weight. I am already thin(ner), fit, and healthier than I’ve ever been. Why do I need to compromise that?
I think the fact that I’d been overweight my whole life clouded my judgement. I still view myself as way bigger than the other girls at school, when in reality I am not really. My body type is broader, with narrower hips and bigger thigh muscles (from sports), so any perception of being bigger would chalk up to body type. Sure I will never look like a girl who is, say, 5’3 and has always been slim, but I am not that far away. I am slim and fit myself, just with a different body type.
We are all different, and we need to realize that. I need to learn to start loving myself, instead of putting myself down. I need to think of the progress I have made, that feeling of joy over fitting into size 4 jeans, instead of thinking of all my failures. And now, as I start to eat more protein, and really start taking care of my body, I hope to see positive changes. I have much more energy, and I hope my hair will stop thinning and be ‘voluptuous’ once more.
I can do this. I am me, and not anyone else.