Lastnight I was digging through some old boxes of clothes. I have always been a bit of a packrat and I save everything, including clothes that no longer fit. Most of the clothes in these particular boxes are from 4-6 years ago. During those couple of years, I went through a divorce and a major depression where I lost a lot of weight and was probably at the smallest size of my adult life. Then, as I put my life back together, I started gaining the weight back…plus some. And now, as I’ve written about, I’m finally making some changes and losing the extra pounds. I’ve lost enough now that my clothes are hanging on me and I had to dig out some smaller sizes to wear to work.
As I was looking through my old clothes I was surprised at the memories that they brought back. I held up a pair of pants and can remember thinking how fat I was getting when I had to buy them. They fit me perfectly now and I was amazed that I could fit into such a small size. They are 2 sizes smaller than my old "regular" size, and 3 sizes smaller than my post-pregnancy size. It is funny how differently I think of things like that now.
I grew up my entire life thinking that I was fat. I always hated wearing shorts or short skirts because I thought my legs were too chubby. When I look back at pictures of myself I am surprised at just how thin I really was. I did go through chubby phases as most kids do, but they were for short periods of time. I don’t know who to blame for my distorted reality, but sometimes I wish I could go back and re-live some of my childhood years. I think I would have enjoyed myself more if I was happier with my body. I wouldn’t have been so self-conscious all the time. I may have even been a tad bit more outgoing. I was always bigger than the other girls in my class because of my body structure, but I really wasn’t fat.
I struggle every day with the whole body image thing. I am still overweight based on America’s standards, but I don’t look so bad (at least that’s what I try to tell myself). I do feel much better about myself after losing 22 pounds, but I still have a long ways to go. I would like to lose another 25-35 pounds by this summer. I need to get myself down to the basement and start working out and building up some muscle. The dieting is working but if I lose much more without working the muscles I will just end up looking like a bag of droopy skin.
I am proud of myself for making a change. I really want to set a good example for Zach when it comes to eating and exercising so that he doesn’t have to deal with the same issues I did growing up (yes, boys have these problems too). I want him to be proud to call me his mom. I am losing the weight for myself, but I’m not sure I ever would have committed to it without Zach. I don’t want to be a fat mom. I want to be able to run and play with him as he grows up. I want to be able to put on a swimsuit and run around in the sprinkler without being embarrassed.
More than anything, I just want to feel good about myself. I’m getting there, but I’m not quite there yet. I think I can be, but it is going to take a lot more work, both on my body and my mind.