Tuesday, March 13, 2012

No, I'm not trying to lose weight, but thanks for asking. NOT.

I have one question and one question only:

Is it so unbelievable that a girl wouldn't be trying to lose weight?

The thing is, I know that my weight isn't "ideal". Not when compared to the images that society presents us with. But I am healthy, and I'm perfectly okay with the way I look. Would I like to lose some weight - say, ten to fifteen pounds? Sure. Who wouldn't? (Yes, I know that there are people who wouldn't, but we're talking generally here.) But to do so I'd have to diet, and I like food too much for that.

So, where did this come from? Well, last week the UPS guy had to come see me to sign for something at work. He's been our UPS guy for years now, so he knows who I am, but as our operations manager usually accepts packages, he rarely sees me. And yeah...I've somehow lost a bit of weight in the past few months. Honestly it's likely from stress, but we won't go there. The UPS guy simply asked, "Have you lost weight?" To which I replied, "Yeah, a bit. Not on purpose though."

And honestly his face was just...incredulous. He didn't know what to say. He stuttered a bit and then told me to have a nice day, and left.

The thing is, I have been heavy. I guess I'm a bit "lucky" in that I carry my weight well, but some years ago I weighed 25-30 pounds more than I do now and it was an unhealthy weight - I ate crappy food, drank way too much beer (yes, there is such a thing), and didn't work out. Nowadays I eat whatever I want, but eating whatever I want includes cooking 90% of my meals at home and sticking to light lunches of hummus and pita chips and/or yogurt, cutting back on the amount of sugar and cream I put in my coffee, etc.

See what I mean? The following picture was taken in November 2006.

 My shirt and bra are both obviously too small, and that's because at this point in time none of my clothes fit me anymore. My face is fat and my arms are huge. I probably weighed between 175 and 180 pounds in this picture, and I did get bigger, but don't have any photos of that time period because, well, I refused to let people take them. And obviously that's not my kid as I don't have any kids, so it's not like it was post-baby weight ;) (it's my niece Savannah at about one month old, btw)

Now, compare that with this picture taken at the beginning of February of this year.

I am not a stick-skinny girl, nor will I ever be. Not even if I did starve myself half to death. I'm just not built like that. So again, can someone please explain to me why it's strange that I'm happy with my weight/size/body despite the fact that I'm not "skinny"???

The reason this frustrates me so much is not because I'm self-conscious but because I have been, and because I have friends and family members who are when they have no need or reason to be. The thing is, I have to work really hard to keep myself happy with my body - as I mentioned, I eat whatever I want but thankfully the things I want to eat are fairly healthy, and on top of that I work out 5 or 6 days a week - running, walking my dogs, rowing, sometimes yoga or weight-lifting. This isn't something that "just comes naturally". I'm not that "lucky". 

And I think more women need to learn to be happy with what they're given, because (at the risk of sounding cliche) until you are happy with yourself so many other areas of your life will suffer.
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  1. Very well said! I just have to say I LOVE you as a redhead. It looks really good on you :-)

  2. I agree! Everyone thinks if a girl isn't ridiculously skinny she is unhappy with herself! I have recently lost about 17 pounds (and need to lose a bit more) but as soon as I changed my eating habits and got serious about working out the pounds just came off. I'm not spending 3 hours at the gym and only eating lettuce. And I feel good about myself! Someone might look at me and think "Praise the Lord she's at the gym!" but I think it's much more important to be happy with yourself and treat your body right than to freak out about every little thing you eat!