Posted by: Andrea | May 11, 2008

Still a work in progress

I have a confession to make.  Sometimes, I feel fat.  Unfortunately, today is one of those days.  I know this is pretty normal for most people and lots of girls spend lots of time talking about how fat they feel.  For them, this is normal.  For me, I feel like a failure on those off days when I don’t particularly like the way I look.  I truly think women are beautiful at all sizes and I abhor how the media continually reinforces that women aren’t as valuable if they aren’t thin and beautiful.  I wish women would take pride in their differences and feel beautiful even if they aren’t a size 2.  I tell my friends all the time how beautiful they all are, no matter what size they are.  Not only that, I think they are all beautiful.  So why do I find it so hard to believe it about myself?

I don’t want this to be another one of those ‘oh poor me, I’m so fat’ posts.  Because I know I’m not fat.  I’m probably 10-20 pounds more than I’d like, but I fit into all my clothes and I’ve never been ridiculed because of my size, even when I weighed 40 pounds more than I do now.  I work out regularly and consider myself relatively fit.  But I still feel fat.  The problem is, when I have these days, I feel bad about myself because I feel fat and I also feel bad that I’m having these feelings at all.  I feel like a failure for not having better self esteem.  I’ve worked so hard at becoming the person I want to be, a better, stronger, smarter person, and I still have days where my entire self-worth is based on the fact that I hate my thighs.

I am working on this.  I try to be active and eat healthily as much as I possibly can.  I have dieted in the past but I try not to do this all the time because I don’t think it’s a good way to live my life.  I’ve learned over the years that I am very good at being very restrictive with my food intake.  But all this has done is make me think about food all the time.  And make me feel guilty every single time I eat a french fry.  And have a slight anorexia problem in my early twenties.  I know this is not a way to live and I wouldn’t ever wish this on anyone.  So I’m working on it.  And it’s still a work in progress.  What has helped me are websites like this that talk about all the other people who struggle just like I do.  It’s nice to know that I’m not alone and that it’s ok that I feel bad sometimes.  That self-esteem is sometimes a process and learning to love my body when I’ve been taught for years that I shouldn’t, that takes time too.  So I’m doing my best.  And though it’s hard sometimes, I’d so much rather be happy with how I look, no matter what size that happens to be, than always be striving for something other than what I am.  Because ultimately, the size of my thighs doesn’t change the person I am.  And I’m coming to really like the person that I’m becoming.  

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Responses

  1. I know what I want to say, I just never know how to say it…so if anything I’m about to say can be taken negatively, be assured that’s not the meaning I was trying to convey.

    You are not fat, you are attractive, you are remarkabe for reasons that transcend physical beauty, and the people who have convinced your inner voice that eating a french fry is “bad” should be shot.

    I say this because I know who did it, and it all comes down to guys. Even if it was/is some form of peer pressure at one point, the ultimate source is the male of the species. Which is retarded, because we like you just as you are, french fries and all.

    Here’s a little secret: the majority of attractive, responsible, descent, monogamous males not only don’t care if you eat a french fry OR gain ten pounds…we couldn’t even tell if you gained ten pounds if our lives depended on it. We simply aren’t designed to either a) notice or b) care.

    Sure, there are guys out there that WOULD notice, and would even actual SAY something about it…but please keep in mind that those members of the species shouldn’t be allowed to breed. Even on accident.

    So, on behalf of all normal guys everywhere, let me say “please, eat that french fry AND ENJOY IT!”

  2. Don’t worry, most of the time I eat that french fry and I do enjoy it! And I honestly can’t blame any group for how I feel every so often, men included. No man ever said anything mean to me, in fact, most just…didn’t say much at all. I was largely invisible to men for a long time and I genuinely don’t think that has anything to do with how much I weighed at the time. I didn’t like the way I looked so I was convinced nobody else did either. I truly believe that old saying ‘if you don’t love who you are, nobody else will either.’ I’m sure there were guys out there at the time who did like me, who were attracted to me and would have loved to go out with me. Except I was so unhappy with myself and with how I looked, they were as invisible to me as I was to all those other guys. It was only when I came to embrace who I am and love me for me, that I was able to really let my personality out. Essaytch can testify (as a person who’s known me ‘in real life’ for many years), I’m a very different person now than I used to be!

    I particularly don’t want to point a finger at men for making me feel bad because honestly, there were SO many more factors at play, including other teenage girls. My poor self esteem was as much a result of the ‘100 pound club’ at my high school (a club I haven’t been a member of since I was probably 10 years old), the friends who all encouraged each other to eat only rice cakes and water for lunch, the mean girls from middle school who made fun of everyone who was even marginally different. Girls can be MEAN. It would be easy to blame men, but I don’t want to do that. I’m sure they didn’t help when I was younger, but they’re not all to blame. Plus, I love men! Men are great! And I appreciate them and I wouldn’t want to blame them as a group for anything. Any more than I’d want men to blame all women for anything either.

    Don’t worry, I appreciate all of your words and they genuinely do make me feel better. And believe me, I also sometimes wish I could go back to my early teenage years and shoot everyone who made me feel bad about eating french fries. If only there actually WAS someone specific I could shoot. It’ll all be so much easier! 🙂


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