Friday, November 18, 2016

That Girl Thought She Was Fat

I posted this photo to Instagram yesterday on a whim.  It's been up on a pegboard near my desk for more than a decade and I just sort of noticed it and snapped a pic yesterday.  But it wasn't until hours after I posted it on IG that I really looked at it closely.

I look so cute {as do my pals L and Bestie, whom a few might remember from blogging days of yore}.  I was thin, had cute hair, and looked great.  I was 21, living in a cute apartment, getting good grades, confused as hell about life but holding my own, in a sorority, on the sailing team, and doing 400 million other fun things in school.  

But 17 years ago when this photo was taken in a random parking lot in Jacksonville, FL before the Georgia/Florida game, I felt insignificant and fat.  

Growing up, my mother was always on a diet.  Always.  For most of my junior and senior high years, she was on and off of this diet where she ate these doctor prescribed cookies.  Six gross little rubbery cookie-like but barely edible diet blobs.  That's all she ate each day.  

That left an impression on me.

Because of her relationship with diets, specifically, I always knew I would never go on one.  She struggled.  I look back and feel for her.  She would cook up beautiful meals for us, but would microwave two of those nasty cookie things for herself.  

So I've never been on a weight loss diet.  My opinions on meal substitutes of any kind are strong and negative.  That is just not a path for me.

My relationship with my body image though, until recent years, hadn't crossed my mind.  

Every woman I know has body image issues of some sort.  My chest and tummy have always been my sources of body shame.  I'm insecure and uncomfortable all the time because of my mid section.  I just never feel good enough.  Sometimes my insecurities even keep me from enjoying life moments like swimming with my Godbabies or going to an event in a fancy dress on a "fat" day.  

But as I looked back at that photo of that cute girl with her sweet friends, it hit me that she felt exactly as I do right now about her body.  She was so self-conscious.  She felt like the ugly duckling at all times.  Literally at all times and in every social group, she felt like the odd woman out.  Just as I do today.  

I'd give anything to have that body and face and hair today though.  That young girl who felt oh so adult was lovely and funny and pretty.  It's a crying shame she never knew it.

I cringe when I think about how I will feel as I look back on photos in another 17 years.

There just has to be a better way to go about our lives than not realizing your value on any level until a decade later.  Holy inefficient use of time!

This past year and a half have been my so called #yearofyes and I've done a good job of pushing myself out of my comfort zone more.  Next year, my personal focus needs to be something along the lines of self-acceptance and body positivity.  I just don't want to get to the end of my life and realize I missed out on enjoying it because I was so caught up in having a pudgy tummy.  Life isn't going to wait for me to get a better body image.  Life will keep passing me by if I don't learn to love the body I'm in as it carries me from moment to moment.  

Adulting is so flipping hard!  


1 comment:

MCW said...

I hear you! I had a picture taken at the beach when I was in high school and I remember thinking that I was fat. Looking at it now, I was so freaking skinny! I just over analyzed every aspect of myself. I wish I had the body now, although I guess I have gotten more confident with age.


Related Posts with Thumbnails