Let me bring up this picture for a second. For whatever reason (position? clothing? the truth??), I look like a pudgy, sweater-clad soccer mom, out to dinner with her hip friends. Even worse, I’m unhappy with the way I look in most pictures these days, and that’s a bad sign.
This past year, I’ve put on about eight pounds. I’m not quite sure how it happened. There just seemed to be a steady increase in my weight. Most mornings, I would attribute it to eating too much the day before and just having a lot of water and bloat in my body. That’s probably what happened on a day-to-day basis, and after so many instances of this behavior, here I am, eight pounds heavier than I was last year and très unhappy about it.
I know that this is not the end of the world. Eight pounds is really not very much in the scheme of things. Now, I could say something obnoxious like, “But you don’t understand. Every little pound shows on my tiny frame.” but I think that’s a general cop-out that women use to justify worrying about their weight. No one likes to gain weight, regardless of their bone structure. I think that no matter what frame-size, *I* would notice any amount of weight gain; no one else probably would. I imagine this is the same for most people.
I often stay away from this topic on my blog, lest someone point an accusatory finger at me and scream that I need to go see a therapist for my [non-existent] eating disorder. That seems unnecessary. I think I have a very healthy sense of self and self-confidence. In fact, I think I’m pretty awesome! Plus, I can be uptight and crave control, so I know to stay away from habits that would lead me to an unpleasant mental space.
But you know what else? These days, I don’t feel good when my jeans, which used to fit sort-of snugly, now fit super-snugly and are uncomfortable and unattractive. I don’t like seeing my stomach and thighs stick out more than they used to. And I don’t like having all this extra cushion on my body that wasn’t here ten pounds ago. It’s no bueno.
It also doesn’t help that several of my friends have lost weight seemingly without any real effort at all. I guess they don’t have the same troubles stopping when they’re full or something. I’ve never understood it, and it is maddening.
What troubles me the most is that my weight has been steadily rising–with a few losses and then gains–since I lost about twelve pounds when I started grad school. (I did WeightWatchers, and I’m not sure I want to do that again.) Now that I’m back to where I started, I’m worried that left unchecked, my weight will steadily increase until I can no longer fit into my clothes. Then I’ll really feel like crap about my appearance.
Because clearly, there is a reason that I am gaining weight. (And don’t say “muscle” because HAHAHAHA. WEIGHT TRAINING, WHAT ARE YOU??) The reason, I have a sneaking suspicion, is that I am eating more than I should, mostly because I have a habit of eating out of boredom and stress. As a consummate member of the Clean Plate Club, I will eat all of whatever is served to me unless I make a concerted effort to feel my fullness and stop. And at parties, I have a really, really hard time not parking myself in front of the food spread and nom-nom-ing all of the tasty foods. My fear is that I will continue this downward spiral, a veritable descent into madness, wherein I make myself and everyone around me miserable about something that really matters so little in the scheme of things.
So yeah, I am getting married in May. And then I’m embarking on what looks to be a six-week road trip where I will not be cooking for myself. I’m super-excited about it, but I also don’t want to look back at the pictures and think “Ugh, my face looks so chubby!” (or worse, “Wow, I was so much thinner then!”). I want to feel happy about my appearance and, more importantly, happy about how I approach food: not needing to count calories meticulously or feel out of control around a buffet table.
I think there’s some frightening statistic about the number of resolutions that are related to losing weight, and there’s probably an even scarier one about how many people fail annually. I’m not really sure if I should resolve to lose these eight pounds, or if it’s better not to set myself up for failure. I’m already at a healthy BMI, so it’s pretty useless to set a goal based on that. (For the record, I never want to lose so much weight that I would be out of the BMI range considered “healthy.” No worries.)
Maybe this post about my weight is banal. I know very few women who don’t care about their weight, and there is so much written about this topic that I’m sure I’m not recording any new thoughts tonight. On the other hand, as I’ve mentioned before, blogging often allows me to leave out aspects of my life, and this gives the false impression that things are awesome all the time or said more crudely, that I always have my shit together, weight included. But in regards to my weight, I don’t really have my shit together at all.
One of my goals for the year–arching across the twelve months–is to continue to work towards figuring out a way to be happy with my weight/appearance but not making myself miserable in the process. When we were driving back to Virginia, I picked up a free paper in Lewisburg, WV, where a contributor had written about the detrimental effects of being around unpleasant people. One of the things he wrote that really stuck with me was “If there’s something you dislike in someone, recognize it in yourself first. But if there’s something positive you envy, emulate it.” I think that makes a lot of sense in weight loss. Instead of saying “Gah, how does my skinny friend only eat one cookie?” I should just, you know, try to eat one cookie and figure out why I wanted to shove so many in my mouth in the first place.
So here, I go. Wish me luck…or join me! We can support each other.
Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?