Saturday, May 12, 2012

Body Image Confessions

Over the past year, I have tried twice to lose weight. The first time, I trained for and ran a 5k race. I didn't lose one pound. This second time, I have been going to the gym 3-4 times a week and tracking what I eat online for about the past month. Again, I haven't lost one pound.

All of my life I've been at least a little overweight. When I was in school, I played sports all year round. I'm talking at least two soccer teams each fall, two basketball teams and an indoor soccer team in the winter, two softball teams in the spring, and at least one soccer and one basketball team in the summer. Even so, I've always been on the thicker side.

In high school, I weighed about 150 pounds and thought I was huge. What I wouldn't give to be at that weight right now. Many of my friends were stick thin and had very little in the way of curves. I remember wanting so badly to look like that.

When I went to college, my perception of my body changed. I started to realize that I wasn't huge at all and I finally started liking my body. But just as I was realizing that, I started gaining weight.

Going to college and having access to food all day every day (I remember my dad saying "You're Italian, you're getting the biggest meal plan they have.") was not a good thing for me. In college, tater tots was a food group. And seriously, why did my friends and I always eat a bowl of cereal at the end of every meal? Right, because we were in college and we could (yes, we were rebels).

Access to too much food + not playing sports every day = gaining weight at an unbelievable rate.

Even now, sometimes I look at skinny girls and think to myself, I wonder what it's like to live in her body. I wonder what it's like to be able to wear clothes that hug your body in a good way. I wonder what it's like to be able to wear a strapless dress. I wonder what it's like to not think about my body.

I know, I know, everyone thinks about their body. But is everyone obsessed? I'm not obsessed in an I-need-an-intervention type of way, but I would say I think about my body at least 20 to 30 times a day. Every time I eat, I think about my body. Every time I have to walk up a bunch of stairs (which is a lot since I work on the 5th floor), I think about my body. Every time I am in a group of people, I think about my body.

Throughout my life, I've said, "After ______ happens, I will definitely be able to lose weight." But then the time comes and I'm still stuck. I want the time to be now. I want to be healthy. I want to like seeing pictures of myself. I want to change how I look and change how I feel.

But most of all, I want to be able to shop in all of the regular stores again. I don't want to worry about whether or not they carry plus sizes and if the clothes that actually fit will be grandma clothes.  (Seriously, just because I'm fat does not mean I want little bunnies, snowflakes, flowers, trees, or leaves on my clothes...ahem, JC Penney, Macy's, Kohl's and pretty much any other department store.)

I don't know who you are, Alfred Dunner, but seriously, Al, knock it off. via

I know that I need to change and I know that I can do it if I try. I just need a little motivation and to see some results to encourage me to continue.

What do you do to maintain your motivation and stick to a goal even if you don't have any short term victories?


Katie Price said...

You are so brave to write about this on the web! Discussing my body image is something I rarely can find the confidence to do out loud, let alone on the internet. So, I'll just say, you aren't alone, and keep at it. Even if it's just climbing the stairs.

Lacey in the City said...

Such a courageous post...I understand always having your body on your mind. It's so frustrating, isn't it?

My time in New York was indulgent. Food, drinks, drinks, 3 am diner know the bit. I totally gained weight over the three years I was there. Now that I'm back in California, I'm way more focused. I've gone gluten-free - first as an experiment, but then I totally appreciated how much more energy it gave me. Then I went and bought some cute workout clothes. Because if I feel cuter working out, I'm more prone to doing it. Then I faced reality and admited that I hate: running, swimming, running (twice for effect), and the gym. So I've found alternatives: hiking and yoga. And they are helping. I've maybe lost a few pounds so far, but I just FEEL better about myself. So much of it is mental.

And I have the goofiest inspiration for all of this. Because yes, I want to be thinner, but really, I want to healthy and fit and live a long life. So who do I look at for inspiration? Regis Philbin! Yup, I said it! He's like 85 and still plays tennis everyday! If he can do it, I can do it, right?