Photo is not mine. But… So pretty! I have fairy lights above my bed, too, but not on my headboard. I don’t have a headboard. I do, however, have a little 18” deep inlet in one wall, just as wide as my bed plus two very narrow laptop shipping boxes we use as bedside tables. Along the top of this inlet I have rigged about 50 cup hooks, and two down the wall, which hold my fairy lights in a zig-zag pattern. So now the top of the inlet is lit up and it provides just enough light to use while sitting on my bed on my computer :-)
I had to share this. I cried tears of joy, gratitude and love, and feel amazing after watching this. Well, listening, since my eyes were closed for all but a few seconds LOL
This is me. Twice. (lol)
The one on the left is a photo of me taken a while ago, but it is the closest to a decent comparison shot to my other photo of me, on the right, taken when I was in high school, and the weight is very similar to my current weight.
I know people hear “I wanna be the size I was in high school!” and roll their eyes. But you know what? It’s not like I was what I like to call “teenager-thin” (i.e. My-body-is-still-developing-and-will-never-be-this-thin-again). I was a teenager, yes, but I hit puberty early so I had developed plenty at the time. I was the same height I am now and a size 14 when this shot was taken. (For comparison I wear a 26/28 now: about double clothing size.) I was comfortable with my body and enjoyed my curves. I felt good in my own skin. I remember that feeling… oh, it’s such a distant memory, but a fond one.
Since that time, due to all sorts of things, including but certainly not limited to: depression, crippling anxiety, various cycling eating disorders, out-and-out laziness and a monster sweet tooth, I have gained a bunch of weight. At my highest, the difference between that photo and the number on the scale was 123 lbs. I’ve lost 6 pounds since then (yay!).
But one hundred and twenty three pounds. THAT’S a “teenager-thin” PERSON! I gained an entire person!
I used to be of the mindset “I am a whale, an absolute planet, I have my own gravitational force! I am disgusting and worthless and hideous and I need to be SKINNY! I need to be nothing but skin and bones! That way people will like me and I will stop being disgusting!”
Today, I am thankful that I no longer feel that way.
I am thankful that, through years of absolutely HATING my body, hating myself for being weak and pathetic enough to let myself get (and stay) fat, scratching self-deprecating messages into my thighs with safety pins and generally mistreating my body, I can look in the mirror and while I still don’t see an accurate representation of myself (I hope someday I can again, but I’ve had skewed perception of my own size for years, and can legitimately not accurately compare my size to another person’s, so I often have to ask either my mom or occasionally my best friend or boyfriend what my size is compared to another big person I see), I can look at the reflection without crying (unless I’m having a really bad day, which we all do from time to time) and honestly considering taking a sharp knife to my flab. I will not lie: that thought has crossed my mind several times over the last decade and a half. And I don’t know exactly what changed, though I strongly suspect it is the people I have around me who love me and build me up, but now, instead of feeling like I have to practically kill myself to be a size 0, I have come to the conclusion that given my size now, my structure, and a few other factors, a size 0 would not be healthy on me. And I started to think that instead of aiming for a tiny size, I would aim for a feeling (though yes, a weight/size reference to go along with that as a base would be helpful).
When I started thinking back on when I last felt healthy, when I last felt like I was in a good mindset, what I wish I could go BACK to, instead of overshooting anything I’ve ever experienced before, I kept picturing me when I was 14. That’s the me above. And I thought about it really hard. I realized this was just before my really bad eating disorder time, and that it was when I remember standing in front of the mirror and saying to myself “People keep calling me fat. And you know what? Whatever. Because this? This is beautiful.” I was FOURTEEN. It was during one of my “OK” cycles, and while they were rare, that feeling was genuine, and I look back on it with great fondness.
Why couldn’t I have had that mindset over the last 14 years? I’ve even gone so far as to book consultations on weight loss surgery. And I’m not ruling it out completely, but I will say that I’d rather this on my own, or at least give it every damned thing I have trying first!
But dwelling on why I couldn’t have had that mindset in the mean time is time wasted. It’s in the past. Along with the body that I want back. The body I’ve had before. The body I hope to have again. The body that I know will not look exactly like the one in the picture because things change over time. I’ve grown a lot outward so I know I will have extra skin to deal with. Gravity will likely not be my friend. But the body that I hope to have will be one whose muscles are strong because I made it a point to have moved them. One whose eyes will sparkle with the gleam of satisfaction from working hard to achieve results. And most importantly, I will feel like myself again.
Because, after much examination, ME… I… Wendy… The core of who I am, body or not… I’m not tits on a stick. I’m not emaciated. I am a woman with some curves, and who enjoys her curves. I am a woman whose ample bosom has been the cushion of many healing hugs, both given and received. I look forward to being on the outside what matches what I feel on the inside. And that hasn’t been the case in a long time. It’s something i greatly look anticipate experiencing again!
I’m blessed to have a man in my life who finds me beautiful, sexy, and all these other great things, and who tells me this on a regular basis. I want to see myself as beautiful and sexy as he sees me. That would be great! :-)
Over the years I became content with being sedentary. It’s easier, after all, to sit on my ass for hours upon hours at a time and reblog a thousand things on Tumblr, or waste time reading my Newsfeed on Facebook and feel depressed about how everyone else’s lives seemed so much better than mine. But here’s the thing, I know that it feels good not to be sedentary. It feels really good to feel my muscles all working together, contracting and relaxing in succession and producing that… exercising (for lack of a better term at the moment) warmth.
It’s a struggle to get myself to get up and move. For instance, this is my third day off and in the last two days, I’ve gone to the gym twice (hooray!) but today I have some badass shin splints so you know what I’ve done today? A whole lot of nothing. But it is my goal to do *something* physical today. After all, I have an upper body! I have a midsection! But I need to rest my legs so I don’t cause any further damage.
I’ve had bad knees since I was a teenager, and that has been my greatest excuse for the majority of the exercising I do not do. A car accident resulting in a worse knee injury didn’t help. But let me tell you something. I have dreams of running. That’s right. In the night when I dream, sometimes it’s of running. The destination is non-existent. I am simply running for the sake of running. Just to feel my body moving that way, to feel the air pass over my skin, to feel my breath keeping time with my pace. It’s something I have trouble experiencing now (for a few reasons!) but I sincerely hope that when I lose enough weight to make it easier on my knees (and other joints!), I will enjoy running as much as my dream self does.
My best friend has also dealt with being overweight pretty much her entire life. And I’ve envied her because she reached the point of accepting and loving her body while I still loathed mine. I downloaded a free app (that has a corresponding free website) called MyFitnessPal that I love, and I was entering the exercise I’d done earlier that day as well as what I was eating at our meal together. She confessed she just didn’t get it, and that she didn’t care (about herself keeping track, not that she didn’t care about my process. She’s nothing but supportive and amazing!). And that’s totally OK, too. I’m thankful to have her on my side, even if she isn’t doing the same thing I am. After all, who cares? My life isn’t her life and hers isn’t mine! She’s content! I am just not yet, that’s all.
I know I’m not going to go from a couch potato to a fitness buff, but I do want to improve my health. I don’t want it to wind me when I go up my measly 5-stair staircase. I don’t want it to take me a sec to catch my breath when I freaking roll over in bed. And I confess it would be really quite nice to go into a clothing store and pick something out off of the rack of the cheaper cuter clothes. There is some serious injustice with plus size clothing, but that’s a whole other rant. I want to be able to fly without using a seatbelt extender. I want to be able to ride on the rides in amusement parks without being nervous whether or not I’ll fit and have to be removed from the ride in front of everyone else who is staring and the fatty squeezing her ass out of the seat and delaying their ride. Yeah, it’s happened! More than once. It would feel awfully nice to not worry if people are laughing about my size and whispering about me. It would be even nicer to not give a crap :-D
So wish me luck. I have a long way to go. And I’ll be honest: it’s going to be REALLY HARD!!! But I know that it’ll be worth it. :-)