So, the other day she blogged about Regina George-ing yourself as a mom. Well, I'm not a mom. I have a dog but in my world that doesn't count. So, at first I thought: great post but it doesn't really apply to me. Oh, but it does.
If you've been around even half a minute, you know I'm trying to lose weight. Have been for years. Ug. And I totally say things to myself I would never say to a friend and a friend would never say to me. I know it's my defense mechanism. If I make the self-deprecating comment about my weight, if I beat them to the punch, people won't say anything about it.
Except when it backfires... And then it sticks in your mind forever. Once upon a time I was a camp counselor. We were doing staff training and I was out at the climbing/rappelling tower doing some kind of training. I was working with a guy I had been friends with for a while. I made some off-handed comment about being the "fat kid" or something like that. And he made a comment back about my weight. That's when I punched him. The only person I have ever hit. Then I told him to, um, f* off. And I stormed off. It was halfway through the summer before I went back to talking to him or going out for beers after work with him. I was mad. I was hurt. I could say those things but other people could not.
Thinking I am really fat... Turns out I wasn't. Also oddly edited to block out kids faces and the name of the camp...
So, if I was so mad that my friend had made that kind of comment to me, why do I feel okay doing it to myself? I shouldn't. As a school counselor I spend my days telling girls that they are good enough. That they are fine just the way they are. And yet, I myself am telling myself I'm fat and not good enough.
But how do I stop? I guess I have to start believing what I tell these girls. I am good enough. So what if I'm not perfect. I'm working really hard. I've ended (hopefully) the days of sitting on my butt after work, watching TV and eating junk food. I feel great about working out. I feel great when I make healthy food choices.
And sometimes I think back to high school. I know, why would I do that? But, even back then I thought I was fat. I was always trying to lose weight. I remember buying my prom dress my junior year and thinking, if only I was 10 pounds lighter I would look so much better.
Prom my senior year. I would love the be the size I was back then, back when I started thinking I was fat. Also, my dates face is blurred out in case he grows up to be president one day.
I told myself I was fat for so long that it became almost a self-fulfilling prophecy. I just kept gaining weight. I would sort of aimlessly try to lose weight but never really have much success. I'd lose a few pounds but then celebrate by going out for Chinese. Counter-productive. But then 30 hit. And something clicked. When my husband and I have kids I want to have the energy to play with them like crazy. I want to go to the lake with my in-laws and not feel ashamed of how I look. I want to feel good in my skin.
I used to like this dress until I saw this picture. I think this was my wake up call.
The negative self-talk hasn't stopped. But it's getting better. Since my 30th birthday I've lost around 17 pounds. It doesn't feel like a lot. When people compliment me that I've lost weight and look good, it's still hard for me to believe them because I know I still have a long ways to go. But every day that I hit the gym on my way home from work I feel so proud of myself and I know that I'm making progress. And that maybe it's not about being skinny, that it's about being healthy and feeling good. The other day I biked 15 miles, the longest I'd ever done. And I felt so crazy proud of myself. And I didn't feel like that fat girl who felt bad for herself, I felt like I had just kicked serious ass.
So I just keep telling myself what I remind my high school girls, "You are good enough. You are worth it. You are perfect just the way you are." And then I remind myself to not tack on, you'd be better though if you lost more weight. And it's going to take all the courage I have to throw all this out there. But, I am good enough and I am worth being healthy for. Healthy is what matters. So, I'm just going to keep telling myself that I'm worth it and if I say it long enough, it's going to happen. And I will quit being so hard on myself. Because, I'm worth that too.