There is weight talk in this post. If you don't want to read about someone who has issues with their weight, skip this post. Thanks.
I had a weird moment last night when I was playing around with FaceTime. I like to look at myself on camera every now and then to get an idea of my best angles, to pull faces and the like. I stood up and adjusted my pants. My belly had a line on it from my high waisted underwear digging into the flesh just like my mother's belly. Hers is seemingly permanent from wearing those underwear and having a large belly for so many years. It scared the shit out of me.
I hadn't really noticed my weight creeping up. It takes a long time for me to put on weight. I've slowly gained about 40 pounds over the course of 6 years. A few months ago a button popped off of a dress that had been loose only a year earlier. I decided I was going to lose weight then and I got to the point where the dress fit again...then I got lazy and stopped. That button is pulling again.
My first 'oh my god, my weight has gotten away with me' watershed moment was when my boyfriend at the time remarked that I'd gained some weight. He didn't mind at all (he liked 'thick' women) but the comment sent me reeling and running to the gym. I lost about 30 pounds over the next 8 weeks by working up to exercising about an hour and a half a day. I voraciously ate good, healthy food. Salads full of vegetables and grilled chicken. It was easy because it was college. All of the food was prepared for me and the gym was 'free' with my tuition. My boyfriend at the time played basketball for the school team. He worked out 5-6 hours daily at practices. I felt lazy in comparison.
Now I'm about 4 years out of college. I'm living at home with a parent who can't stick to a diet or an exercise plan. Any time I try to exercise when she's home, she harangues me nonstop about what I'm doing. If I try to make healthy food for the week, she plows through it in 2 days because she eats ridiculous portions.
Her doctor told her that she has prediabetes and she's still not exercising or eating right. She always says, 'I'll start tomorrow. I'll walk tomorrow. I'll start my diet tomorrow.' But the next day she's 'too tired', 'too stressed', or 'just doesn't feel like it.'
I'm falling into those same patterns. Last night I really looked at my body for the first time in a few months. I'm starting to look like her. She's 58 and has had three children. I'm 28 and have had none. My belly is a smaller version of hers. I've got cellulite on my arms. When did that happen?
My body doesn't like being this heavy. I feel awkward and lumpy and unattractive. I don't feel like myself.
I feel like I shouldn't complain because my weight right now is the goal weight of a lot of people. I feel like a bad feminist because I should accept my bigger body as beautiful but I hate it. I feel like people are going to read this and think that I'm just giving in to society's idea of the perfect body.
That is likely part of the reason I want to lose weight but mostly I just don't feel like this body is mine. I've always been rather slim without trying except for that one time in college. It is at once familiar and unfamiliar. And I'm unhappy in it.
I want to exercise it away. I want to make good food for myself to fuel that exercise. I resent my mother for making it harder than it should be. I'm annoyed at myself for letting her bad habits of saying she'll do something but never doing it infiltrate my habits. I feel guilty about wanting to lose weight when I read about other people accepting their bigger selves. Why can't I do that? Should I do that? What is right for me?
I need to start today. But I've got an early (before dawn) start tomorrow on a likely 16 hour work day. There is always an excuse. Always a reason that I'll just do it tomorrow. But putting it off and putting it off has led me here. I don't want to be here.