I know that this has been written about a million times before. I know it will be written about a million more times. But an article I read today on Buzzfeed prompted all the feelings to come out of the woodwork for this. I then read Brooke’s (aka my new hero) blog post (link doesn’t work right now due to -I presume- high blog traffic… but is found here when her blog comes back up) that prompted the Buzzfeed Article.
And it’s at this moment that I wish I had therapy coming up this Thursday, instead of having just passed by last week.
A summary of the article & blog post for you: The woman featured, Brooke, lost an enormous amount of weight – 170 pounds – and then was offered to be a featured “success story” for Shape Magazine. But apparently the magazine didn’t want to feature her how she really was. How her body actually looked in a bikini.
I’ll admit, seeing the picture of her made me remember what my own stomach looked like. It reminded me of the imperfections I was afraid of everyone around me finding out about. It triggered a response in me that made me want to eat.
And that’s not good.
(I tried to find a picture similar to what hers was like, because I knew I took “selfie’s like that at one point or another… but alas, I could not find anything on my computer today. Oh well.)
When I was losing the weight, I didn’t know what my body would look like in the end. I didn’t realize the emotions that would be tied to it. I didn’t see and experience anything except for the insecurities when I saw my own body.
I got compliments for the weight loss… after all losing 160 pounds over 3-4 years is no easy feat. However gaining it all back in the same time frame… not so difficult. I would lie to others and myself in this same time period saying that I would be getting back on track. But the tomorrow I promised myself never came.
This was not the one and only single factor as to why I gained the weight back – there were many, many things I didn’t deal with – and am learning about so much more now, but I know that the image of my body not being perfect, no matter how hard I worked out and ate right, was definitely part of it. I saw the people that I worked out next to, with their seemingly near perfect physique and I was always jealous. I wondered what was wrong with me.
But, in reality, there was nothing wrong with me. There was something wrong with the media – and how the media shows everyone… whether we’ve lost weight, gained weight, or just stayed the same.
The issue for me was more how I dealt with the media and the perception of what I thought I had to be. How I allowed myself to look at my body through the “perfect lenses” that I believed the world wanted from me after the 160 pound loss.
I had considered great amounts of plastic surgery to achieve that. But I never went through with it for fear that something would happen to me or that I wouldn’t ever heal. The though of going under the knife scared me more than gaining some of the weight back did.
So I did. I ended up gaining some of the weight back. And then a little more. And then a little more. And then a lot more.
What the actual truth of the matter is that I don’t have to be perfect. I can be me and be accepted for who I am. (I speak those words, but truthfully, they are still sinking in, still sitting at the surface where I fight with them on a daily basis. – But that’s another blog post for another day.)
I need to love me. I need to accept me. I need to see my value.
It’s coming. Slowly but surely… it’s coming.