First of all, I am not going to make this post a Cosmopolitan interview meets long, drawn out diary entry. But, I also think that I cannot be the only woman experiencing this issue this summer. Unlike the economy's AA+ rating, this one has a happy ending.
I did not inherit the uberskinny gene in my family. My brother can eat three servings and still look uber skinny. I've been self-conscious about my weight since about the age of 11 years old, which is just fabulous for a healthy self-esteem. I once spent a summer in Italy with my Mom and Italian relatives. I was not used to eating three course meals for both lunch and dinner and then having gelato every night after dinner. I ate everything I could while I was there, it was pure food heaven, who wouldn't? Of course, not only was I about to grow 5 inches but I also wasn't very aware of calorie counting. When I returned to my ballet class after the summer, in front of everyone, my ballet teacher asked, "What happened to you?". That about sums up it all up. I've ranged from a size 4 to a 12 and almost everything in between. I recently joined WeightWatchers and it's been a great way to access a lot of different kinds of information- whether it's new scientific studies or healthy recipes. So far, I think it's been really useful. I've learned how to cook a bunch of new stuff that tastes good and is healthy and doesn't make me super grumpy while eating it.
So every year, this self-esteem issue crops up when I show up at Lake Tahoe to vacation with my relatives for a week (not to say that it doesn't at other times, too). This year, I discovered that I had curves. Not Christina Hendricks , Ashley Graham or Crystal Renn curves (I wish) but it was time to go find a new swimsuit or two. An excuse for shopping? Well, I mean, if I have to go shopping, well, uh...I guess I should probably go. I bought a skirt bottom thing and it's super comfortable and makes me feel more comfortable.
Tonight I pondered this situation. Am I really that unhappy with having curves? I mean, sure, there's nothing wrong with eating healthy and working out, but is it time to just put this issue to rest? I'm not a ballerina, I'm still planning to continue to learn to cook healthy meals and get more exercise- working with computers isn't the best path to a career as a super model- and it's not exactly easy to say "I'm done with this self-esteem problem". But as I thought about it more and more tonight, wearing my new skirt and Pirates t-shirt, I found myself thinking, "I actually feel pretty happy this way. I'm pretty grumpy about that salad I ate tonight and who wouldn't be uncomfortable wearing what amounts to skimpy underwear and a bra in front of total strangers?"
After 13 years of this issue, maybe this is the perfect place to let it go and move on. I'm happy learning to cook new stuff and I'm working on finding new ways to get exercise that I don't totally despise, such as the treadmill, where I have tripped and fallen off twice in two days.
Tonight I came to the conclusion that maybe I'm, gasp, not really unhappy this way. The only time I'm unhappy is when I'm thinking about what I should look like or comparing myself to the ridiculously in shape teenagers wearing almost nothing nearby. I'm only really unhappy because I feel like I should be. But if I weren't feeling like I should be losing 10 pounds all of the time, would I really be that unhappy with myself? I don't actually think so.
I avoided the white pasta tonight - it was tough- but I stopped beating myself up more than I have in a long time.
It was actually pretty awesome.