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Finding a place of odd semi-satisfaction
Over the past two and a half years, I have lost 40 pounds. Losing weight has never been easy for me, and I am extremely proud of myself for managing to do this.
I am still too heavy (by about 25 pounds)… and I don’t hate myself. Actually, I am mostly satisfied with how I look and feel.
HOW IS THIS EVEN POSSIBLE?!
Is it because in comparison to what I looked and felt like two and a half years ago, I am now a tiny floating butterfly of a thing? Is it because I’m older and wiser and parenting has helped me put a lot of things in perspective? Or something else entirely?
I’m not sure. All I know is, even though the number on the scale is still well beyond what I used to consider The Horrendous Shame Point, and even though I’m a clothing size larger than I was a few years ago, I’m pretty happy.
(And I also suppose that even though I’m fairly satisfied with all things body-image related, I am still not going to publicize what that number is. I definitely have enough shame left in me to keep that private.)
I have struggled with my weight and body image forever. I am a wide-shouldered and wide-hipped person, and almost 6 feet tall, but I was not born with the rail-thin body that many tall women seem to have. It’s hard for me to judge how others see me, but I would venture to guess that I’d generally be described as “on the large side of medium” in build.
Regardless of the actual number on the scale, my height has always made me feel ENORMOUS in comparison with other women around me. That equated to FAT FAT FAT in my mind, even if, proportionally, I may only have been somewhere in the medium range.
After Jamieson was born, I suffered post-partum depression and wasn’t able to lose any of the baby weight. In fact, I gained an extra 5 pounds. And I felt AWFUL. I was unhappy, hated that I didn’t fit into my old clothes and that the cheap new clothes I got were unattractive and ill-fitting. I was very stressed out from challenges at work, challenges with our baby, and serious lack of sleep. I had no energy to exercise and far too much guilt to take any time to focus on myself.
But slowly, once Jamieson got a bit older, I was able to turn some of my attention to myself and my health. Thus, the 40 pound weight loss, and odd sense of satisfaction with myself.
So again — I don’t really understand how I can feel okay about myself when I’m 25 pounds heavier than my goal weight (and, incidentally, that number is higher than you might guess; I am made of neutron star or some other equally dense material). But I’ll certainly take this feeling of peace with myself over the constant shame and guilt I used to feel.