Throughout my Motivation Monday posts, I tracked my weight loss journey, from start to finish as I lost more than 30 lbs. post-baby. It was hard, but it is a huge accomplishment. Finally, I'm back to my ideal weight after almost ten years of being slightly overweight. My blood pressure is down. I'm healthy. It feels pretty good.
But, despite being at my goal weight and the ideal one for my age, height, etc., and despite hearing my doctor say that I shouldn't go any lower," I have to be completely honest. It's hard not to want to go lower. It really is. Part of me wants to see if I can lose just five more pounds, even though I've been advised that would be the wrong thing to do.
Weight and body image is something I've struggled with since high school. My junior and senior years in high school I barely ate. There was a period of time when I just wasn't hungry. Not at all. My parents had to force me to eat. I remember my Mom getting upset that I couldn't even finish a Pop tart. I wasn't actively trying to lose weight. I don't remember it being something that was like "if I eat, I get fat." I just wasn't hungry. So I did lose weight. I lost enough that my doctor tested me for mono, which I didn't have. I later did get mono my sophomore year in college, and I believe I got to my lowest weight at 100 lbs. You could see my ribs it was that bad. In college it got worse to the point where I was comparing myself to other girls all around me. I wasn't skinny enough, I wasn't tan enough, I wasn't pretty enough. I didn't have a very good image or myself, and I certainly lacked in self-confidence. Looking back at pictures during those years, it's actually pretty shocking just how thin I got. As I went through college, I gained weight to where I was healthy or healthier, but I've always had it in the back of my mind. That voice that I'm not good enough.
I gained quite a bit of weight in law school, and then I lost it. And then I gained it back. I felt like Oprah with the ups and downs of weight gain. Then came the pregnancy. I didn't have a problem with that weight gain, but once I had Aubrey, my body changed. I have a scar, I have stretch marks, my stomach is not the same. Even after losing 30 lbs. my stomach is not the same, and I'm not sure it ever will be. And again I hear that voice...
I seriously hate that voice. That voice in my head that, for instance on Saturday when T and I had a date is telling me that I shouldn't have eaten those two pieces of pizza, promising myself that I will eat very little the next day and work out. I don't always tell T I'm thinking of this because I know he grows tired of me saying "Oh I feel guilty for eating that" or "I am so fat." Why do I say that? Seriously. Why? I actually know why. I have a problem with self-image. And as much as it is hard to say this or even admit it, I have an eating disorder. I do.
I'm not sure why I'm writing this post. I guess it makes me think of women all over the world who hear this exact same voice. It's wrong. It's wrong for me to say I'm fat on a daily basis or to weigh myself every morning to make sure I didn't gain weight from the day before. Wrong. When will I get to the point where I'm honestly say and believe that I'm good enough?
I worry because Aubrey is there when I do this. She's only a toddler and has no idea what I'm saying, but as she gets older, she will. She'll already be surrounded by images and media telling her that thin is beautiful. The last thing she needs is the person who is supposed to be her female role model teaching her that she should be worried about her weight. I want her to love herself for who she is. But how can I get to that point when I don't believe it myself?
For God's sake, I've lost 30 lbs. I'm in size four pants, and I find even those loose. But something has to change because I don't want Aubrey to ever say she's not good enough. And that starts with me. So it's time for a change.
I'm not sure how to go about that change exactly. I think that first step is acknowledging the problem, and honestly, I'm not sure why I've chosen this blog to be that platform. But it is. I think the next step is to find some sort of support group to talk about these struggles.
I want Aubrey to see her Mommy as strong, confident in herself, someone who loves herself, because that's the kind of woman I want her to grow up to be. So I think it's time for that change. And that change starts now.