I posted this a year ago on my old blog, but I felt the need to share it again here. I felt very proud of this post and hope you enjoy it.
This video got me thinking: http://www.hefty.co/love-your-body/
Those three words are incredibly hard to say about myself. My husband calls me beautiful.
My friends call me beautiful. But me? I call myself ugly. Fat. Blech.
Why? Why do I hate my body? Because I've been taught to hate it. Because we, as American girls-grown-into-women have been taught that we need to be a size 0 to be beautiful and happy. Or if not a size 0, then we need to diet and be a healthy size 6 or 8.
Then there are the "plus size models." Now, I appreciate this new found love of bigger girls, but even still, they're what? Size 12? maybe 14? They still have thin legs! (I hold a lot of my weight in my legs, so that's one of my sensitive areas. I am genetically predisposed to cankles!) The plus size stores start at size 12, which is great! Don't get me wrong. But I'm not size 12.
Right now, I'm a size 22. I weigh about 270 pounds. Not too long ago, I was closer to a 14/16/ and weight closer to 200. I've gained about 70 pounds since last October. Before that, I'd lost a lot of weight, but not for a good reason. And mentally? I was messed up. I suffer from depression and my meds were messed up for most of 2014. Even ended up in a mental hospital ...er, excuse me, a "Behavioral Health Facility" after a bad reaction to a new med made me suicidal. Don't you just love the PC versions of words?
Why did I gain that weight? Mostly because I was concentrating on getting mentally healthy. That and I love dessert and Pepsi. But the last few months, I've been really focusing on becoming mentally stable. And you know what? My chocolate, my ice cream and yes my Pepsi help with those bad days. No, their not "healthy" for me, and yes I should cut down on my consumption. But right now, being a mentally-stable factor in the lives of my two little boys is more important to me than getting into the new clothes I bought last fall. And you know what? My home life is better than it's ever been. When I was concentrating on losing weight, I had very little to do with my boys. It took me going into the hospital for a week to recognize how important my boys and husband are to me.
Now, I am homeschooling my oldest and will be doing the same for my 6 year old next year. I LOVE teaching my boys. I never in a million years thought I'd ever be able to homeschool. But I can. Because I'm stable. Because I'm healthy MENTALLY. I'm not a nurturing person by nature and I'm not a people-oriented person either, so this is a way I can connect with my boys and I am so in love with them right now, I could never imagine leaving them. I miss them when they're gone or when I'm gone. A year ago, I wouldn't have said that. I could have left them at the drop of a hat. Very sad, but true.
I explain all this because all this has happened as I've been steadily gaining weight. But my relationships, my family, my homelife...I don't know if it could have happened any other way.
Something happened to my mindset when I hit the size 2x mark. I was no longer in that "I just need to loose a few pounds and I'll be socially acceptable" zone. I was now officially plus sized in my brain. I didn't have to worry about my rolls, my big ass and thighs. I'd felt as if I'd crossed the judgement line. I don't know if that makes any sense...It's like, when you're a size 16 or 14, you're "close" to the thin-girl thing. You may have some extra weight, but a few months of dieting and you, too, can be like the women in the magazines. You don't have to shop in the plus size area. You're close to "normal" But now...now, I'm solidly in the "WOMAN" zone...And for some reason, I'm happy here. (For one thing, I have GREAT cleavage!!)
Looking back, I can see this change happening gradually over the last couple of years. I think one big thing that has changed my views is that I don't watch that much TV and what I do watch, is often times BBC shows. Now, no offense to my UK friends (I love you all!) but your actors are not like American actors. The first time I watched Doctor Who, I thought to myself "Man, Rose Tyler is FAT!" I am ashamed to admit it, but it really did cross my mind. I mean, look at her thighs! No one on American TV has thighs that big...
And she's got big teeth. And Christopher Eccleston's ears stick out way too much to be a handsome leading man in American TV... (But he has beautiful eyes!!!)
The 10th Doctor (David Tennant) had companion Donna Noble, played by actress Catherine Tate...Do you think she would make it in an American TV show? Maybe as a thin teenager's mother...
Whereas even shows like "Survivor" and other "reality" AMERICAN TV shows, all the women are thin and beautiful.
I'm not even going to delve into TV commercials, magazines and billboards. I think you get the point. And you've probably heard it all before. But we have been brainwashed by the American media into thinking we need to look a certain way to be beautiful. I realized this after I slapped myself for my rude internal comment about Billie Piper.
My point is this...you don't have to be beautiful to be in a BBC TV show, so it's no wonder this advertisement was banned in the UK.
Apparently it was met with protests and graffiti.
Of course, this is an American company's response to that. Our first "plus size supermodel", Ashley Graham...
(She's a size 16, BTW. I'd love to be a size 16 again...with those legs!)
I think I've started rambling and gone political. I apologize. My overall point is this...We (especially us American women) need to stop listening to "those people" who tell us we need to be thin (or even size 16) to be happy and beautiful. I have scars. I have stretch marks. I have a weird farmer's tan because I live in the desert. Does this make me less beautiful than Ashley? or Catherine Tate? or whoever is the latest hot celebrity?
No. I am beautiful because I am a human being. Because I am a woman. Every woman is beautiful. EVERY woman...Every. Single. Woman. Is. Beautiful. We all look different. (Who would want to live in a world of clones?) We act different. We think different. We are unique. Some of us are size 0. Some are size 32. Does the size of our jeans really have the power to make us more or less worthy of respect and honor? Does the size of our arms or legs really make us more or less of a person? No more so than the color of our skin (but that's another issue).
So, from now on, I am going to commit to being comfortable with who I am, no matter my size. I can be sexy at size 8 (which I was in high school) or size 22. I'm going to New York next week and I am going to enjoy myself and not be ashamed of my body. When I go to Vegas in July, I will wear a bathing suit and not be ashamed of my thighs.