I know, right? Wow, is that a no-win question. I guess you can imagine what Paul felt when I threw that little ditty at him. As the obvious analogy goes, deer in headlights. And then deer on the hood of my car as those lights go slamming into him (if we’re going to carry out that analogy, which we should).
When I was in 8th grade I was in science class with Ms. Anderson. She was the absolute caricature of a mean ol’ crotchety teacher because 1) She was old, 2) She was mean and grumpy, and 3) She had a hunchback. I exaggerate not. I know that I exaggerate and speak in superlatives at times but this is not one of those times. She was a mean ol’ crotchety hunchbacked teacher.
We were discussing human biology and metabolism. She had me and this dude named Tori (who I had a major crush on but that’s not really part of this story) stand up. Tori and I were very thin and she used us as examples. If memory serves she said something like, “See Tori and Teresa. They’re very skinny now so they are probably developing bad eating habits. But, once their metabolism slows down those bad eating habits are going to work against them and they’ll become fat.” I’m summarizing what my thirteen year old brain heard and that about sums it up. Mean, right?
I think that may have steered an impressionable girl into an eating disorder. That didn’t happen to me. I just kept eating whatever I wanted and let my fast little metabolism do it’s work. No exercise needed. A senior in high school, I was 4′ 11″ and 87 lbs. And you will never guess what happened! Ok, maybe you will. While what that mean ol’ crotchety hunchbacked Ms. Anderson did and said something horrendous to a thirteen year old girl, she was right. The witch was right! My metabolism slowed down and I was like, “What? I can’t eat a footlong subway sandwich with a large soda and chips anymore without packing on a few pounds? ‘A moment on the lips, forever on the hips’ is a thing for me now? Dang you, Ms. Anderson! Dang you to heck!”
I gained quite a bit of weight. Especially with my pregnancies. I never realized how overweight I had become until I lost some of that weight and looked back at pics of me. I’m so short and petite, every pound shows. And I feel it. I dream of a flat stomach again. To have a nice butt. (C’mon now. Who wouldn’t like a nice butt? Let’s not get squeamish here.)
Recently, I went from a size 12 down to a size 6. Not too shabby. I’m not going to kid you. It wasn’t a healthy weight loss plan. My life was in chaos and I forgot to eat. I asked close friends to randomly text me to remind me to eat. So, now life has settled and I’m back to where I was before. Poor habits.
Why I am writing this post? Because we have to let others know that we all struggle with these issues. We’re not alone. We’re a sisterhood who struggles with our weight and looks, and all the other issues we women have. Let’s not hide it. I’ve been reading this fantastic book by Brene Brown called “I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t).” She talks about how shame is a negative motivator. It draws you to disconnect and isolate. So, I’m here to say, “Hi, my name is Teresa and I have issues with my weight and looks.” I’ve had people tell me that I’m beautiful and I can’t even accept the compliment. I look around and ask, “Who me? Are you sure you meant me?”
Here’s my plan, cause you gotta have a plan:
- I’m going to work on finding MY beauty. What I want to see as beautiful. Some days I see it as I wash the makeup off my face at night and see that my kids may be right. Maybe I do look okay without makeup. And then my big ol’ schnoz gets in the way. It would be nice to say, “It doesn’t matter what you look on the outside, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.” I want the beauty on the inside to be more important that what’s on the outside. I also want to like what I (Me, Myself and I) see on the outside.
- I’ve been doing yoga regularly. That’s new. I started running again. And when I say running “again,” it means that I picked it back up from when I stopped at six.
- I’m going to reward myself. In ways that make sense. My reward system right now goes something like this: “Hey, I just did 40 minutes of yoga. Let’s go get a milkshake!” “I think I might, maybe go running today. Good for you, Teresa for thinking about that. Let’s go get a cheeseburger and milkshake!” (I’m sure thinking about exercise is just as good as the real thing. Am I right?)
- I’m going to continue to work on loving my body just as it is. I won’t let shame make me hide. Being me is what makes lasting relationships. Not my looks. And, for the record, my husband thinks I’m pretty hot. (That wonderful, beautiful, little liar.) Jokes aside, I know he believes in my beauty, in and out. And he’s proven to have fairly good judgment.
So, come on, ladies! Dive in! Let’s share secrets on how we hide the pudge and enhance the beauty. Let’s share our shame. Shedding a little light on it might just be a way to let the beautiful you on the inside come on out.