In my second nod to Throwback Thursday [#TBT] I bring you a post I originally published a year ago exploring why I, along with other women, struggle with never feeling good (thin, pretty..) enough. I’m pleased to say that a year later, I do feel I’ve made some good progress and have a healthier mindset. Onward and upward…
[And since you could count my total # of followers on two hands at the time I posted the original, chances are high that very few of you have seen this before, so I look forward to your thoughts.]
Originally posted June 28, 2013 – edited
Regular readers of this blog know that I am just slightly obsessed with all things pop culture, and that I get my daily fix of Hollywood smut via Lainey Gossip. Don’t judge me.
Earlier this week, Lainey wrote about Melissa McCarthy weighing in on the issue of weight and perspective (no pun intended) in an article with MORE Magazine. Lainey’s post is here, but to save you the click through, this is Melissa’s quote:
“I’ve been every size in the world. Parts of my twenties, I was in great shape, but I didn’t appreciate it. If I was a 6 or an 8, I thought, why aren’t I a 2 or a 4? I bought into it — I should be taller, thinner, have better hair. But I think that’s part of being young. Now, especially with kids, you lose any sense of time or energy to worry about all the little stuff.”
Lainey then goes on to give her perspective. She describes looking at photos of herself taken 10 years ago and marveling at how cute [small, thin] she looked back then. And yet, at the time, being completely dissatisfied with her body. She further goes on to say that 10 years from now she will probably look back at pictures of herself from today and think the same thing.
Her perspective smacked me in the head like a big ol’ encyclopedia. It forced me to recognize just how distorted my own self-image has been my whole life.
Like Lainey, I look back at old photos from my 20’s and 30’s and see someone who looked much better than I remember feeling at the time. How sad is that?
Melissa McCarthy’s quote also rang true for me. It didn’t matter if I had starved myself down to a size 8, it was not good enough. I needed to be a 6.
Insanity. It was a vicious, never-ending cycle.
And speaking of starving myself, I actually did. Literally.
I stopped eating all bread, rice, pasta and potatoes for a year, some 14 or 15 years ago. My body looked great. But I was the mega bitch from hell. Anything and everything would set me off.
I WAS HUNGRY, GODDAMNIT! And that made me one helluva snarky biz-natch.
I remember one incident so clearly. I was working at a small consulting firm at the time. My boss could have been Larry David‘s long-lost brother. Not because they looked alike, but because they were personality twins. For real.
Anyway, Larry David’s doppleganger decided to bring bagels in one morning for the whole office to enjoy.
They were the really good kind. Authentic. Jewish. Delicious.
And they were fresh and piping hot.
He opened the first of two big paper bags and the smell wafted over to my desk.
I lost my mind.
Fuming, I made some catty remark about something or another (not related to the bagels), because I had to release some snark to avoid spontaneously combusting from all that bottled up, hunger-fueled, white-hot rage inside me.
That’s when he put his hand in the bag, grabbed a bagel and whipped it across the office, aiming straight for my head, while simultaneously shouting, “Eat some fucking bread, you bitch!”
I believe that was the day I started eating carbs again.
I’m not sure I ever thanked him for that, but I should have.
Being thin and miserable is bullshit. It’s no way to live.
If only I had spent more time sweating and less time depriving myself… Live and learn, as they say.
The most disturbing part of all of that, though, is that even with my body in the best shape it had been in my entire adult life, I still wasn’t satisfied. I still needed to be smaller. Thinner. Tighter. Better.
I wasn’t happy with myself because I still wasn’t as perfect as the ‘beauty standard’ served up to me in magazines, on TV and in movies, as I previously wrote about here.
And so fast forward to today, and me being all evolved and shit. Or am I?…
I’m trying to maintain my focus on being healthy, not skinny. I’m trying to honour myself by listening to my inner voice; analyzing the stuff that bothers me or raises unanswered questions deep inside. I’m also trying to embrace all the successes and wins I’ve had along the way to keep myself motivated for the rest of this journey.
But, like Lainey, I worry.
I worry that when I hit the magic ‘goal weight’ or size, that it won’t be enough.
Will my best be good enough for me? Or will that hungry, non-carb-eating girl from 14 years ago rear her ugly head and tell me that I would look better if I just lost 5 more pounds?
The jury is out, but I’m hopeful.
I hope, for myself and for all the beautiful women out there who continue to struggle with this, that we all get to a place where our personal best is not only enough, but it’s actually …perfect.