I’ve hesitated over a month to write this post, because there are a million other, better blogs on people’s personal exercise and diet plans. Plus, I don’t want to dwell too much on my day to day life here (that’s called a journal). But I finally decided to share because I think that our
appearance health is definitely a facet of life that is on the mind of many Millennials. Even those who are totally unmoved by things like this.
They say that formerly obese people often experienced a “rock-bottom” moment that serves as the impetus to finally lose the weight. I acknowledge that I am not obese, nor even clinically overweight in terms of BMI. But I put forth that you don’t have to be either of those things to have your own rock-bottom fitness moment.
Here was mine.
It was a proprietary cocktail of events and circumstances. Going to a party, I tried on a dress that was a tad too big when I bought it–I could barely get it zipped. Then I was asked to be a bridesmaid in my dear friend’s wedding. The fitter told me that my measurements put me in a size 6* dress. I’ve never before worn bigger than a 4 in anything. And then, there was the picture.
It’s not detailed, it’s not close up, and it doesn’t involve a bikini. But it does show my whole body in a state of unawareness.
This picture, taken on February 17th at an event I was attending with my friend J, was like a bullhorn to the ear at 2:00 AM. In college the two of us were basically equal in size–our other friend used to tease us about being the little blonde ones (fun fact: I had a blonde phase Freshman year). Due to a devoted hot yoga regimen, J looks the same (if not better! Gittit girl!) than she did then. Seeing myself next to her showed me how I’d drifted in the past ten years without realizing it.
Although this picture from the same day didn’t strike me in the same way as the first, it confirmed that the shot wasn’t just a Beyonce-esque unfortunate angle. Those clothes are about five years old, so the overall sausage-like impression I got was a hint that just because I could still wear small sizes didn’t mean they were actually fitting.
I thought about it. Hadn’t I consistently been borrowing or taking hand-me-downs that were on the larger side, avoiding shopping for new things? Hadn’t I been very choosy lately in taking and keeping pictures that showed anything below the shoulders? When was the last time somebody referred to me as “little,” blonde or otherwise?
Finally, most importantly, and least specifically: I’d been overcome by a general feeling of malaise since October, when I changed jobs and delved deeply into a tough role in a show. It was a stressful time with a holiday season (in which I ate like I’d never eaten before) following fast at its heels.
I realized that unfortunately I had to do something.
You see the title of this post. I am seriously lazy when it comes to
health life. Undoubtedly that’s what got me into trouble in the first place. I knew I’d need a really specific goal, one that involved deadlines and red-hot stakes, but that didn’t involve food scales or regular intervals of soul-crushing weigh-ins. I settled on this: when my bridesmaid dress is delivered at the end of May, I want to be able to turn that sucker around and fly it back for the next size down.
*I struggled a very long time over whether to share the specifics of my weight and size. Some may even read my “fat” weight and size and feel a mysterious, slap-like itch come suddenly over their palm. But why bother with this if I’m not going to be completely open and up front? I think the fact that women of all sizes are taught to keep mum about their weight is part of the size-shaming culture that is so damn pervasive now. Women both smaller and large than I may feel unhealthy like I do. Women both smaller and larger than I may feel more healthy and confident than I do. Women who have or haven’t had babies, who have or haven’t experienced an eating disorder–it doesn’t matter. I acknowledge that many people might think I am whiny. Some might think I’m boring. A few might think I’m brave. I just want to show that we all have a right to our own struggle.