Lisa is my least favourite Simpson, but every once in a while she says something that hits the nail on the head. (See the link for a video clip.)
I hate obsessing about my weight, but I do. I have a fatphobic mom who once told the daughter of a family friend that she would be so pretty if she lost weight (to her face!), a sister who works out like crazy, and a brother and sister-in-law who have gone vegan to lose weight (although they quickly backtracked and said it was actually for health reasons). I know I’m not fat, but I’m not skinny either; my BMI tells me I’m overweight, and I often think that a size 6-8 is too big for someone who’s only five-foot-two who should really look more like Natalie Portman or Rachel Bilson or Carey Mulligan. I’m so jealous of anyone who has reached a state of complete body acceptance—seriously, what’s that like?—and I wish I liked vegetables and working out more.
The first five-and-a-half months of 2012 have been a rollercoaster: yo-yoing weight and alternating feelings of euphoria (I fit in this skirt again!) and depression (I’m the fat one in the family!), overeating and skipping meals and then eating healthily again. Taking outfit photos helped my vanity, because I could look at them and think, huh, not too bad.
But then I’d also think, not bad, but not that skinny. That would look better if my arms weren’t so chubby. And maybe it’s just an illusion. I know how to stand in my corner, but maybe out in the real world I don’t look like that. I mean, I look bigger here (in one of the very few outdoor pics I’ve taken), and that was less than a week ago, so maybe that’s how I really look. Mirrors lie, cameras lie, what’s the real truth?
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately because I’ll be turning 34 on Tuesday and I realized that I’ve spent the better part of 20 years being conscious of my multiple body issues, and wow, is that ever depressing. I wish I could just flip a switch and turn it all off, but it’s not that easy. Just ask a good friend of mine who has lost almost 80 lbs in the past 7 months, she is still too self-conscious to go sleeveless and she has said several times that even when she’s skinny she’ll still be a fat girl inside.
So it’s a constant struggle…but check back with me in another 20 years and maybe I’ll be doing better.