December 02, 2006

Body Image

So I'm standing out in the parking lot of the hotel on the night of November 22nd, waiting for John and Crash to pull in. I might also be smoking, but only because I'm in a non-smoking room. Anyway, they finally arrive and my child...my 16 year old daughter, she compliments me. She rolls down the window of the car and yells out at me, "Holy cow, you are skinny!" Yeah, I about fell over right then and there.

Me? Skinny? Wha?

I can't accurately tell you how much weight I've lost. What with all the TSA regulations when flying, I didn't really think that packing the scale was the brightest idea. Anyway, as of my last weigh on the scale in October, I'd lost about 80 pounds. John and Crash seemed to think I've lost another 20 pounds, but I find that very hard to believe. Sure, I would love to hit the magic "100 pounds lost" number, butI see myself in the mirror every day, and I don't see myself as having lost any. Yeah, the clothes that I brought down with me are all getting too big, but it still isn't registering with my brain.

I spent so many years as a "big girl", and mentally I'm still there. I walk in to stores that sell regular sized clothing and I'm automatically looking at the biggest sizes. I still have that little voice in my head telling me that everyone is wondering what I'm doing in that store, since nothing there is going to fit me.

Fortunately for you all, you don't have to see me naked. Trust me when I say it is awful. Just after I had surgery and was in so much pain from the abdominal wall tissue donation, I'd said that I would never have a tummy tuck. Yeah, totally changed directions on that one. Forty pounds ago it wasn't quite so bad. Now? My stomach looks like ugly crepe paper. Again, trust me when I tell you that is a kind description. I see it every morning and I have to wonder how anyone can find me attractive.

When I'm dressed I still see the fat girl. Sure, her cheeks are a little thinner and her extra chins have gone into hiding, but she is still in there. I see her every day. I take off my clothes at the end of the day and hold my jeans up to fold them. The same thought always comes to me, "How did you just have your butt in those?!" I wear jeans that fit 45 days ago, and just this morning was asked if I was going to go shopping this weekend to get something that actually fits. Huh? These are too big? I'm still hiding in clothes that are too big. Isn't that the MO of many big girls? Wear clothes that don't touch the body? It certainly was mine.

I'm going to go shopping this weekend. I'm going to take along one of the girls from the office here. She's going to have strict orders to make me try on everything I want to buy and then model it. If it is too big now I'll only be able to wear it for a short period of time. I might as well buy something that is a little snug and keep losing my way down into it. I've already surpassed the goal of being able to wear John's jeans. The jeans I got told were too big today? Yeah, they are his. So I'm going to get some clothes that fit. I'm going to go shopping at the Gap and Old Navy (because why spend a bunch of money on clothes I'm not going to wear for long, right?) and I'm going to buy jeans that actually touch most of my body. I don't want to keep being the big girl. I want to start being the average-sized girl who is healthier and happier.

Maybe if I keep telling myself that I'll eventually believe it.

Posted by rowEn at 08:39 AM