I have always thought I had problems with my weight. One of the legacies of my upbringing. My mother is obsessed with how much other people weigh. She isn’t overweight herself but not really because she eats a healthy diet or exercises regularly she is just one of those fortunate individuals who seems to be able keep on top of her weight.
It doesn’t stop her from judging others. One of the first things she observes about a curvy woman is her size. “Look at the size of her!” Is a statement she makes frequently. She has directed a similar sentiment at me most of my life. Ever since I can remember I have been subject to comments about how much I eat and the size of my body. Even as a child I was criticised for how much I ate and made to feel self conscious about my weight. When I look back at photos I can see that even though I felt I was fat and bigger than other people my age I actually wasn’t. I was perhaps curvier but that meant that I had boobs when a lot of girls didn’t. My bum wasn’t fashionable then but these days it would have been the pick of the bunch.
I always found it difficult to buy clothing. Curves had no place in the fashions of the 1980’s and 1990s where lean supermodels and the “waif” look were the epitome of fashion. Booty was still at least twenty years away. Clothing was made accordingly and girls with curves, like myself, struggled to fit our lumps and bumps into suitable clothing. Jeans were particularly bad. If they fitted my bum the legs were too long and the waist was enormous. With tops and dresses my boobs always seemed to pop out in an undesirable way. I resisted the idea of simply buying a bigger size and altering it. I had a mental barrier that prevented me from selecting anything above Australian size 14.
These days when I look at old photos I can’t understand how thought I was fat. I feel I wasted those years hiding myself just because of something someone who didn’t really have my best interest in mind told me I was unattractive. Sometime last year I got past this mental hurdle. Probably more from necessity than anything else but there I was. I was able to go into stores and ask for size 16. I looked in the plus section and found clothing that made me feel attractive and happy. I progressed down the path of being happy in my own skin. Then I went on my voyage and lost a significant amount of weight. A year ago I was the happiest I had ever been with my body. I felt slim, I was tanned and I fitted into all my clothes really well. I was comfortable and truly happy.
Fast forward to now and all that weight is back. I am resisting obsessing about it but I know I need to do something to reverse the trend. Buying bigger clothes is one thing and not really the problem but I also need to make healthier eating choices. Coming down from celebrating my birthday hard I am looking in the face of cutting back on alcohol and high calorie junk food. It is hard. The journey is going to be long but my experience last year taught me I can still have chocolate and alcohol and lose weight. I just need to include a lot of vegetables and smaller portions as well.
I have recently watched some friends undergo weight reduction surgery. Many people would think this approach is a cop out but after watching the preparation and the immediate aftermath of surgery I am here to say it definitely is not. I have reaffirmed my feelings that this is not for me. For some the surgery is life saving. Their journey, while difficult, leads to a much longer and healthier life than they would have otherwise had. For some it is a struggle. The after effects are long term, sometimes debilitating, and irreversible. I know people who have had this surgery and if they had their time over would not do it again. It is not for me.
And so here I go on another day of trying to eat cleaner, less processed and smaller amounts of food. Wish me luck.