Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Just the way you are, if you're perfect*

This subject is so old hat, I am loathe to bring it up.

But, the truth is, this blog is an expansion of my brain. And part of what is occupying my brain lately is weight loss. Though in my head, it is Weight Loss. And sometimes WEIGHT LOSS.

There is a struggle associated with weight loss that has nothing to do with wanting to eat cupcakes. It is the struggle of whether to try in the first place.

Like many women, the desire to lose is constantly wrestling with the desire to have self-acceptance. By going out of my way to decrease my waist size, am I not basically saying that I dislike myself? I tell myself it is all for my health, that I don’t care how I look as long as I am healthy. But I know that part of what drives me is the desire to wear sizes in the teens, to look at the tag on my jeans and not see a 2 followed by another number.

And how awful is it that I initially typed ‘be a teen size’? Like I am not Rebecca, I am not a woman, a mother, a writer, a wife…I am a 22, and that is what defines me the most?

Also, what about my daughters? I put a lot of effort into teaching them to be strong, independent, caring people. I teach them to eat healthy food, how to exercise their bodies. But by being dissatisfied with myself, am I instilling in them societal beliefs that big people have something wrong with them?

So I move forward gently, quietly. Trying not to call much attention to the face that I am dieting. Not saying the word diet. Doing exercises that resemble salsa dances, jumping jacks, things Violet likes to do. We move and sweat and laugh together, as we try to master the moves before us. Projecting a not-quite-true image of self-love so my daughter doesn’t learn that hating yourself is the norm.

The truth is that for most women in this society, at least the ones I am around, hating yourself is the norm. That we tend to have one or two things we like about ourselves, and hundreds of things we don’t. Really, shouldn’t it be the other way around?

I don’t have a delusion that Violet and Carli are going to love everything about themselves. But my goal, what I strive for is that the things they like severely outweigh the things they hate.

Daily we work on it. Daily I tell them the wonderful things I see in them. Daily I tell myself the wonderful things I see in myself, so that eventually the self-love half-truth can become a whole truth. Daily that list grows.

And daily I eke my way to a healthier me, one that can keep up with them each step of the way. My ultimate goal is not ‘Hot Mom’, I have no desire to look like a super-model. I am not even shooting for a single digit size. The ultimate goal is the size 14 I was when I became pregnant with Violet, which was the healthiest time in my life (mostly due to being too broke for groceries and having to walk miles across campus each day. I don’t plan on using this method.)

But for now, my immediate goal is 2 pounds a week, 40 by December 31. I direct your attention to the tiny box on your right, boldly reminding me each time I come to this site that I have WORK TO DO.

Little by little, step by step, day by day.

*Alanis Morrisette, Perfect


Megan said...

That is such neat motivation!

I struggle with my own weight loss, and it's hard. My daughter is too young, I think, to get what I'm doing, but I also want to be a positive role model for her and teach her healthy habits.

ihearthayden said...

Becca Boo, you are such an incredible wife/mother/friend/sister... I hope you know that. I wish I was there to salsa with you... we could american idol our hearts out and go for long walk/jogs on the beach. I'm looking forward to it...slowly, but surely! I LOVE you and your size 22!

yadgirl said...

What's wrong with wanting to better yourself?

I didn't like myself as a smoker, so I quit. It had nothing to do with not accepting myself. I hated the way I smelled.

If being a size 22 doesn't hinder you, then great. If it's slowing you down and making you feel bad, then you should try to change it for your self.