Monday, November 20, 2006

Do I have to be thin to be beautiful?


Sometimes I think about what it would be like to be thin. I used to be, for a few minutes in high school. This picture is of me in grade 11, when I started dating my first husband. No comments about the mullet, okay? It was the style WAY back in 1982. Anyway, I look at that picture and think to myself, "I sure was a pretty girl" and I can appreciate that I was pretty, I was attractive to boys, I was popular. I was thin. I wasn't Kate Moss thin. But, I was thin. I could walk into any store and buy any clothes I wanted, and I looked good in them. I could wear a bathing suit and feel comfortable. I want to be able to find that comfort zone again. I wonder if I can actually do it in this body.

The men in my life have always been attractive. I have been legally married once. After that I was unofficially engaged to a very hot, younger man. And then most recently, I was living common-law with a tall, dark and handsome man. All of those relationships failed, I believe, largely due to lack of self-esteem. The first two, my own, the last one, his. Hard to believe someone has a feeling of less self worth than I do. I can't help to think though, that if only I were thinner, I would be happier. But how far am I willing to go for this?

I have tried the diets....no matter which one it is, they don't work for me. I rarely shed a pound. I have tried (though not that whole-heartedly) exercise. I really hate it, and feel so self conscious in a gym with all those skinny bitches pinching an inch of fat. I have considered the unthinkable....finding a website to teach me to become anorexic. They are out there, but, I am a nurse, I need to be above that. I have researched Bariatric Surgery and actually am considering this option because of other health concerns I have and family history. I am 40yrs old, and my healthy years are numbered if I don't do something to get this weight off.

But here in lies the rub. If I go through with such a drastic measure, find the body I have been searching for, will I be happy then? I have already decided that if I do the gastric bypass surgery, I will need to have a tummy tuck to get rid of the apron of fat/skin that has been so lovingly granted me by my four babies, two of which were too stubborn to come out the "right" way, causing c-sections which just compounds my problem. I will also need to have my breasts reduced, lifted and the excess skin removed, since being heavy usually endows you with larger than normal breasts. Will I be happy after all of that? Will I start to see more wrinkles and be unhappy with those? Where does it end?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Iris,

It doesn't end. a long time ago i have a fat 275 pound whale. At 175 pounds I still felt i was a whale. It took a lot for me to look in the mirror and say...i am nice looking. Not Denzel Washington handsome, but i'm ok. Im chubby, smart and i look ok. I have a girlfriend who loves me and i am healthy. Slightly high BP but not horrid. I ride my bike 3 times a week and i try my best to eat somewhat healthy. I realize my self worth WAS NOT about my weight but how i carried myself, look, acted and behaved. When i stopped making weight the issue...took care of my health and had a positive attitude...I found someone who loved me inside and out.

JLA

Emma Kaufmann said...

I think you need to not be defeatist. You can lose SOME weight, maybe not to being skinny, but some. Just go to Curves or a gym without skinny judgmental bitches. I recently lost twenty pounds and let me tell you I don't necessarily feel happier but I feel more confident and much much sexier.

Becky said...

Hi Iris-
I ran across you in BubandPie's comments and decided to come on over and check you out. ;o) I decided to start by reading your archives... and felt compelled to comment on this one.

The Bariatric surgery is a drastic step... since, as you mentioned, would probably be followed up by several other types of surgeries. Plus, as a nurse, I'm sure you are quite aware of the dangers this surgery.

I know someone at work who went through this recently. She always seemed to have it together, in my mind. She was heavy, but not what I would consider "grotesquely fat", she has her friends that she hangs with on breaks & lunch. She's one of those people that everyone goes to for answers. But ever since her surgery, she's seemed sad and distant. Even with her friends... I don't see her smile or laugh nearly as much as she used to. She had a really hard time after her surgery, ended up having her gull bladder removed on top of it and just hasn't physically felt great in general.

My point is, much like J said above, I don't think it's so much about the weight, but taking care of yourself in general.

And please don't take me for a doer... I'm good at telling people what they "need to do"... I'm good at knowing what I "need to do"... but I'm not going at following through. I'm 70 lbs overweight, I've tried all the various diet programs out there losing 25 lbs and then coming to a screeching halt getting frustrated and giving up. I don't like to exercise either... nor do I really have the time. I took yoga for awhile, and LOVED it! Loved my instructor... he had to close up shop because he wasn't making enough money to pay the bills. He started teaching at another studio across town, but that was too far for me to try to get to. I haven't found anything or anyone that kept my interest since. So... I know somewhat you're going through.

Just keep on keeping on... that's all we can do.