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I recently was tagged in a picture from back in 1995 when I was on my senior trip. I was like, “wow!” when I first saw it. I use think I was SO FAT back then…I can’t believe it!!!!
I was 130 pounds and yet I never felt comfortable in my skin. I always covered up. All my girlfriends sporting around in bikini’s that summer when I couldn’t even shed a one piece. What was wrong with my head???
Ok, sure, I wasn’t as skinny as the two standing next to me, but still, I wasn’t fat. I should have enjoyed that body…and re-thought that hair style. But anyway, I really want to examine my body image thoughts, where they came from, and how to let them go. I think it’s an important step in changing my life as well as preparing the way for my daughter to live in a hate-free home.
Where it started…I always remember my Mom standing in front of a mirror, examining herself, always with a frown on her face. She never thought she was skinny enough and always asked the question, “does this make me look fat?”
She commented frequently on my body, watching the foods I ate, even hiding deserts if she felt I shouldn’t have them. I felt controlled. I felt fat. I felt as if I wasn’t good enough, didn’t look good enough, or would ever be good enough…for anyone.
When I turned 18, graduated, started college, and got married, i was finally free to make my choices. I ate and enjoyed it. I quickly put on 20 pounds. My Mom’s words, thoughts, and shame never left me. I criticized myself repeatedly. I joined a gym around 19 in hopes of loosing weight. My Mom’s only comment, “don’t do those weights and get big legs.” Her idea of an attractive body was a slim body, not necessarily a healthy body.
How can I blame her, her Mom was so tiny, her sister as well. My Mom was the larger one at a 120 pounds. I’m sure that played on her mind.
But I think the one thing that really bothers me is that one day my Mom turned to me and told me no man would want me at the weight I was at. I was going through my second divorce at the time and I’m just not sure those words were as productive as she had hoped they’d be.
I still remember the moment. Where we sat, her voice, her tone. She didn’t sound mean, and I know she was trying to help me, but it just wasn’t the right way.
And where I am today…still struggling with my weight. I wonder if I will ever see myself as other’s truly see me or if I will constantly be stuck inside a girl who never feels good enough.