Hey lades, gents, and err’body in between.
Well, I’ve spent more than a year trying to start this blog. What’s been stopping me? Finishing my MA, starting my PhD, maintaining a family, learning how “adult life” works — those are the excuses I would normally give. (And that’s what they are: excuses, not reasons.) The real reason this blog has stalled for so long, though, is because I’ve been embarrassed.
It’s embarrassing, to come from such an active and fit family and be the slug who never really took to running. Or going to the gym. Or any type of physical activity.
It’s embarrassing because I live in that weird limbo state of weight — I am not a weight or body size that’s so heavy that my health is in danger, that my doctors or family are worried for me. I am not obese, really — but according to certain types of clothes, and even wedding gowns, I teeter on the edge of being “plus sized,” whatever that even means. I’m not even that overweight; in fact, generally, most folks just consider me curvy. But I know the body I used to have, and I miss it, and I’m struggling to get back to it.
It’s embarrassing because I am 5’4, a size 12/14, and tend to wear size “L” clothes, with “XL” on comfy occasions. (And really, I know that I am not a very heavy person — just a tiny bit heavy — so I cannot even pretend to imagine the stress and pain of being a person who weighs many more pounds than I do, seeing every label of everything one wears indicating that you are EXTRA EXTRA LARGE or EXTRA EXTRA EXTRA LARGE. Like, thank you, media, for completely messing up the hearts and minds of women everywhere by labeling us that terrible way.)
It’s embarrassing because my fiancée loves me, and thinks I look perfect, and I know it hurts her heart that I don’t see the same things when I look at myself.
It’s embarrassing because in this stupidly venomous and awkward world of social media, I’d be a fool to not know or admit that you and I, and everyone we know, track the folks we’ve known along the way through pictures, statuses, job updates — Facebook, LinkedIn, whatever else is out there — we’re all watching one another. And I am one of many who tries desperately to avoid being in pictures that showcase more than just my face (which still mostly looks like it did in college), who would give ANYTHING to be “checked up on” solely by my career, my upcoming wedding, my hobbies, my mind…
Really, fear of what other people will think or say — THAT is what stalled this blog. Many of you will be proud of me. Some of you — maybe you’ve even done this already — will immediately scour my Facebook pictures, trying to see if I’ve really “let myself go,” wondering, “How big is she really?” (If you’re one of those people, you should know that you are chief amongst the reasons I didn’t want to make this blog so public.)
The answer: Not that big. And no, I’ve not let myself go. But I want a better, stronger, leaner, healthier body. And maybe it’s time to stop being so ashamed of that. I can’t be alone. But even if I am, so what?
I’ve realized that it DOES. NOT. EFFING. MATTER. if anybody out there except Chelsea and my mother think I’m beautiful. Or skinny. I guess it matters a little if my doctor thinks I’m healthy but that’s the only point I’ll concede, dammit.
Lots of times, I still feel like it does matter — even as I write this inaugural post, I feel sick to my stomach, thinking (as ridiculous as it sounds), “Ah, the secret will be out that I gained twenty pounds since college!”
Well, the secret’s out, then.
Time to get to work.