I have been worrying about my weight since my mid twenties and I am a tall woman (5’10”to be exact) who can spread my weight out without people noticing a 10 pound gain. I have been hopping around in aerobic classes like a mad woman since my early twenties; step class has always been a favorite for me. When I was 22 years old, I had graduated University with my BA in Political Science and moved to Vancouver; I was a beanpole and only weighed 125 lbs. I went to a modeling agency for representation as I had done some modeling as a teenager, and right away, I was told to drink lots of water and to walk more as I needed to drop ten pounds before they would represent me. Although, I was a size four and 5’10” for the first time in my life I felt fat.
I had the opposite problem as a young teenager, I looked emaciated and one of my teachers approached me after class one day and asked if I was anorexic; she told me verbatim “no boy is going to want to put his arm around a bag of bones”. I think her goal was to make the point that being abnormally skinny was not attractive (not that I thought it was at the time). I did not have an eating disorder, the problem was I went from 5’3” to 5’10” in less than a two year span and I also was a nervous stressed out awkward looking kid to begin with who had no weight to spare at 5’3”. My parents put me into modeling to help boost my self esteem. I had the “thigh gap” way back when it wasn’t in style.
It is funny how women are so hard on themselves, but we are so forgiving of each other. Every single girlfriend of mine I would never judge them on their appearances, or weight gain or weight loss, but when it comes to myself, I feel disgusted with my failure to keep my appetite under control. I have a boyfriend and father who tell me I push myself too hard, and all I can think is I don’t push myself hard enough.
When I look in the mirror all I see is what is wrong with me. I think a lot of women feel this way when they observe themselves in the mirror. I suspect a lot of girls about to become women feel this way, which makes me very sad. I flip through old photo albums and yearn for those days of plump young skin and a svelte physique; what is exceptionally disheartening is during the time when I was the age in these old photo albums I looked at myself and all I saw was what I perceived as flaws, how I need to lose weight, how my face is not symmetrical, how a smile line protruded or not enough muscle tone in my legs. Now, I look at the old me and think to myself, “damn! I looked good”.
Tess Holliday is a gorgeous size 22 – plus size model who self proclaims being fat and makes no apology for it. I am glad she is embracing her body, and standing up against the manufactured image which American Society seemingly praises. Perhaps the previous statement sounds like a generalization, but based on the American fashion magazines I pick up, but from what I can tell America promotes skinny women. At 5’10” and 125 pounds, I was thin, but even still I was told I was not thin enough, any skinnier and my organs would be showing. All women should feel beautiful in the skin they have. I think it is great that Tess wants plus size women to have clothing which they will feel beautiful and sexy in, but at the same time being a size 22 is not healthy nor sustainable without there being health risks involved. It is the polar opposite of being emaciated; size 22 is obese. Obesity isn’t healthy & underweight isnt’ healthy. It is much easier to gain weight than it is to lose weight.
So many women at work are doing this “21 Day Fix”, which is great, but I have done the diet fads and they all work as long as you maintain them. Like Weight Watchers, the 21 Day Fix claims to be a lifestyle change. So, why is it so difficult to just simply be healthy? There are no quick fixes. So much information is flying at me, to avoid this food, and eat this food, and eat another food in the morning, and save another food for before you go to bed, when all I do is end up eating everything in sight and find myself overwhelmed, confused and frustrated.
I don’t want to go on another diet. I simply want to live and I want to be healthy. I am not sure where I am going with this, but I do know one thing is for certain, the foods today are often processed, preserved, and full of chemicals, hormones and refined flour/sugar. We live in a world where bigger is better with the exception of your waist line.
I am going to just try to eat healthy organic whole foods which are not modified and tampered with. I will cut out refined sugar as much as I can and I will cut out refined flour and let’s see what happens. I will still eat naturally occurring sugars and I may have organic honey, I may eat unprocessed grains, but I am not looking for a quick fix. I want to be healthy, truly healthy as I always say health is wealth.
Peace and Love – Rachel