Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Holy Grail that isn't

Essential preface: I am overweight. Objectively. BMI charts are stupid, but there you have it just the same. I might even be bordering on obese. I don't know; I haven't weighed myself since last November. I got sick of having the number on the scale being constantly in the back of my mind, so I quit it cold turkey.

Anyway. This doesn't mean I in happy self-esteem land about the whole weight/eating thing. It's been back on my mind again lately because a couple different women who shall remain nameless have mentioned that they NEED to lose weight before my wedding.

The other day, Mari mentioned something about a particular style of clothing making her look fatter and how she was self-conscious about it, and I snapped at her a little bit. Mari is probably 60 pounds lighter than I am; she should never be self-conscious about the way her body looks, right? (She did point out that there is a difference between being self-conscious and having self-esteem issues, which I put here as a way of granting her point.)

That percolated in the back of my mind for a couple of days, until I happened to glance at another blog post by a blogger who is (in my humble opinion) incredibly thin, but who still doesn't totally like the way her body looks and is working out in order to get more toned. (I could probably recreate the random surfing that got me to that blog, but I won't because I'm lazy.)

Lying in bed trying to fall asleep that evening, I suddenly realized what I probably should have realized 7 years ago or so: Being thin is not the answer to my problems. Even if I lost 60 pounds (which would be a slightly bad idea; Mari is a few inches shorter than I am), I would not immediately look in the mirror and think, "Hey, I'm gorgeous." I would probably think that my skin is too oily and my hair is too frizzy and my nose is seriously huge in relation to the rest of my face (see, that last one would be worse if my face was thinner) and and and and.

I'm not saying that losing weight would be a bad idea. I could definitely stand to scoot my way back into "healthy" BMI land. (But not that ridiculous 20 BMI stuff. Nope. Not me and my German peasant hips.) I'm just saying that the only problem losing weight will solve is "being overweight." Not "having low self-esteem," not "being depressed," not "not having a pony." (What? I want a pony.)

How I solve those other problems I don't know, but at least I've eliminated one false solution.


Emily G. said...

I'm always surprised when I find a woman who claims she is happy with her weight. If she truly is, it usually means she's simply happy with herself, and has learned to like herself the way she is. There don't seem to be many women out there who have reached that point, though.

I'm plumper than I should be. My sister is thinner than she should be and is always whining about trying to loose weight. (Me: Whaa? I can see your ribs!)

BMI charts are incredibly stupid. You are smart to ignore them. :) However, it's certainly not going to hurt you to try and loose a little weight. You are mature enough to know that it's not going to solve any body image/self esteem issues you have, but it might just make you feel better and be generally healthier. Be careful trying to loose weight before your wedding, though! You have to plan so the dress fits right, dang thing. I DIDN'T try to loose weight, but I did anyway, and mine was a tad too big.

The Sojourner said...

Formalwear is the bane of my existence. Regular clothes I can get stretchy so they fit if I go up or down a pound or 15. You can't get elasticized pretty things.

(I do have this one lavender satin dress that I bought at Goodwill for about $5 and wore to my high school graduation; it still fits, albeit snugly. I love that dress. By extension, I love Goodwill. With a deep and abiding passion.)