A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Image is Everything

As I'm losing weight, I'm more and more conscious of body image. Mine. And yours. I'm terribly judgmental. I would say that before I lost weight I didn't like my body. I just kept it hidden under big clothes and let it go, out of sight out of mind. It was actually easier on the psyche than actually considering it, though. My mom always says that the things you don't like on other people's bodies are really the things you don't like on your own. I don't know if that is true, but the things I don't like on my own body are increasing.
Maybe it's because as I'm losing weight, I just want things to look good. And just because there is less of me, it does't mean the bit left behind looks good.
My arms are fat. I have matronly upper arms. I want them GONE NOW.
My stomach is flabby. I have developed some sort of hideous paunch. I am doing crunches. It keeps not leaving. I suppose that previously it was all full of fat and therefore not droopy, in some sick way that was preferable.
My thighs have cellulite, and they are just fat fat fat. I don't mind fat. But fat fat fat is too much fat. I do not have calves I have steers. I inherited my stupid Grandmother Brandon's lack of ankles. I have huge thick ankles that there are no workouts to improve.
And then there is my face. The face that is coming out under my fat isn't right. I can't identify with this person. Who the hell is she? Do I know her? I'm remembering the things that made me cry in high school. My lack of cheekbones (why the FUCK don't I have any cheekbones like normal people?) My stupid round face.

I always thought that I could easily be a person who never had any sort of plastic surgery. It's vain and lazy.
Now I'm considering how awesome it would be to wake up with so many of these flaws eradicated.
The first boy who ever said I was beautiful and sounded like he meant it was Kayo. The only person who has always said I was beautiful even at my giantest is my husband - and I have never doubted his truthfulness. His sanity.....maybe.....(kidding)

A friend of mine was recently telling me about a guy friend of his who just lost a bunch of weight and how it has sort of messed up his head.

I told him it's because once you start really losing weight, people start treating you like you are a human.

Realizing that you have not been treated like a human for X years is quite damaging to the spirit. Permanently damaging.

So I thought that as a gesture of positive energy to those I love, I thought I would tell some of you something about you that I love, or covet, or otherwise envy.

My husband, I love your legs. You have some really good, really sexy man legs.

Sarah , I have always thought you were slender like a classic model. Like the women who lunch at country clubs and play tennis.
Becky , I think you have the most girly figure. I totally envy you. How anyone can have boobs and not be fat is a huge accomplishment.

Xta , Xta first of all has the most infectious laugh and smile you've EVER run into. She can make your day with her giggle. Her mouth is what you would call generous. When Xta talks to you, she's giving you a lot of things - expression, emotions, usually giggles. Even when she's pissed off her mouth is very pretty. If she was a crazy make up junky like me, she's probably have to wear the brightest reds she could find, to properly dress up that mouth.

Eileen is blogless to my knowledge. But Eileen has the most gorgeous eyes you have ever seen. They are round and a kaleidescope of color. They would make a million if they could make contacts the colors of her eyes.

So, there. I envy all of you your gorgeous traits. There are more of you that I envy.

Maybe someday I will actually like the way I look enough to find that people should envy me. But by that would mean I'm an arrogant ass, so maybe it's better that I not.


Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

Did you just call me slender? In writing? On the internet?

I'm flying down to Tampa to make out with you.

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

Also, I think you have a really good point about the was people treat you when you lose weight. The realization that people were treating you like garbage before is VERY damaging. It hurts almost as much as feeling fat.

Give your skin some time to catch up with your weight loss. It may take a while. You are beautiful. If even if you don't know it, everyone else does.

zombieswan said...

I agree. I remember when I lost a lot of weight a few years ago, suddenly men started looking at me in "that way" again. (Strange men.. not my hubby. He always looks at me in that way). It actually pissed me off because it made me realize the lack. I had chalked it up to getting older, but hadn't realized it was because I was fatter. And not really that much bigger.

But after a while, once you've lost the weight and gotten used to the difference, you stop being as pissed anymore and start loving the new things.

For your arms, try tricep lifts. With weights. I wish I could describe them to you. But they work. And if you're going to a gym that has a machine that can help you do them, do dips. I loved doing dips on the machine, it made me feel strong and muscle-y.

zombieswan said...

also, if you can find a class, bellydancing is a wonderful way to learn to love all body shapes. And the "snake arms" work the heck out of your arms, making them toned & not flabby.

Devra said...

Oh but I dream to be in a shape other than round. slow and steady wins the race, I repeat to myself all the time. Keep on goin' Gidge! Proud of ya! I'm raising my water and toasting you!

Anonymous said...

I remember when my cousin lost a lot of weight a few years ago & everyone was telling her how great she looked all the time. I felt really strange about it, because I thought she looked great before - and I wondered how that made her feel - that nobody had acknowledged her beauty before but everyone did now that she was 40 pounds lighter. I couldn't come up with the right way to compliment her, because I didn't want her to think that I thought she was anything less than perfect or pretty or healthy before. Here's a challenge: try to come up with a list of positive traits that's at least as long as the list you've made here of your negative traits. Could any of us do that?

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

I know I couldn't.

We are trained to 1) think the bathing suit models are beautiful and not malnourished and 2) think that saying positive things about ourselves is vanity.

How is this healthy? I have no idea. No wonder everyone is on medication for depression. We're supposed to be 20 pounds underweight, great cooks, modest and happy, all without doing drugs.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Bunny, but I hope that you never have sexy man-legs.

Gidge Uriza said...

Sarah if we're making out, Gabe can't watch.
Or maybe he SHOULD watch. He can tape it and we can sell it on the net.
5.00 a minute!

icancarryallthebagsandthebabiestoo said...

Every time I begin losing weight I become obsessive about it and hate myself. And each time I plumpen up I, for whatever reason, have no problem telling everyone about how fat I am and how I need to lose all this weight and don't hate myself. I get comfortable being fat. I become comfortable with the way I look... and I don't hate it. I don't obsess about it. I don't like it either. I like thinking about being thin... but I don't like getting thin. And it isn't the work that I dislike either, it's what it does to my body image. It's the obsessive hatred that never is satisfied. The monster who is never happy living inside of me, and no matter how thin she is, no matter how small her clothes are, she'll just think she's fat anyway!

I would really like to avoid doing this to my children. I think I know how it happened to me. I might be too old to save, but I may be able to save them.

christa said...

oh my god, gidge, you are so kind! you brought tears to my eyes. *sniffle*

and i know exactly what you mean about body image and weight loss. it has landed me in therapy, actually. i've become this new person with this new body... and now i find myself wanting a new job, a new boyfriend, a new house, a new EVERYTHING. it's like i want to start all over again. it's really messing with my head.

i critique others' bodies a lot now, too... but mostly i just look at women and think "am i smaller than her? or am i bigger than her?" i've spent so long inside a GIANT body that i have no idea what i really look like now. it's like my mind still thinks i'm fat, even though i'm a size 12. i only fully realize i'm smaller when i'm looking in the mirror... my brain hasn't caught up yet.

it's really quite distressing all around, and i'm so happy to have you blog about some of the same things i'm feeling.

you rock. completely.