Last night, when I jumped into bed with my two cats at the very respectable hour of 10:15pm, it struck me that lately my health/ weight goals have shifted over the past several months...in a bad direction.
I had just spent the last several hours, hanging out with friends and agonizing over whether I looked as "good" as I did a few months ago. I couldn't help but feel the jiggle in my arms, the emerging double chin, the rolls of my belly, the massive expanse of my thighs which makes it difficult for me to cross my legs. I remembered the day when my friend Josh called me "beautiful" and couldn't help but think that these extra 5-8 pounds had transformed me from a hot tamale to a frumpy, chubby girl.
These are not good thoughts. As per usual, I vowed to make tomorrow a better day. I promised myself that come hell or high water I would break a sweat, resist sweets,and try to follow the Weight Watcher plan. But let's face it--impressing people is not good motivation to lose weight. It doesn't work for more than a day or two (for me, at least) and it never seems to work the way you want it to. You end up spending quality social time looking for praise or judgment, instead of just focusing on having a good time.
And more importantly, it's placing an unnecessary burden on my friends. I mean, I would be annoyed if one of my friends felt it was my duty to inflate her self esteem. I hardly ever notice if a friend gains or loses five pounds, wears make-up, dresses up, cuts her hair. Why would I expect anything different from my friends?
So, at the end of the day, this journey has to be a personal one. I have to want to be healthy because it makes me feel happy and good--not because others will think I'm attractive. Let's face it--no matter how much I weigh there will always be people who find me attractive and those who don't. Getting to a magic number doesn't ensure that I will be the most popular girl in the room. Plenty of guys liked me when I weighed 240, and plenty of guys like me now. I fell in love with a guy when I hit Onederland (198 officially) and he thought I was beautiful and sexy.
I need to find a way to see this journey for what it is--a personal road towards self improvement and self love. I need to stop worrying about how people perceive me and focus on how I perceive myself. I need to make decisions that make me feel good, whether I opt for a salad or a piece of cake. I need to love myself, flawed body parts and all.