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“One Inch, Two Inch, Old Pants, New Pants” or Learning to Find My Beautiful

That was the title I was saving. The “inch and pants” bit. I was saving it for when I hit my goal weight of 145 pounds. 145 pounds is the weight that the Wii Fit set for me, and that seemed attainable enough. So I set out on my “weight-loss journey,” as it’s often called by people who are trying to loose weight.

I did it because I didn’t like the way this person looked or felt:

(To be fair, that ensemble wasn’t do me any favors.)

So I started running. I joined MyFitnessPal. I started upping the amount of water I drank. I became more cognitive of what I ate. And for a time, the weight came off. There was actually a point where I was down to 148 pounds, a mere three pounds from my goal, (for those of you who are bad at math.) I was so driven. I felt great, and I was determined to meet my goal. Never mind that I still hated my thighs and would have traded the upper half of my IQ for the opportunity to trade my ba-donka-donk for an adorable tiny little white-girl ass. Somehow, loosing those last three pounds to meet my goal was going to transform that woman in the picture above into this:

(Don’t ask me how that one was going to work, it just was.)

Except that it never did. I mean, it might have for all I know, but I wouldn’t know because I never lost those last three pounds. Some poorly timed injuries plus…well, life got in my way. Exercise wasn’t as consistent and stress made for poor eating decisions. (Read: more Taco Bell.) I lost the momentum that I’d gained.

I set that goal for myself about a year and a half ago.

Since then, my weight has fluctuated up and down along with my life. At the moment, I’m in one of my “health kicks,” where I try to track my food closely(ish) and exercise five days a week, a mixture of skiing, running, and a few P90X videos for interest. But what’s different this time than any of the last year and a half is that for once, I don’t really give a shit about what the scale says.

It’s true. I don’t. For once, I’m going about this with the focus on my health, rather than my weight.

It kinda started the other day, while I was doing the P90X Plyometrics video. I was in my living room in my Goodwill gym shorts and t-shirt, jumping around like an asthmatic rhino and sweating like a whore in church. As I flopped over in a hamstring stretch, I caught sight of myself in the full-length mirror that rests against the wall. And despite myself, this ridiculous thought flew through my head:

Damn. My legs look good.

I hate my legs, always have. They’re huge and my thighs rub together when I walk in a dress. But I couldn’t help it, I actually liked the way my legs looked. They looked long and lean, like I could crush a man’s head between my thighs. And that’s when the realization smashed me in the face .

I will never be a size 6.

I’ve never held delusions that I was ever going to be a size 4. Let’s face it, when you’ve got an ass like mine that can be used as a resting place for a beer, you will never fit into a size 4. It just doesn’t happen. And the more I look at my body, the more I think that this is pretty close to as good as it’s going to get. Sure, I still have some squishy parts that I’d like to tone, but when you look at my silhouette I don’t think it’s going to get much smaller. I am the size I am, and that size will never be 6. It could be an 8, maybe, if I tried really hard and only in certain brands, but the more I look at myself, the more I think that I am just built as a size 10. And I’m tired of feeling like a failure because I can’t attain a goal set by a fucking video game. I’m not a failure. I’m just built on a larger scale than the fucking Japanese guy who designed the game thinks women should be.

Which means that instead of attaining society’s beautiful, I need to work on finding my beautiful.

My beautiful is a body that is healthy. That can ski, run, and hike with strength, and maybe a little bit of grace. That stays active and strong as the years go by. That is athletic and strong and toned. I’m sure that my body can be all those things. The hard part?

Seeing that beautiful in my body.

Like every woman alive today, I’ve been conditioned to believe that beautiful is that woman in the picture above. I will never be that woman. And instead of trying to be her, I need to start seeing the beautiful in my own body. Which is really fucking hard when I’ve spent the majority of my life focusing on all the things that are wrong with it. I still can’t stand in front of a mirror naked without becoming embarrassed for myself. But here’s what I can see:

My wrists are beautiful.

My collarbones are beautiful.

My calves are beautiful.

My shoulders are beautiful.

That all I got for now. It’s a start.

Where’s your beautiful?

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Arielle January 14, 2012, 10:53 am

    I totally love this even if I haven’t quite been able to feel that way about my own body. :/ Good job though on kicking ass and getting healthier!

    I won’t pretend I totally feel that way about my body either. It’s very, very difficult to spend so many years hating yourself and then suddenly make a 180 and decide that all the things you hated are suddenly beautiful. But seeing as it’s that or spend the rest of my life hating myself, I have to give it a shot.

  • Miss Melicious January 14, 2012, 11:01 am

    Woohoo! Awesome job.

  • Adam January 14, 2012, 11:45 am

    This is something I have also struggled with. Having no meat is almost as bad as having too much. And when I look at myself in the mirror, it’s hard to find complimentary things to say about myself. But I’ve been trying. And boy do I think my deltoids look great.

    Also, thanks for not showing pictures of your feet. If they’re anything like they were in high school, we’re better off not seeing.

    Thank you for sharing this. I think sometimes we forget that the pressures of perfection can be just as hard on men as they are on women.

    Also, showing a picture of my feet would indicate that I find them beautiful, which they are not. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of the battle scars they wear; my feet have done some pretty badass things. But they will NEVER be considered beautiful in any form.

  • allison January 14, 2012, 12:10 pm

    I love Love LOVE this post. I’ve just recently adopted the same mindset. I used to never want to wear shorts in public because my thighs too rub together and I have a birthmark and veins and though my calves are decent, my ankles don’t taper into little sticks. Then I realized that, really, if you own anything, you can wear it. So I began wearing shorts, and I owned it, and I felt comfortable and sure of myself.

    I’ve been trying to eat healthier too, increasing the amount of water I drink and doing at least a certain amount of exercise a day. Because I want to and because it feels good, not because I want to look like a bikini model. Because I know that, like you, I never will. I can be beautiful and healthy and in shape, but I’m never going to be a size 6. Or even an 8, regardless of brand. I’m too tall and my hips (yes, and ass) are too wide for that.

    But just… love this post. Thanks for sharing and being so honest. My day is happy now.

  • Camels & Chocolate January 14, 2012, 3:24 pm

    Girrrrrl, every woman’s inner thighs touch in a dress. Those who don’t are airbrushed.

    Wait, really? Seriously? Heads up, you kinda just blew my mind.

  • Lauren January 15, 2012, 11:33 pm

    It takes a lot of courage to talk about stuff like this. My hat off to you. Scratch that, we something more feminine. My bra off to you.

    (And Kristin’s right.)

  • doahleigh January 18, 2012, 7:44 pm

    Yes I love this! I should copy it, find my beautiful.

  • Christine February 19, 2012, 9:03 am

    You ran a half marathon. Any body that can do that is beautiful. And you only need to see Kyle looking at you to know how beautiful you are. And tall. Which is why size 6 won’t happen. The pants would end at your knees.

  • Katie March 8, 2012, 9:46 am

    Some days I love my ‘perfect 10’ body. It has curves some women would go under the knife for and that some men find attractive. But, most days, I see my reflection at a store and try to look away. Or I think ‘if only this this and this were smaller’ and my legs and torso longer! But, then it wouldn’t be me. I still want to lose some weight, but, like you, I’m not sure I’ll ever be a 6 (or even an 8, who knows). I hope you find your happy! 🙂

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