As far back as middle school, I remember being concerned that I was bigger than everyone else. Part of it was because I’ve always been so tall (technically I’m 5′ 11 1/2” but I tell my students I’m 6 feet–they are usually impressed with this) and being a little bigger than everyone else was part of my body type. I have hips, boobs, a butt, and no defined ankles…this will always be my body, no matter how much weight I lose. And my poor daughters have the same no-ankle gene. Sorry kids.
They also have the no-top-lip gene, but that’s for another post.
But genetics only tell part of the story and the rest of my story is I like to eat food. I don’t eat as an emotional reaction, due to stress, out of boredom, or because of some deep, dark emotional scar. If there is stress in my life, I’m likely to lose my appetite. At times, I jokingly request more stress so I can lose a few pounds. I make mostly good food choices, but I eat too much of it. And when I do make bad food choices, I eat too much of it too.
And being chubby (I prefer “chubby” to “fat,” it feels less…ugly) never affected my quality of life. All my clothes came from normal-sized people stores, I could ride roller coasters at the amusement park, creepy men still hit on me at the gas station, I’ve never broken furniture by sitting on it, I could still manage a good no-double-chin picture once in a while. I’ve been living the good, chubby girl life.
I’m not sure what changed, but this summer I decided to be less fat.
We joined a gym about a year ago and I’d lost about five pounds just from moving more. In January, I started documenting my fashion choices on my blog and that made me look at clothes, my body, and pictures of myself differently. And then in June, I started Weight Watchers.
I’ve lost twenty five pounds since June and I’m four pounds away from my original goal weight. But now that I know what my goal weight will look like, I’m hoping to lose another ten after that. And that goal is specifically because of the Olympics.
I was watching a beach volleyball match this summer and the announcer mentioned that one of the players was the same height as me (clarification: he didn’t say “this player is the same height as Mary Graham,” he just said her height and I made the connection all by myself). And this girl looked pretty awesome so I decided that her weight was healthy and it would one day be my weight also.
Because I will never be stick thin. It’s not in my genetic make up. As a thirty-year-old woman, I have finally realized that, finally accepted it. But being healthy is something I can do. For my kids, for my family, and for myself.