Okay, here's me being very real.
Yesterday afternoon was yucky. I mentioned in my last post that I have been taking medication that has made me gain weight, given me mood swings, and acne. Well, yesterday, I set out to Union Square with the last $50 of my Birthday money (yes, my birthday was in June-- I realize I'm strange) to buy some clothes that would fit a little better.
After hours of hunting, countless dressing rooms, and a lump in my throat, I came back empty-handed. But let me give you a little back story, first:
The Freshman 15 is a pretty common occurrence. I'm not exactly sure how much weight I gained in college, but it was more than 15lbs, and it was for more than just my freshman year. I really struggled with "the new me", and was plagued with awful thoughts about the way I looked, my self-image, and my worth. Everything I wore was chosen to cover up a body I was ashamed of, and to hide myself as much as possible.
After college, I slowly lost the weight, and began to actually feel comfortable in my own skin. I felt healthier-- mentally & physically, and finally re-learned what it was like not to hate my own body. I even discovered that I had a "style" that I actually liked, and didn't have to buy things for the way they covered & hid me. It was very freeing.
Well, fast forward to yesterday, in the dressing room at Banana Republic, trying to squeeeze into a pair of jeans, and realizing that I don't wear that size anymore. I must have tried on 50 different items yesterday, and all those old messages about my worth, my value & my body started screaming in my head again. I realized that I would have to start buying things for the way they covered me, and not because I liked them. It felt like a door closing on my identity, somehow-- like I had lost all that healthy freedom I had gained these past 7 years.
To make matters worse, I went straight from my unsuccessful ventures downtown to meet some friends for pizza. The lump I felt in my throat made it difficult to thing of swallowing pizza, so I ordered a salad instead. When the waitress brought the salad, she set it in the middle of the table for us all to share. I explained that it was for me, and she exclaimed "WOW! This is all for you?! You must be hungry!" I swear, the whole restaurant heard. Somehow, I didn't feel quite so hungry after that.
I realize that my dress size does not define me. I realize that my worth is not based on my weight, and that my identity and style does not come from the clothes that I wear. At least, I'm trying to believe those things...
I kept telling myself, each time I stood in front of one of those awful full-length mirrors in the dressing rooms, that every woman in America feels insecure about her looks-- that our culture (and the Devil) has set an impossible and ridiculous standard for us to live by, and that I don't have to buy it. I kept reminding myself that I had a hot husband at home, who loves me and thinks I'm beautiful.
I'm trying. All those voices in my head tell me that I am worthless, fat, and ugly. They are wrong. They are wrong, and I don't have to believe them. I know what truth is, and I know that's not it. I am going to fight very hard to live in truth...