Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pondering Over Pounds

So, I'm sitting here, just floating around the SparkPeople* website when I see the date of my last [and only] blog post "4/1/2009" - just over one year ago. In summary, I was writing about my frustration of only having lost 5 lbs. But today is April 7, 2010, and I was at a loss for words when I reread what I wrote in that post. I'm stunned that I've stuck with this for as long as I have. At the time of that last post one year ago I had lost 5 pounds. Here I am, one year later an extra 59.5 pounds lighter. That's a total of 64.5 pounds.

What?! o_O
I'm in shock.

But the strange thing is that sometimes [okay, most of the time], I don't feel any different than that day one year ago. Maybe it's because I still struggle to shop in the "cool" stores, because women my age [23] are expected to be a size 8 {or smaller}...I'm a size 12/14. I still have another 22.5 lbs to go until my ultimate goal. A total of 87 lbs.

But here's the ultimate point of my post: What's the pressure? Why do I feel so compelled to lose this weight? Am I vain? Health-conscious? Do I really care what others (employers, friends, strangers, potential boyfriends/guys in general) think? The answer is simple: Yes.

We all care. We all want to make a good impression on the people we already know or have the potential of meeting. I have to say that being 64.5 pounds lighter has certainly boosted my self-esteem. I no longer hold back in large-group conversations. I used to hold back because I didn't want to draw attention to myself because I thought so low of myself. Being able to speak up in groups of friends, especially in class, has opened new doors for me. I also desperately hope that me losing weight will one day help me be more confident in meeting a guy. I do believe guys are initally attracted to thinner women. I can deduce this based on what I see everyday around me. Plus, when I was in high school (and thinner), I dated all the time. But when I gained all the weight in college, I hardly dated at all. We will just have to see how those tables will turn.

I wouldn't define my weight-loss as vain in any way - I still think I look chubby. But I do feel thrilled that I'm not obligated to the plus-size section in a store [if they even have one]. Trust me, if you have ever been in that circumstance it is extremely frustrating, disheartening, and a little embarassing if you're with other people who aren't limited to that section.

Would I define my goals in terms of being health-conscious...yes and no. I do want to be healthier - drink water, not soda; not eat any fast food; eat more fruits and veggies. But I'm in no way a "health nut". I still love pasta, bread, red meat, and of course the occassional drink [or two]. That will certainly never change. But this diet has certainly been a life-change for me, especially if you knew me before I started.

So I think about the pressure(s) that women [and even men] may be feeling to lose the extra poundage, and I believe we all do it for one reason: to feel good about ourselves. That's what it boils down to in the end. It really doesn't matter what he said about you, or how that girl is looking at you, or how fatty that cheeseburger you just downed might be. At the end of the day - skinny, fat, or in between - if we feel good about ourselves, and who we are on the inside, that is what matters the most.

*If you're curious about SparkPeople, ask me in the comments and I'll fill you in.

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