I’ve been defined by my weight since I was ten years old. My dance teacher stood me in front of the mirror in our dance studio and used a pointer to show me the places where my body needed improvements. My thighs stuck out too far. My legs were thick. I had a bit of a “belly”.
Until that moment, my biggest concern was where the other lime green peep-toed pump was for my Barbie doll and whether my dog ate it. I was ten years old. When I laid on my bed and daydreamed about marrying David Cassidy, I never though about knocking out a few sets of ab crunches so I’d look super hot at the wedding. My world was Barbies and school and friends and, already, writing. That moment in front of the mirror changed me forever.
From that moment on, when I walked into a room of other kids I’d look at all the thighs and bellies and see which ones were bigger or smaller than mine. If there were bigger kids, I felt relieved. I looked at the skinny girls with such envy. I was sure everyone loved them. No one could resist a skinny girl because skinny was beautiful. I wasn’t skinny, so that meant I wasn’t beautiful – which meant I was ugly. Kid logic.
Whenever someone told me I was pretty, I smiled and said thank you just like Mom taught me – but there was always that inside voice that disagreed with them. No, I’m not pretty…because I’m fat. It is incredibly difficult to change that voice in your head – especially when it’s planted there so early.
I’ve been finding it a challenge to remain positive over the past couple of days because I keep falling back to the old habit of defining myself by a number. I’ve realized it’s not enough to reach for a healthier lifestyle…I need to redefine how I define myself as well.
I’ve been derailed a lot over the past ten days. The mother of all toothaches was first to knock me down. I had an infected tooth that needed a root canal, but I needed to take anti-biotics for 5 days before I could get it fixed – so I lived in pain for nearly a week (as did those of you who follow me on Facebook…because I pretty much whined about it non-stop). I had no idea how much it could hurt to breathe with your mouth open when you have an infected tooth. Holy crap on a cracker! The gym wasn’t an option last week unless I took a pain pill – and the last thing I should be doing is using gym equipment while on pain pills. Those suckers were badass.
Then I got the root canal. Yay! I’m petrified of dentists, so this was an accomplishment on its own. No more freaky discomfort of a dental dam, no more huge needles in my face – or the nervous farting that I hope went unnoticed…I’m done! Well, at least for two weeks or so. I probably should have taken Kirby or Dyson with me as a “therapy dog” and then I would have had someone to blame the gas on. You know what they say about hindsight…
Just when I was ready to get back into the swing of things this weekend, the 7 Dwarfs of the Menstrual Apocalypse showed up. If this is your first time reading my blog, I apologize for the overshare. The rest of you know what to expect and you still love me…and I’m grateful. I love you too. And since you know what to expect, you know I’ve spent the last two days curled up in the fetal position, cursing Mother Nature and my angry uterus. In a few more days, I’ll be back to normal. (My new normal, not my former Dr. Pepper swilling, pizza guzzling, snack cake motorboating normal.)
I hate being derailed, especially when I’m motivated to go to the gym. When I joined this gym a couple of months ago, I started at 10 minutes on the elliptical – which was surprising as hell because I expected far less. Right before the tooth-from-hell hit me, I did 30 minutes. I was a freaking NINJA. A chubby, determined, spastic ninja…kicking my fat cells right in the ass.
I’m logging my food every day, but I’m not getting on the scale because I’m not working out. Also because I’m in the middle of my “ladies days”, peeps, and what woman is crazy enough to get on the scale then? I want my new normal back. Hurry up, uterus, and get it out of your system. Momma’s got shit to do!
During times like this, it’s hard to remember not to define my success by a number on the scale…or even the minutes on the elliptical. It takes conscious effort to remember that I need to pay attention to the non-scale victories as well. And I need to focus on the positive instead of giving myself grief for not being able to workout right now. I’ll be back in the gym by Wednesday. That has to be good enough for me right now.
There are many non-scale victories to celebrate – and some of these are going to seem ridiculous to you if you’ve never had a problem with food, but I assure you these are accomplishments. I didn’t use the toothache as an excuse to eat my weight in pudding every day because it hurt to chew. The 7 Dwarfs of the Menstrual Apocalypse are visiting right now and I haven’t once baked a brownie or driven to Walgreens and emptied the ice cream case in a sweaty fury. And probably the biggest accomplishment of all: I’m not inwardly celebrating that I can’t go to the gym right now. I’m not sobbing over it either, but I’m pretty effing proud of that 30 minutes I did right before my tooth decided to be an asshole. That pride feels good.
I’m not a number on a scale. I’m not the size tag on my pants. I’m just a Hot Mess Princess…running towards positive change as fast as my cankles can carry me.
What non-scale victories have you celebrated this week? I’m all ears…share with me!
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2 thoughts on “Redefining “Me””
Keep working! You can do it! My non-scale success: I can now comfortably fasten my bra on the first set of hooks… If this keeps up, and I hope it does, I will have to buy new bras because they are too big!
Atta girl, Dana!!! Here’s to smaller bras (although the men in our lives may not agree…tough crap!)
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