Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Skinny jeans

It is amazing how much self-torture women are able to inflict upon themselves because they feel they don't fit into some sort of "ideal" category. Almost every woman I know has or at least has had, issues with food in their lives. This is one reason I gave up on trying to be an actress-- I saw that to be successful I would have to be at a weight that was not healthy for me-- as it is I have been weight-conscious since the third grade when I remember being mortified when my mom told my friend's mom that I weighed 100 pounds. (Sad that third grade girls even 20 years ago had this issue-- that same friend later became anorexic).

In my early 20s I put on about 12 pounds-- the ironic result, actually, of rebound weight gain from over-exercising and depression. I beat myself up about it, would diet and over-exercise to try and get it down, only to lose 5 or 6 pounds and then regain it and maybe more. I have maintained this same weight, within about a 5 pound range for 6 or 7 years now-- despite the initial gain I am still well within a healthy weight range for my height. I beat myself up about a two pound range-- for some reason when my weight ends in a 2 or lower I'm comfortable, but when it ends in 4 or more I feel very fat. I mostly have recovered from my tendency to extremes with calorie counting and over exercising, but at the beginning of March I unwisely decided to follow the workout and calorie recommendations in Jillian Michael's "Making the Cut" but, being type-A and crazy, I also added extra cardio. And predictably, I had a very dizzy week and a half on 1400 calories before I slowly started overeating when poor body rebelled at being starved. I KNOW that's not enough calories for me. I have a #$*@!#$#*! Master's Degree in Nutrition! But sometimes the psychosis of being an over-achieving, self-judging woman takes over common sense and higher education.

I will say this-- though I haven't been as consistent with JM's workouts as I was last month, I have continued them and I have seen changes in my body, despite not really losing weight and in fact despite eating more sugar than is good for me. The circuits make me feel strong and tighter.

A few other things have happened lately that have changed the way I feel about my body-- the first is that in preparation for my Greece trip I found a swim suit that is flattering and I feel great in and covers my less than ideal areas.

Second, last weekend I attended a workout session sponsored by Dove Deodorant and hosted by my friend Stevie (it was an amazingly intense workout-- I could barely walk for two days afterwards!). There was something that really hit me running around that gym with a bunch of women, all of us about the same age, all different shapes and sizes but all at similar fitness levels when I kind of realized there is nothing wrong with me the way I am. I think particularly working out with my friend E, who has undergone an incredible amount of struggles in her life with her weight and has really beaten the odds and is in fantastic shape now even with a new baby that was powerful for me.

As for the jeans-- I actually hate wearing jeans because I always wear the boot cut, wide leg, Clinton and Stacy approved style which make me feel kind of dowdy. Due to my curvy shape I have never found a pair of skinny jeans or even straight leg that didn't look ridiculous on me or weren't too tight in the rear. But something changed-- I don't know if it's the workouts or just a shift in my own perception of my body, but I was trying on a pair of black leggings the other day intending to wear them under skirts and they actually looked good on their own. Then I was at the mall today and on a whim tried on a pair of skinny jeans at the Gap and they not only fit perfectly, but actually looked good.

I feel like in the aftermath of a self-abuse relapse I've found a place where I am feeling good about myself in the place where I am at. I would like to be in better shape, and losing a jeans size would be nice but I'm finding peace with being the size and shape I am right now, and that's an amazing feeling.