I’ve been on this incredible weight-loss/weight-maintenance journey for more than seven years, and I continue learning more about myself than I thought possible. I’ve met inspiring people – virtually and in real life – who motivate me to think positively, to accept myself where I am in every moment, and to see myself through a different lens, one that’s not focused on weight all the time. I’ve listened. I’ve implemented. And although I no longer weigh 125 pounds, which was insane for me, I remain committed to being physically active and mindful of my food intake. I can stand in front of the bathroom mirror and say, “You look nice, Lynn.”
Then I walk out the door and sometimes it’s like the last seven years didn’t exist.
The more things change, the more the past comes and bites me in the ass. And I mean, literally, my ass (the biting part is figurative).
I’ve never been comfortable with the shape of my ass. When I’m thin, it’s flat. When I’m overweight, it’s flat. I have absolutely no bootie. Paired with long, gangly legs and a thick waist, I’ve never found the perfect pair of form-fitting jeans.
This is a first-world problem, I know. White Whine. It’s like complaining I can’t get cell service in the Squirrel Hill Tunnel. I get it. But still…this self-perception is real and I want to work toward ass self-esteem and move on.
|I found this on KnowYourMeme. Blogger Jessica Hagy drew it.|
It started in high school. I remember climbing the stairs behind a cheerleader and her boyfriend. The cheerleader was a petite blond with large breasts and a small round butt. Her boyfriend was a football player who often picked her up in the lunchroom and threw her over his shoulders. I was behind the boyfriend who was behind the cheerleader when the boyfriend said loudly, “I’m making a sign for your ass that says, ‘Wide load.’” He laughed and laughed. The cheerleader turned around and playfully hit his arm, but I was horrified for her. Then I was horrified for me. If he thought his girlfriend’s ass was fat, there was no hope for mine.
I became the master of backing out of rooms, or walking sideways when I was in front of someone. After awhile, I did it without thinking. And the times when I had no choice but stand directly in front of someone, I obsessed over how awful my ass must look to whomever was behind me. Self-centered? Yes, kind of. But with a psychological bent that told me I wasn’t good enough because I had created in my head this belief that my ass made other people uncomfortable. Like people woke up that morning and prayed, ‘God, I hope I don’t see a flat ass today.’ Crazy thinking, I know, but seriously, don’t we all have some insecurity that makes us nervous? Cautious of? Hell bent on hiding?
You recall my last blog was about getting back into the dating scene after losing a lot of weight. I had the good fortune of meeting “Steve” a few weeks ago. Yesterday, he invited me to a 30-year anniversary party at a restaurant he’s been going to since it opened. I chose to wear a pair of jeans and a black knit shirt and a cotton jacket that would cover my ass. Only I accidently left the jacket at home because I couldn’t wear it under my winter coat. As you can imagine, and I knew, a lot of his friends and neighbors were there. Steve led me to the opposite side of the bar from the juke box and rest room, introducing me along the way. If I wanted to use the bathroom or play the juke box, it meant I’d have to walk away from Steve and past his friends and other bar patrons.
This is not me being egotistical. This is me responding to years of programming, advertising, and comments from people I thought cared about me that nothing short of a perfect body is good enough. Ergo, I’m not good enough. I’ve worked on those demons for many years and I’ve exorcised a good deal of them, but my 16-year-old insecure self still lives inside and she was all up in my head yesterday.
I fidgeted a bit in my chair, thinking about this first-world quandary, as Steve talked to a few of his friends. They were having a juke box challenge – who could play the worst song from the 60s and early 70s – and I knew exactly what I wanted to play: Tom Jones’ “She’s a Lady.” I’m competitive and I wanted to play that song more than I wanted to hide my ass. So I grabbed a dollar out of my purse and I walked around the bar, perhaps a little red-faced, but I held my head high and kept my ass in perspective. I plugged the song in the juke box and when it played, got a great big laugh from the crowd. I didn’t win the challenge, but I rose above the ass-hating, if only for a few minutes.
I logged online this morning and read Tippy Toe Diet Cammy’s blog and I thought, ‘Man…she’s in my head again.’ This graphic was at the top of her entry:
There are a lot of things about me that I’ve learned to love and accept. There are a lot of other things that need work. And I will work. Giving up, while it might linger in my head some days, is not an option.
I had a therapy appointment this afternoon. I’ve been seeing Julie on and off for two years. As I was making an appointment for our next session, she said her schedule was tight next week, so could I be flexible. I said my schedule is usually flexible. “That’s the beauty of me!” I said.
“That’s what you need to tell yourself in all aspects of your life,” she replied.
She definitely got me on that one. And we hadn’t even discussed my low ass self-esteem in our session!
I suspect we all believe things about ourselves that are either simply not true or that might be true, but we view them through a magnifying glass and not in their proper dimension. It can get in the way of our happiness, our goals, our hopes for whatever outcome we want to strive for.
I want a bootie and that ain’t gonna happen without major medical intervention. But more than that, I want to accept my bootie and every other part of what makes up the real me. And as I said before, I’m not giving up. I am who I am. And that’s the beauty of me.