Last night we went out to dinner to celebrate a friend's birthday. I laughed so hard for most of the night that my cheeks hurt at the end of the meal. Us four ladies took turns making fun of our dietary indescretions. One of us confessed that she loved cheese, another confessed that she was weak for carbs. I confessed that I was a sucker for both. Seriously give me a pound of Vermont white cheddar and a loaf of french bread and you might want to leave the room because what's gonna happen next ain't pretty. One of us is pregnant, and she made faces about the squishiness of her belly and the other unfortunates of being pregnant. Of course to us she looks just like she did before but with more belly. Than two of us went on to make fun of how horrible we looked when we were pregnant. There were imitations of Pregzilla eating Tokyo, there were descriptions of the size of our ankles, and how we did NOT want to be touched. Which was fine, because let's face it pregnancy is freaky. Like something out of a science fiction movie.
At one point a card was passed around, a funny card about a princess that was a size four, who ate want she wanted, and never exercised, and had a prince that massaged her feet all the time, and she was eaten by a dragon, and no one cared. I laughed but inside I cringed a bit, I am a size four. Which I reluctantly write because I know that an unsaid rule of girlhood is to not say your size, especially if it's small. I comforted myself because I do exercise, and I don't eat all the time. SO I guess that other women can't hate me too much. I used to be bigger, but through a series of realizations about portion size, getting more disciplined in exercising, and lactation I have lost weight. I actually am pretty comfortable with my body. Sure post-baby some stuff is a little deflated, but through the miraclce of good lingerie no one has to know about it. Except that now I just typed it on the internet...basically though I think I look pretty good. I ignore magazines, because that's not real and just try to enjoy what I have.
I guess my sticking point is why is it that it's cool to bash ourselves? I have sat in multiple conversations where I feel I almost have to make up things up that I hate about myself or exaggerate my insecurities. Why do we do this? We get together and spiral down on ourselves.
My friends that I ate out with last night are mature ladies, in happy marriages, and on the whole I think pretty confident. I would think that none of them have body image issues. If they do they are peripheral to who they see themselves as people. I think that probably they don't really. One of them has confessed to me that she's actually pretty happy with her size. I think they all look pretty good, even when pregnant. Even the hilarity of pregnancy, with all it's swelling and mood swings, no one really cares how fat you get or how swollen, it's just part of the deal.
Another thing that I want to free women from is thinking that we all have to weigh 120lbs. Men accept the fact that at different heights they will weigh different weights. Not all men weigh 180lbs. My husband would be overweight at 180 and my brother would be too thin. They know that. I have watched countless tall women blanch at stating their weight, because it's well above 120lbs. And it needs to be well above 120lbs becuase of their height. At 5'3" I am way too heavy in a size ten, but at 5'10" a size ten or twelve would be perfect. Why is that hard for us to accept?
So why do we do this to ourselves? Why can't we just accept ourselves the way that we are? Just focus on being healthy, eating right and exercising for the sake of feeling good and not being any particular number size or weight that you think you might need to be. Know that Hollywood is all air-brushing and camera angles and that we all come in different shapes and that they're all good, because that's the way we were made. Hopefully we feel like we weren't made in mistake, but by good design. So ladies, I encourage you to throw out the scale or whatever torture device you use and go get a hug from someone.