Weighing My Options

Photos by Norma Ibarra - Lapir0

Today’s look inspired me to write a post about two issues that are extremely difficult to discuss, especially when doing it on a very personal level, which it’s exactly what I’m going to attempt to do here. And those issues are weight and body image.

You may wonder what this particular outfit and photos have to do with that, and as hard as this is to admit out loud (let alone publicly!), the truth is the first thought that came to my mind when I saw these pictures was “Wow, am I really that fat?”

Now, you may or may not think I’m fat, but that’s beside the point because right now I’m not really concerned with defining, especially by anyone else’s terms, whether I am fat or not. What I am currently concerned with is processing what my experience with my weight has been, how it has affected me, and most importantly how I’m going to deal with it from now on. It probably doesn’t seem like the best idea to do all of this in such a public manner thru this blog (and trust me, I’m still questioning this decision myself), nevertheless I’m going to go ahead and do it, hoping it might help anyone else out there going through something similar at the very least by making them realize they are not alone in this.

So, back to the photos and to my reaction of surprise when seeing my size in them, well, such surprise comes from the fact that I do not see myself that big in the mirror, and in my mind I am not that fat. I know when one thinks about body image issues what seems like the most common one is people seeing themselves as bigger, or worse in some way, than they actually are. Well, not me, in the mirror I look pretty okay to myself. Sure, I’m not blind to the fact the I’m bigger than I used to be (or about my cellulite which drives me crazy), but in my eyes I’m not fat. And that may sound like a good thing, like “hey, if you’re fairly happy with what you see in the mirror, consider yourself lucky”, but the problem is eventually I am confronted by reality when I look at some photos… or at my pants, which have gotten significantly bigger over the years. Basically, my image in photos, and even in my jeans, does not match the image in my mind.

Long story short, there was a time of my life when I was skinny, but life goes ‘round and ‘round, with ups and downs… and with it my weight also went up and down, and up again. Truth is I took my body for granted, I’ve never really took very good care of it when it came to eating habits and physical activity, and there were times when I didn’t even realize my weight was starting to get out control. You see, when I was skinny, it came naturally, I didn’t have to try, and unfortunately I assumed that would always be the case.  Until I found myself many pounds beyond my ideal weight, and realized that getting back to it wasn’t going to happen effortlessly and easily.

Of course, once I realized that, I started trying. I would try to eat healthy and work out for a while, I would lose some weight, only to end up getting frustrated things weren’t happening as fast, and that the whole eating right and working out part seemed to be extremely difficult for me.  There were several attempts like that, but as you can see, I am still at my all time highest weight, which in case you were wondering puts me at a jeans size 12… okay, okay, a tight 12… borderline 14 really, but I refuse to buy jeans that size, so I’m sticking to my tight 12’s.

Now, all that said, and as much as I would love to go back to my glory days of being a size 6 or even an 8, I want to be clear about the fact that I do consider myself very lucky to have an hourglass figure and to still have a small waist. Even with all the back and forth with my weight, I have always loved my shape and my curves (just wish they were a bit scale down), and never want to lose them to become a stick figure (which would never happen anyway, because even at a size 0 I still had curves and a cute round butt). Yet that’s where my conflict about my weight had really lain for the past couple of years.

If I love my figure even at my current weight, couldn’t I just be happy staying like this? I don’t have any major weight-related health problems (no high cholesterol, diabetes or heart problems), so there shouldn’t be anything wrong with being a plus-size, right?  What about self acceptance and loving yourself as is? Could I even stay at my current weight or becoming complacent with it will just make me more likely to gain even more (which I certainly don’t want!)? Would it just make me a quitter if I stop trying to lose weight and learn to be happy as a full figure girl?

On the other hand, there’s still that voice inside of me telling me I should lose weight, telling me I would look better if I did, but is that really what I want? Or is it just the pressure I (and all of us women really) feel to try to fit in to the social beauty standard? Do I really want to lose weight for myself or just to please other people? Should I try to conform to what others consider beautiful and acceptable or learn to define those on my own terms? Would it really make me happier to be skinny again?

I think I will get into all those questions and how far I’ve come trying to solve this dilemma in a future post since this one has gotten quite long already. I do have a new philosophy when it comes to my weight and how I want to handle it from now on, and I’ll share it with you soon.

Wishing you a lovely weekend my darlings!

 ~o~o~o~

 El look de hoy me inspiró a escribir sobre dos temas muy difíciles de discutir, sobre todo cuando se hace a un nivel muy personal, que es exactamente lo que voy a intentar hacer aquí.  Y esos temas son peso corporal y percepción de auto imagen.

Se preguntaran que tiene que ver este outfit y estas fotos con esos temas, y por mas difícil que sea admitirlo  en voz alta (ya ni digamos públicamente!), la verdad es que lo primero que se me vino a la mente cuando vi estas fotos fue “Guau, estoy así de gorda?”

Ahora, ustedes pueden o  no pensar que estoy gorda, pero ese no es el punto porque ahorita no me preocupa definir, especialmente según los términos de alguien más, si estoy gorda o no. Lo que me interesa ahorita es procesar cual ha sido mi experiencia con mi peso, como me ha afectado, y lo más importante, como voy a manejarlo de ahora en adelante.  Probablemente no parezca la mejor idea hacer todo esto de manera tan pública a través de este blog (y créanme, todavía estoy cuestionando yo misma esta decisión), pero aún así lo voy a hacer, esperando que tal vez pueda a ayudar a alguien más pasando por una situación similar por lo menos al hacerl@s ver que no están sol@s en esto.

Así que, regresando a lo de las fotos y mi reacción de sorpresa ante ellas, pues resulta que la sorpresa viene del hecho de que yo no me veo así en el espejo, y en mi mente no estoy tan gordita. Sé que generalmente cuando uno piensa en problemas de percepción de auto imagen, el que más comúnmente se viene a la mente es cuando las personas se perciben más obesas, o de alguna manera peor, a como están en realidad. Pues yo no, yo en el espejo me veo muy bien. Claro, no estoy ciega al hecho de que estoy varios kilos arribas de cómo solía estar (ni tampoco dejo de ver mi celulitis, que me choca!), pero a mis ojos no estoy gorda. Y eso puede sonar como buenas noticias, como que “hey, si estás a gusto con lo que ves en el espejo, considérate afortunada”, el problema es que tarde o temprano me veo enfrentada a la realidad cuando veo algunas fotos… o mis pantalones, los cuales son significativamente más grandes que antes. Básicamente la imagen en las fotos, y hasta la de mis pantalones, no es la imagen en mi mente.

Para no hacerles el cuento largo, hubo una época en mi vida en la que fui flaca, pero la vida da muchas vueltas, sube y baja… y con ella también mi peso subió y bajó, y volvió a subir. La verdad es que di por sentado mi cuerpo y mi peso, realmente nunca lo cuidé mucho en términos de buena alimentación y ejercicio, y hubo veces que ni siquiera me di cuenta que mi peso se estaba saliendo de control.  Porque verán, cuando era flaca, lo fui naturalmente, sin esfuerzo, y desafortunadamente asumí que ese siempre sería el caso. Hasta que un día me encontré muchos kilos arriba de mi peso ideal, y me di cuenta que regresar a él no iba a ser tan fácil ni sin esfuerzo.

Por supuesto, ya que caí en cuenta de eso, empecé a esforzarme y a tratar. Trataba de comer saludable y hacer ejercicio por un tiempo, bajaba un poco, y después terminaba frustrada de que los resultados no llegaban tan rápido como esperaba, y que todo el asunto de comer bien y hacer ejercicio para mí era extremadamente difícil. Hubo varios intentos de ese tipo, pero como ven, sigo en el peso más alto de toda mi vida, y en caso de que se lo pregunten soy talla 12 en jeans… okay, okay, talla 12 apretado… rayando casi en 14 la verdad, pero me rehúso a comprar jeans de esa talla, así que me quedo con mis 12’s apretados.

Ahora, dicho todo eso, y por más que me encantaría regresar a mis gloriosos días en que era talla 6 o hasta un 8, quiero aclarar el hecho de que me considero muy afortunada de tener figura de reloj de arena, y conservar todavía una cintura decente. Aun con todo el ir y venir de mi peso, siempre he amado la forma de mi cuerpo y mis curvas (aunque quisiera que fueran en escala más pequeña),  y no quisiera perderlas nunca (cosa que no ocurriría de todos modos, porque aun cuando era talla 0 tenia curvas y un trasero redondito). Sin embargo, he ahí donde se ha encontrado mi conflicto con mi peso en el último par de años.

Si me encanta mi figura aun con mi peso actual, que no podría ser feliz quedándome como estoy? No tengo mayores problemas de salud relacionados al peso (ni alto colesterol, ni diabetes, ni problemas del corazón), así que no tendría nada de malo ser figura plus, no? Qué hay de la auto aceptación y el amarse a uno mismo como es? Es más, para empezar podría quedarme en mi peso actual o quedarme conforme con él  me hará mas propensa a subir más de peso (cosa que obvio no me gustaría!)? Me convierte en una persona que se rinde fácilmente el dejar de tratar de bajar de peso y aprender a ser feliz como chica llenita?

Por otro lado, todavía hay una vocecita dentro de mí diciéndome que debería bajar de peso, que me vería mejor, pero eso es realmente lo que quiero? O solo es la presión que siento, al igual que la mayoría de las mujeres, para tratar de encajar con el estándar social de belleza? Realmente quiero bajar de peso por mi misma o solo para complacer a los demás? Debería tratar de adaptarme a lo que otros consideran bello y aceptable o aprender a definir esos conceptos bajo mis propio términos? Realmente seria más feliz si fuera flaca otra vez?

Creo que tendré que contarles mis respuestas y que tan lejos he llegado tratando de resolver este dilema en una publicación futura porque esta ya quedó bastante larga. Sí tengo una nueva filosofía en cuanto a mi peso y como pienso manejarlo de ahora en adelante, pero se las contaré después.

Deseándoles un lindo fin de semana mis adorad@s!

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5 thoughts on “Weighing My Options

  1. I think you are beautiful just the way you are!
    I believe that as long as we are happy inside, we will be confident about our outside! If you like what you see in the mirror it’s because what you see in it, it’s beautiful:-)!!
    Pictures dont show who we really are and what we are all about!
    I think having curves is the representation of the word ” woman”!
    You are gorgeous and I’m proud of you!
    Letty

  2. Dear Friend, thank you for sharing this very personal message with us. First let me say that you are amazing! I look at these pictures and see one very sexy lady! I certainly understand the body image thing. When I was younger I was tall and very thin, no cruves just bones. I wished I was heavier and had cruves so the boys would like me. Several years later I appreciate my body. I’ve filled out a little but more than that my attitude about my body image has changed. For me know a days it’s about living a healthly life, staying active and fit.
    Abril thank you for sharing your story with us because we all can relate in someway!
    Love you friend!

  3. Abril, you’re very beautiful! I’ve always, since little, looked up to you in areas of fashion sense and women confidence and beauty. Remember you lend me the dress for the first dance I went to, and you went with me, back in 6th grade? And you danced so freely, everyyyy boy was :O~ . “She’s junior high school”. And I know we kinda lost touch after that, but when I found you back in Phoenix you were still doing the same, enjoying life, and fine restaurants, and beautiful clothes. I’m amazed by your view of life. And don’t doubt your self beauty! Seriously. I still remember when we I was in like 4th grade or something and you where complaining about a feature of yourself and I had never ever noticed, and have not yet noticed anything wrong with it. I totally think you’re beautiful desde las pestañas al dedo gordo del pie.

    However, I do agree that eating healthy is good. But since your blood tests came okay, I assume you are eating healthy :) Skinny doesn’t mean healthy at all!

  4. Pingback: Look of the Day: Truth or Dare - abril's corner

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