Whether or not you are bothered by your weight, should be a very personal problem, but isn’t it funny that worrying about our weight very rarely has any thing to do with how you personally feel?
At least not in the first place. Worrying about your weight is usually triggered by somebody else.
A friend much smaller than you complaining about how fat she feels translates to well how fat must she think I am?
A dress that looks great on a friend doesn’t fit you.
Your mum starts dieting, oh maybe I should start watching what I eat?
This is all in response to a post written by a friend of a friend. A girl who I have never met, who apparently is experiencing these exact same feelings. Isn’t THAT odd, other people, other GIRLS also worrying about their weight? You can read that post here.
I’m not going to sit here and pretend I can solve anyone’s insecurities, any more than I know the answer to what to do in a quarter life crisis but I do think that the more we read and remember that an obsession with skinniness isn’t healthy and that our fat rolls are probably due to an overactive imagination rather than one too many nights out the more likely we are to stay sane.
And happy. Sane and happy.
So time to get personal once more (I know, I know this is meant to be theatre blog, but I promise all this is due to me thinking about Love Letters...)...
I have always seen myself as ‘soft around the edges…’ Since the age of about 14 I have been a size 12. At age 16 size 12 felt huge, and I remember a boyfriend at the time saying to me, when I was whinging about my weight that actually I was a bit chubbier than normal girls.
I know great boyfriend right?
Safe to say that has always stuck with me. Ever since I’ve thought I’m ‘just that bit bigger…’
Now as I have mentioned in a couple of earlier posts, this past year I have put a fair chunk of weight on. Not just in my mind, but as a number on the scales too. So here is the puzzler… I am still a size 12.
I look back at picture of myself at uni, when I was under 10 stone, and think WHAT THE HELL WAS I SEEING! I wasn’t stick thin, but I certainly wasn’t ‘bigger than normal.’ I had a great figure, I am lucky to have a tiny waist, and have curves.
Then I looked back at pictures of myself before I moved to Manchester. I was about half a stone heavier, and at the time that felt HUGE. But again, I look back at the pictures, and if anything, I look better for it, like I had grown up just the right amount after uni.
I look at myself now, recently I have lost a bit of weight, but I’m still not back where I was before Manchester, and certainly not where I was at uni. Some days I feel huge. I will sit down and it is as if my belly is expanding on the spot getting bigger and bigger, eating nothing but my good mood up.
Does it matter that actually I am STILL a size 12? No.
Does it matter that I am fitter than I have ever been in my life? No.
What does matter?
That a friend has lost a lot of weight, and now regularly says she would hate to be any bigger? My Heads translation: I’d hate to be as big as you?
It shouldn’t but it is enough to send any confidence I woke up with running.
The fact is that when it comes to looking at ourselves we are always seeing a reflection from some kind of nightmare fun house filled with, perhaps genuinely, crazy mirrors.
And then there is the flip side of it.
Just as I am seeing a distorted version of myself, my now very slender friend is also still seeing a distorted image. And I think that is perhaps even scarier. That we may never get a real perspective of where we are now, we are constantly looking at where we used to be, or where we want to be.
Flip it over again, and there’s the compliments that all to frequently fall on deaf ears.
Last weekend I headed down to London. Since I was last there I have lost no weight whatsoever and was just beginning to think ‘yeah, I really need to get on that…’ One of the first things a friend said to me?
‘You’ve lost weight!’ which was then repeated later on when I changed to go out ‘You’ve really trimmed down’ which was met by another friend ‘She’s always been tiny, I wouldn’t say she ever had any weight to loose…’
Like I said, I don’t know how to resolve my own insecurities or anyone else’s, most of the time we don’t believe something till we have seen it with our own eyes and even the healthiest most zen of my friends, have their days where their eyes deceive them. On those days all we can do is declare ourselves blind, and instead trust our ears, and hope that we hear things correctly.
Oh listen THAT was a compliment or perhaps more importantly…
THAT wasn’t a dig or a reflection on you, that was a friend having their own bad day.
And if that isn’t enough to cheer us up then lets all just take a moment to appreciate that somebody in the world thought things were getting a bit out of hand and decided to make a barbie doll with REAL average measurements.
Now pass me a cake, cos if Barbie can now function in the real world, I can too!