I am overweight. There is no way to dispute this fact, the mighty and omniscient BMI index makes it indisputable and quantifiable.
It bothers me on some days more than others, but still- I’ve been on a halfhearted diet for about the last five years now.. rolls eyes..
I’m 5’7, and currently weigh in at 12 stone and 3lb, which- if you know your BMI stats- puts me smack bang in the middle of the “overweight” section. I need to lose 11lb to get down to the coveted “normal weight” section
Rolls eyes again..
“Normal” is one of my least favourite words in the English language, and yet- I still look into the mirror, and rip myself to shreds rather than acknowledge my averagely OK figure.
My boyfriend tells me I’m beautiful, but I don’t internalise it; his words just keep rebounding off the part of my mind which screams, you can’t be beautiful; you’re a stone overweight! Over weight and beautiful are contradictory terms!
This is absolutely ridiculous, and I do fight the urge to think in this stupid and reductive manner, nanely because I hate how superficial it seems to make me. I hate to think that i am so affected by something which is so flipping unimportant.
First world problems right? I hate how much my sense of self-esteem can be knocked, by a 2 dimensional reflection.
I’m worth more than that- I know that I have more depth, and more substance than that image in the mirror!
Except that on some days I just don’t feel like I do. On some days my entire sense of self is thrown into a tailspin, just because I feel overweight.
I have this constant internal conflict surrounding my body and my reflection, and how I perceive it and relate to it. There is this sense of uncertainty, and this gap,. between what I rationally know to be true (I don’t look that bad,) and what my insecurities scream at me when i look in the mirror (you don’t deserve to feel that good!)
It is like a part of me worries that to be deserving of happiness, and for my sense of self-esteem to be justified, I must weigh 10 stone. The advertising companies/media etc have done their job scarily well, by tying ideas of beauty and self worth to physical appearance, and moreover to a thin physical appearance.
I want to feel a certain way- but I also feel that I cannot be and feel that way at my present weight. When I look in the mirror I do not see someone who deserves to feel that good about themselves.
I want to feel beautiful.. that is the crux of it, really.
I want to feel beautiful in the way that Ru makes me feel. However, currently, that feeling is knocked away the moment I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror.
I shout at myself daily, come on Ally, you don’t need to be thin to be beautiful, you don’t need to be 10 stone to have self esteem; you can feel dam good about yourself and also be slightly overweight.. for Gods sake Ally of course you can be.
I know this really- and I know that the side of me which knows this is the better side of me; the side which I respect more and Ru loves more.
I would rather be a woman whose sense of self esteem came from her mind and her work, rather than from a stupid notion of feeling beautiful. Beautiful is subjective, and in the eye of the beholder.
Big is beautiful!- and the people I really admire are the people who don’t give a dam what their appearance is doing, they’re too busy living their lives and getting caught up in all the thrills it has to offer.
They’re not standing in front of a mirror criticising themselves.
Yet I can’t leave the scales behind me- I can’t give up on that notion of just loosing one more stone. I let the little voice come in, the worst little voice that i have; and it says:
If you just diet a little longer, and push yourself a little harder, you could get down to that weight you really want to be.
If you don’t, if you accept this version of yourself you’ll be giving up on the best version of yourself, you’ll be giving up on who you really want to be.
Does anybody else have this little voice?
The little voice which whispers in your ear and gets your head all wrapped up in knots? It literally makes me want to scream, because I know that staying at my current weight doesn’t constitute giving up on who I really want to be, it means accepting myself now, how I am already- which is wise.
I wish I could look in the mirror and be at peace with who I see there. I wish I could let go of the drive to diet; the compulsion to keep pushing myself to lose weight.
The internal conflict is a perfect representation of French philosopher Michel Foucault’s theory of Governmentality: I have started to judge myself critically by standards which external institutions/agencies etc have imposed on me. I have started to govern myself in a way which conforms to other peoples standards.
Dieting, and the whole bloody topic makes me want to rant and rage! I wish I could regurgitate and bring up all the crap I’ve absorbed throughout my entire teenage and adult life, which says you cannot be overweight and beautiful- you do not deserve to feel that good if your BMI is over 25.
God that would be a good day.
Or would it? Would I still look in the mirror and not be able to accept what I see? There is a personal, internal conflict which is created by the society we live in- we are accosted every day by images telling us how we should look, and moreover- how we should want to look.
Some days I think I’m sadly susceptible, on other days I think it’s everywhere, it’s bloody hard to get away from. I know, on a theoretical level, that I am beautiful, because everybody is beautiful; everybody has their own sense of inner beauty.
I just struggle to see it in myself on a bad day.