As a person that has struggled with my weight since I was somewhere around the age of 9- I can appreciate just how much my pant size can effect how I feel. Every woman has a size that they absolutely refuse to be bigger than- even if they are, in fact, bigger than that size. That being said, I can also appreciate just how good it feels to finally move down a size, but here is where things truly seem to get sticky.
It is so easy to equate health, happiness and mental well being to a number on a pair of jeans. It is so easy to feel like a complete and utter failure when you have to purchase a pair of ‘fat jeans’ to replace the ‘skinny jeans’ that you had just barely managed to squeeze yourself into a few months before. I would like to say that I am past looking at the size of my jeans and that affecting me, but I would be lying if I said this. I would be lying if I said that I do not judge myself when I gain weight- that I do not look at everything that I have eaten and wonder what exactly happened. Some times this is a rather simple equation (such as when I traveled across the country and had nothing to eat McDonalds for a week), other times things are much more complicated.
I spent the better part of a year losing a great deal of weight, only to gain it all back after a medical treatment. I had lost a good amount of weight in the past and had kept it off for a long time, but this time was different. It is hard to get back to your ideal size when you feel that you are battling your body and conditions within your body that you have absolutely no control over. So what, exactly, do I need to do?
I wish that that question had a simple answer or that it was an answer that I would be able to hash out in a couple of minutes of thought. I guess the real question is- why can we, as a people, no be satisfied with the body that we have? Before I even bring up Hollywood stars and their absolutely unrealistic expectations of ‘health’- I want to look at the average person in America. I know that it has become a nation where people eat fast food far too often and would rather choose the two minute drive to the grocery store, as opposed to the ten minute walk. For all intents and purposes, people have just become lazy.
Now, before anyone starts yelling that I am pointing fingers- I will go ahead and say this. Some of the fingers that I am pointing, are back at myself and some of this medicine is for me. I would love if pants came only in one size or if sizes were not numbers, so much as words that described how you should feel in this particular ‘size’ of jeans. For all the work that we have done to try to become healthier, many of us are absolutely failing at it and those of us that are working to succeed often feel horrible about it. Why would we feel bad? Why should someone feel bad about trying to make themselves better? Quite frankly- I have absolutely no idea why we feel bad about it, but many of us do.
I wish that many of us did not have to work so hard to get the weight off. I wish that most of us had that metabolism that evidently a great majority of people on the West Coast have or that we had their crazy, obsessed willpower. If we were all the same pant size- this is yet another thing that we would not really have to worry about. We would all fit into the cultural ideal.
But is that what we really want? Do we all want to be a size 2, with very few curves and that nice space between our thighs? Do we all want to be categorized like this by men? Because, ultimately, for women getting in shape has to deal with being the perfect woman for whatever man we are looking for. Did you not see that one coming? I know there are some women that say that are absolutely confident in the way that they look, that the man that is right for them will like them exactly the way that they are and they are right. I just have a question of where these men are- the men that aren’t thoroughly obsessed with boobs and butts- or the men that like someone who is not the perfect size. Call me jaded if you like- but I honestly cannot say that I have found someone that I appreciate that can get beyond the superficialness that has been programmed into this country.
So- if we were all the same pant size, maybe these issues would be easier. Then again- maybe this ideal is something that should have gone out with corsets and bonnets. Maybe we should let go of what our size says about our bodies and listen to what our heart says about ourselves, because our hearts would really like for us to give ourselves a bit of a break and a pint of milk n’ cookies ice cream, pretty please.