I shouldn’t want to be a smaller size and neither should you

When I don’t have a torrent of emotional angst to release I struggle to write.

It’s easy to empathize with the great artists and writers who had emotional and mental health issues. When I’m in a dark place is when the words flow easiest.

When I’m doing well? I haven’t a clue what words are. How do I sentence again?

Case in point: I am sitting here, trying to write, even though I don’t have an idea for a topic in mind, in the hopes that the attempt to write will jostle something in my head and get the words flowing.

Five paragraphs in. Nothing is sticking.

The things that are on my mind are the same old things I often struggle with. I don’t want to be a person who reveres a certain body type over others, and yet I long to be a smaller size than I am now.

I don’t want to write about any successes or failures in changing my body size or shape because in my heart I want to be a person who loudly rebels against the idea that any particular body size or shape is more desirable than others.

So, basically, I’m a total hypocrite and the knowledge leaves me struggling with writing about what’s going on with me.

I suppose honesty and vulnerability are the best way to go, so here it is: on August 16th, I weighed 200 lbs. Today, September 13th, I weigh 191 lbs.

That’s a loss of nine pounds in four weeks and I have extremely conflicted feelings about this.

On the one hand, I am eating far differently and working out more, and it makes sense for this to result in a change to my weight.

On the other hand, I judge myself for feeling proud of it.

Yes, part of the reason I started eating differently and trying to be more active was that I was physically uncomfortable the vast majority of the time. I naturally have very little ability to regulate my food intake. I don’t know what is too much or what is too little, or what my body needs at all, really. As a result, I’m often run down and cranky, or overly full and have a stomach ache.

I like the freedom of not thinking about it. Looking at numbers relieves my anxiety. I don’t feel I have to rely on instincts that I don’t have or that don’t work well.

I enjoy the graphs and tables, the pie charts, the calculations.

I enjoy the control. I enjoy having control over how I physically feel.

And yet… when I set up MyFitnessPal and I was asked about my goals, I didn’t say I was looking to maintain my weight.

I said I wanted to lose thirty pounds.

Thirty. Pounds.

It’s a big goal. And I don’t understand why I want it.

Perhaps it’s to see if I can do it. Perhaps I want a long term target to focus my day to day towards. Perhaps I’m craving the emotional gratification of feeling I’ve accomplished something difficult.

These are the things I try to tell myself. It’s a joke, though. We all know the truth.

I think I’m more attractive when I am thinner and I am trying to become a smaller size because of this.

I am a hypocrite.

And I hate that I want this for myself, and don’t want to write about it because I don’t want others to identify with this, and I certainly don’t want to make it sound as though I think it’s a reasonable way to think or feel.

If I had a fitness goal, that would be one thing. If I were training for an event, that would be different.

If my goal was functional fitness, I wouldn’t judge myself at all. I would be proud to talk about my progress.

I know that’s not it. My goals are appearance-based and I judge myself. It’s shallow, it’s unhealthy, and it’s not what I respect or want to espouse.

So, there’s my struggle. There’s the thing I can write about. Yay, I’m losing weight. I’m experiencing that initial fast weight loss people often experience when first starting a new nutritional strategy. Huzzah.

God this sucks.

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