*My older sister was photogenic; and, I was not.
*My older sister was artistic; and, I was not.
*I was smart.
*I was clumsy.
*I was fat.
It is true that my older sister was and is quite photogenic. I don't know where I got the idea that I wasn't but that simply was not true. I was a cute baby, toddler and little girl just like both of my sisters. We all three went through that awkward middle school transition from little girl to young lady. None of us was any worse than the other. I once called those middle school years "The Big Uglies" in reference to myself. The picture, I most hated from the eighth grade won't win any prizes for beauty, but it isn't horrid beast I remembered. What changed?
My older sister is a good artist. She was told from a very young age that she was, so she developed that skill. Looking back at my artwork from the early years, it was just as good as hers. I somehow got the message that if she was pretty, or artistic, or anything else, that slot was taken and I could not be 'it' as well. I think that is typical second child behavior.
I was smart and I have the report cards to prove it. My sisters were too, but they were more social and outgoing. I was more school oriented so I got better grades.
I was probably a little more clumsy than my sisters because of my hips. There is no real documentation of this. But I was told I was, I believed it so I was.
Same with being fat. I was NOT fat. I have a round, youthful face. I did not like it growing up because I was always thought to be younger. Of course, I embrace that now, as I was told that I would. The chubby cheeked nature of my face, I think, created a sense of heaviness all over. Since I was not skinny and angular like some of the other children, I must be fat. I got this message from many different sources.
The children at school called me fat. In the fifth grade, I remember the boys making up a chant and beating the desks in a rhythm chanting "Fat Mama, um, a hubba, hubba." Over and over. It brought tears to my eyes but I would laugh along with them so as not to let them know they'd hurt me. I thought it would make them stop. It didn't. I remember telling my mother and she laughed. That hurt even more. My mother does not remember that and insists that if she laughed it wasn't AT me.
Still, my mother was constantly on me to lose weight. She took me to the doctor in high school and insisted that he put me on diet pills. This was the era of height/weight charts based on body frames. The weights were quite low particularly since I was considered to have a small frame. I was in the overweight category for my body frame, but I was a long way from obese at that time. That was the first formal eating plan I remember, designed to make me lose weight. I didn't. I gained weight.
I probably weighed around 145 lbs when I was taken to the doctor. It was probably more than most girls and significantly more than some. I felt fat, but the pictures do not support that feeling. After the episode with the diet pills, I gained nearly 30 pounds. I remember that I graduated from high school weighing 174 lbs. I worked hard to lose weight before starting college. I was able to maintain at 160 to 165. Folks, I looked fine in the pictures from that era. In fact, I'd love to get to that weight and stay now. I think the problem was, I was just bigger and curvier than the other girls around me, so I thought I was fat.
Although, I am broken hearted for all the wasted years thinking I was fat and I wasn't, I can't change it. I can only move forward from where I am right now. I am telling myself constantly that I am strong fit and healthy. The words we tell ourselves and believe from others are hugely powerful. I am NOT and never was the nerdy, fat, klutz. I weigh more than I should but that does not define me.
I am not using the scales as a measure of success. I will still weigh, but I'm not sure how often. Instead, I am going to focus on what I can control in addition to the messages I give myself - like going to the gym or walking in the neighborhood. Both things are low hanging fruit right now. The weather is great for a stroll around the neighborhood. School is out so no worries about parking for the gym. I am focusing on being healthy.
I am also no longer putting off this or that until I lose weight. That is silly. I'll do what I want to when I want to. I need new clothes. I have worn out my larger clothes because I only have a few and refused to buy more at this size. I changed my mind when I saw a woman at the grocery store who was quite attractive. She was dressed quite fashionably, had her hair and nails done nicely and was made up to look her best. She was also a plus sized woman. I know I can look good too if I stop putting off trying until a certain number appears on the scales.
I'm going to take a few weeks to get some benchmarks for just how much I can comfortably do physically, since the hip issue is real. I dug out my pedometer which needs a new watch battery, which means a trip to the store and thus another day or two on starting that. Once I get an idea of what I can do naturally and comfortably, I'll set some goals to stretch myself. My plan is to have some definite goals to work towards in a few weeks. Then I will do a post with my goals and incentives. Something like walk X times, or average X steps, or go to the gym X times, or maybe some combination. If I reach my goal, I'll get a new outfit. Maybe it will be a smaller size or maybe it won't. I know that I will be stronger, fitter and healthier.