Issues? I Have Plenty

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tyler hurt my feelings Tuesday night. It was inadvertent, but the comment has stayed with me. I was out of sorts and cranky all day yesterday and I think part of it was the residual sting (mostly it was perimenopause). We were watching TV together (I got him into Future Food and Cake Boss) and Jennifer Hudson's Weight Watchers commercial came on.

When the special promotion was announced (lose all the weight you want for $1, I think), Tyler turns to me and says, "you should do that, Mom."

"You think I need to lose weight?"



"So you can look hot."


I know he wasn't being mean. I don't think he really knows what it means to look hot. But it stung, nonetheless. He can't possibly know about all my issues and hangups. At least I hope not.

One of the reasons I tell myself it's probably a good thing I don't have a little girl is because there's almost no way I wouldn't pass on all my body issues to her. My weight is a pretty big one. The Braces Diet is still working but the pants I wore at National Mom's Nite Out are a little snug. And I'm freaking out.

Losing weight has been a strange trip. A few weeks ago my neighbor said to me that I was starting to get a little puffy but now I'm looking really good. Um, thanks? I'm happy with my new size; the single digit in my pants, but I still feel I have a long way to go until I look like the "after" image I have of myself in my head.

I have this sick need to compare myself with other people. Usually it's in a crowded place like an amusement park or the mall. Someone will walk by and I wonder if my butt jiggles the way hers does or if I the shirt I'm wearing gives me back fat too. It's an awful thing to do. I fully admit that. I'm not judging, only comparing. I feel yucky doing it but can't seem to stop.

I wish I had a mirror that lets me see myself the way other people see me. So many people tell me now that I look great. I don't mind hearing it. Part of me likes the compliment. The other parts of me feel guilty for liking the compliments on something superficial and still another part of me feels guilty because I haven't had to work at losing the weight and I don't deserve the praise. Screwed up, much?

When I was leaving one of the media events at the Social Media Moms event at Disney this past February, I ran into Laura. I'd been keeping an eye out for her because I hadn't seen her since my first blogging trip to Disneyworld back in 2008. We were standing right next to each other. I said, "hello, nice to see you, I was wondering when I'd run into you!" and I could tell she had no idea who this person acting so familiar with her was. I had to take off my hat and say, "it's me! Melanie!" She honestly didn't recognize me and said my face was totally different than the last time she saw me.

At Blissdom, I know I totally hurt Casey's feelings. When we ran into each other she told me I look great and I responded with something like, "did I not look good before?" or something equally bitchy and uncalled for. Casey looked appropriately taken aback and I felt like a total shit. I'm so sorry, friend. I really didn't mean for it to come out that way. It wasn't you, it was me. Truly.

I'm a walking contradiction. I have a good self image. I know I'm a good person, a good mom, wife, daughter and friend. I'm loyal. I'm giving, sometimes to a fault. But my self image and self esteem are two different beasts. I like the person I am, I just don't always love the packaging. 

Posting pictures of myself here in my bathing suits (and naked) was so outside my comfort zone. I did it to force the issue with myself. I hoped the photos would give me the real picture. I would be able to look at them and say, "see? it's not so bad!" Yeah. That hasn't happened yet.

So when Tyler said I should join Weight Watchers I wanted to cry. I honestly don't think I look that different or that I've lost that much weight. But, to literally be unrecognizable to someone I know, the changes have to be really profound. I'm terrified I'm going to put the weight I've lost back on. It's shallow and superficial, but it's true. 

I feel horrible making an issue of it because I know some people really struggle with their weight. Someone else will look at me and wonder what I have to complain about. That makes feel awful. Logically, I know I should get over myself. But I'm nothing if not emotional. I told Tyler that people can be hot without losing weight. If only I could internalize that statement and make myself believe it.


  1. I hear you. I have the same body issues, and two daughters that I try desperately to shield from inheriting them. Last night my ten year old asked me what she can do to make her "upper legs" (her term) look thinner. I told her she's perfect and has strong, dancer's legs. Then I went in the bathroom and cried.

  2. Yeah...I think we all have issues to some degree, which is why you won't see me in a bathing suit when me & the kids swing by later. :)

    I kind of had a similar moment yesterday when the cute, 20-something server chic at CPK kept calling me "Ma'am," making me feel like an old prune. It seems like EVERYONE lately has been calling me "Ma'am" and for some reason it's bugging me. Probably because I'm just a stone's throw away from the big 4-0.

  3. One of the many things my mom somehow did right was to not have any body issues of her own and to make sure I did not either. And I know I am in the minority of women in that way as I've watched so many of my friends struggle with it too.

    I so wish I could snap my fingers for you so that the part of your brain that recognizes that you have issues (you should be proud of that alone right there - the wisdom to know yourself that well) totally erases the other part that wont let you own your self confidence completely.

  4. It is so strange that even though I need to lose weight--I've struggled with this my entire adult life--I think I have fewer body issues than most women I know--women like you who look much better--or thinner at least--than I do. I have no idea how it worked out this way.

    My daughter and I have been talking about this and she pointed out that I'm happier with my appearance--at 40 lbs overweight-than her best friend's mom, who is in unbelievable shape and hot by anyone's definition does.

    I cannot explain it.

  5. Oh my goodness, I am right there with you and if you find that mirror, I want it too. Last night the hubs wanted to go out for burgers... and I was all "this sounds good, but I'm going to feel so gross and down on myself afterward" and it happened. I need to eat better because then, even if I'm not losing weight I will feel better about my choices.

    Sorry, tangent.

    And nonfat froyo talking about boobs does NOT make me feel this way, and should be done often! LOL


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