Beauty. A social construction of stress that has been driving me insane as of late; mostly because my physical attributes do not fit within the size 6 ideals of life. The self-destructive-complex about my looks, and the self-hate began when I was 18. I was filling out, putting on a few pounds, but nothing insane...just growing into a size 10 body instead of a size 9. My father made a comment that I looked fat, and I was mortified, embarrassed, and annoyed; all at the same time.
At 18, I also started dating my first college boyfriend. In one of our first flirty moments, he looked at me, gasped, and said "your arms are huge." I was athletic in high school, a tall gymnast, and also on the varsity volleyball team. My arms were still (mostly) muscle, and although I realize he was jealous because this man couldn't put on weight to save his life" it was as if he had watered the seeds of doubt planted by my father but six months earlier.
Fast forward three years. I was 21, and had been in a relationship with the same guy for two years (a man I thought I was going to marry). Things had been rocky, he had been distant (and being the introvert he was, his hyper distance was troublesome). He told me we needed to talk so we retreated to the privacy of my bedroom. It was there he got extremely silent; I was bracing myself for him to come out of the closet and tell me he was gay, but instead he told me he wanted to break up because he was not attracted to me since I had put on some weight while we were dating. I'll admit, drinking and partying trumped exercise tenfold...my tall, 5'9 self had ballooned to a "whopping" size 10/12 (but mostly a 12). I was in shock. I was hurt. My self hate grew insurmountably.
It has been a while since my self hatred was overflowing from every cell in my body. Having my child 9 years ago, my love for coldstone creamery prompted a weight gain that culminated in my jeans bouncing to a 16/18. Wretched BMI charts label my 5'9 self as obese, on the verge of morbidly obese (delightful sounding, eh?). I'm not the healthiest chick on the block, but I am active, garden a lot, mow my 1/3 of an acre on foot, take walks around the trails, and will hop onto my bike for the occasional ride.
For the better part of 2015, I've been dating. One of the more recent guys I've been dating was mostly physical (an insane chemistry was shared between us; which was fun and exciting). However I began to notice how one-sided our situation was. We only met up when it was on his terms. If I reached out asking to see him, he would always say no. When he reached out to see me, I would make it happen. I had been extremely honest that I was in this to find/grow a relationship (and that I was not interested in a hook-up situation). I had to get to the bottom of the situation, so I asked him what was going on. Nutshell? He wasn't interested in a relationship with me because I "was not fit."
When I hear a statement like that, I immediately think it's because I'm fat. It makes me feel less-than. It makes me want to cry because the battle of my waistline has been just that, a fucking battle. A battle that shoots constant daggers me way, bullets of hyper-thin media images that are an unrealistic representation of what a real woman looks like. It's not just the word "fat" that haunts me. When someone tells me they are not "into me" my inner self screams "BECAUSE YOU ARE UGLY." Nice, isn't it?
I won't give up on me. I will continue to fight the fitness battle because I'm a stubborn bad-ass. I will win. Maybe not today, tomorrow, or in the next year...but I will win. After all, a marathon is not won by sprinting, rather by persistence and keeping your eye on the prize.