Standing there looking at me was this giant blob of a thing looking like it might cry. I shook my head, the thing shook it's head. How had it come to this? How had I allowed myself to become that blob that was looking back at me from the mirror? I changed out of my dress and walked away in disbelief. This was my special day, our special day and I had all of these great plans to look beautiful walking down the isle and I had really let myself down.
This is not the first time that I have felt like that. All of my life I have hated my weight. It has always been my achilles heel, even when I was perfect. I look back at pictures of myself and the self loathing that I felt and I shake my head. I was never happy in the skin that I was in, never. I always knew that if I was just five pound, ten pounds less then, and only then I would be perfect, then I would be happy. I never really developed a weight problem until I was in my 20s, it was almost like a self- fulfilling prophesy. The weight slowly snuck up a pound at a time. By that time I was married and it didn't really matter.
These days I don't really think about my weight, I simply am. I like who I am, I like my life. I have a husband who adores me, I have kids who love me, I have amazing friends, really what else is there in life? I don't really look in the mirror, when I need to I merely glance. I don't really give too much thought to my shell. I know that I am over-weight, but normally it doesn't interfere with my life. Most times I think about my weight the way I think about my freckles, or the colour of my hair. Sure if I could change them I would, but I have come to accept them as who I am. I say all of this and yet, I am talking about me in the first paragraph.
We are a week away from Christopher and my renewal of our vows. I had planned to loose all kinds of weight and wear a beautiful airy fairy dress. In my head I looked beautiful as I floated down the sandy isle. In January I had made a solemn vow to myself that I would loose weight and take better care of myself. I began by counting calories. I was doing great, I lost 10 pounds. I began to calculate at that rate how much I would weigh by August, it was amazing. It was so easy to count those calories, I did not feel the least bit hard done to, as a matter of fact I was feeling great! I could do this! Then I stopped losing weight. It didn't matter I told myself, I was feeling great, the weight would come it was all good. Then I had stress, and fell off the wagon. In times of stress I eat comfort food. I knew that I could get back on the wagon if I wanted to. I didn't. Now I find myself back where I began, well a few pounds short of back where I began... literally. All of the progress that I have made for my self esteem. All of the self acceptance, now gone. I have found myself back in the mind of that person I was all those years ago who knew that if I could just loose 10, 20, 50 pounds I would be happy. All of this because of a dress. A dress that represents my love and happiness of the last 20 years.
The real truth is that as I walk down that sandy isle next week, I will be met with overwhelming love. Every face that I will see will be smiling and beaming back love at me. The people who are coming to celebrate with us love me, love us. The man who I am walking towards has loved me for 22 years! Love does not adequately express what my husband feels for me. Together we have had 5 beautiful children, which tells the world that he still finds me desirable, even if I am not the perfect weight, he loves ME. He loves the entire me, the whole me. As I walk down that isle, it will come as no surprise to anyone that I am over-weight, that is the me that they know and that they love. The people who love me put no condition for their love on my weight. Why am I allowing myself to pour such self hatred upon someone who is so loved? Why, because I am a woman, and unfortunately there are very few woman who like the way we look. Most of us feel that if "we were just ........." then we would be happy. Happiness is not a number on the scale. I know this, and I need to remind myself this. Yes I would have liked to be thinner to walk down that isle, but I am not. I could beat myself up and berate myself, or I could enjoy my day as what it is... a celebration of Christopher and my love.