Let’s all face it, people, I used to think I was all that and a bag of chips. OK, not celebrity/model hot, but a nice, solid, midwest-girl 7 out of 10.
As I aged and starting seeing gray hairs at my temple and freckles/wrinkles at my eyes, I celebrated instead of bemoaning. All the years after 30 seemed like something to look forward to having, not to dread.
Then I had a kid. I packed on 50, 60, 70 pounds and it certainly wasn’t all for the baby. My heart was struggling to push blood through my newfound fat. And once the baby was out and I started trying to lose the weight, I struggled with diet and exercise while my world was turned upside down. I looked in the mirror and didn’t like it. I was happy with my self but not happy with my appearance.
I’ve lost nearly all of that 70 pounds now. But I’m not that pretty girl anymore. I’ve gone without makeup many days. It’s not that I need it as a mask; rather, applying it is more of a statement that I think my face is worth presenting. My once-taut stomach is snapping back to being a curvy waist, but the skin is dappled in cellulite. My pants fit but my shirts still don’t. I go clothes/shoe shopping and buy nothing because I simply don’t feel I deserve it.
In the past couple of weeks, several friends have commented that I look good. But I don’t see it. I see a girl who needs a shower and a nap. I always wondered if weight loss success stories ever felt the confidence that we always-slender people did. I now feel that the answer is no. The weight lost didn’t magically mend my beauty. I feel great about my eating and exercising choices, just not my face or body.
So where did my confidence go? Would I want my daughter to have these feelings of worth tied to beauty, or in my case, lack thereof? Of course not.
The nice thing is that even though my confidence in my physical self is gone, I still feel that I have other abilities worth noticing. I’m compassionate and intelligent. But I don’t feel pretty enough.