I may be exaggerating a bit … this year at least. I can still fit into my old jeans, just not comfortably. Last year, however, I was ignoring my expanding waist and able to do so thanks to the oh so forgiving fashion of the day—tights! I became a tight enthusiast. Tights with skirts, with sweaters, with cute boots and even, a time or two, with leg warmers. Then on a date night with my husband I decided to slip into my most forgiving pair of jeans. Half way through the movie, after some popcorn and chocolate covered almonds, the jeans became far too unforgiving. In the sheltering darkness of the theatre I undid the button and yes, I admit it, slid down the zipper. Ahhhhh. No one could see, no one would know … except me of course, but that knowing, it hurt!
A host of negative thoughts sailed through my mind—you’re so fat, how did you get here? Why are you eating all this popcorn? Do you have no self-control?
The thing is, I do have self-control. I’m an active person who eats fairly healthy most of the time, but if I slip up with that for even a few weeks, allowing myself to eat cookies and birthday cake and all the wonderful delights of the holiday season, it’s like my body says, YES! Let’s pound on those pounds! Seriously, I can eat the exact same items as my metabolically blessed partner and gain eight pounds while he loses two.
It took four to five months but I undid two months of stress-of-moving and holiday eating and now, a year later, I’ve found myself scared of another undo-the-button type of day.
A few posts ago I wrote about how for an author, more than art imitating life, often, life imitates art. My current situation is one where both statements are true. In no way is Jennifer’s story my story, not at all, but some of her feelings and experiences surrounding weight loss, gain, and self-image are ones we’ve shared. Some of the lessons she learns are ones I’ve learned as well and, apparently, that I needed to learn again.
Noticing new holiday pounds, I found myself using language about myself I KNOW I shouldn’t use and judging aspects of my worth with the same scale I use to judge how much that big piece of ice-cream cake has impacted my weight. But I’m better than that. Smarter than that. And it took a message from one of my readers to remind me of this truth.
She told me how much she enjoyed following Jennifer’s story, how the way I portrayed Jennifer’s thought processes and struggles were spot-on to struggles she’s had, and, most importantly, that the story reminded her happiness comes from within no matter your size or other physical traits.
Let me just write that again.
It’s moments like the one above that remind me why I write, to understand the world, to learn and pass on that knowledge, to understand myself, and to help others understand themselves as well. So in answer to the question in the post’s title. Can happiness be measured on a scale? Absolutely not.
Have you been battling with your own issues of self-image? What helps you know the truth that you’re great and wonderful and health is what matters? Share below.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]