Old pictures….

I was really cute in high school.

But nobody could have convinced me of that.

Looking back at old pictures, I realize that the butt that seemed to go for miles, the flabby abs, the double chin and the frizzy hair never actually existed.

I was actually kind of hot, but I didn’t believe it.

That was 10 years ago.

I’m a half-inch taller, I have less acne, I’ve developed some semblance of a personal style, have a more favorable body composition and weigh roughly five pounds less. Yet on the inside I’m still the girl who makes awkward jokes, talks badly about herself and seems hell-bent on convincing the world that yes, I am the fattest person alive.

So 10 years from now, will I be looking back on pictures of myself at 27 and wondering why I didn’t think I was cute as hell?  Will I shrink as I relive the mortifications of saying the wrong thing? Will my memories of my late 20s and early 30s be primarily of hating what I see in the mirror?

I hope not. 

When I was in high school I spent hours hating the dimples in my thighs, slamming my fists into pounds that weren’t there and bursting into tears when my size-11 jeans became snug. I starved myself for weeks at a time, destroying those jeans with scissors when they became loose enough to need the next size down.

I wore shorts to the pool out of self-consciousness. I was definately the bigger girl out of my friends, but I was by no means overweight. I declared a personal moratorium on pizza and ice cream, instead resorting to smelling my boyfriend’s pizza-scented fingers after we had “dinner” that I couldn’t eat.

My mother would alternate between telling me to stop eating and lecturing me on the dangers of eating disorders. I realize in hindsight that she thought I was too fat when she was losing weight, and that I was too thin when she was gaining.

I really need to let this shit go. I’ve created enough bad memories.

I lost about 7 pounds this week. Something in my brain tipped and suddenly I live every day in fear that I will wake up five pounds heavier. Intellectually, I know I won’t. I’m in the best shape of my life.

It’s also my birthday this week. Three different people are taking me out for meals between now and Wednesday. Two days later is Christmas. I have a function to attend on Christmas Eve. I’ve been invited to several New Year’s parties, and I haven’t decided which to go to.

I look at my crowded dayplanner and instantly the waistband of my jeans begin cutting into my skin, shouting “j’accuse!”

I realize there is more to life than hating my body. I realize that there is more to how I see myself than the little number on the tag inside my pants. I realize that my current bodily obsessions have absolutely nothing to do with my body.

I have many choices as to how I am going to function this next week or so. Surely, many pictures will be taken of me posing with family, friends, and coworkers. What kind of memories do I want to have these last few weeks of 2009? When I turn to face the camera, will I be able to resist the urge to hold someone’s baby or some object in front of myself? Will I be able to ignore the imaginary flesh that exists only when I close my eyes?

Or will I simply smile?

It is hard to say. My self esteem is on the floor this week. 

But, I really hope I can look back on those pictures and see myself for who I am; a vibrant, intelligent person who loves passionately and pursues life with wreckless abandon.

I just hope it doesn’t take another 10 years.

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~ by jamiesnydertv on December 21, 2009.

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