Goals and such
When I was at my heaviest weight several years ago and during a moment when I was feeling particularly down about being a fat person, I remember telling someone that all I wanted was to be a size sixteen. That’s it. Just a size sixteen and I would be happy.
I’m not sure why I picked that size. Probably because I thought it sounded reasonable. I would still be plus sized, after all. Maybe it seemed less greedy or less “I want a unicorn!” than saying that I wanted to be a size 6 or something. But it was still worlds away at the time. I wasn’t, at that point in my life, interested in trying to lose weight (mainly because I still held the view that losing weight had to entail a fair amount of suffering) so I guess I was just hoping that one day the fat would just fall off and I would emerge a voluptuous, but slimmer, version of myself.
Fast forward to now. I’m not quite a size sixteen, but I have to belt all my size 18 pants lest they fall off. Suddenly this old ‘goal’ looks pretty close by. But it’s not my ‘goal’ anymore and I’m wondering how to deal with the questions this raises about what might happen when I do reach some of my current goals.
I don’t have pant-size goals, really. I mean, I think about it. I would be a liar if I didn’t say that part of me wants expanded shopping options – already being able to wear some old navy and gap stuff has doubled my wardrobe – and, though I try to fight it, there will always be a part of me that would be happy to not have the ‘plus size’ label. But I can honestly say it’s not one of my main motivations at this time.
The fitness and health goals I have, some of which are a bit nebulous and some more concrete. What happens when I meet these? What happens if I meet these while a size fourteen? Will I shrug my shoulders and ride off into the sunset blissfully happy with my body for the rest of time?
Probably not. I suspect that just as maintaining a healthy (for me) size and fitness level will take continuing work and adjustment, I will also have to keep working at all that body image and self-love stuff. And I’m starting to think that it may be more important than ever to work on it because I’m losing weight. Approaching a size I once held up as a personal ideal puts into sharp relief the ways I still beat myself up when it comes to body image. Knowing that this once-ideal size is no longer ideal now that I’m close to it is sobering. I can easily see how, even as my health and fitness improve, the hope that a better me is just a few measly sizes away could become an idea that dominates my relationship with my body.
So I’m going to take a bit of a break from reading books on fitness and diet (although I still have a few book reviews I’m going to post in the meantimes) and put more focus on treating myself well and all that self-image stuff.
I’d love some recommendations for books, websites and whatever that you might have found particularly helpful in this regard. I still own all my old fat acceptance books and I still read that fatosphere, but I find that most of that is geared towards a particular anti-weight-loss viewpoint that I don’t share. I agree that self-esteem should never be based on size and that all bodies can be beautiful (and that beauty isn’t something everyone needs to work for anyway) but having that wrapped up in “diets are really harmful and never ever ever work!” rhetoric just annoys me and makes me unable to focus on the larger message.*
I don’t know exactly what I am in search of, but any ideas would be helpful.
*and just because internet people are so picky let me state that this is totally my problem and that the fat acceptance movement has every right to be anti-purposeful weight loss.