Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Thoughts on appearance and self-esteem.

One more thing before I go. If I'm generous to myself, I can reasonably be described as "cute". No one will ever mistake me for a Victoria's Secret supermodel - I'll never be that tall or that thin, and after having a child, my boobs will never be that perky again barring some serious surgical intervention. I'm cute, though, if a bit on the voluptuous side.

I've battled weight issues my whole life (there's a whole vent to the fact that my weight might not be an issue if family hadn't started pushing diets when I was just 11, but that's another post for another time). After trying damned near every diet on the planet and still ending up freakin' huge (my highest pregnancy weight was a lot closer to 300 than I care to think about, and that's not good when you're only 5'1"), I decided to have lap-band surgery last August to help me get the weight off. I didn't do it for cosmetic reasons - I knew if I didn't have help getting and keeping the weight off, my son wouldn't have his mother nearly as long as he needed and deserved to have her. I went with the lap-band because it's minimally invasive, more of a tool than something that forces the weight off (meaning I still have to put some effort into it and I still have some control of the process), and it's reversible should I ever decide I don't want it anymore. (Don't know why I'd do that, but it's nice to have the option.) Since last August I've lost about 70 pounds.

I'll no doubt talk more about my band later. All this is to say, I struggled with weight and self-esteem my whole life. I think one reason I married the man I did is because on some level, I thought that was the only offer I'd get. As horrible as it sounds, on some subconscious level, I think I settled for him. But now, even though I might like to lose a bit more weight (ideally about 50-60 more pounds, but I wouldn't be disappointed if I only lost 30 more), I've realized that my weight is not determinative of who I am or of whether or not I'm a good person. I am intelligent, funny (although usually unintentionally), cute, caring, musical, easily entertained, quick to defend my loved ones, and well worth knowing. If people can't see past my size to the person I am, well, then, it's their loss. It's taken me 36 years to get to this point, but I'm here now, and by golly, I know I deserve good things. I am worthy of good things. And as far as men go, I deserve to find someone who loves me, who respects me, who cherishes me, who can be strong for me when I need that strength, and who (occasionally) puts me on a pedestal and worships me like the goddess I am. ;) I know this must sound horribly conceited, and in real life I don't always have this much confidence in my goodness and worth - I have moments/days/weeks of self-doubt. But this is such a turning point for me, to finally realize that just because I don't fit the societal definition of beauty doesn't mean I am somehow less deserving of good things in my life. It's a really big deal for me, and that's why I'm writing it down.


Chris said...

I read your entries and I find a connection between us. Thank you for sharing yourself. I'm getting a lot out of your blog today, and I really needed it.

Lisa said...

GH, I'm glad it's benefiting someone (well, besides the big benefit of keeping my head from exploding by giving me a place to get things off my chest! ;-) ).