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Author Topic: Weight?
all_about_eve
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Hi,

This is the final in a string of posts.
I've basically had a pretty healthy body image all throughout my life, but the one thing that's always troubled me has been my stomach. Whenever I'm in a negative mood about my body, I'll latch onto my stomach. I've always had thin legs, arms, etc. but my hips are very narrow and all the fat in my body gets stored in the stomach.
In high school, I went to my mother complaining about this. She encouraged me to get active (I was healthy, but I hadn't started to exercise regularly yet). So I began running. I dropped some weight as I entered puberty; as a 5'4 1/2'' high-schooler, I weighed about 125 lbs.

When I entered my late teens/early twenties, however, I put on some weight. My breasts really filled out, I grew two more inches and my stomach and thighs got slightly bigger. Sometimes I felt great about this, and other times I didn't feel so great. As a college sophomore, I'm wondering if such a weight change is normal and acceptable. I'd say, at 5'6'' and with my slightly mesomorphic body type, I should be resting in the 140-145lb range? Is this change OK, or does it constitute a "freshman fifteen"?

Finally, I've mentioned this in other posts...but when I became sexually active, I just de facto began the BC pill, as it seemed "safer" to me than non-hormonal methods of contraception (I've since been proven wrong). The pill really threw me for a loop, my moods swung and my weight shot up ten or so pounds. I now feel pretty uncomfortable and bloated. I stopped the BC and have lost some of the weight, but I'm a little bit worried about losing the rest and the effects it may have on my health.

In high school, I felt strong, slim and fast. But I was also pre-sexual. Now I feel curvier, but I also feel a lot doughier. This has all been pretty disconcerting for me, and I have spent a few nights bashing my body and checking/re-checking my profile in the mirror. I'm also a little self-conscious of my stomach when I have sex with my boyfriend. I would like to lose some of the weight to feel healthier. I'm confused as to how this all happened to me. I was always such a great eater and exerciser (at least since high school). Now I look back on photos of myself then and lament how "excellent" I looked then and wish I looked like that now and puzzle over the fact that even THEN I was bound up in unfair criticisms of my body. I mean..Jesus - when am I finally going to believe that I'm attractive??

I'm not going to lie - I've felt bizarre and kind of ungainly/unattractive in my new and slightly taller and very much fuller body. How can I just deal with myself the way I am? I keep on looking back on myself and lamenting over how cute I USED to be. I can never, never, never deal with myself in the here and now. To make it even weirder, I've got a boyfriend who finds me sexually attractive and I STILL have a hard time believing in myself.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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A lot of what this sounds like to me may just be your body maturing more.

A lot of people have their timetables for puberty and other body changes set early, thinking it all ends way earlier than it actually does. Your teenage body sounds to me like...well, your teenage body. Like a lot of teenage bodies.

The body you're in now sounds to me like it's getting closer to your adult body, and then also has some effects from your BCPs. The weight you're at now sounds perfectly average. Lower than some current averages, actually.

I probably don't have to tell you that bashing your body is counter-productive to feeling good about it. Have you picked up with exercise again? I ask because we tend to feel better, about our bodies and with our moods, when we're active, even when that doesn't result in changes to our appearance.

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loveyoumake
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Hi there all_about_eve!

I totally know what you're talking about!! In high school I used to work out with my then boyfriend almost every day. I was in such great shape. I ate healthy and felt awesome. Up until my senior year of high school I was always somewhere between 125 and 135lbs. Right before the start of my senior year my boyfriend broke up with me and I got in such a bad mood that I stopped working out and basically stopped caring. When I went off to college I weighed about 160. (However, in my Senior year of high school I was also diagnosed with a thyroid problem, so that along with going on medication for it also made me gain weight.)

Then college time came- freshman year I gained a lot of weight. I wasn't nearly as active as I could have been, plus being a biology major I had my head in the books all the time!- ha-ha.

I'm now finishing up my sophomore year of college and I weigh about 174... My doctor has been trying to lower my dosage of my medication in hopes that I could do without the meds at all! So we'll see... but in lowering my dosage I have lost some weight.

I just can't believe I even got to the weight I am. I also look back at pictures and think of how even THEN I thought I weighed a lot. When in reality, I didn't. Even now I don't look like I weigh what I do- but it's just so depressing to get on the scale and see those numbers. I've been eating healthier.. and now since the weather is getting nicer where I am, I've been able to get outside and be more active.

I just keep thinking of how it should really be easy to lose weight. I mean, eat regular meals, eat healthier, work out, get enough sleep... and it seems like it should be so simple to shed the pounds. But it's really hard. The best you can do is do all those things and watch yourself reach your goal to feel good about your body.

Oh! I too went on BCPs and boy did those make my weight increase too- I quickly went off!

Well, good luck! We can find comfort in that a lot of people feel uncomfortable about themselves but really there's no need to be! Love your body! And if you feel the need to improve it, then do just that [Smile] Whatever makes you happy. Take care!

[ 03-25-2010, 10:55 PM: Message edited by: loveyoumake ]

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Cian
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I put on weight and grew all around (except height. Darn!)when I entered my twenties and at first I blamed this on my metabolism bailing out on me, I'd bash myself harshly for getting "fat", all that. But I'm guessing it was just my body ending puberty and growing into an adult body-- which is what my mom told me when I complained about this persistent lump of a lower stomach that would hang over the waistband of my pants when I sat-- while my pants wouldn't stay up when I was standing.

So while I'm 100% for getting fit and healthy and having more energy and feeling happier, I'm also all in for learning to accept the body changing (much like people have to accept their body starting to sprout pubic hair or breasts growing) and embracing it.

And having a partner is no guarantee to a self-loving self. I've been with my girlfriend and as much as it frustrates her, her loving me doesn't make me love myself. It's something that'll ultimately have to start with me, and where she can support me. Of course this may be different for different people, but at least for me, this is how it goes. I need to love myself because of myself, not because someone else does.
Currently working on that, I've been in the self-loathing pit for a long, long time.

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all_about_eve
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Thank you guys or writing back. I've been thinking a little bit more about this (and about dwelling in what Cian's called the "self-loathing pit"). I was feeling a little sad the other day, so I got out a few photos of myself taken in the past 2-3 years. I was very much ready to bash myself again for not having what I thought of as my lithe, teenaged body. But I looked at these photos and saw this girl with incredibly short hair who actually looked a little bit awkward in her clothes if you ask me: awkward in the same way I think I look awkward now. She had the same ungainly, long legs and super short torso and little belly. Everything! And only in one picture did I actually look "thin," and in that picture I was white as a ghost; I didn't seem like myself at all. The "thin" picture was probably the most awkward one.

Then I looked at the more recent pictures. I realized that I actually look a lot BETTER than I did when I was a teenager. My hair's longer, my lips are fuller, my breasts exist and I've still got those ungainly legs I've always treasured. But what struck me about these pictures is how much FUN I'm having in them. I'm rolling around in the grass with my boyfriend on the west coast of Ireland, I'm doing a radio show with my friend, I'm dressed up as Lady Gaga and flanked by two Bowie-impersonators in Snuggies. For someone who's so "doughy," I've led a really rich life.

What I think I'm trying to say here is that a lot of this is psychological. I've latched onto a memory of myself that I think I've completely fabricated. If I looked good then, I must look good now. And sure, I'd like to start getting healthy and emerge from my winter cocoon/reverse the effects of the BCPs, but I think that Heather's right about this whole thing being post-pubescent, and age 20 seems to be some kind of liminal stage for girls to leave adolescence and enter womanhood. Loveyoumake, I know where you're coming from when you get shocked by the scale. My father's a marathon runner and used to ask me if I wanted to chart my weight so I could lose a few pounds a week and improve my mile time. I'd go out in public and look at other women - full-bodied, developed women - and laugh at them and think that I was somehow superior because I was this little workout machine who wasn't a lazy slob. My weight was important to me. Well, Mother Nature has demonstrated to me the err of my ways: the real womanly figure does not connote laziness/grossness and is in no way disgusting. It's far more beautiful and capable of a lot more than the stick-like adolescent figure. Once you get to be a woman, you have to stop caring what that goddamn scale says. You can suddenly weigh a ton more than you'd ever thought you'd weigh but still look and feel like your beautiful self. I know it's weird, but I'm beginning to think it's OK. When I was much younger and went from 117lbs to 130lbs, I remember going through the same shock. The female figure works in mysterious ways.

And I agree with Cian, it's time to start accepting my new body and embracing it. Every time my body's changed in my life, I've gone through this self-loathing upheaval where I'm convinced I look ugly (happened at ages 10, 14, 18 and 20), and I'm tired of it. This is the dawn of a new and very sexy era (my 20s) and I can't enter it complaining about myself.

Wow. That was way more upbeat than my last post. I'd love to keep on hearing from you guys.

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Cian
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Haha, I like that, 'a very sexy era.' And better yet, what if each era is sexier than the next since we'll continue learning, experiencing and developing? Sounds like an adventure, let's go! [Smile]

Personally I find nothing wrong with having an odd "ugly" or "fat" day, as long as one knows that they are not the norm, are untrue, and just basically very off days and knows to let go of them as they pass. It's something I've been battling with, while I rationally know that those days don't need, and they should not be the norm, I have a hard time letting go of them, as I've accepted them as my "internal truth".
But when one learns to let go off them, you kind of look back and say "Haha, how ridiculous is that? How could I even be so silly."

I'm glad you have an overall good and positive self image. You are definitely a strong person, it's all rather inspiring. Keep on having fun, no matter what the silly weight fluctuations do.

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loveyoumake
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All_about_eve, I absolutely LOVED your last post! It was so great. I really agree with you.

As I was reading your post, I was thinking to myself how a womanly figure is meant to be able to carry a baby!... and that despite all the super thin models out there, having some meat to you is actually healthy! The super thin image just isn't... how can I put this?... something that should be thought of so heavily. I know that when I started going through puberty way back in the day, that I always felt so awkward & longed to have a skinnier shape. It really is bad how the media and society as a whole makes young teen girls think that they NEED to be this way. It's so far from the truth. Every woman is so beautiful the way she is.. exactly the way she was made.

All in all, I agree- we should accept our "new" bodies.. because there's nothing wrong with the way we look now!

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