Please understand that this is not a pity post that was written only with the intent to fish for compliments. This is just a rambling stream of my thoughts on the topic and I hope you can respect where I'm coming from.
Growing up I was always involved in a million things at a time, including sports. I was so active that I never had to think about what I was eating. My body was athletic and until puberty I was always on the petite size. At the same time my body started becoming more womanly, I also started lifting. I hit the weight room for the first time in 10th grade and I loved it. Soon my muscular legs became bigger and more powerful, I grew boobs, and any sign of petite Amber was gone.
I don't remember weighing myself growing up. The first weight I can remember is from my junior or senior year of high school, I was 148. Since then my weight has fluctuated over the years, maxing out at 160 something after too many beers and late night munchies at college. After my first body composition evaluation, I put myself on a serious salad every day for lunch diet, went to the gym 4 times a week, and lost almost 15 lbs over that summer. The weight loss didn't last very long once I returned to school and I ended up back around the weight my body seems to easily maintain: 155.
Overall, the number on the scale doesn't really mean that much to me. My body is very muscular and I know muscle weighs more than fat. I grew up being the able-bodied daughter that would help my dad when any heavy lifting was needed. I've excelled in just about every sport I've ever tried and I'm always welcome to play with all the guys. I completed a freaking half marathon! Right now I'm around 153 which is only 5 lbs above my weight in high school 8 years ago, that's crazy!
But then sometimes I can't help but wonder, am I fat? My body carries all my extra weight in my torso, primarily the area I lovingly refer to as my inner tube. In certain cuts of clothing all I can see is my gut staring me back in the face. I know everyone has their trouble spots, but I long for a day when I don't have to think is this shirt flowy enough to hide the muffin top my jeans are giving me? Should I be wearing a one piece right now? And more recently, omg how big is this thing going to get when I'm pregnant?! And the awful way women's clothing is sized doesn't help, I know my boobs are big but am I really an XL in Target's workout tanks? I just recently purchased a bridesmaid dress in a size 14. I know size is only a number, but that's just a little hard for me to swallow.
I guess it's all relative. To some of my friends I am the skinny runner, and then in another crowd I am the biggest girl in the group. Sometimes love is blind and my friends try to convince me I can borrow their clothes and then I have to explain to them that I'm 3 sizes bigger. Or worse I'll try something of theirs on and feel like I'm going to bust out of it like the Incredible Hulk! My sister is the same height as me but 30 lbs less and well, it sucks. It's something I've had to deal with my entire life. But then on the flip side, sometimes I look (and feel) amazing! Sometimes I fit into a small. Sometimes I like to run in a sports bra and tiny spandex shorts. Sometimes I swear I can even see a glimpse of my abs.
I don't know. Maybe I'm just another victim of terrible body acceptance across America. Or maybe the belly fat I'm sporting is just as unhealthy as it looks and I need to do something about it. Maybe I need to stop eating cheese on everything. Or maybe I just need to look in the mirror and tell myself I'm good enough as is.
Do you struggle with body image issues?