Then, as if I weren't unhappy enough with myself, I moved out from my Dad's house in 2007 and decided since I was an official grown up, it would be okay to act on every food impulse I had, and wolfed down pizza and Arby's for just about every meal. In the span of just 6 months, I jumped from 165 to 210, then settled in right around 195 for the next 6 years or so.
Here's where you come in.
Last August I decided to get back into martial arts, and then in September I joined a gym to lift weights. The fact that I started spending a good part of my week at gyms, and a good chunk of my paycheck on working out, it came up in conversations. I would usually say something like "Well, I got back into martial arts because it's awesome, and I figured it would be a good time to lose some weight, so I joined Anytime to supplement that."
The response, from everyone?
"Why? You don't need to lose weight."
"You look fine."
No, I don't NEED to lose weight. Yes, I do look FINE.
However, I WANT to lose weight, and I want to look AWESOME.
My whole life, I have never looked in the mirror and thought "I look incredible." I have never had that moment, I have never been able to take a compliment. I have never had the confidence to wear exactly what I want to wear. There are pictures of me that I don't even know what my face looks like in them, because when I see them I gawk at my own arms and think "Good God, what happened to me?"
No, this is not the media getting to me. This is not peer pressure. Don't tell me I "don't need to look like a model". Good. Because I don't want to- I wanna look like Lucy Lawless and Sylvester Stallone had a super muscular love child. I don't aspire to be THIN, I want to be strong, and confident. This is why I kick things and lift weights, and why I don't spend my days eating lettuce and running on the treadmill. I am happy for the actresses and models with thin frames and flat bellies, but please trust me, they are not the reason I am doing what I am doing.
I am doing this for ME, and you telling me I look fine does not mean anything to me. If I was doing this for someone else, I would still be 195 pounds because I know I looked fine at 195. Unfortunately, I didn't FEEL fine at 195 pounds, and as I shrink, I feel better and I feel more confident, and I love how my clothes fit and that I can buy clothes I WANT and not settle for clothes that 'flatter my body type.'
Sitting here now at 164 pounds (31 pounds smaller than I was in August, and back to square one, my high school weight), I feel GREAT, but I do not feel AWESOME. People are still telling me I don't need to lose weight, and I believe you. I look good, and I'm happy with how I look, however, there are things I am still not happy with.
Why should I settle to be this weight? Because where I sit now, that's what the media and a lot of people I know are trying to get me to stay at. Every thing I look at nowadays is about how girls should be curvy, should have some meat on their bones, shouldn't be too thin. Well, again, I am not doing this for anyone else. I don't need to get the attention of men, and I don't need to impress any women. You know what I need? I need to look in the mirror and know that I have not settled. I would not settle for anything else in this world, so why would I settle on my being, on my self? It is so important for my confidence and my self esteem, and the world around me is trying to get me to listen to them. I only have myself to listen to, and when I look like a Chun Li action figure, you will see that I am not trying to be Kate Moss. I am not doing this for sex appeal, or to impress someone, or to model clothes. I am doing this for me, and me alone.
The media doesn't want me to be too thin, too fat, too weak or too strong. I can't please the media, but I CAN make myself happy, and as long as I'm happy, what does it matter what size I am? Please stop telling me not to lose weight, and instead, wish me luck, and tell me that you are happy that I am trying to become a healthier, happier, better version of myself. Tell me you are proud of me for working so hard to lose weight. Tell me you are excited for me to get stronger. Tell me that you support me in whatever I do, as long as I go about it in a a healthy way. Ask me questions if you need to find out why I want to lose weight, even if I look 'fine', but whatever happens, please don't try to decide for me what size I should be at to be happy.