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Body Insecurity: The Holiday Edition

It’s that time of year again! The holiday season has come around, and with it the five or so relatives you hear saying, “I’m really going to cut back this year so I can look good for the Christmas party.”  Getting together with family means eating, but also trying to impress your relatives and hunt for comments like, “You look so nice! Have you lost weight?” And so the holiday round of, “Oh god, I need to hit the gym more” hits you over the head.

It’s not that I’m really trying to impress anyone this year, or even that I think I ate too much at Thanksgiving. It’s the Christmas shopping that is starting to get to me. Picking out clothes for someone else to give to me is great for a number of reasons, but this year it’s starting to drag. I see all of these really cute dresses, begging me to spend more money than I should, and think, “Well maybe….” and then I’m stopped in my tracks. I can’t buy this dress. Why would I ever think I could actually wear something like that? My body looks NOTHING like that model’s, and my hair could never pull off something so glamorous. It’s too tight, it would show my muffin top and my back fat (which, who knew that could even be a problem?), and my legs are not that long. My boobs could never squeeze into that, my stomach would show up like a giant neon sign, I have no waist whatsoever, and my arms will never be that toned. So what do I do? I tell myself I must find a more flattering style. Only you know what’s in style? Bodycon dresses, shift dresses, backless, strapless, cut-outs and short short short. Nothing for me. So instead I opt for a modest sweater and sigh at what could have been.

Expectations

Expectations

I used to be skinny. Not skinny, skinny, but skinny enough. I’ve always had a bit on cushion on my stomach, but it would hide under sort-of loose shirts and would stay sucked in whenever I’d wear anything else. I was able to wear size four or six, and I felt like I was passing in the golden crowd of girls who could always find their size and wear trendy things. But then I went to college, and suddenly I kept gaining more and more weight. My boobs added on a whole other cup size, my hips started to show, and suddenly I was kind of curvy. While I was sort of concerned, I was also okay with this. It was nice to feel like I looked more grown-up than I did before, like I could actually push out a baby if I wanted to or something. But then fat showed up in the weird places, like my sides and back, not to mention under that strange place in your armpits that emerges between your bra and arm when your arms are at your side. (Here’s the visual aid: http://www.colormebrave.com/2014/04/get-rid-armpit-fat.html ) And then I couldn’t wear some of my

Reality

Reality

clothes because they didn’t fit or look good anymore. Shopping started to become less fun, because I had to find everything in a size or two up, and even then, it usually looked too big in some places and too small in others. While I knew before that the fashion world was unkind to anyone who didn’t fit into their mold, I had never realized how sad and difficult it made finding clothes.

My self-esteem went down, naturally. And it’s been a struggle to regain it ever since. It doesn’t help to be constantly surrounded by a culture that praises thinness, or people who go along with it. It doesn’t help that my roommate is thin and beautiful (as with the rest of our friends), that my motivation to work out (or time to do it) has shrunk exponentially, or that I’m constantly reminded by adults that “The habits you make now will either help or hinder you later in life”. It does help, however, to have a boyfriend who loves me and my body, just how it is, and to have supportive friends and family.

I hate diets. I hate those little comments relatives make about your weight, because my body isn’t a decoration to be altered or shared in discussion. I want to look like me, but I also want to be healthy, and what’s really unhealthy is my attitude about this weight I’ve gained. I don’t know what to do, because I don’t have all this extra time to work out and I hate salads. (A LOT). Plus I don’t have tons of money to spend on healthy alternatives to cheap meals.

It’s a vicious cycle of hating your body, desperately wanting to change it, and wishing you could just find some peace with it. And unfortunately, most women are stuck in this cycle for a long, long time.

All I want for Christmas is to stop wishing I was thinner and to stop comparing myself to other people. I want to start appreciating my body more and start taking care of it more, and most of all I want to do it in a killer dress that knocks the socks off my boyfriend.

 

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Ho-Ho-Hopeless At Decisions!

Hello all! Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, atheism, or something else this holiday season, I hope you are all having a lovely time and aren’t pulling your hair out from exposure to family, or hitting your head against the wall at Toys R’ Us, or having car troubles out in the chilly weather. I mean, I don’t know about you, but this is one of my favorite times of year. I LOVE getting people stuff! I feel like now is the time to show everyone in my life how much I love them and appreciate them…so by the time January comes around, I’m always flat broke. If I could, I’d give everyone the world. But for now “the world” has to be $20 or under if I still want to buy gas.

Anyway, an update on my not-so-jolly post from last time–I haven’t done anything harmful since! I’m feeling loads better than I was, and am throughly enjoying catching up with old friends, my mom, and movies I never have time to watch during the school semester. I’ve even been more timely with my Christmas shopping and wrapping this year (I’ve got a pretty regular habit of wrapping Christmas morning/Christmas eve, and I’m not even going to delve into the subject of the IOU’s I handed out last year…). I am slacking a bit on my goal to read more during the break, but I’m going to go easy on myself and get through the holidays first.

An update on my crazy social life: my recent boyfriend is now my recent ex boyfriend. The night I got home from school he decided to dump me because he couldn’t “tough it out until Saturday”. Wow, what a royal waste of time you turned out to be. Anyway, so he made a fool out of me…Merry Christmas to me! There is a bright side, though. The guy I had been heartbroken over before/during this two-week lapse of judgement of a relationship and I were reunited. We have decided that while the reasons we broke up are still valid (i.e. the distance between us while I’m at school, the need to work on certain things within ourselves) we still want to spend this time together while we can. And guess what, as soon as I saw this guy in person again I forgot all about that asshole who dumped me. Because it was just as I knew all along: I still loved this guy, and I always would. Just to make this whole paragraph less confusing–this asshole I will call Jack (as in ass) and I were in a two-week relationship after I broke up with my boyfriend of a year. Then just as the pain of this breakup hit me, Jack decided he could do better with someone more close to home. So, I walked away from that relationship the same way I entered it–wanting my relationship with my boyfriend of a year to be fixed. I’ve already decided that without jerks like Jack, I would never appreciate how wonderful this other guy is and I should be thankful that they have steered me in the right direction.

Right, enough of that. So this all goes toward asking you readers a question. See, before Jack dumped me, I bought him a Christmas present. It came in the mail a few days after. Now I’m wondering what to do with it. Because like I explained, I love giving presents and am all about the Christmas/holiday spirit. But on the other hand, it’s not like Jack deserves a present. So I need your advice…what do I do with it?

I’ll be checking in to see what you guys say, so please feel free to vote or comment!! I am in need of opinions!! Also, if I don’t post between now and whatever holiday/non-holiday you celebrate, happy [insert-your-respective-holiday-or-something-else-here]!

‘Tis The Season To Yawn

It’s Christmas Eve. Or December 24th if you’re not into the whole Christmas scene. Even though right now I’m supposed to be having happy family memories or baking or wrapping gifts to Bing Crosby Christmas carols, I’m not. I’m here writing to you people, who probably understand me more than Bing or my family ever will.

As you can probably tell by that passive-aggressive comment, I’m not exactly on great terms with my family at the moment. But first things first.

So that last post I put up was a bit vague and abrupt. Guess I’ve got some explaining to do. Well, someone who knows me personally thought it would be the “right thing to do” to tell my school guidance counselor about my blog. I guess all my little comments about cutting myself freaked them out, since it’s such a cheery topic and all. Anyway, it ended up with my mom yelling at me for being so depressed and threatening to not send me to college if I didn’t start to get better. Gee, thanks for having my back Mom.

I don’t really want to talk about the rest. It’s still pretty upsetting even though I’m not angry anymore.

Anyway, I’ve missed writing this stuff so onto what I wanted to talk about: the holidays. A time for giving people gifts to show them how much you truly appreciate them, which I love. And also a time to waste money on people who give you gifts and so you feel obligated to return the favor, even though you don’t really like them. Oh, and then there’s some religious stuff thrown in for good measure.

It used to be this time of year where everyone smiled and acted nicer. Now that I’m older, it’s this time where everyone is crying from all their stress about finals. And you are completely broke. Fah la la lala, FAIL. To put it in a realistic perspective, I have 14 cents in my checking account. But back to Christmas past, where everyone put up Christmas lights and drank hot chocolate and elementary schools did not get shot up.

Alright, I know I’m being depressing as hell. The thing is, I just never got into the holiday spirit this year. I feel like it’s still November. No one’s really been smiling in my family. Especially not to me. The Christmas lights are up, the tree is decorated, but they are just inanimate objects now. They don’t mean anything like they used to.

You know what I really want for Christmas? For my parents to like me again. To get to see my man-friend without pissing them off. To spend time with my friends just relaxing, not running all over the place, making other people be happy and not ourselves.

I want to feel useful again. I want to feel like people are genuinely happy that I am in their lives. Like Christmas is supposed to be.

Guess this is an awfully Scrounge-esque post. If you are having a wonderful holiday, please enjoy every second of it! If you’re totally understanding everything I’m saying, I hope it gets better for the both of us. Truth be told, I’ve been very happy lately…when I’m not home.

Santa, you materialistic bastard, can you bring happiness to my family?

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