Monday, November 12, 2012

For health or vanity?

I took a journey through Facebook last week and browsed a bunch of photos of me from my freshman year of college. Doing so made me feel terrible. How dare I torture myself so?

From my senior year of high school through my first summer after college, I lost 20-some pounds. I wanted to be thin because I thought a skinny figure was the missing piece of my success as a triple threat. In high school, I worked SO HARD to get the role I wanted. I made it my only ambition. I figured that since I was doing everything in my power to achieve my goals, I better lose some weight since I probably just don't have the right look.So I completely gave up all sweets and fried foods and had a Slim Fast shake for breakfast every day. I also exercised 5 days out of the week; Pilates, running, and light weights.

I got to college and kept up the habits whilst improving them some. I was still probably getting sugar and other processed ingredients but I was eating as healthy as I could to the best of my ability. I was also walking everywhere--on campus and off and never took the elevator to my 4th floor classes or my 4th floor dorm room.

I was looking HOT. But I started to take in my surroundings...people indulging in high fat or sugar foods....people taking the elevator or driving places...or not even bothering to get the Rec center for a regular workout. Yet these were theatre colleagues of mine who had no trouble landing a leading role in a play or musical. Or someone who was just a little chunky seemed well-liked by people anyway. This confused me.

I changed my habits in order to change the shape of my body in order to be a successful actress and be liked. When I look back on these days I have mixed feelings. I was thin but I certainly wasn't healthy- mentally or physically-- and I was looking for validation in all the wrong ways.

Right now on my diet of mostly organic whole foods, I haven't been sick in 9 months. I'd say with the exception of my occasional sugar or highly processed food binges (a different issue to address some other time), I'm pretty healthy! Well then why the obsession? I'm not thin.

When I was thin I had the vanity but not the healthy. Now I'd say I mostly have the health but not the vanity.

Forgive the lack of clever writing. I guess I've been mulling over this idea. I did not get what I wanted from being thin and engaging in behaviors that I thought were healthy. Since I know that such validation isn't available, even if I wanted, then why all the headache?

Plus I couldn't possibly duplicate the habits I had in college. I didn't drink alcohol at that time. I'll be damned if I'm going to deny myself wine and beer! The only dessert I ever ate was an espresso fudge brownie every other week from the campus Starbucks and now STARBUCKS DOESN'T EVEN HAVE THEM ANYMORE!! Everywhere I go is too far to walk, there aren't 4 flights of stairs at my leisure and DAMN IT, I go into work 8am Monday through Friday. There's no such thing as a 9am workout before my 11am class.

Sorry for the pity party...this weight loss thing is just too hard.

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