Just back from Camp, the idea of people from all walks of life all struggling with similar issues, no matter how many degrees they have, what their pay-stub says, if they’re the life of the party or the party wallflower is at the forefront of my thoughts.
It seemed good timing to share this is Guest Post by Shaily Hakimian who reflects on a topic well-known to many of us.
Self-image. Weight. Self-love. Self-hate. Shame. Pride.
Knowing we’re not sitting alone on this emotional rollercoaster is comforting and gives us strength to pick ourselves up and continue on.
Why I am not going to lose weight
I am a proud and curvy girl. I realized over the last few years that I was different. I look at the mirror and want to strike a pose. I love the way I look and how I dress. More to love means to more to love 😉
Look, I am not stupid. There are plenty of good reasons to be eating healthy and exercising. I know that. The world screams it every day. Most of my diet is protein-loaded fruit smoothies, bag salads, and an endless amount of eggs. Not going to lie, a few more side items plus sizable amounts of family-produced Middle Eastern goodness fills the rest of my diet. I tend to walk places more often now that I live in the city.
More and more friends, families, exes, and colleagues are coming to me privately to tell me I should lose weight. My dad asked me “Are you even trying to get guys? If you want a chance, lose weight and be more like your friend. She always has a new guy.” When I told my friend this, she said the same thing. It’s an echo. On top of that, two boys I was ending romantic rendezvous with told me the same thing to help my future dating prospects. I guess that is kind of a sweet consolation prize, right? They weren’t bad guys. They said it because they cared. I usually trust what my friends and family say to me but for some reason I just don’t care.
I think they are right, just not right now.
My friend Dash said something to me to the effect of “Most guys prefer skinny woman, but I don’t prefer most guys.” I have been pretty open minded when it comes to guys’ appearances. I have dated guys who are physical athletes and bodybuilders, big guys with similar shape to my dad, shorter guys, taller guys, more to love, less to love, and yet still maybe that doesn’t validate me enough as a dating prospect.
I thought back to some of the curvy girls from elementary school that overhauled their lives and are thin now. They look amazing. And I wonder to myself what their motivations were? Were they self conscious about their weight? Was it their health? It takes a whole lot of life commitment to maintain those slender figures they worked so hard for.
I wonder how much of my “identity” comes from my size? I really don’t think about it much. I find myself putting more of my capacity into my career. It wasn’t always like this. In my year post college, I put so much of my energy into dating. My focus evolves over time. Maybe one day my focus will be my weight?
How can anything be more important than my weight? I don’t know. But right now I have to believe in what my goals are for today. I want to build a foundation in the career of being me. I try to meet people in infinite avenues, industries, and arenas, so that one day when I create something cool enough, it will resonate. I know it already sounds crazy. It’s more to my point that no one will ever see my life through my eyes. They will never know how many projects I have my hand in. I have to trust my gut and do what I know is best for me right now. And that may mean my weight takes a back burner.
Maybe one day that focus will be on my weight. But right now I am going to thank my people for their hopes and dreams for me. When the time is right, I hope to listen.