No, this is not a pity-party post about how no one cares about me. It’s actually a pretty liberating thought: no one cares! That is to say, I’m a very happily married almost-40-year-old mother of 2 small children. NO ONE CARES what I look like. My kids don’t care, and my husband certainly doesn’t care (I mean that in the best possible way!). My employer doesn’t care, and my students don’t care. It truly bothers no one but me when I’m up two pounds, and no one but me even notices when I go back down.
No one cares.
I was at the park today and saw a woman about my age and build, wearing almost the identical outfit as me. My mind went to its usual place: Is she just a little skinnier than I am? I bet my arms are way more toned than hers… can’t quite tell with the sweater. If she had her hair blown out and a little makeup on, would she be prettier than me, hands down? I’ve talked with my therapist about these thoughts. They’re futile and entirely pointless. That woman and I have nothing connecting us, and even less in competition. Who cares? Only I care. And I wish I didn’t.
I do know WHY I care, and that’s because I have been bigger at points in my life. I should preface this by saying that I find women of all shapes and sizes beautiful; at the same time, I have always been an athlete. I was always in sports, always into new exercise plans, and I truly enjoy sweating out a hard weight session. When I am not fit enough to do these things, I don’t feel good. That’s all. After I had my second child and my thyroid went haywire, I felt like absolute shit. I had no energy, and I hated the way I looked and the way I felt even more.
But, now that I am strong and healthy and not engaging in disordered eating, I can see that no one really cares what I look like. No one will love me less, respect me less, or see me as less if I gain weight. They will not love me more, respect me more, or see me as more if I lose weight. No one cares. And, I am starting not to care… so much. Day 19.