Does size matter? The answer to this has been coyly debated and size jokes are never-ending. Jokes abound because the answer that size does matter strikes fear and rattles self-confidence in men and women. While men seek bigger, women want smaller sizes, dress sizes. Women diet, self-critique, spend thousands on weight loss supplements while men order their size supplements online. Size does matter, but it is time we use a different measurement tool, not one based on inches but the love of self and happiness.
For years my size was ranged from 0 to 6, depending on my stress level.
In times of stress, I controlled my environment with food, nourishment, strangely punishing my body for a lack of control. When my husband left me for another woman, the cliché trainer at the gym, I controlled my anger and depression with food or rather denial of food. My appetite decreased and as I lost weight, the warped mindset of “If only I were thinner, I would be more desirable” and “if only I were perfect, life would be perfect.”
As my body shrank, life was not becoming more perfect, it was spiraling into chaos. Safety pins held my clothes on my tenuous body. As the imminent possibility of divorce increased my appetite decreased… and decreased.
My skeleton body weakly maneuvered through the drudgery of life, attempting to extricate myself from the game playing that had become our relationship and trying to force a new life.
Truth was, I had given up control of my life so many years ago. I really didn’t trust myself, I was always Mrs. XXX, or mom, and now I had to be ME. I measured my happiness with my dress size. I was a size zero, embarrassed by my bony stature and completely miserable.
For months, as my body starved, I begged, cried and pleaded with my ex to end the affair and affirm his love for me, for our family. We have finally had the opportunity to enjoy some of the fruits of our labors as we anticipated empty nesting. I guess once the business of being married and juggling family started to wane we were left alone with each other and the issues in our relationship glared and buzzed angrily at us like an unwanted neon sign.
I was a perpetual yo-yo, feeling hopeful when he avowed that I was the only woman he loved and then crushed the next day when he publicly partied with his girlfriend and our friends. Neither of them had any shame or expressed a conscience. In fact, I was the one who felt humiliated and shame for the loss of our family. Rumors spread like wildfire, everyone loves a salacious story that does not involve them personally.
Feeling foolish, I isolated myself, and now I was shopping in the children’s section, something a 5′ something woman should never do.
On November 28, 2014, at 7:19 pm, my epiphany occurred. As I folded napkins on a ladder in the warehouse of Williams Sonoma, I was texting with my ex, pleading with him to please leave the bar he was at with his girlfriend. He flatly told me, he could do what he wanted. He was staying. I begged and begged until suddenly I realized I didn’t care at all. It was the weirdest feeling. One moment I was devastated and the very next I was filled with strength, clarity, and direction. I called a dear girlfriend of mine and we went to dinner and I ate an entire cheeseburger!
When I finally let go and stopped trying to control every aspect, remarkable things happened.
First, love came into my life, but this love was different. It was a love for myself, self-respect and self-care. I began to nurture myself and put me first and I don’t mean just by trips to the spa. This was different, anytime negative talk entered my mind, I reminded myself to be kind, to cut me a break.
Once self-acceptance took hold my size inched up and this weight gain was welcomed. As I sized up, another wonderful thing happened: true romantic love entered my life. This love is unconditional, based on trust and respect, without the game playing. Size happiness has given a new meaning to the expression Size Matters.
At times I still struggle with the woman I see in the mirror and self-critique when stress creeps into my life. Like many women, I struggle still with weight, however, I also know the other side of size, and that weight does not equate to happiness. Finally, joy after years of quiet acquiescence and resentment I realize size matters and my size is happy!
Photo and source: Pexels and Ezine