The Skinny…

For most of my 30-some-odd years I have been thin. It came naturally to me. As a young girl in grade school my mom would often take me to the doctor for a health checkup because I was so skinny. His questions to her were always the same:

“Does she eat well?”

“Yes. Quite a bit actually.”

“Is she active?”

“Very.”

“She’s fine.”

Whereas heavier girls were self-conscious about their weight, I was self-conscious about mine. I wore sweatshirts in the summer throughout grade school, junior high and high school just to cover my skinny arms. Slouch socks, luckily in style at the time, hid my extremely tiny ankles. I drank protein shakes in high school to gain weight and was actually a whoppin’ 92 lbs for prom because of them–not that I filled my dress out anyway. Thanks to my small weight, I only qualified for a trainer bra until college, and then only wore an AA (yes, they actually exist. They are smaller than an A). I wore little girls’ clothes because they fit better than the smallest offered juniors’ size. I couldn’t even donate blood.

So, ladies, the grass is in fact NOT greener on the other side.

By college, I put on my freshmen fifteen and actually became an appealing lady to look at (in my own opinion). I was healthier looking because of the weight I had put on. It wasn’t because I tried. My metabolism simply slowed a bit. I had no idea how to diet nor exercise, really. I ate what I wanted and was as lazy as I wanted to be. Still I was small.

My depression changed that for me a little. I would get heftier in the winter months because I was so melancholy and chose to literally feed my depression spells. Of course, the weight would practically melt off me by the time bathing suit season came around–without me even lifting a finger.

And naturally, after having a few pregnancies under my belt, my weight has fluctuated in my 30’s.

So, here’s the skinny…

I’m not. Not anymore. I haven’t been for quite some time. Try two years. Does this line up with my divorce woes? Yes and no. When the actual divorce started going down, I chose to feed my depression, disappointment–and whatever else we may call it–with food.  But my divorce has been final for a year and a half, so now that it’s all been said and done… why am I still overweight?

I could give about fifty lame excuses, starting with the fact that I’m practically clueless as to how to get into shape. Realistically, however, we can’t deny the fact that information on weight loss and health is constantly at our fingertips. Just Google it. Not to mention the fact that we’ve been taught since kindergarten that eating right and exercise is the key to a healthy lifestyle and a healthy body. Granted, I’ve had a few pregnancies under my belt that have abused, exhausted, and stretched my body–and to be honest, I’d love to run that course one or two more times before I hit 45–but many women have been able to trim themselves down afterward. Maybe not immediately afterward and they may not ever recover their pre-pregnancy body again, but they still look fabulous.

So again, I ask… why am I still overweight?

It all boils down to willpower and how badly I want to be cute again. Sure, some of you may be venting a few evil whispers under your breath at me as you read this. She’s so vain! How superficial can this woman possibly be?! What about what’s inside? Not the outside!

I reiterate. I want to be cute again.

I sincerely can’t stand to look at myself any longer… and I practically want to cry when I see old photos of myself as a thinner woman.

I’m not ashamed of my insistence that I was cuter when I was thinner. It’s the truth how I see it and that’s all that matters really–isn’t that what all the “inner-beauty” blogs are saying? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking the message of loving yourself for who you are and disposing the titles of hatred like “fat” or “chubby”. Those are great messages and I believe my blog has touched on self love several times. Truth be told, I feel that the message of wanting to be thin is painted as a shallow goal. Heck, I can’t begin to tell you all how many times on our beloved Facebook that I’ve seen a quote supposedly made by Adele saying: “…my aim in life is to never be skinny.”

Adele’s got it all wrong, folks.

What kind of crap message is that? Her perspective on this issue is quite distorted if you ask me. Not only is the singer holding a cigarette–and I’m a  trained, professional vocalist… it’s UNHEALTHY–but she’s toting this “better than the skinny” attitude. In case she’s forgotten, there are quite a few  skinny vocalists who could sing circles around this girl. Being skinny doesn’t make you talented or smarter. Neither does being fat. I refuse to wave a flag for either side in that respect.

I’m downright frustrated with myself that I have let my weight get this far out of hand. Am I being shallow about it? Maybe, but who cares? It’s not because I see what Hollywood or my peers expect from me, it’s what I expect of me. I’m better than this.

And I couldn’t have picked a worse time in my life to be overweight and out of shape. I’m single again; this would be the time to try to stay thin. My face looks super chubby in pictures, so I rarely update my profile picture on Facebook from a “good one”. I am asked (almost on a daily basis) if I’m pregnant. I usually walk into work double-fisted with large mochas from the local coffee shop… and boy they are good! My clothes are dumpy looking. I wear ruffles, scarves, and layers to make me look thin, when in fact the whole get up just makes me appear as a fat girl trying to cover her fat. I’m not fooling anyone. I suck my stomach in as much as I can without passing out, and even then I still “look pregnant”. And we all know you can’t suck in your butt and thighs. Again, not fooling anyone. Oh! And my thighs rub together, giving me raw welts. It hurts.

I secretly get jealous of perfect strangers (women), even my middle sister, that are able to wear fashionable clothes or can wear shorts without worrying that their butt is hanging down to the backs of their knees.

But goes beyond just physical beauty. It’s my health at risk too! I’m aging because of it! I broke my foot 2 months ago and probably because I was so out of shape while I was hiking. I stomp through the house because the weigh is so heavy on my legs. Not to mention the spider veins & cellulite I promote on my chubby legs. More recently, my hip has been out of joint and all because I was wriggling into a pair of jeans I should have retired long before now. (So no, it had nothing to do with sex, but go ahead and continue thinking that it did if it’ll make you laugh.) My feet are sore every morning when I step out of bed because of the weight they bear, still tired from the battle of weight the day before.

My weight makes me extremely insecure about myself. No matter how much effort I put into a look–whether I’m trying to look cute, sexy, sporty, or professional–all I see and feel like is a fat, dumpy girl. I expect my boys and my boyfriend to be ashamed of how I look all the time, because I am ashamed of how I look all the time.

I don’t share this stuff lightly and I’m not fishing for sympathy, for I did this on my own. My hope is that others will read this and say, “Hey! That’s like me!” And if you are saying that, I say to you, “Today, is the start to a change in my life and I want you to join me in that change.”

No more enabling yourself. No more insecurity. No more shame. No more Caramel Popcorn or Ruffel’s Sweet & Smokin’ BBQ Chips!

The skinny girl has spoken.

I’m dieting. No fad diet. Not the 17 Day diet that my sister Jess has found success in. Not the low-carb diet that would absolutely kill me because all my favorite foods are completely forbidden in it. If you are anything like me, to have something totally off-limits to you, only spells failure. If I can’t have it or can’t do it… by God, I’ll have it AND do it. I’ll want it just that much more for the mad challenge. So, instead, I’m just cutting back proportions and guilty pleasures such as chips, mochas, margaritas, caramel popcorn,…. etc. I want to be thin and I’ll work for it, but I refuse to be downright miserable in the process. That’s no way to live.

I also started a 30 Day exercise class… which apparently is more of a 30 Day Shred.

All of this started today. So if you want to join me in this brutal journey, please do! I will be updating my progress as I go along. And just to be real (as horrific and ballsy as it is) today we measured ourselves and  these were my results:

Height: 5’3″

Weight: 150 lbs. (I weight THIS MUCH at the end of BOTH of my full-term pregnancies!!)

Chest: 37 1/2 inches

Waist: 37 inches (I knew a boob job would make me appear skinnier! Now I know why!)

Hips: 42 inches

Thigh: 24 inches

Bicep: 11 1/2 inches (and no, none of that is muscle.)

In one month, I don’t expect to look like I did in college or even before I had children… but I will feel fantastic and look fantabulous! And those around me will feel the same. They will love me no more nor less, but they will be happy for me.

Befriend me on Livestrong.com at http://www.livestrong.com/profile/melissadellis/ . We’ll do this together!!

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9 thoughts on “The Skinny…

  1. Matt Clyde says:

    It’s about time to see some activity over here. What a great post…but you got something wrong…I am not ashamed of your weight – you are beautiful inside and out (and not because I’m biased, but because it’s true)..now get on that treadmill! 😉

  2. ninaknowsitworks says:

    I commend you for writing this & agree with a lot of it. Good luck on your journey!

  3. Ashley says:

    Love the post! Good luck with this…Every time I think of Starbucks or see it I think of you and your vanilla lattes 🙂

  4. Harold Bolin says:

    Great Blog, I wish you luck on your quest, it ain’t easy. Since you are a godly person remember 1 Corinthians 6:19″ Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?” So you should take care of it.. The old adage still works best, work (exercise) and push away from the table a lot sooner( that one is really hard for me). The best advice I have ever gotten (and the hardest to stick to) is to totally give up sugar. I guarantee you will feel much much better after just a few days. Sorry about the advice,I can give it a lot better than I can live by it. I’ve been on Livestrong for sometime but don’t visit very often.

  5. I see myself so much in this! Although, I have never been naturally thin. My first diet was in 8th grade and the battle continues. But, I have so many of the same feelings of embarrassment and shame. Just leaving the house is a chore because I have to find something to wear and I always have to think- did I wear that 2 days ago? I have to keep the laundry done just so I have something to wear even though I have a huge closet full of clothes (in a variety of sizes of course). I started Jessi’s class yesterday too. She’s good. I’ve done her classes before. Last time, I didn’t lose any weight but I dropped a full pant size in less than a month. If I could do that this time I would have a ton of clothes to wear! But, I still want to lose more than that.
    We can do this girl!!! Good luck to you! 🙂

  6. […] Ellis is doing a public weight loss program. I too would like to lose weight and I’ll be doing it along with her. Additionally, […]

  7. Ellen says:

    Hi Melissa!

    Good luck on your weight loss plan. I know it’s no easy feat getting off into the gym, but once you go, it’s almost like an addiction! For me, diet has been the main factor controlling my weight: no soda or high sugar content beverages/food, whole wheat bread, brown/red/black rice, lots of fruits and veggies, egg whites (no egg yolk), etc. I occasionally treat myself to a slice of cake every once in a while, but you feel less guilty once you know you’ve been eating well!
    Diet and fitness is not just about looking good; it’s about feeling good! You are just so much more vibrant when you’re healthy.

    Best of luck to you! 🙂

    -Ellen

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