I've always gotten by on my looks (which is to say less about my looks and more about my terrible personality). I've always tried to keep my weight-down, in what can be a subconscious arms-race among women but this does not mean I've always been healthy. Aside from the times I was fed solely by may parents, say 'till about thirteen, I've consistently tried to stay trim, not so much for health reasons but for aesthetic ones. At first, I tried to eat healthy, which as a teenager, meant no Applejacks. As I got older, I cut meat out of my diet, like my father, but for not the same, spiritual reasons he held. I then ended up reintegrating meat into my diet but essentially stopped eating meals and relied on a lot of ice cream to fuel me through the day. Through the trends above, I really was never thin. In fact, I carried quite a bit of weight, because for every ounce of nourishing food I cut from my diet, I welcomed in an exciting sugar fix. I assume my rationale was something like, "I skipped a meal, so I'm dieting." But, if you've ever read Salt, Sugar, Fat (and if you haven't, you should) you know just how hard putting down the sugar-laced food can be. And it was all done to look the part of messages that we constantly see regarding women's bodies.
I'm getting to the age where I can physically tell a lot of models, athletes and celebrities are younger than me. I remember these realizations first beginning to occur when I graduated from college and was stunned to learn that the 320 pound linebacker on the New York Giants was two years younger than me. And so, being bombarded with images of ultra-thin beauties doesn't bother me too much. I'm in a different age range as these people and while I may look too sometimes keep my weight down, I know I'll never keep my age at the same level. However, no matter your age as a woman, there is a general mindfulness about one's weight (at least in the Western World). We see the images, we know the expectations. But as Ghandi once said, "you must be the change you wish to see in the world." This is why I was so taken with Ms. Fisher's comment that, "youth and beauty are not accomplishments," as she defended the natural aging process to twitter trolls (link here). Ironically, my New Year's resolution this year is not about losing weight but (in a nod to Ms. Fisher's comment) it is about being healthy and not focusing on my weight. It leans towards focusing on what my body needs. It should be an interesting year. I hope you come along for the ride with me.