I know this because I weighed myself incessantly and I had been living with an eating disorder for about ten years prior to meeting him. I knew that my measurements were (what I considered) a perfect 34-24-34, and that my body fat was at 11%.
I never considered it or even refer to it now as a time where I was "struggling with an eating disorder" because I wasn't struggling ... it was kind of just a part of my life that meshed in with teaching dance classes 35 hours per week, coaching high school cheerleading 15 hours per week, practicing and dancing for a pro football team 15 hours per week ... and it was sort of just a part of who I was.
Somehow, after I "retired" from dancing and cheerleading, and I became more comfortable in my own skin (alright, let's get real - I learned to love wine and brownies without feeling guilty), the weight slowly crept on. I joke now that I met TJ and "he" made me gain 20 pounds - but it's okay, and I can laugh about it. Because I did gain twenty pounds, and I'm okay with it.
Because I'm healthy now, and I'm proud of my body. Sort of.
When we were in Mexico a couple of weeks ago, I couldn't help but look at the other girls bodies as they walked by the pool, and compare my body to theirs. My eyes kept scanning the skinny legs, toned arms, tight tushies and perfect abs.
"Are my legs as nice as hers?" "Does my stomach look like that?" "Damn it, I need to start working more on my arms."
I made a comment to TJ about how great one of the girls bodies was and he replied, "Kym, she's like 17 years old." As I peeled my eyes away from her thigh gap and looked at her face, I saw that he was right. She was probably about 17 - which made me probably about 10 years older than her. Probably.
What the hell? When did that happen?
And that's when I realized, So This Is 27.5 ... and I shouldn't ever compare my body to or aspire to want to look like a 17 year old (or my 17 year old self) ever again.
So as I re-scanned the pools and really looked at the dozens of women who were my age and older who surrounded me, I saw both "fat" women and "skinny" women. And I realized that "fat" and "skinny" are both subjective.
And I saw that not one of women at the resort was wearing a one piece. Every single woman was embracing her body, rocking a bikini, and having a good time, regardless of her extra wiggle or jiggle.
And then I realized that while I was wasting time wishing for another girls buns, thighs and abs, another girl could have been looking at me wishing for mine. And then I realized that we all need to cut it freaking out and be happy with what we have, because the number on the scale or the measuring tape does not even give a sliver of an indication about the type of women that we are.
Because toned arms do not equal a kind heart.
Flat abs do not make you a good person.
And a firm ass does not make you a good friend.
There is always going to be another woman with a smaller body, nicer hair, a better paying job, a more fashionable wardrobe, a more caring husband ... okay, let me give it to you straight - there is always going to be another woman with more or better than what you have. Always. So the only woman that you should strive to be better than is yourself. Be the best that you can be ... for your boyfriend or your husband, your children, your family, your friends, and most importantly - for yourself.
I came in from a run a few days ago and my dad turned to me and said, "I don't get you girls - you're working out to make your butt smaller, and your sister is working out to make her butt bigger - can't you girls just be happy with what you have?"