You guys, I am still 30 pounds ABOVE my pre-pregnancy weight. It’s sad for many reasons, mainly I mourn the fact that I am now officially the size of a NORMAL woman. Crap. You know this means I will never, I repeat, NEVER work again!!!!
I could easily change this perspectively odd fat fact about myself if I turned my body back into my job but the truth is I’ve been busy the past 2 years caring for my son, moving across country, grieving the death of a close friend and figuring out what to do with my career-life now that I’ve chosen to not model and travel full time. That choice means I don’t have a full time staff to help out while I “take care of myself” nor do I have a multi-million dollar contract giving me a specific timeline for my abs to be back in business ala Victoria’s Secret.
I do normal things now. All day long. At an enviable size 8 I do normal things like grocery shop at Costco and eat dinner at night with my family and talk to my girlfriends about how much we miss each other now that we don’t get to hang out as much because we all have lives. And I catch myself sometimes feeling trapped in a normal existence which isn’t so bad when I consider the rest of the world feels like this. I can’t say what normal is for everyone but for me it means I face the uncertainties of life in a way I didn’t have to in my 20′s. Today, the battle I’m fighting er, writing about is whether or not I continue this path of taking care of myself and pursue life as a size 8 or do I go back to a surer bet of working in the arena I’d like to work by being a size 2 or 4 regardless the cost to my sanity?
I haz first world problem
Do the benefits of being publicly desired and the compensations that go along with that outweigh the amount of self-obsession, self-control and self-discipline it takes to get there and the inevitable loss-of-self that comes with the successful launch of making one’s image one’s career? When I was modeling full time in my 20′s it became easier and less time consuming to simply live the image instead of flipping back and forth between two existences. In other words, I did my best to give up the reality of being human in exchange for a paycheck by being and maintaining an image. In my 20′s, I was able to do it. It ended up not being too pretty.
Previous to having a marriage and a child, I was free to abuse myself in private. I could take a full week and eat nothing, fasting and spending a few hours working out every day. Or I could fly to a fancy starvation/boot camp spa and pay a facility to make sure I did it. I could hire a nutritionist, trainer, doctor and plastic surgeon to make my normal-sized-womanly-tendencies shrink into the body shape of a pre-pubescent 12 year old. I could manipulate my body to fit the job description. Naturally I am thin so getting my body to an extreme thinness was fairly simple, an isolating endeavor to be sure but simple enough if I put in the focus, hard work and discipline and paid the right people to support me. There’s not a lot of professionals whom at 17 years old are running a modeling business and managing a team of people dedicated to making sure she doesn’t gain an inch, unless it’s vertical. I suppose anyone who’s been at the top of any ladder of success knows the isolation I experienced. I’d do it all again, but next time I’d make sure I didn’t stand at the top alone.
I haz another first world problem
But now, sigh and alas, I’m married and have a family and want to be sane. It was a crazy endeavor at 17 to attempt to become the image I felt I was compensated well to be. To continue it into my 30′s and expect the job description to expand beyond a size 2 is insane. The truth about my modeling experience was I innately understood the job description of becoming an image in front of a camera. I could create whatever feeling needed to be captured with a subtle adjustment of a finger, elbow, attitude or eye movement. Being in front of a camera and performing was easy for me. I’d been doing it my entire childhood as a mime. The difficult part was fitting my hips and bottom in the clothing so that I could perform at the level I was asked to perform at. The more I fought to fit into the clothing, the more traction I lost. What I didn’t understand at 17 that I understand now is I could have said something in the moment. I had more power than I realized to create change. I hope there’s a girl modeling now that reads this and hears that she can ask for change. I wonder if fashion realizes what they give up, what personalities are repressed and talents shut down because there simply isn’t enough energy for these young girls to starve, travel and perform.
I no longer participate in crazy extreme weight loss regimes. Making the choice to be sane however doesn’t mean that I get to work as a model or in entertainment. The unspoken rule being: one must be a size 2 or 4 until one becomes a household name/industry success then said one is allowed to “get fat” write a book about it, get an endorsement deal with major weight loss clinic and return to the public a size 4 or 6 to commence a victory lap of interviews and television appearances talking about how much one loves one’s self now.
Me sane(ish) and contemplative of life in front of St. Francis of Assisi statue
I did the opposite. At the height of my modeling success I took a step back and used all my hard earned resources to take care of myself and unravel the internal mess that had only tangled up tighter with the confusing gifts of success. That took a solid 10 years. I modeled during that time on and off but for the most part it was off more than on.
And now I’m healthy and normal sized and I’ve moved to the South, like the Civil War was fought here South. And, as happy as I am, I’m still fighting my own internal war at the moment. Do I lose the 30 pounds and step back into the entertainment world and pick up where I left off or do I content myself with living a normal life; raising my son, taking a jobby job and continue doing the work it takes for me to stay healthy? I’d like to have it both ways. I’d like to be able to raise my family, work within an industry where my gifts can be of service and I’d like to afford a certain lifestyle and be able to lay a financially sound foundation. Actually, those desires sound pretty normal to me. Maybe it’s ok for me to be normal today.
Moral of my story: today I will take care of myself and trust that by doing so I’ll be better served to take care of business. Today’s one of those put your oxygen mask on first days.