Thursday, May 20, 2010

Body Image

I've been avoiding this post. I've been avoid the issue. Making costumes for the show and now for my next competition has forced me to at least face it if not conquer it.

I'm big. Not tall. Big. I'm 5'2" and 220lbs. I used to weight more but skating has drastically reduced my body fat and increased my muscle mass. It's hard to say how much fat I've actually lost. I just know my clothes fit really differently now than when I started three years ago.

I've been overweight most of my life. Basically since puberty hit. The only times I have managed to get down to a reasonable weight is when I'm active all day or in the gym several times a week at three hours plus a stint. Since I am an engineer by trade and stuck at a desk 40+ hours a week being very very active isn't an option for me right now. So I'm big.

I don't do diets. I eat organic healthy foods including fruits, vegetables, chicken and fish. I don't eat anything with wheat in it which excludes most things or anything with cows in it. Occasionally I eat pork. Even the doctor says I have an amazingly healthy diet. So I'm big at least until I retire and can live in a rink with a weight lifting facility in it.

I started sewing so I could have outfits to wear during skating tests and competitions that don't look atrocious on me. The first dress I made was loose fitting and of course black (black hides so much!). My coach wasn't involved with the design. While it isn't a perfect design (I've already come up with a redesign), at least I didn't look like the Michaeline Man. These last two outfits my coach was involved with and she likes tight fitting dresses, even on me. For the Bali Hai number I think I look like an overstuffed green sausage.

The next dress I'm making is based on a ballet dress; the standard leotard with skirt attached. Of course I've added sleeves so that my voluminous underarms aren't exposed for all to see flapping in the breeze. I've finished the leotard and it fits like a glove. I did a decent job making it from scratch. I based it on one of my swimsuits that fits well and looks good on me. As good as a swimsuit can look on a 220lb woman anyway. Somehow I don't think I'm going to be selected as the next Sport Illustrated swimsuit cover.

I actually put off making this dress. While I love the design and the material, it is going to expose me. I normally wear slightly baggy clothing. I have done so all my life. I hide in my clothes. This feels more like going out in front of everyone naked. You can see my Buddha belly and my back rolls. My thick upper arms and chunky legs. For all the weight I've lost, I still look like a big green sausage with tree trunk legs. This time I'm going to be a tie dye sausage. The leotard actually looks pretty good on me until I turn sideways and you can see I'm very thick around the middle. I can't believe I agreed to skate in this. Now I'm worried that I am going to look foolish out on the ice. I can skate. I am fat. I am a fat skater. I need to get over this. Of course I'm in a sport where looks count, particularly amongst the teeny bopper set who comprises 99% of the sport. I don't know why I'm freaking out about this. Many of the bronze adults are chubby. I'm not the only one out there. In fact at Worchester both my competitors were chubby. I guess I can't hide anymore. I'm going to have to adopt some new mantras:
"Large and in charge"
"Large and lovely"
Why can't I be confident like Queen Latifa? She is large and gorgeous!

No comments:

Post a Comment