When Francesca was a young girl of 17 or 18, and wore a size 14-16, she pitied herself because most stores with fashions for the young girls stopped at size 12. Oh to be thin, Francesca often wished, so that I could shop at regular stores!
My, my how times have changed!
Recently, Francesca attended a workshop on how to use guided imagery to lose weight. Hold on! Before you berate Francesca for fraternizing with the enemy, allow her to say two things: 1) Just as Francesca is interested in fashion, she is also interested in the world of health and diet and thinness and fatness, and the world of what people are saying about thinness and fatness, and she was curious to see what would happen at such a workshop, who would show up, what would be said, and what messages would be imparted. She was there not as a person desiring to wear a size 2, but rather more as a spy. 2) Although Francesca does not feel a need to be thin, she does want to be healthier, which is not compatible with her current penchant for eating a box of cookies every single day. Especially since Francesca is in a high-risk categories for diabetes. Francesca can stay at size 24 for the rest of her life for all she cares, but if guided imagery can help her eat more fish and fruit and fewer Entenmann’s cupcakes, it might prevent her from having to give herself insulin shots down the road. Francesca has a great fear of the insulin shots. It is her conscious choice to try to avoid them.
Anyhow, there were many, many superfantastic Big Girls at this workshop, extremely accomplished and attractive women! Francesca was somewhat appalled by some of the things said by the presenters, who equated gaining weight with “being in big trouble” and did not allow for the idea that choosing to eat more and choosing not to lose weight at a particular time is a legitimate option for an intelligent woman who understands the implications of her decisions. Ayyyy! Enough with the thin-centric assumptions!
However, Francesca did indeed learn much about herself from the guided imagery.
In one exercise, we were instructed to imagine ourselves looking into a mirror, seeing ourselves as we are. Our fat, our clothes, our hair, everything we like and everything we dislike about our bodies. (Francesca could write a whole book about that last line alone, but she will move on for now.)
Then, we were told to imagine ourselves looking into another mirror, and imagining ourselves as we’d like to be.
Francesca imagined herself only slightly more lean and fit for doing more exercise and laying off the cookies – and with happy, happy insulin!
But the epiphany was: In both mirrors, Francesca was wearing exactly the same outfit!
Francesca’s dream body was wearing exactly the outfit she was wearing at the workshop.
Happy, happy day. One less reason to “need” to be a “normal” size!