The Gap

sunflowerI spent a lot of my life wishing I was one of those women who was naturally slender. And by ‘slender’ I mean a flat stomach, a gap between my thighs, and wearing a size eight.

But I don’t have that kind of body, not unless I exercise for an hour each day and monitor every single thing that goes into my mouth. Only problem is, I can only keep up the diet and exercise for so long until I’m so hungry and tired I end up saying ‘fuck this’ and then eating everything in sight.

There is a gap between what I wish was true, and what actually is. And as much as I wish it was otherwise, there is nothing I can do to effortlessly transform into a natural size eight. I can try hundreds of different strategies, but I always end up in the same place — heavier than I want to be.

There is a gap in all of our lives. We wish we could fall pregnant, that someone we loved wasn’t dead, that we were younger, or prettier, or smarter. We long to control our lives, but the reality is that most of it is out of our control.

Spending all our time trying to bridge that gap is frustrating, especially when some of our friends seem to have accomplished what is beyond our capabilities. They tell us — ‘it’s just a choice, a habit, discipline and will-power’ making us feel even worse. I don’t know how some women keep their bodies below their natural size year after year, but I’m not able to do it. Perhaps the gap is smaller for them and easier to cross, or perhaps they don’t always tell me the truth?

The hardest part is surrendering to what is.

When I stopped dieting my weight went up, and up, and up. It was terrifying. I thought I would have to stay overweight and heavy for the rest of my life. The will-power I needed to NOT go on a diet was more than I’d ever needed to get thin. But once I committed to listening to my body’s needs, and finding things to love about myself, my world began to change.

My food obsession disappeared. Knowing that I could eat dessert when I wanted meant I hardly ever ate it. Knowing I could eat when I was hungry meant I stopped eating before I got full. Knowing I could have what I felt like meant I wanted salad as often as I wanted chips.

And my healing weight disappeared, leaving me at my natural weight which barely fluctuates from one day/week/month/year to the next.

My clothes are a size 10 or a size 12. I am happy to lie on the beach in a bikini. I look in the mirror and feel like I’m looking pretty good for someone close to 50.

And I’m no longer frustrated because I can’t cross the gap. I’m just getting on with the things I can change. Life isn’t perfect, I’m not always happy, but I’m focusing on things that are more important than food and weight loss exercise.

There is a gap between what you wish for and what is real.

Maybe it’s time to accept that you can’t always get what you want, but you’ll always get what you need.

→ Is there a gap in your life? Have you reconciled yourself to accepting it?

About KatieP

Embracing my midlife sexy while exploring modern love & relationships • Devoted to all things beautiful • Master of Arts in creative writing & non-fiction writing

4 thoughts on “The Gap

  1. Katie, I am SO there right now. I am finally, finally getting to the point of surrender. I have restricted and dieted for so many years and it’s tiring. I am also at my heaviest weight. Trying to just “let go” is the hardest thing I’ve ever done but I am ready.

  2. I was a short and chunky teen, and I dreamed of something my body could never achieve. I wanted to be tall and thin, and despised my body for not being that way. My weight has fluctuated a lot over the last few years and when I did finally lose weight, in a healthy way, it was still hard for me to see my wide hips and round thighs, and how different my breasts had become through it all. I’m finally loving my body for what it is now, most of the time. Learning to be grateful for my hips rather than wishing they were narrower, and I know I’m not going to grow another 6 inches, just not happening. I’m working at closing that gap, at throwing away the ‘other me’ and loving the one I do have, because it’s been with me through it all, unlike that unattainable creature on the other side of the divide. It’s still hard some days, but I just remind myself of all the things I DO like about my body, and that helps shut out the images the impossibly things I will never look like.

    1. You’re a genius Celynne. It is possible to close the gap, we just have to re-imagine what our ideal looks like. When what we wish for is what we have then there is no struggle. Brilliant!

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