Desperately seeking a dose of self confidence

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but self confidence is a precious commodity—one that’s not easy to find. You’d think it would come automatically once you’ve found your inner skinny girl (or skinnier girl anyway), but that’s not necessarily true.

Not true at all, actually.

I have a friend who’s lost 40 pounds (no, not me). She’s dropped three sizes and gained a whole lot of healthy habits I can only pretend to emulate. And you know what she said to me? She feels fatter, uglier than ever.

Why? Because while she’s thinner, she’s not nearly as thin as she thinks she could be—as she thinks she wants to be. She’s not shopping in the plus sizes anymore—but she’s not shopping in the itty bitty teeny weeny bikini department either.

And every time she turns around, she sees someone she thinks is thinner. Maybe, just maybe, cuter. And in her mind? Better.

How do I know? Because I think the same way.

See, when I was heavy, I was comfortable with myself. Don’t get me wrong—I hated being fat. Hated looking in the mirror and seeing what I’d become. But I knew where I stood. Those skinny girls? No way I could compete.

Nope, I was fairly invisible. Men’s gazes just kinda skated right on by. Everyone’s did, really.  And that was okay by me. There is power in anonymity.

But once the weight came off, so did the invisibility cloak. People looked at me—and when they did, they saw me, including all five bazillion ways I didn’t – don’t – measure up to Miss Teeny Weeny Bikini. And that? Very, very bad for the ego.

In fact, I’ve spent the last month struggling with that very thing. That failure—real or imaginary—to compete with the woman I think I should be. It doesn’t help that I’ve been pulling 70 hour workweeks, neglecting my workouts and my diet. Or that I’m up a pound.

But that’s not the real problem. The real problem is inside my head. And I’m not sure how to fix it. I know I can’t let my inner demons bring me down. But I don’t know how to shut them up, either. Or how to get my Inner Goddess out of the funk she’s currently in.

Until I figure it out, I’m just going to take some advice my grandma once gave me: flash the world your best smile and it’ll be too dazzled to see the quaking mess that’s hiding behind it. So far, it’s working.