I liked Tyra Banks before because she seemed really down-to-earth, but I absolutely love her now.
People magazine has run a cover of Banks at an awful weight of 162 lb at 5’10”. (sarcasm) She received tabloid names like “America’s Next Top Waddle” and “Tyra Porkchop.” I’m not even Tyra and that hurt me. I’m barely 5’4″ and used to weigh 162. I was on the verge of being “obese” (as opposed to “morbidly obese.”) Yeah. Even my family told me I was fat and needed to lose weight. There was only one issue that drove me nuts:
“It’s when I put on the jeans that used to fit a year ago and don’t fit now and give me the muffin top, that’s when I say, ‘Damn!’ “
The bar is raised because she’s Tyra and a former model. But she’s absolutely cool about it and not in the business of running to change her new weight:
“Still, she isn’t freaking out about wearing size 32-waist jeans or about “the fat roll” she claims to have on her back. (Her biggest source of figure angst is her size-DD breasts, which she says make it hard to find clothes that fit: “I would love for them to be a size and a half smaller.”)
But, she adds, “I’ve made millions of dollars with the body I have, so where’s the pain in that? If I was in pain, I would have dieted. The pain is not there – the pain is someone printing a picture of me and saying those (horrible) things.”
She’s also aware that the tabloids not only hurt her, but also paint a false reality for young girls and teens:
“I get so much mail from young girls who say, ‘I look up to you, you’re not as skinny as everyone else, I think you’re beautiful,’ ” she says. “So when they say that my body is ‘ugly’ and ‘disgusting,’ what does that make those girls feel like?”
My brief struggle with weight — it was only from the beginning of 2004 to the end of 2006 — has taught me a lot about myself and others. I attribute much of my weight gain to Paxil and Lexapro.
- Once me and some of my friends hit 22, we all began to gain tons of weight. One my friends who was pretty much 110 lb at 5’1″ became 125 lb. She called herself fat.
- I went from 130 lb to 175 lb in the span of one year (’04-’05). My family all jumped on my back to lose weight for my wedding because I was too “thick.”
- My husband didn’t really notice my weight gain, but loved me no matter how much the scale said. I now tease him that my goal is to look like Nicole Richie.
- My mother once called me “fat.” She doesn’t remember it, but I do. Mainly because I remember how my aunt would carefully sidestep that word and just tell me that everyone in the family needs to look and be healthier. (Her way of saying, Diet!)
- My grandmother told me that I’d finally developed an ass. Nice. I’d never had one as a skinny-mini. And I’ve pretty much lost it now that I’ve lost weight. (Not complaining!)
- I hated looking at myself in the mirror and seeing the rapid change in my body. I also hated not being able to fit into clothes that I’d only bought a month earlier. This caused my depression to plunge further.
- After realizing that my father died of heart disease and that my extra weight would contribute to a similar end, I put a plan in motion to drop the weight.
- I cut out regular soda. (175-170 lb)
- I cut out diet soda and anything carbonated. (170-166 lb)
- I ate Healthy Choice and Lean Cuisine for lunch. (166-160 lb)
- I began exercising twice a week. (Maintained 160 lb)
- I took Effexor (not for dieting obviously). (160-150 lb) <– no kidding
- I had eight wisdom teeth pulled and was laid up in bed for 2-3 days. (Maintained 150 lb)
- I began walking 15 minutes to and from work. (150-145 lb)
- I’ve begun eating healthier snacks, i.e. yogurt and bananas, and calorie-counting. (Staying under 150 lb)
I don’t know where I’m at now (haven’t weighed myself in a while), but that’s all right. Because I’ve dropped one dress size and I can look at myself in the mirror. At 130 lb, I never had any confidence in my body (mainly because I’ve always had flabby abs). But now, since I’ve gained and lost a ton of weight, I appreciate my body for what it is and can now say that I’m one of the very few women who can look herself in the mirror and be happy with the way my body looks. I still have flabby abs. I have jiggly thighs and arms (undeveloped triceps). If I continue to lose weight, that’s great. But I don’t need to. And that’s the beginning of self-acceptance: achieving what seems like an impossible goal and feeling good about it.