I love the movie Bridget Jones’s Diary. Yes, I know it’s a total chick movie, which make sense, ‘cause I am a chick. I love that Bridget says things and later feels stupid. I love that she does things and embarrasses herself. I love that she can’t cook. (Also known as Marlo Van Mackelberg’s Diary.) And above all, I love that Mark Darcy says the words “I like you very much. Just as you are.” (Sigh)
In fact, it was while watching Bridget Jones that I decided a relationship needed to end. For more than one reason. I was at my then fiancé’s and we were watching Bridget - meaning I was watching the movie and he was doing something on the computer.
It was in the very moment when Renee Zellweger turns to Hugh Grant and says “That’s not a good enough offer for me.” that I remember thinking “Yes, Bridget. You’re right. It’s not good enough.” And everything in my heart knew exactly what those words meant. It would be several months before I had the strength to do what I needed to, but I did.
I was at my very heaviest when I ended that relationship. It was in that relationship that I had gained and lost the most. Because instead of dealing with what I needed to, I ate. And the more weight I gained, the more I lost myself. It was not a good thing.
It always bugged me that Bridget was considered fat. She wasn’t fat. I weighed 247 lbs. – I was fat. And in my size 22 jeans, I watched the scene where Bridget runs down the street in her underwear, and I remember saying “If I looked like that, I’d run around in my underwear all the time.”
At first, I just wanted to get below 200 lbs. And once I got below 200 lbs., I just wanted to fit into regular size clothes. And once I got into regular size clothes, I just wanted…something else to finally make me feel good about myself. And so I had to learn that it didn’t matter what I did or didn’t do, because I was never going to find anything to make me feel good enough, unless I first believed I already was.
I’ve always had the most amazing friends. For real. They have cried with me, and laughed with (and at) me, and run with me, and eaten chocolate garbanzo cake with me. And with every tear and smile and step and bite, they have helped me learn to appreciate me. And if our friends are a direct reflection of ourselves, then I’m pretty okay, because these people in my life - they are awesome.
I’m finally at the point where I can recognize my worth. And no, it’s not in a ‘I’m all that and a bag of chips’ kinda way. But more of a ‘I’m happy to be me’ kinda way.
I know I will still say things and later feel stupid. I will still do things and embarrass myself. And I probably won’t ever be a great cook. But none of that matters. Because I’m no longer waiting for someone to tell me “I like you very much. Just as you are.” just so I can finally believe it.
It was in January of 2006, that I decided to change what I could change. It’s now seven years, and 100 lbs. later. And as I start this new year, I’m under 200 lbs. I’m in regular size clothes. And so I should be happy to run down the street in my underwear. But somewhere along the line, I forgot about that. Until now.
And Bridget and I…well, we both think it’s good enough.
(see pictures below - thank you, Kristi Gnyp photography)