When the size 00 became fat
I’d cleansed, master cleansed, for nearly two weeks for a photo-shoot. Ok let me back up. I was eating pretty compulsively during this season of Awkward. I can’t explain it but the only way I would stop eating was.. We’ll never. My in-recovery eating disorder (you can read more about that in my book..) had come back in a way it hadn’t in over 14 years- over eating. It was constant. It was embarrassing. It was all consuming.
While I’m small to begin with, the rate (and ratio of cheese to cardio) I was going, The change was quick and sudden. The emotional turbulence I felt and rationalized as hunger, essentially the chaos I was consuming, sent me up two pant sizes in less than one month. Actually TBH, the size 26’s wardrobe had to go, shop, search and miraculously alter to match to the skinner pants I had worn throughout the series, still didn’t fit. I felt so ashamed that I couldn’t even stay the same bigger size, and worse, that I’d added so much extra work for the wardrobe department, that I never told them the bigger sizes in jeans, belonging to collections 3 years past and had searched so ruthlessly for, still didn’t zip up over my tummy. I just asked them for long shirts. The type of shirts long enough to cover the humiliating fact that my fly zipper was at the bottom and still nearly tearing at the seam.
I’ve always known I’m good at extremes, so the obvi ‘eat healthy and work out’ thing wasn’t on my recovering-from-an-eating-disorder-mind. Instead I went full master cleanse. (Which, though controversial, I do feel healthier) within 10 days I lost 10 lbs. I was back to my normal size and had to be, because I had a photo-shoot. A sexy photo-shoot. The very one that would prove through the miracles of Instagram and sharing how hott, sexy and not-really-Jenna Ashley is. I had set a date for it, hired the photographer and was planning on it. But my increasing weight and decreasing willpower was making me so ashamed that I didn’t think I’d be able to give a good performance for the shoot. So, I pushed it a week. As planned, I lost the weight through that really crazy cleanse and felt great! But, that superficial confidence was soon to be shattered.
Here I am, the morning after the longest shooting week of Awkward’s entire history. My Saturday off was busy with 3 early morning different work meetings, one hour long interview in the afternoon and finally prepping for the above mentioned photo-shoot. But Sunday, I was up at 430am to get ready to get a great shot with the sunrise. But what actually ended up rising was rather, well, surprising.
I came out in my bikini, a bright orange sexy Brazilian cut (I love my butt, it’s great), heels and a transparent citrus striped chiffon cover up. I contour my tummy, as does every single person posing for photos in a swimsuit and head out to the balcony where we are shooting.
I won’t say the details, because frankly it’s too embarrassing (And I just finished crying) to reiterate but basically the photographer told me I was fat. I don’t know his intentions, I don’t know his background, I don’t know shot and I don’t know why he felt the need to tell/insult me so blatantly, so specifically, and then tell me to smile for the camera right after.
This couldn’t have been more upsetting. Here I was, shame spiraling already. I mean, the pressure! This shoot was the thing I looked forward to most all week, worked so hard to make happen and had now, on my special, anticipated day, been both metaphorically and literally punched in the tummy.
Sorry photog. I had food.
But WHY was I was letting this delusional person tell me how to feel about myself? Because the facts are: I was vulnerable in front of the camera nearly naked, I was channeling the best confidence I had, I was, and still am a size 24 and also wear spanx because this fucking INSANE MEDIA PORTRAYAL OF WOMEN only shows us that men and our fellows expect air alone to be a sufficient source of energy for women to have a Barbie body and function as well.
I’m only sharing this with you girls because it think it’s important that you hear it from me, someone who literally can wear children’s clothing, easily get out of a literal rock and a hard place and has sample sizes taken in: You’ll never be enough for everyone. Not the way the world is now anyway. But you can be enough for you. I’m fucking happy, in my swimsuit, when I’m naked, in whatever I want to wear because it’s my body and no matter what, it IS MINE. Nobody gets to control it or tell me what it looks like, because I don’t give a rats ass what they think. I KNOW that it feels great. It feels great to be me, no matter what size that may be. I am me, and I am (just) enough.