Sunday, August 30, 2015

Size 5


By Beckie Carlson
I've always been very self conscious about my weight. I was a twig in high school, always bumping my hip bones an corners of walls an such. I had bird legs and protruding collar bones, but I always focused on that one area I couldn't shrink. The motherhood bump.
I remember the day I was able to fit into a pair of jeans that were size 5. This was a huge accomplishment for me. I was 5'8-1/2 and thought it was important to have the waist size of a girl 5'5 at best. I don't know which super star to blame for my twisted idea of 'perfect size' but I do remember Dana. She was a model in high school and wore size 5, so that must have been my motivation. Looking back, I don't remember much else about her except her fateful words, "I wear size 5". It became my goal.
The jeans were beyond tight. I could get them on and zipped up by laying on my back and doing a weird sort of jump-grunt dance. Who cares if I could walk or sit down? I wore them with pride...stiff legs and all. It was the day of the big choir concert; the day everyone would notice if I wasn't wearing size 5 jeans. I was finally going to fit in and be like all the cool girls. I was SURE they ALL wore size 5. That's why they were cool, right?
I was in the Honor Choir. That meant we got to do more than just sing. We had "choreography" with our songs. Born in the U.S.A. was one of our high energy songs. We started at the back of the auditorium and ran to the front while we sang. It was a lot of fun! It went awesome until I had to run up those stairs to the stage. I hadn't tested the size 5 jeans for running...these were posing jeans at best. Imagine running up stairs, stiff-legged, quickly. I did it, almost. On the last step, I didn't manage to get my peg leg up high enough to advance and I fell face first towards the floor. Here it moment of size 5 glory, quickly turning into my high school nightmare.
An angel from above, named Curt (I think), grabbed my arm as I descended and pulled me up and along with him as he ran. No one even noticed my near death. The song went on, my jeans stayed on, and my moment of size 5 glory stayed in tact. In my mind.
In reality, no one cared what size jeans I wore. No one looked at me and said in awe, "she's size 5...she's cool!" The truth is nobody even noticed me in high school. I realize now that not being noticed isn't such a bad thing. Kids can be mean, and being noticed usually ends up with a target being put on your back with "kick me" under it. Blending in is okay.
Now that I'm an adult, I don't care about sizes anymore. That doesn't mean I don't care about my body and how I look, it just means I dress for me. I started a new diet to feel better, not look better. I exercise (on occasion) to have fun or spend time with people. I eat right because junk food makes me feel like crap. I look at my sisters in awe because they have drive to work out and stay fit, but I don't let it reflect back on my self image any more.
We all have strengths and weaknesses and personalities and needs. I'm happy with who I am because I'm an original. I'm size me. Cause I said so.
Photo credit:


  1. I guess it speaks to how I was never a size 5, that when I saw the title I automatically thought "kids' shoes." :)

    Don't we just do some weird things to ourselves? I'm sure not a single person cared about your jeans size like you did.

    And now, as adults, we all have a myriad of things that we think everyone notices--which they don't--and we make ourselves heartsick trying to live up to these unrealistic standards that only WE place on ourselves.

    Thank you for a very thought-provoking post!

  2. I'm reading the book CRAVE by Lysa Teurkurst, about dieting and weight and how we women obsess about this. It's great. She directs us back to God for discipline on how to eat and take care of ourselves, and also how to be free from the world's view of us. You might like it. We women are so hard on ourselves, and we need to get past the world's opinion of what beauty is. It's wonderful to finally make peace with all that and love who we are. You are blessed!

  3. Well dang Mare you said CRAVE and now I want chocolate :)



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