healthy and happy. one of these days.

01 August 2010

Please excuse the stream of consciousness below...

So here's the thing.

Actually - first - let me say upfront that I'm at 214. Weighed myself the other day. I'm not exactly happy about it, but I know it could be worse, and I seem to be maintaining well. So I'm holding on that for now to say a few more things.

You all know my history with The Family - The Matriarch - who is my godmother who does a really good job at reinforcing my abysmal-to-non-existent self esteem. So my parents and I are going out there at the end of September to surprise her for her 65th birthday.

I was looking forward to it for about a week, and then the dread set in.

More insecurity. More feeling like my worth is based on my pants size. More comments about "brownies are for big fat girls" (she made that comment last year, thank god the comment wasn't directed at me, but those kind of things stick with you)


You all know I *FINALLY* got a job in my chosen field back in May. I've been there almost 3 months now, and it's going really well. I feel like I fit in, and the work is challenging but interesting. I truly feel like I am where I am supposed to be. (Don't get me wrong: I am there on weekends sometimes, working from 7am to 8:30pm on some days; it's demanding, but there is at least a decent sense of satisfaction to be had)

One of my coworkers, who you would consider my Office BFF, is a large-and-in-charge woman. She's my age, about 3 inches taller than me, but weighs well into the 300s, I'd wager. She's had severe asthma her whole life, so I suspect the inability to play and move around as a kid turned into a vicious cycle into her adulthood. Anyway, this woman has the healthiest body image of anyone I have ever met. She loves herself unabashedly and wholeheartedly. She acknowledges and appreciates every inch of her body.


I'm being 100% honest, I cannot wrap my mind around it. And I feel like it makes me a terrible person, and whether it's right or wrong, it makes me feel like I'm a victim of the poor self-images of many of the women in my life. My godmother, my grandmother when she was alive, even my mother a lot of the time are the big culprits here, but a lot of my girlfriends are not without the negative side comments about themselves for not weighing less or wearing a smaller size.

Over my 27 years on this planet, I've just adopted the noise. I've assumed they're right and spent my time hating my body at all its sizes.

So from this point on, I'm going to focus on loving myself. I'm not going to get anywhere until I actually genuinely care about myself, and learn to appreciate the body that I have. I'm living on my own now (or, with 2 roommates, but out of the parents house finally. It's going great, by the way!) and it's time for me to define my own outlooks on, well, just about everything.

Now, that doesn't mean I'm giving myself license to eat whatever I want, or be lazy, but, I'm not going to focus at all on that - I need to focus on my heart, on my emotional body. I know, I'm rolling my eyes a little bit too. But I'm sick of feeling this dread and shame when I go to visit my godmother. And my mother too, but she just doesn't talk about it as much as my godmother does.

Also, I don't think that my godmother's birthday party weekend is the right time to have a conversation about it, but I'm entertaining the idea that at some point, I might have to have this conversation with her about how she makes me feel.

I'm 99% sure she is projecting her own negative body images onto me. And you know what? I just don't need that shit, plain and simple. I'm sick of it. And I know she's not entirely to blame - I'm letting myself feel that way, and that's where I want the change to happen. I need to build up my own self-image. My godmother's lack of healthy body-image shouldn't be my problem, and I want to be strong enough so that I don't internalize it.

I have no idea how I'm actually going to do any of this, but I just know that I need to start loving myself. No more 100in12, no more numbers (okay, maybe numbers here and there - I want to feel better about myself but I also don't deserve to have my hard work destroyed) (Plus I've been itching to change the design of this blog and now I have a good reason to do it!)

I want to start writing again - because I think it's good for me, and it'll help work out the crazy, I think. So I just need to find a way to a path that combines loving myself with taking care of myself and my health. I haven't the slightest idea as to how that's going to go (probably not smoothly?) but, I just wanted to throw that out there.

That's the new project. Taking care of and learning to love myself.


Kat said...

Dude, embrace the maintenance. If you're holding steady at one weight, no matter what it is - especially in a time of transition! - I'd call that a victory.

When was the last time you saw The Matriarch? You've done a great job losing weight in the past year - does that not make a difference?

On the one hand, I envy your co-worker's confidence, but is there some denial there? Does she EVER talk about health or weight? Ugh, I feel like one of *those* holier-than-thou commenters. What I mean is, can someone who's overweight in our society ever *really* be ok with how they look? Too early for existentialism. Sorry.

I hope however you "come out" about this self-love thing, it's a good experience. If you're taking the stance of "I need to love myself first, then other stuff will fall into place," it probably IS a good idea to let your mom (are we talking about confronting your mom or godmother?) know where your priorities lie. Sometimes back-handed advice only serves to perpetuate the crap we're projecting on ourselves, so if she knows you're not actively focusing on weight loss, maybe she'll back off. And if not, at least you were honest with yourself and everyone else in proclaiming what you're all about.

Does any of that drivel make sense? I need another cup of coffee.

266 said...

Very sound logic. I hope it is going well and that you are back to blog again soon!

Kerri O said...

I absolutely agree with you! So important that you learn to love and take care of you. It's hard when you've lived like that, I know, but you can do it.

robyn said...

Good luck! I wish you all the success. In 2002, I had the lowest self esteem, highest weight and was really unhappy. I COMPLETELY relate! I started to make changes in my life (ie jogging and eating better) but what really helped was fixing my mental image. If you love yourself, the rest will follow.

I would right down three positive statements about myself each night before bed and read them outloud. Did I feel a bit silly? Yes, but over a bit of time I really did love myself more.

It also helped motivate me to continue my journey of jogging and finding my path to eating healthy (so did the book Eat to Live).

Today I am still not perfect, but I found something better - happiness. I love myself and am happy with how I look. There are days that I still see some of the flaws, but mostly I see what is great.

So please, don't give up on yourself ever! You are 100% worth your own self respect. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, I don't have much "sage" advice, having been through the "Matriarch" thingy myself...however, I do know that you can't love others until you love yourself, and if you don't love yourself, you will often say negative things to, I'd say your "Matriarch" has issues. Kill her (not literally!) with kindness. Show her that you're not like her. Besides, from your progress pics, you've done an AMAZING JOB at improving yourself. And about your friend at work - I'm not sure if you can love yourself through & through and still treat your body like that, esp. when you (she) has health issues. That being said, I've seen some amazingly gorgeous larger women, but they are ones who are naturally larger and would never, ever be a size 10 (or 6, whatever)...
Confidence is good, but healthy wisdom is good too...and kindness!
Congrats on your success!


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