The first thing I want to note is that I did not weigh myself yesterday (March 1st). I did not make the decision for myself. I have a select group of people with whom I discuss my food boundaries. And one specific friend who helps me make decisions about my food and how I deal with my body and body issues. And she said that it made sense to skip weighing myself this month. That it seemed punitive to get on the scale. She said that the amount of torment I was experiencing far outweighed the benefit of following my rule of weighing myself on the first of every month.
It’s not forever. I will get back on the scale on April 1st. But for this month I’m grateful to not have to worry about the number. And to have not made the decision myself.
When I make decisions about my food and my body by myself, I can get confused, paranoid, ashamed. Crazy. And even if the decision is right and good, I don’t know it. Because I don’t trust myself around food. (And I shouldn’t.) I don’t trust myself to know what I look like. (And I shouldn’t do that either.) These are the things I am sick about. But I also don’t go around asking advice from any and everyone either. A select group of people who have experience in this area. And one friend to help me make final decisions. I trust her. I don’t expect her to have the perfect answer to my troubles every time. But when I go along with her and trust her, I don’t have to question and second guess myself into insanity.
The other thing that’s on my mind this week is my Good Girl. She’s been popping up this week. Or perhaps I should say that I am noticing the places I have been letting her slip by in my life. And what I am realizing is that there is a deeper level of Good-Girl-ery that I hadn’t been aware of until now. And I don’t like it.
Yesterday, I came home from work and was making dinner, when I realized that one of my knives was not where I left it. And then I realized that it was not in the kitchen at all. And I was pissed. I was banging-cabinets-and-swearing-pissed.
What I really was, of course, was scared. When my food or my utensils are out of order, I feel unsafe. I feel violated. I feel crazy and out of control.
I was taught early on in life to feel bad about getting angry over having my boundaries crossed. To be ashamed of expressing my anger. I think many people are taught that. To be ashamed of being so “selfish”. It’s just a knife, Kate.
And even though I do get angry, and even though my body has a physical reaction, instead of honoring my feelings, I have been feeling bad about getting so upset over a knife. (Or a pot. Or a spatula. Don’t even ask me about the time I came home and found my roommate cooking a kind of food I don’t eat in my antique cast iron skillet…)
And people in my life want me to “calm down”. They want to run interference. They want to explain me. Explain for me. They want to soften my harshness. “For my own good.” “You can’t live like that.” What will the neighbors think?
And I often take that on myself. Want to apologize for my crazy. And for getting so upset. You know, the old “it’s not you, it’s me.”
But guess what? It’s you! You took my knife. When there are plenty of knives in the house. You took it (which you shouldn’t have done in the first place), and then you left the house without putting it back. You live with me and see with your own eyes that I maintain strict boundaries around my food. Every day. You see me treat my food, my cook ware and my utensils with love and respect. And yet you took my knife? So wait, why am I apologizing for being angry? Right! It’s so not me. It’s definitely you!
Yes, I can imagine that my kitchen stuff looks very appealing. Things that are loved and cared for the way I care for mine look inviting. Your stuff could look like that too if you took as much care of your own.
When I was telling the story of the knife to my friend, (the one who helps me make decisions around my food) I was telling her all the ways that I am not selfish. And she stopped me. She said “Selfish is not a dirty word. It means interested in ourselves.” And I thought, Yes! I know this! I believe this! This is right!
I feel like part of it is that my issue is food. It occurs in the world like such a minor “problem”. And cook ware? Utensils? How could that stuff be so important? But it is important! It is very important to me. And I want to stop agreeing with people who tell me that thinking so makes me petty. Or cruel. Or in some way bad.
I was even going to end this post by telling you about all of the ways that I am generous. And all of the ways being selfish actually makes me a better person. But I’m not going to do that.
I care about myself. I want to take care of myself. I want to put my own needs first. Unapologetically. It turns out it’s my life. I have to be able to live with myself. And if you want to live with me, it would behoove you not to touch my food or my utensils. Period.