onceafatgirl

Peace is better than chocolate

Archive for the tag “what’s the lesson?”

The best way to know why you do is to don’t

I am feeling like such a brat this week. I’m tired. And I don’t wanna! (Can you hear the whine?)

Of course, I did. And I am. Even though I don’t wanna. First, and most importantly, I did all of the things that I needed to do to keep my food boundaries. Plus, I did the laundry, even though I didn’t want to. I cleaned up the deep-fryer and strained the oil and put it away for next time, even thought I wanted to leave it and deal with it “later” and sit on the couch and take ridiculous quizzes on Facebook. I am writing this blog, even though I would rather be lying in the sun doing the Sunday crossword puzzle.

But I will tell you what I did not do every day this week. I did not drink my 64 ounces of water two days this week. For some time now, there have been occasional days when I have fallen short of drinking all of my water. And I have not been doing my morning meditation regularly for a while, either. I do it some days. But not every day like I had for years. I don’t wanna. And somehow, I have let both of these commitments become less than commitments.

There’s no particular reason I’m tired this week. I have learned over the years that bodies sometimes get tired and slow down. That minds sometimes get foggy. That thoughts and emotions sometimes get wonky. Human bodies are complex. With hormones and chemicals and all manner of reactions going on that I personally can’t comprehend. I have realized that if an experience is not a trend, I should not, under any circumstances, worry about it. If it is a trend, well, that’s something else. And it merits exploration.

And these episodes of resistance to drinking my water and sitting down to my morning meditation are trends.

I have wondered what could have come between me and these commitments. I have thought about it. I considered using this blog to ferret out the answer. But then I remembered a very important lesson I learned when I got my eating under control. If you want to know why you eat compulsively, stop eating compulsively.

In other words, if I want to know why I stopped meditating regularly, start meditating regularly again. If I want to know why I’m getting lax with my water intake, get vigilant again.

The truth is, I don’t know if I will just get right back on the horse here. I have unsuccessfully attempted to recommit to these things before in the past few months. Specifically the morning meditation. But it occurs to me that I did it in my head. And not in the world. Where I know real changes happen.

And I will also say that writing it out makes it seem so much less shameful. In fact, I hadn’t even realized I was ashamed until just now. It even takes the pressure of success away.

So as of today, I am recommitting to you that I will do my morning meditation and drink 64 ounces of water every day. And when I glean some new (or recycled) insight about myself, I’ll let you know.

For now, I have to go meditate.

When you say womanly, you mean hot not fat, right?

Yesterday I spent much of the day in bed. Crying. Because I hated my body.
Today, I put on a sexy dress and some knee-high boots and went into the city to meet some people. I didn’t hate my body so much today. I wasn’t in love with it, like I have been before. But I could see that to an outside observer, I am really lovely.
My dismorphia has been coming in waves. And I have just been trying to keep my head above water and not get swept away in the current.
I have been comparing myself to me a year ago. I keep thinking that being 12 lbs heavier than I was before I quit smoking means that I’m 12 points (units? notches?) uglier than I was then. But friends and strangers keep complimenting me. One of my neighbors actually asked if I had started working out because I look so good. So healthy. A friend of mine said that she could see that I had gained a bit of weight. But that she thought it made me look more beautiful. Less drawn. More womanly.
That’s the consensus. Healthy. Womanly. I am a sensuous woman. I like the idea of being round, soft and warm. It fits nicely with the kind of wife and partner I would like to be someday. Nurturing, loving, empowering. And I know that I am beautiful, and sexy. These are traits I learned to own when I got my food under control. Well nourished, well rested, with strong integrity and a good amount of genetic luck.
So why am I having such a hard time with my dismorphia lately? I think a lot of it is that I am not in control right now. And that scares me. I have no idea when the weight gain will stop. I have no idea how much more weight I could gain. I don’t know how long it could be before I feel happy and comfortable in my body again. 3 months? 6 months? A year? (Oh dear God, please don’t let it take a year!) I don’t get a say about my body right now. I am in free fall. And I am having a hard time trusting that this will end well.
Maybe it’s just because I spent my first 28 years in a body that I hated. I have a lot more experience thinking I am ugly than I do knowing that I am beautiful. I have been experiencing a lot of those same old feelings of body shame lately. I noticed today that when I am out in public, I have not been breathing. That I have been keeping my neck and shoulders rigid. I am waiting for someone to make a comment about my body. I’m waiting for someone to tell me I’m fat.
I, of course, am not at all fat. There is nothing unhealthy about my weight. At 145, I fall well within the normal range for a woman my height. (5′ 6.5″) My 12 lb weight gain comes from doing something very healthy. Quitting smoking. Plus all signs point to much of the weight being temporary. I have gone up one pants size. Now an 8 fits me comfortably. A 9 in juniors sizes. This is a normal size.
I wish I felt like a normal woman in a normal body. I wish I knew for certain that I would stay a normal size. I wish I had some idea of when the weight gain would stop and I would get some measure of control back. I wish I knew how long before I stopped being uncomfortable in my own skin.
I’ll be honest, if I had known that this was going to happen, I would not have quit smoking. But what’s done is done. I’m no fool. I can see that there is no turning back now. I’m already in it. At this point, the only way to the other side is through.
Here’s another thing. I have a reputation among certain people I know for being non-judgmental. The one who accepts herself, and therefore them. The person people can come to and tell their secrets and failures, without fear of being shamed. I am the woman who teaches people to love themselves by example. Because I learned to love myself. And here I am hating myself. Being ashamed of my body. And I feel like I am letting everyone down. Like I’m letting you down. And I am embarrassed to admit that. I want to be better than that. I want to be stronger than that. I thought I was made of better stuff…
And maybe the most difficult part of this whole experience is not knowing what the lesson is. Or if there is a lesson. Maybe I’m supposed to have some room for the self-hatred. To let it in so it can flow back out again. Maybe I need to stop resisting hating my body. Maybe I just need to hate it until I love it again. Not hurt it or abuse it. But hate it. Think it’s ugly and let that be ok.
Or maybe I should ignore it. Perhaps I need to stop caring about what I look like for a while. Stop looking in the mirror. Stop dressing to be cute. Stop worrying about whether or not men find me attractive. Because I do worry about it. Which is kind of ridiculous, since I have not been dating for a very long time now.
Or maybe the lesson here is that I just have to keep doing what I am doing. Longer. Just keep managing my self-hatred. Keep putting it down. Keep finding some way to love myself one day at a time.
And there is one more possibility that has occurred to me. And it’s that I have had this self-hatred for my whole life. And that I ate it. And when I stopped eating it, I smoked it. And now that I am not smoking it, all there is to do is feel it. And maybe if I feel it for as long as it takes, I will move through it. And I will be able to love my body because it is mine. Not because it used to be fat and unhealthy and now it is thin and healthy. And not because I managed to make it a shape that I think the world will find appealing. But simply because it is the only vehicle for the life that belongs to me. Because it is me. And I am worth loving.
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