Let’s talk about fat. I’ve been thinking about it a lot the last few days, primarily because I’m losing weight – which is awesome – but I feel weird about it. I feel weird because I’m majorly dedicated to it now, more so than I think I have been before; but it’s not the “losing weight” that I’m obsessed with. It’s the ability to be able to go out and run and feel healthy. I love that. I love the feeling of being the person who can get up and run and make her life better every day. That’s the amazing part.
At least that’s what I tell myself every day. Until some messed up bullshit happens (which frequently happens).
The bullshit takes many different forms – for example, in taking a photo of myself or seeing myself in the mirror in the morning before I go out on that run and honestly, truly, wanting to throw up. That’s right, physically ill over my own appearance. Every day. I cannot feel that way about myself and then try to play it off as “I’m doing this just to be healthy” and not because I’m trying to be thin. skinny. pretty. acceptable. wanted. needed. looked-at. happy. loved. respected.
I’m pretty good at performance. I think the performativity of my day is largely successful – performativity of how awesome I am and how great everything is and how everything is fan-freaking-tastic – which honestly for the most part, it is – but let me tell you a (not)secret: self-esteem is not something I max out on every day – I’m just REAL good at faking it. I’m so good at it that in the last week or so, I’ve been told that I’m vain by four different people. But you know what? Every time you compliment me on my hair, dress, shoes, face, whatever, I end your compliment with “you know, for a fat girl.” Fucked up, yes? Yes, because I’m knocking down your compliment and insulting myself and others for being fat. Sigh.
So now that confession hour is over let’s talk about how this gets real messy – I’m a pretty staunch feminist. I will debate/discuss with you for hours about equality and how we need to fight societal bullshit. And I have amazing, intellectual conversations with my feminist friends about societal norms and guess what? My stupid lack-of-love-for-myself comes up and we talk and analyze and evaluate and work on moving forward. A very recent conversation included this amazing quote:
“We’ve so internalized ridiculous beauty norms (even though we know they are rigid, sexist, and racist ideals that leave no room for disabled bodies or aging bodies or the wide range of real women’s bodies, etc.) that we believe we are not attractive. But reading your words makes me realize that a central…goal [of mine] is to reject beauty norms and accept myself as beautiful just the way I am. I want all of my motivation to come from a place of wanting to be healthy and love myself UNconditionally.”
Amazing, right? Conversations like that, friends who support me so amazingly help me realize that if I take a step out of my own head and look at this intellectually and in a broader sense, I know I can do this. And here, I mean “this” as in, commit to myself that I CAN and WILL love myself enough to not want to throw up after looking in the mirror in the morning. Now, can I just wake up tomorrow and have all this change, poof, just like that? Unfortunately, no. It’s got to be one day at a time – hence the whole living through the journey thing.
I truly pride myself on being me – and just me – I love accomplishing the amazing things I’ve been a part of lately while still being me. I have remained just me and that is awesome and everything, but what frustrates me the most is how I can go through all of this every single day and have that stupid f’n underlying issue. Well, okay, there may be more than one issue (I mean, damn, you can’t write a blog about a journey and change with just one issue LOL). The other frustration lies in the fact that I HATE SOCIETAL NORMS and yet here I am, measuring myself up against some damn bullshit. Ugh.
Oh, and yes, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m fully aware that I’m dumping out my soul on this damn public blog where you all can read it. And I know you may be wondering if it’s too much unveiling, TMI, admission/confession, whatever – but damnit, I’ve sought for years to find someone who understands the world as I do and someone who struggles the way I do and for someone who let’s me know it’s all going to be alright and it took me a long, long time to find people like that. So I can only hope that someone who is searching for the same will find this blog and maybe, just maybe, I can help her. And for those of you whom I know, maybe I’ll see you some day and you’ll look at me and understand me a little more. Or not. Who knows?
But here’s the deal folks: every day we each get a little better. every day we each take another step towards being that person we want to become – the one we already are but haven’t realized it yet. And that’s where I am – just starting this crazy journey where I’m unpacking years worth of shit that I can only imagine how it got there – but I’ll figure it out. I’m pretty intelligent, resilient, and resourceful. Well, you know, for a fat girl. A fabulously amazingly fat girl. 🙂