Thursday

Confession: I don't love my body. But I'm trying.

The demonic Wii Fit that I refuse to ever step on again, my medical chart and my former bloated-day jeans will all tell you: I've got a little extra jiggle jiggle boing boing.

Still fly.

Ten pounds crept onto my frame. I've been feeling like it's 20, but when I think about complaining about my weight a year or two ago, I realize it's really 10. Three of those 10 pounds pushed me over to "overweight" on the BMI chart, an outdated, BS system that doctors rely on but doesn't actually mean anything.

What does mean something to me — something horrifying — is the word "overweight." The "over" part. The not "normal" part. The term that makes the number that pops up on a little screen on my bathroom scale feel like a big, scarlet F on my forehead. A gold star that I do not earn. A check mark withheld from my list of tasks.

Before you click off and get mad at me for being a shallow bitch, I'd like to point out that this is a Liz-specific shaming that I feel. I am surrounded, in person and on the TV shows I watch, with people of diverse shapes and sizes who I find beautiful. All of them. I would never tell a friend that she needed to lose weight. I would never give feedback to anyone that would make them feel self-conscious or inferior.

And by "anyone," I mean anyone who isn't me.

Isn't it strange how we treat ourselves in ways that we would never treat another living being? I've read enough self-help books to know I'm not the only one with an evil twin whispering mean comments no one else can hear. But I guess that I have been treating people poorly, specifically, my husband, mother and closest friends, who I have become a complete bore to because all I seem to do is complain and seek reassurance.

I know the weight isn't the real issue. I know I'm not doing enough to lose it, and I know that if I were — if I were eating less of the cheesy, gooey crack bread from Giovanni's, if I were doing Sun Salutations every day like I used to — I would feel better. Strong, healthy and alive. Because regardless of whether I'm "overweight," I am definitely feeling sluggish and cranky.

Here's the thing. I know that I am, by a lot of standards, thin or average. I know that if I weren't those things, it's not like someone would take me out back and shoot me. I know that, when I look at older photos of me, I don't look much different, and that people aren't walking around following me and comparing my body now to a picture of me in high school.

When I look at less recent photos of myself, I know that when those were taken, I was probably looking at even older photos and thinking, Look how much thinner I was.

Because that is the story of my life. That is the greatest flaw that I need to overcome, both as a human being and as someone who hopes to one day raise happy, well-adjusted tiny humans. I will never be thin enough, pretty enough, smart enough or anything enough to meet my impossibly high standards for myself.

And let me tell you something. That skinny little girl I used to be? She would come around at the times when I was at the lowest depths of depression and anxiety. My weight goes up when I'm generally happier.

Somewhere, I picked up this belief that I must fit in very narrow constraints in order to be deserving. Maybe it was an abandonment thing, trying to be such a people-pleaser that no one would ever be unkind or leave me. Maybe it was the harassment I experienced. Maybe it's just being female. Maybe — probably — it's the thing that I'm so addicted to: praise. Oh, that guy thinks I'm hot? I better figure out what it is he likes and NEVER CHANGE so he will think I am hot FOREVER. I am twenty fucking five years old, I am a career woman, married to a sweetheart/superfox, have a handful of wonderful, ride-or-die friends and have grown up so much over the years, and I still hold on to my stupid high school mentality about what I HAVE to be.

As I'm typing this, I realize that it's hard to write for reasons that I didn't expect. I expected to feel like I was opening myself to judgment, showing how insecure and petty I really am. But what I didn't expect is to feel like I want to feel better about myself because I want anyone who reads my blog to feel better, too. I want everyone in the whole world to feel beautiful and clever and funny and like they can wear and do anything they want, but how can I convince you that you can when I'm crying about my muffin top? How can my vision for my blog become real if I'm internalizing all the things that I stand against?

So I'm putting this out in the world to increase my accountability. Not my accountability about the amount of yummy, butterscotchy calories that I shove into my mouth. Not my accountability over how much sparring I do with That Bastard Upstairs (our nickname for the punching bag in the attic). I don't want the Internet to cheer me on as silly an endeavor as losing 10 lousy pounds.

I am putting this out there to tell you, Dear Reader, that you deserve to be much kinder to yourself than I am being to myself right now.

That number on the scale is not a grade. No one is deducting points from you for each dimple in your thighs.

I will be more happy and confident if it will spread more positivity into the world. Dat ass, though? It's bigger now, but it's still hot. Those clothes that don't fit? More reason to go shopping. That number on the scale? Motivation to fall back in love with exercise.

There is so much more to all of us. There is so much awesomeness to love.

Please let me know what you think in the comments. What are you insecure about, and how do you deal with it? How do you talk to your friends about each other's insecurities?

3 comments :

  1. I just discovered your blog today and I can't tell you how happy I am to have done so! This was just the most perfect piece of writing and it rang so true with me. I can't wait to read more from you :)

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  2. This is the sweetest and most motivational thing I heard yesterday. Thank you. I'm just now replying, but this comment boosted me when I was having a rough day.

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  3. You're more than welcome - thank you for boosting me every time I read your posts!

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