You’d think after 33 years on this Earth, I would have settled into a comfortable place in my own skin. Turns out, I’m still feeling around in the dark, there’s been a flood, and everything feels slimy, bloaty, and just…gross.
I genuinely thought I had reached that place where I was happy with how I looked. As a teenager, if I went to the beach, I made sure to lay on the ground, with my legs at a 90 degree angle, you know, so they weren’t laid out, flabby and relaxed. I sucked in my gut and never breathed, for fear people could see my food baby. Just an fyi, not breathing makes it very hard to laugh by the way.
Not as an adult though! I thought I was golden. I fought hard enough for it, self-confidence that is.
I watched my body over the years, growing and shrinking with every pound gained and lost. As soon as I hit that goal weight (usually achieved by going to a foreign country on Army orders), I would begin to panic.
There were usually about three days of joy after getting home. I fit a size two and I soaked up the feeling for 72 hours. Life eventually got in the way, and my civilian job didn’t pay me to work out up to two hours a day. Finding out Boyfriend slept with 10+ people put a damper on the old self-esteem. Pile on the depression, two years of being single, and even more time of dating, well, to say I binge ate and drank would be an understatement.
Then came Manfriend.
I was relatively fit, running regularly, and eating right. I faked confidence by joining the burlesque group, and I even did a nude photoshoot aimed at self-love. Yes, I gained something by being able to show the world me, my body, in all the ways it existed in the moment. Unfortunately though, something still felt wrong.
These past few months I’ve been deep into the self-loathing, and it’s getting pretty old and fucking cliche. Months after being with Manfriend, days turned into night, and before I knew it, this winter knocked me on my ass. I’m heavier than I have been in a long time.
How could this be though?
I thought that by finding love, it would tie everything up in a big bow. I thought I would feel whole and beautiful and loved. Try as he might, Manfriend couldn’t do it all for me.
Manfriend developed a love for photography and had me sit for him one night. He was merely trying to get a feel for the new light setup he got, and just wanted to take some candid shots of me. After looking at the resulting photos, I went into the bathroom by myself, and broke. I broke every emotional strongbone in my body that night. I cried…because the photos depicted someone other than what I thought I should be.
Newsflash, having a partner doesn’t magically make you happy. He could cuddle me and tell me how hot I was all day long (which he absolutely does), but as long as my real pants are digging into my stomach, I am still going to feel like shit.
See, it’s not about the aesthetic. It’s not about looking hot for someone else, reaching that beauty standard. It’s how I feel, and right now I feel; tired, worn down, uncomfortable, stuck, stout, haggard, wide, and winded after walking up a flight of stairs. And this is just my physical well-being, don’t get me started on the book and my personal/financial life.
Now, I could feel like I failed, that I let myself go. I’ve been here before numerous times. Initially, I felt like I needed to punish myself for getting back to this point. The worse I felt, the more I smoked cigarettes and ate unhealthy food.
Yeah, a lot of good things have happened this past year personally, yes I can still pass the Army physical fitness test..I wrote a GD book!…but Brain likes to stick her dumb head into everything and ask..”But what does it matter if I still feel fat?”
Another news flash…I WILL ALWAYS FEEL FAT…Even when I did Crossfit, even when I regularly ran 7 miles every day, and could do pullups, even when I could feel my hipbone when I slept on my side…I still felt fat…
So, what’s the fucking point anymore?
Here’s the point…this is it…this is about as bad as it’s going to get. I’ve been sick for over a month, I feel worse than I have in a long time, and absolutely none of my real pants fit anymore. This is worst-case scenario. Maybe it’s safe to say that physically, I have failed…whatever that means. I obsessed over this idea of failure so long, that I’m not even sure what the end game of it is, but I’m pretty sure I reached it.
Guess what…I’m still alive. I was “fat” and half naked in front of a crowd performing, and they friggen’ loved it. They cheered and clapped with thunderous applause and my belly didn’t matter one bit.
The world is still turning. My dearest friends still love me, Manfriend still loves me. It begs me to notice, that throughout the years, my friends’ weight and appearance have held no bearing on how much they meant to me. No matter what, they have remained gorgeous, fabulous, and deserving of my devotion in my eyes. Their dedication and strength has no correlation to their shirt size.
So maybe, just maybe, I can still love me. Am I where I want to be, no. But will it do any good to hate myself – faack no.
I can only ask…what does one do when they love something? They are kind, they are understanding, they are patient, but they are firm. Whenever I have a friend that doubts themselves or starts demoralizing themselves, I immediately tell them to shut up, they are perfect, they are whole. Maybe that’s an avenue for dealing with myself.
I set out to write an uplifting and positive post tonight. It just didn’t happen.
Even though I’m not one for wallowing, I’ve also learned this last year that it is ok to sit in the sadness. It is helpful to soak in the negative feelings, because it gives you a chance to know, that is not where you want to be forever, in the sadness. I avoided pain for so long. So much so, that it finally caught up to me and made me pay attention. If you’re living a full life, pain is inevitable and abundant, so I better get used to the exquisite sharpness.
I’m done avoiding the sadness. I’m going to wrap it around my body and listen to what it has to say. I’ve found that I’ve flailed, then failed… (Ewww gross, I know, rhyming). One can only dig so deep.
I will give myself this one day. I will “boo fucking whoo” for one day. Then it’s time to get to work.
Now, what are you going to do after your day?