The negative thoughts have returned.
Some are uglier than others but they all have the same result: to make me feel bad for existing. The usuals are all there: I’m fat, I’m lazy, I’m chubby. These have been joined by a fresh set of insults: I’m dumb, I’m not good enough, THEY won’t like me. At first I ignored the thoughts; I’m Rachee and I rock! Sure I haven’t worked out in a while but I WORE that green dress last week and work has been better than ever; lots of new families visiting the library AND using the materials *I* have made available but, it starts again. First it’s a joke I make at my expense about the way I look. Then an excuse and a self-deprecating remark for why something I suggested didn’t/won’t/hasn’t worked out like I should. Suddenly, despite telling myself that I am larger than life, I begin to feel little and small and unimportant and bad.
There is a part of me which knows that there is a way to control my thoughts. I do feel better when I exercise. It’s not just aesthetics; I like the high I get from running and the feeling of accomplishment. But lately it’s been easier to make excuses, to insult myself and to try to hide. I know things are tight, that my breathing is heavier and that I mindlessly nibble but I compensate by telling myself the good days (while few and far between) are still good days. In order to make any kind of change I need to embrace the me that I am. Bumps, lumps, curves and all but then I hear it again. The voice telling me that it’s too late. That I have no control. That they’re all going to laugh at me (yes, my voice channels Carrie White’s mother).
This weekend I stayed home nursing a cold (major stink and side eye towards my co-worker who came to work sick but insisted her disclaimer of “everyone stay away” was good enough) and I had an opportunity to watch the movie Disfigured. This is a movie about friendship between Lydia, an overweight woman and Darcy, a recovering anorexic. At first it seems that they have nothing in common but later go on to learn that they have more similarities despite their physical differences. I totally recommend this movie to anyone who struggles with their weight, to anyone who thinks that they “know”someone and to people just looking for something out of the norm.
This movie, while a little preachy, really resonated with me. I got it; it’s all about real women. Lydia is not a size 2 (or 12) but a large woman who wants to make some changes but is just unsure about how that is going to look for her. When she approaches her Fat Acceptance Group they don’t support her thinking; they attack her ideas and accuse her of trying to change her body in a negative way instead of realizing that Lydia is looking for a new approach to accepting herself.
Lydia’s friendship with Darcy starts off rocky; both women are lonely but Lydia worries that Darcy is up to something when she offers to help. Darcy, ever the pleaser, is instrumental in helping Lydia’s group gain momentum. This causes an uneasy friendship to form. The two become closer when Lydia confesses that one of the men from the group, Bob, proposes they be friends with benefits. This arrangement goes awry and Lydia thinks the answer to her problem will be to become thin and convinces Darcy to give her anorexia lessons.
This movie neither glamorize nor demonize eating disorders. It presents them in a way that showed me that there is no easy fit, that everybody’s got their problems and that it’s hard for everyone. The movie was tough to watch. There were no easy answers, no one was demonized or made to be the villain. The movie simply laid out this message: women have complicated relationships with their bodies and there is no right or wrong way to deal with it.
I’m still figuring it out. It’s easy to let the voice win but then I have to examine why it’s loud. Am I feeling insecure about something? Unprepared? How can I help myself? It has been a slow process. I remind myself that no one cares about my breathing, that people are not judging me for not knowing every book in the collection and that no one cares if I add extra honey to my tea. I would maim someone who would dare utter words like this to The Bee and cannot understand why I am fine telling these things to myself.
I don’t have an answer but addressing it should help. It may not be an immediate solution but it beats the nasty names.
Practicing loving myself,
This post is a part of Shell Things Pour Your Heart Out Wednesdays
Write a post from the heart.
Something that has been weighing on you.
Something you feel passionately about.
Something you’ve been wanting to talk about.
A cause, a memory, a belief, a world view.