God sometimes I just want to keep myself in check. Never ever do I want a reader to walk away thinking this life…my life is easy. I mean losing weight is easy as hell. And here is the but…..there is always a but. In concept. In theory. In its idea it is easy. But the making it happen is hard. We complicate it. I complicate it. I bring to my healthy table years of bodily abuse. An emotional human being that uses food to connect with herself and others.
Today a student and I ran through all the foods we loved. I admitted. I am hungry. I felt mad and deprived. But the worst feeling of all was the thought going through my head. You are fat. You will always be fat. I sometimes wonder why I care so much? My girls love me for who I am not what they see. They see my daily struggles. My husband loves me so why do I make it so hard. It is hard because it isn’t about them. It is about me. It has never been about others…it has always been about me.
Then I remember the story I accidentally told my girls last week. The one where I admitted to my two older ones that as a junior in high school I “flirted with bulimia”. It was one of those moments where your mind leaves your body and tries to tell you stop, but by then it was too late. I giggled it off and told them my story of hiding puke throughout my bedroom. I made it seem like no big deal, but I went to bed and chastised my foolishness because nothing about the phrase “flirted with bulimia” is never not a big deal. My fears went from I gave them an idea then to my own doubt that I didn’t give the topic the seriousness it deserves.
I want a mom do-over. I am honest with my girls, brutally honest sometimes. I just feel like I want to talk to them about the things I wanted to talk about when I was younger. That girl “flirting” with an eating disorder was clearly crying out, so before they can I hope to at least let them know why I did this and we can talk about it. However, before that can happen I have to be brutally honest with myself.
I went on Spring Break in my junior year and my most beautiful beloved best friend and I wore our bikini’s proudly. We came back with rolls of pictures to be developed. My size 2 body was bloated apparently because I overheard a popular boy I was currently “dating” tell someone he was worried about me getting fat and he wished he picked my friend. He never knew I heard him. But I heard him and what happened next was three weeks of binge and purge. I was truthfully fearful of how much power I felt I had in that moment when I could eat and then throw it up.
Thankfully, one date with him and he drooled everywhere (and no I am not joking) the germs grossed me out so bad from the drool that I never went out with him again. But his voice did its damage. So after thinking about that this weekend and my reasoning for allowing myself to remain where I am weight wise is always, “Well he is okay with it or they are okay with it.” I can see the flaw in my own body image thinking.
See this is the easy part….I have to be okay with it. I have to not give anyone that kind of power in my life or over me…even the people I love most on this planet. I didn’t flirt with an eating disorder. I flirted with absolute danger. It isn’t funny and it isn’t a story you tell your kids in passing. I need to correct it.
I still struggle you guys. I am struggling. The exercise is never the issue. I love it and I do it every day except for my faithful one rest day. But the eating isn’t always easy. Some days aren’t a struggle and other days all I can think about is what to eat next. You will not find perfection here. In fact, two weeks ago I was so gun-ho to tackle this last ten pounds. I did amazing and then I didn’t.
The wreck for me is my sleep and my own self doubt. When my sleep gets disrupted it all goes to hell in a hand basket. Then add in my own doubt and ability and anger that I even feel like I have to lose the 10lbs and it is a recipe for a mess. I am not gonna lie usually I refuse to beat myself up for the lapses, but the reality is that isn’t the case this time. I have been so damn hard on myself. Today when I was running all I could think of was how my fat jiggled or checking constantly to see if my clothes are too tight or I have gained. This behavior is just as dangerous as that junior puking in her bedroom.
But again my flaw is I worry so much about how I look on the outside to others. Never once did I think about how good I felt on the inside. The smile I had. The way I felt running and how far I have come as a runner, and I didn’t think about being proud of myself for the work I was putting in. Instead, I was in utter panic to tear myself down and all to eager to whisper worthlessness into my own ears.
So yea I am broken people. We are all broken. We spend so much of our lives finding others to put us back together when really all we need is to see we can put ourselves back together. That doesn’t require a number on the scale, a healthy salad for every meal, a sweat session that burns 350 calories every day. It doesn’t require anything from us other than to accept ourselves and love ourselves. It is simple….yet utterly complicated.
I know and hear over and over again it takes persistence, consistency and showing up every day. I just keep trying to remind myself that sometimes showing up every damn day may just mean the simple act of not hating what you see in the mirror that day and deciding to face the world.
What it does take though is a whole lotta love, grace and forgiveness.
Today I hate hate what I see a little less….I guess, MR