A friend of mine, MSD, nominated me over at Facebook to participate in the Glimpse of Everyday Life seven-day challenge. For seven days, I am to share something about myself that might give the reader a deeper understanding of my life or who I am. It could be a photo, with or without any write-up, something that I saw or read that might have inspired me, made me laugh or reflect, a rant or positive words that could inspire. Anything goes, really.
I shared one for today but then after writing, I thought I might as well share it here on my blog. A few weeks ago, I promised I would write as authentically as I can, and after logging in my first 'Day In the Life' write-up I felt that it's a genuine admission of a wound that I have carried for so long.
Here's the picture I shared and what I wrote:
This terrifies me and I'd avoid it like the plague if I could. Every time I see it or 'engage' it, I'm reminded of all the self-hate and dissatisfaction I have with my body. I'm reminded of who I've never been and might never be and the whole futility of a dream. Simultaneously, I try to fight the self-hate with a dose of self-acceptance and gratitude that at least I'm still generally healthy. The numbers on it hardly change now, especially after turning 40, and stepping on it each time is like allowing myself to be mocked or shamed for what I'm doing or not doing enough of. It makes me want to smash it or throw it out the window but I know that every time I step on it, it's also a challenge to accept where I am, who I am and how I'm built. Its existence is a constant reminder of how far I still am from truly loving myself, JUST AS I AM.
I wasn't expecting it to be as cathartic as it ended up being but it's out there now and I'm glad that it is. It's not a big secret that I've struggled with my weight and my body image for as long as I can remember. I've never had an eating disorder and have never really experienced severe weight cycling. Sure I would lose and gain a little here and there but always just gradually through the years. In other words, to be very honest, I have never been 'small', 'skinny', or 'just right'. I have always been 'chubby', 'round', 'sturdy', overweight.
And I have always been made to feel bad about it. From childhood to my 20s, I've always heard backhanded compliments such as "Oh, you have such a pretty face, if only you'd shed some weight." Or as a kid, I heard a lot of "Ah, this one was let loose in the kitchen" as other adults spoke to my parents about me. It hurt. I resented those adults. But the damage was done the moment I heard them and unfortunately, can't be undone just as easily. These wounds linger and though they may heal on the surface, the inner layers have already been compromised and can break open and bleed any moment.
And so I grew up being unhappy with my body, dreaming of a magic number on the scale or tag on clothes to tell me I look great and should feel great about myself.
But it never really comes. I've never really seen it. Once I see something less or smaller than before, it's still never really enough. Never small enough. Never light enough. I almost feel like I'm chasing the end of the rainbow. But in pursuit, I always end up tired and hitting a pot of donuts or Cheetos instead.
So you can understand my aggression towards the weighing scale. All I see when I look at it is judgment. Defeat. A sense of lack.
I often wonder what I'd do once I step on it and see a number that would make me happy. Right now, I say it's between 15 to 20 more pounds of weight loss. But is it really? Can I assure myself that I would be satisfied if and when I reach that goal? I'm not so sure.
I want to be happy where I am now. I want to accept my body for what it is—plump but not curvy, straight but always lumpy in the wrong places. It's where I have always been, where I am now and maybe it'll never change. I just wish I were at peace with it and would never feel or be made to feel that I need to do more, shed more, just to be 'better'. I wish I could reach that place where a better version of myself no longer includes how I look on the outside. It's a gift only I can give to myself but frankly still don't know if I can afford it.
I know there are other real problems in the world but this is a burden I carry, the weight in my soul I don't quite know how to shed.