On those pesky body issues once again

So, last week’s post was all sweetness and light and “I’m going to accept my body, yay!” and then?

Then I saw pictures of myself at The Blathering.

My first response was tears.  Partially, yes, because I was tired and I was overwhelmed with all of the emotions I felt at meeting such awesome ladies and bonding and then getting emails and Tweets and realizing that this weekend was just the beginning of some friendships I hope will last.  But the other part was totally moments of, “Holy shit, you’re FATTER THAN YOU’VE EVER BEEN.”

It’s hard to look at yourself and see yourself that way.  I’m sorry.  It just sucks.

It made me realize that yes, I can be nice to myself about it, but I need to do something.  This weekend (here comes the cheese!) was such a great reminder of a few things.  First, that there are amazing people in the world—people I like and who (I think!) liked me.  Secondly, I was reminded—multiple times—that I am more than a number on a scale or my outfits or what I look like because people took me in just the same.  But I was also reminded that for me, I need to look good AND feel good in order to be happy.

The awesome (and seriously, y’all–she is even more amazing-er in real life) Moose sent an email out to a little Get Healthy group she’s been running and it contained a reminder that her boss shared with her: that really, we all hold ourselves back.  I am a big fan of The Blame, and so it hit me right where it needed to—I am holding myself back in this area.  I can make the choice to do things differently.

I’ve been wrestling with this: asking why, asking what I need to do to make this situation better, and how.  Still, another friend challenged me in a different way regarding my attitude, asking that if I can show myself forgiveness for other situations in my life, why is it so impossible for me to be nice to myself while on this journey?!  It’s true—I operate either in totally militant, “I’m fat, ugly and disgusting and who would like me and I’m such a mess” mode OR blatant lazy, procrastinating, self-sabatoge mode.  I need to find a happy medium.

And that, my friends, is the catch.  I’ll let you know if/when/how I figure it out.  I want to exist in a happy medium, where sure, I get myself out of bed in the morning to workout, but sans the self-hate and self-deprecation that seems to accompany it.

For those of you who are doing it…HOW?  How do you manage this?

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13 Comments

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13 responses to “On those pesky body issues once again

  1. ReinventingAmy

    I have body issues too. Sometimes it’s fine for awhile, sometimes its really horrible. I have a separate blog for my foodie/body issues… feel free to read sometime. I try to talk it through by blogging, hoping that if I talk about it, it’ll help process it enough where I won’t lapse into a whole bad phase again.

    lettingskinnygirlout.blogspot.com

  2. Ohh, my dear. *Of course* you are worthy of great love and friendship and adoration—regardless of your size or how you look. I’m glad the Blathering get-together reaffirmed this.

    For me, I take each day as it comes. Some days, I pull out the whip and begin the lashing. Other days, I pat myself on the back. The trick has been fighting for more “pats on the back” than trips to the whipping post. Because, frankly, life is tough enough without me inflicting absuse on myself.

    E-mail to come. Hugs in the meantime.

  3. I FEEL YOU. I had a moment of terror like this last spring and then joined Weight Watchers online out of desperation. IT WAS THE BEST THING I’VE EVER DONE FOR MYSELF. I started feeling better. Not just about how I looked but feeling physically better. And I guess? That it for a long time wasn’t something I thought I was worthy of. But I am. And you are.
    And you know what else? I LIKE YOU JUST AS YOU ARE. And I want you to feel good about yourself too because you’re spankin’ awesome.

  4. I think you’re adorable and put together and awesome and perfect.

    My self talk sometimes sounds like, “I’m big and fat and ugly and stupid.” One of the reasons I broke up with my ex is because he would respond to that with “You’re not stupid.” Hardee-har.

    But when I work out I just feel better and being a bigger size than I have been matters a little bit less. And any little bits are enough for me. I started getting up AT SIX AY-EM to run. And that makes me eat better because why throw all that effort away? And it’s a positive cycle.

    HOWEVER. I have thought of a billion excuses this week and have YET to run. Still recovering from the Blathering! Sigh.

  5. Losing weight sucks. It isn’t fun, it isn’t easy. It’s hard to find time to exercise and it’s hard to not eat an entire block of cheese (at least, it is for me) and yet I think the hardest part of the entire ordeal is trying to have the patience for results.

    For what it’s worth, there wasn’t one single moment when I was with you over the weekend that I thought about your weight. I loved being around you, Amy. You brought laughter and silliness, and then on Sunday morning, I saw a softer, more sensitive side of you, and I just remember thinking, this girl is the real deal. You’re a total catch, friendship-wise.

    But I know how hard it is to look in the mirror and not like what you see, so my only advice is to go easy on yourself. Make changes, but let people help you out along the way. I know I would love to be here to support you if you want me to.

  6. Hey Amy. It’s a tough thing we all struggle with. I have noticed in the last year or two that I have finally started being kinder to myself, that my internal voice is less harsh than it used to be. I don’t know what changed except that maybe with all the overwhelming things I dealt with (broken engagement, moving in with my parents, losing my job, losing my dog, going travelling, watching the job market tank right as I started up my job search, a few unsuccessful forays into the dating world, an unplanned pregnancy while I was single…) I just became more secure and confident in myself after learning that I can handle whatever life throws at me. You’ve been through a lot too and you are a strong, awesome woman.

    I think you need to make a conscious effort to a) change your body (NOT because I think it needs to change, but because YOU think it needs to change, and you will feel better about yourself if you are taking action to make a change you feel positive about) and b) change your internal dialogue. The second one is harder than the first. But every time you catch yourself saying something horrible, just stop. STOP. And then tell yourself something nice about yourself… that you have gorgeous hair or nice curves or strong legs or whatever. Something that you appreciate about yourself. It might feel fake at first but force it. Fake it till you make it, as they say. You might think this is crazy too but I have also found that having a mantra I repeat in my head helps… if I’m feeling like I am bloated and fat, I will tell myself something like “I am light and slender, and my body is strong and healthy.” and I’ll just repeat that inside my head over and over. It just helps me to put it in the present tense even if it’s not true yet. It makes me take actions that are in sync with that phrase… I find myself choosing to drink water instead of pop, and salad instead of pasta with heavy cream sauces, you get the idea.

    I think the reason why is that our minds are always trying to keep our actions in line with our beliefs. If you believe you’re fat and ugly, you’re subconsciously going to act like you’re fat and ugly and you’ll do things to sabotage yourself. If you start telling yourself you’re beautiful and healthy, you’ll slowly start moving towards behaviours and actions that are aligned with that belief system, which of course only helps you become more beautiful and healthier. It’s a good cycle.

    Sorry this was such a long comment but I hope some of it is helpful.

  7. I like you! Really! You were easily one of my fav people this weekend.

    I TOTALLY HEAR YOU about weight loss and self acceptance. I’ve struggled most of my adult life except for the 4 minutes back in 2004. Most of my family, on both sides, are obese and I know I have to watch what I’m doing or I’ll be just like them. Even being a vegan has it’s challenges (peanut butter & jelly sammies!).

    I think as women we are bombarded with all these images of stick thin women that aren’t attainable for the average person. Finding that balance between being healthy and feeling good but not starving ourselves is so hard but it’s a mission I am taking also.

    If you need another support person, I’m here, lady.

  8. First, you’re adorable. You’re lovely and funny and kind and warm and if you weren’t you and just a friend of you, you’d say the same things. Somehow, someway, it’s so hard to be as kind to ourselves and as we’d be to anyone else in our position. I would never call anyone who looks like me fat and disgusting yet it’s on constant loop in my head. I’m trying so hard to forgive myself, love myself, talk nicely to myself. IT’S EFFING HARD.

    And, I am so right there with you. I look at pictures from this weekend and cringe (LITERALLY) and then think of how awesome and wonderful it was and how amazing it’s been to meet people who like me FOR ME. I choose to look back on the weekend and see myself as I felt — accepted and at peace.

    But, I think what’s tough is that a part of me just thinks I should be fat. That working out and feeling good is for more motivated, more disciplined women, not for me. AND THAT IS CRAZY TALK. I have to believe I’m worth looking and feeling good first and foremost or I’ll never lose this weight or like myself, even.

  9. Sam

    It’s so hard. I am new to this self-loathing talk, and when the crazy ‘you are fat and NOT PRETTY’ voice gets loud, it is zero fun. Because if a Southern woman wants to be anything, it’s pretty, okay? 🙂

    I’ve just decided to STOP weighing myself…except for once a week. Because it’s way too frustrating to watch the needle go up, down, up, down…and I know deep in my heart that it’s NOT about the number. Do I want to break free of the 190’s, oh hell yeah I do. But I need a break from the scale! I know that all my workouts are building muscle, and that’s a good thing…

    I’m also trying to make an effort to prettify myself…I’ve got a hair appointment to cut and color my hair, and I am feeling twitchy about shoes. Also…on my workout tunes, I have a few fast paced Christian songs (music I already had!) and it sounds hokey, but it always helps me when those songs come ’round…because it turns the focus off of ME and I remember that I am loved, accepted, and God’s child. That always helps, just a little.

  10. I wish I had advice for you, but when you write posts like this I can’t help but relate to your state of mind. I always just put it off and put it off and make excuses. And then I SEE myself, and I am the fattest I have ever been and it just undeniable. It is so hard to not think of yourself or picture yourself in that way and then BOOM there’s the picture or the mirror.

    Maybe you can try just making small goals and working up to them. Like 2 weeks from now you want to run a mile or something like that, and write it all down… each little step. Focus on changing one part of your life at a time that can help you lose weight so you aren’t trying to change all your habits or your entire life at once.

  11. Damn, you got some wonderful ladyfriends that know just the right thing to say. I can’t add anything that hasn’t been said perfectly (particularly after sparklytosingle’s comment) already. I had that same realization – I was my unhealthiest and heaviest ever at my wedding three months ago – and decided that I would change things. It’s been a tough slog, both at the gym and in the kitchen, but the hardest struggle is in my mind.

    You know the problem and you’ve set your shoulders to fight it off. All you have to do now is take it one day at a time. One day, you’ll get there and not even realize it took any time at all. ❤

  12. Learning to be kind and forgive yourself is often one of the hardest things to do – I speak from experience, yo. But I know you can do it. And forgive the cliche, but you’re a lovely person, inside and out.

  13. I struggle with body image all.the.time. Its hard for me to look in a mirror and not criticize everything. Hair, ass, chest. I see a therapist. It helps. If you lived in NH I would totally give you her number. She’s kind of the balls.

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