As I’ve discussed in a previous post, I feel as if I let other people determine how I feel about myself and my body. I hate to bring up my mother again, but I’m going to. My family and the way that they judge people based on their appearances and the way that they are critical of everyone based on their appearance has shaped me and the way I feel about my body. My mother often said when I was a kid, “Fat doesn’t look good on anyone but a pig.” So naturally I grew up thinking that no boy would want to be with me because I was always larger than the other girls. In junior high school, my mother measured my butt and told me that if I just lost a few inches that I would easily be down a size. She further told me, “You better hope that a guy falls for your personality.” My mother made a thousand and one some comments about how unacceptable my body was. My butt was a major point of contention between us. I remember running out of the house one day and my mother stopping me so that she could angrily tell me, “Karen, your ass is getting back fat again.” I know now that I ate more in retaliation. I didn’t start binge eating until college, but in high school I would sneak and get the sweets that were denied me because my mother was not going to win in the war over my body.
I started binge eating in college. I went to a college that was only forty five minutes away from where I grew up, but I had never lived away from my family before and I flipped out. I recognize now that I was suffering from a mental illness, but back then I handled my feelings of anxiety with food. My parents didn’t respond to my extreme weight gain well. I remember being home once and trying to tell my mother that I needed to accept my body at its size. I was trying to communicate to her that self acceptance was important, but my mother’s angry reply was, “Well, I can’t accept you at that size!”
I realized today that if I truly want to be at peace with myself, that I have to be at peace with my body, and that to be at peace with my body is to take care of it and love it, instead of hating it for not being acceptable to certain people. Jesus said, “If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” If I continue to hate my body, I will forever be miserable.
What Has Hating My Body Gotten Me?
I have hated my body for most of my life. Hating my body has not led to any positive change. I haven’t been able to hate my body into being a smaller size, at least not for very long. I haven’t been able to hate my body into good health. I’m not a psychiatrist but I’m guessing that I’m probably this fat because I hate my body and that is the same thing as hating myself. I know that I binge to deal with my emotions. Most of my turbulent emotions revolve around my self loathing. I hate myself because I weigh as much as I do. I weigh as much as I do because I hate myself.
When I take my body image issues out of the equation, I don’t have a reason to hate myself. I am very well educated. I’m not the famous writer that I want to be, but I have had the balls to follow my bliss. I quit my teaching job in 2001 after 9/11 because I came to the realization that writing fiction is my true passion. I’ve been following my passion since then. I am a good friend, a good daughter, a good sister, and a good auntie. My life isn’t perfect. I’m not perfect by any means, but the thing that I beat myself up the most about is my weight.
I have told myself that if I just lose all this weight than my life will be super awesome. Even in my delusions I know that there is no such thing as a perfect life, but I have convinced myself that if I lose all this weight it will solve a number of problems.
If I Lose All This Weight I will be able to . . .
- Find a man and get married
- Have kids
- Travel to Europe
- Shop in a regular store and buy regular sized clothes
- Buy Designer clothes
- Not have to worry about strangers saying fucked up things to me
- Not have to worry about my family saying fucked up things to me
- Not have to worry about fitting into chairs with arms, turn styles, and rides at amusement parks
I see now that since I have conflated losing weight with achieving an ideal life, that when I stumble in my healthy eating journey or when I don’t lose the weight fast enough that I wind up hating myself even more. That hatred leads to even more binge eating.
Today is the day that I stop the hatred. Today is the day that I decide to love my body and myself unconditionally.
This is a rather long post already, so I won’t go into what loving my body means for my weight loss journey and my fitness regime.
Until next time thanks for reading,