The funny this is I don’t know where to start with this post. It’s so much leading up to this. I do feel like I owe anyone who may read this an explanation of why this blog exists. I promise you I will keep it short, mostly because I don’t feel like going through my life story. It surely wouldn’t make for a good best-seller or even a lifetime movie. My thoughts are MUCH more interesting and that is what I will give you.
I’ve always “struggled” with my weight. I use the word “struggle” loosely, because until the day someone pointed out that my body was not normal aka FAT, I thought I was fine. I’ve never known what it was like to be not fat. Fortunately for me, I would say I had some good friends and some family members who let me know that I was beautiful anyway. It might’ve helped that growing up I could fight, WOULD fight, and I wouldn’t let anyone talk crazy to me, even teachers. Yeah anger issues.
I think it would be safe to say that I had about as much self-esteem as the next teenage girl. There were things I loved about my body and things I didn’t. How many girls and women do you know that don’t like their bodies as is? Exactly.
So of course, throughout my life every injury, illness, doctor visit, yawn, hiccup, burp, fart, eye roll, belly flop, etc., had to do with my weight or ASSUMED eating patterns. Now what does that tell a person? That if they get their weight down to an acceptable level (for me it’s like 120 or something) that it will solve all their problems. Can you guess the next step for me?
If you guessed diets, you are smarter than a first grader.
I have on and off dieted since I was 11 years old. 11. Pre-teen. Child. A child has no business being concerned with low calorie, low carb diets. You can disagree, that’s okay. A child should be enjoying childhood. Not obsessing over someone thinking she is fat and an adult reinforcing those thoughts by introducing her to the world of diets. The only thing it does is tell the child they are NOT good enough. That was the start of my pattern.
Throughout the years I would yo-yo diet. Lose weight, gain it back and then some. I would damn near kill myself exercising some days (cardio is evil, but that is another post). Drink water until I felt like a gotdamn Olympic-sized pool. None of it worked. This is the part where most people would blame ME.
“Oh you didn’t stick to it.”
“You have no willpower.”
“You didn’t take it seriously” (This one is highly laughable)
“It’s a lifestyle change, not a fad diet.”
“You failed, not the diet.”
(BTW, they only put these low-carb, low-calorie foolishness out there because they know 90% of the time it will fail. People will continue to spends billions on top of billions for the quest to be thin.)
Inevitably, I did feel like I was a failure. Here I was not only unable to keep my weight down, but gaining more. Something MUST be wrong with me. I must be choosing the wrong foods. These foods are the devil. Evil. I began to label foods into two categories. Good foods and bad foods. Now when I ate the good foods I felt good. Aaaaaand when I ate the bad foods I felt guilty, remorseful, and BAD. No different than what anyone else has picked up from watching TV, reading magazines, and going shopping for clothes and food. That we aren’t good enough unless we look a certain way, make a certain amount of money, wear certain clothes, drive a certain car, have a certain type of apt/house…you get the drift. FIERCE! (blah)
Fast-forward to 2011. I get knocked up and it’s going to be a girl. Damn.
In my quest to be the best mother ever, I was determined to teach my child how to only eat the GOOD foods. Even though, I will love my daughter and would love her through ANY weight, I didn’t want her to be judged by others because of her weight. She was going to get the start that I didn’t. I bought her organic this and that, no sugar, no meat, watered down juice, aka the good foods. I was more than delighted. *pats self on the back*
Then one day in the not-so-distant past, I had an epiphany: I was teaching my daughter to obsess over food. Health nuts, skinny people, fat people, young people, old people, black, white and everything in between, they ALL obsess over what they put into their mouths. I didn’t want my child to grow up like that. I was doing exactly what I didn’t want her to do, have an unhealthy relationship with food.
But how do I teach my child to do something I have NEVER done? I have been able to retrain my thinking and accept unpopular ideas from religion to politics. I never thought it could be done about my health and the foods I eat. I’ve always accepted that what everyone said was right. I was fat because I ate the wrong foods and had NO control. Bullshit, diets and unsafe amounts of exercise helped me to ruin a perfect body that was in perfect health. Eff what you think.
Here I sit documenting a journey with body image and food acceptance. I’ve decided to eat what I want to eat and love my body as is. Each day in the shower I tell all of my body parts how much I love them. Even my woman parts (another POST I will revisit). I look at my food and I enjoy it. No longer will I be ashamed that I loooooooooove the way food taste or that I eat something sweet everyday or that I had BBQ two days in a row or that I had chocolate for breakfast. I will now be trusting my body over what someone else says.
I was fearfully and wonderfully made to be exactly who I was in grade school, high school, college, and who I am today. Dammit I got one life and I already spent the majority of it unable to accept who I was simply because of my weight. Hopefully with each keystroke I will find the strength I need to continue to be an example for my daughter. Maybe someone out there will stumble upon these words and began to question some of the things they were told as well.
Long read? Nonetheless I hope it was a good read and hope you have some understanding of why I decided to share this intimate part of my life. I read somewhere a long time ago, that the key to change is acknowledgement. Admitting you have a problem. Consider this blog my admission. :0