Friday, October 24, 2008

Empowering myself, one step at a time

I have had a negative image of myself, particularly of my face and body since, well, forever. I was always the fat girl. I was always the girl struggling for recognition, trying to compensate with my personality but never having quite the ability to keep up the fake energy. See enough of me for too long and you start to see the things I can't cover up all the time, like the bitterness and the self loathing and the desperation, loneliness, the enormous jealousy. Fat girls are supposed to have great personalities. Fat girls are supposed to be smart. Fat girls never get the attention - they're always the sidekick, the one who will hold their skinny girlfriend's purse when she's out on the dance floor. No one can see who the fat girl is behind all her fat; all her excess pounds are a barrier she puts up between her and the world so that no one gets close enough. So that no one sees that she is screaming inside, though she pretends to be happy.

For years I have hated every single girl who has ever uttered "Ugh, I'm so fat", because usually, those girls are shapes and sizes I dream of being.

For years I have avoided mirrors. Or stared into every single one and grabbed at all my fat and cursed myself.

For years I have been seriously depressed. Hardly capable of getting out of bed. Afraid of the world around me. Avoided looking into people's eyes because I'm afraid I'll see judgment there.

I have gone on many diets.

I have starved.

I have lost tons of weight. I have gained hundreds of pounds when you add it all up together.

I have cursed the day I was born.

I have eaten until I've thrown up.

I have intentionally thrown up.

I have cried and wondered "will anyone ever love me?"

I have cried and wondered "will I ever love MYSELF?"

Well, today I did a lot of soul searching. I went on a run/walk that ended up being almost three hours long by the water.

The last two months have been really hard for me emotionally. Everyone has their good days and bad days and I am no exception, but for the last two months my days have been mostly bad. Self hate is like a snowball and the thing with losing weight the hard way is that it is extremely difficult, because believe it or not, it is actually much easier to starve. But to get the right balance of nutrition and exercise? That has been a constant struggle for me. I struggle with binging. I struggle with eating too little when I know I shouldn't. I struggle with exercising too much or pushing myself too hard and hurting myself. I struggle with balance in my life anyway.

But the point of this entry is that tonight I looked in the mirror in my bra and panties and I saw things I LIKED. I actually cried because, for once, I wasn't absolutely disgusted with what I saw, and I smiled at myself and I spun because that FELT GOOD. And in the shower I looked down and saw parts of my feet without bending at all. Standing straight as an arrow I saw some toes! It has been a LONG time.

On Sunday I'm going to run NINE miles. Last week I ran EIGHT AND A HALF.

I am excited about my health and future for the first time in forever. There are times when I feel weightless. When I feel like I'm a good person and a likable person, which is huge for me because I have always felt that I have been wrong or bad, dysfunctional in some way.

I have changed so much more than pounds can tell you, though I will always happily announce how much weight I have lost and how many pant sizes I have shed. After all, I am, as cliche as it sounds, a caterpillar trying to turn into a butterfly.

I struggle with feeling feminine. I struggle with saying with any type of assertion that I am pretty. But, I feel I have come a long way, and I can happily say that I know I will get better over time. I will always struggle with depression, but hopefully I can manage it better, and I think I have been doing that.

Anyway, I just wanted to get all of that out. I hope it was insightful for at least one person.


kris_tea said...

Oh, girl, I feel like you've been in my head taking notes. I completely understand everything you are talking about.

Depression sucks. I was on meds for 5 yrs. I should have seen a therapist & probably should still now but the time on the meds gave me enough time to quite my mind to have enough of those little "moments by the lake" like you had tonight to help me move on. I still have my moments of self-loathing but it isn't a daily struggle to walk out the door & into society.

I know this doesn't really matter, because I use to hear it all the time but it never changed my mind, I always thought people were just "being nice," but you are beautiful. You body & all, but most especially your face.

Sparky said...

beautiful post :)

thenewsarahsundae said...

I totally know where you are coming from.

jinxxxygirl said...

I think you are beautiful inside and out and i'm so glad you are figuring that out. Most people i talk to about having to work throught the emotional aspect of this weightloss journey just give me this blank expression. They have no idea unless they've been there. This was a very brave blog girl. Thank you so much for making it. I can identify with alot of what you had to say. I have alot of the same struggles. I'm learning how to take a compliment with out just brushing it aside. I'm learning to accept the compliment and say thank you sincerely. I have been receiving so many compliments especially at my work its almost overwhelming. My locker door has become a bulletin board. I posted my 5k race there and got so many well wishes written on it and i posted a picture of me actually running it and got even more. Nov 1st is my one year anniversary and i'm gonna post before and current pictures on my locker. I just hope it encourages just one person and makes them think it is possible to turn your life around and do it healthily, slowly.
I'm so glad your doing the emotional work Sarsy. I think you've lost this weight for the last time. Its gonna stay off!Because your a whole new person now. Give yourself a hug from me! Do you like that song from Jordin Sparks "One step at a time" ? Its my inspiration song of the moment. I will post a new blog in the next day or two. Stay tuned! Jinx

Tiffa said...

I hear you! You are very good at expressing how you feel. I really enjoyed reading this post and hope that you continue to discover little things about yourself everyday. Life is a journey to self-discovery!

Deborah said...

Great post!

You have put into your words all of MY feelings.

Nat said...

It is so much easier to starve than to find the healthy balance. it's an easy trap to fall into. I'm glad you had such a great day, it's all inside you, you just have to have the courage to tap into it :]

JRo said...

WOW. The emotional journey of losing weight the 'right' way is the real journey. I am watching it in my dear friend (she has lost 40lbs to date) and I know, that my own emotional journey, is just around the corner. The internal stuff takes so much longer than changing the outside, doesn't it?