On good days, I wake up, make my bed, and thank the Lord for another wonderful day. I look in the mirror, feeling beautiful right there at that moment. At 374 pounds give or take a few, that has not always been the easiest thing to do. It’s hard to “fit in” just about anywhere. Through a doorway, in a restaurant booth, on a plane, and at the same time it’s difficult to hide from the looks, the gestures, the curiosity that may exist but I choose to ignore.
On a good day, I can wake up feeling really great about myself. I can do that because I have worked hard at loving myself right where I am. I wake up saying great things out loud about myself, sometimes “faking it to make it”, because on a good day, I truly believe it’s true.
I believe that before I can change anything I choose to change, I have to love myself, and believe that I am worthy of the best of life. Right here, now. And on most days, it’s always a good day.
But my life isn’t always perfect. Sometimes my mood moves in the wrong direction and I find myself chanting the messages that do nothing but bring me down. “I’m too fat, I can’t do that, I will never lose this weight, I feel ugly, I can’t do anything right”….Sometimes I feel like a fraud. Sometimes, I wonder how I can help other women understand their worth, when I can’t even lose the weight, or can’t say “Good morning Gorgeous Girl” upon waking.
Sometimes, even if for a day, I feel like a FRAUD.
Sometimes, I feel like all those diets I tried didn’t work because I was weak, or I didn’t do something right. Sometimes, I pull out the biggest baggiest unflattering clothes because nothing fits, or nothing is going to look good so why should a try? There are days when I feel like I woke up 3x larger than I was when I went to bed. My nose looks bigger, my arms seem to jiggle more, Sometimes I accept the word OBESE and I cry inside because that label is so hurtful and angry and mean to me.
When all these emotions begin to run rampant, I STOP and allow the pain, hurt and sad thoughts to flow through. I sit with it, allowing myself to think about the WHY. Why are these thoughts coming up for me? What has changed? Is it kind? Is it correct?
The more I work on these days, the less frequent they seem. But, they are there.
I am human, I am imperfect, but I am still worthy.
How do we begin to believe that we are at our best now, when we judge ourselves based on our body size or type? How do we get past our negative put downs, and pull ourselves back up and on the path of self-worth, self-love, and self-acceptance? Because I do believe that change starts when we are confident in ourselves, when we believe we are worth the effort. We can’t lose weight overnight. And truth be told, what I want more than anything is to lose weight to feel better about myself. But if I allow it to stop me from living my life now, then I get caught up in a vicious love hate relationship with my body that serves no purpose other than to keep me in this same spot, day in and day out, accomplishing nothing except a commitment to live out the label. Call it obesity, or plus size, fat or plump. It’s a label that if allowed to exist in my head, it will grow so big it will eventually consume me and I will live my life as a FRAUD. Because that is truly the fraudulent behavior.
Believing in those labels, Believing that your weight defines you, prohibits you from living the life you want.
It’s those days that are fraudulent.
And only the one living in that body, with those beliefs can change the conversation.
So on those days when I wake up feeling less than the perfectly imperfect woman I am, I change the conversation.
Today, I woke up feeling fat and thinking that I am not good enough to do anything. Today, I woke up feeling unworthy. Today, I was a fraud. So, here is what I did…
- I sat with the feelings. Why was I feeling this way? What I realized was that I had gotten a bit off track. I was so busy at work, and helping others, that I forget to do some of the things that bring me joy. I had stopped making art, I wasn’t journaling consistently, and I had not walked in over 3 weeks. Movement is important for me. No matter how small, it’s necessary for my well- being.
- I listened to my body. I had gotten off track in two areas. I was so busy and life had gotten so hectic, I had stopped breathing (for me, I have some breathing exercises I do every morning and night, and when I get stressed, I practice it then too) , and I wasn’t drinking enough water which is another important thing for me. Breathing and water makes me feel nourished and beautiful. My hair shines, my eyes are brighter. Add to that a lack of sleep (I need at least 7 hours) and my body was rebelling.
- I had misplaced my voice. I had fallen into the habit of saying yes to things I don’t enjoy, and agreeing to do things that got in the way of those things I do best. I was over scheduled, overbooked, and overwhelmed at work. And instead of speaking up, I took it out on myself.
- I stopped writing and I stopped recording. I had no record of all the joyful thinks I had done. Mostly because I wasn’t doing them. I had taken a break from me time, family time, and joy time.
- I was overdoing. Overspending, Overworking, Overcommitting…and I was overeating. I felt overdone. Bigger, Broke, Exhausted Girl. I had lost my SEXY.
It would be easy to feel bad about myself as I ran through this. It would be easy to feel like a failure for falling backward. But, now that I had the facts, I could now get back on track and move forward. I have given myself the rest of the day to feel sorry for myself. I cried and slept, and ate chocolate and cupcakes. Today, I let me be me just as I was. I accepted my fraudulent behavior for what it was. A rebellion that only I could understand and only I could change.
When I allow the feelings to consume me, and don’t face them head on, I am being a fraud. Because I know that I am worthy and loved, and lovable, just as I am. And you are too.
We all need a plan for working through fraudulent thoughts and negative emotions. What’s yours?
PS. I am going to get real with you. No holding back. Come on in and join me.