Sunday, September 1, 2013

skeleton bones

The first time I remember thinking I looked fat I was about five years old. I remember it clearly - I was standing in my bedroom. My hair was in pigtails and I had a shirt on that showed a little bit of my belly. I was sipping on a coca-cola and I remember catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror. My curly, wild hair was having a field day in the sticky Philadelphia summer heat, and my cheeks looked even rounder. 

"I look like a piggy," was the thought in my head. I voiced it aloud and I don't remember what happened after that. I think I sat the can of coke down and went outside and scraped my knees and forgot all about it.

Fast forward to fifth grade. A chubby little bookworm, oblivious to anything like fashion, hair straighteners and healthy food. I was ten. Ten year olds like me dreaded recess, loved hiding in my room and reading my American Girl doll books. Ten year olds like me were blissfully happy, not unhealthy but certainly not petite. 

Fifth grade was when I truly fell in love with writing. Fifth grade was when I held my knees as I sat on the ground in our classroom, in the middle of a school project, and the boy I had a crush on leaned over to me, a small and shy grin on his face and whispered, "You're chubby."

Fast forward to my senior year of high school where I ate less than 500 calories a day, ran 5 miles a day, and had a mental breakdown, dissolving into tears on a school trip because I ate a piece of bread. 

And fast forward to now. A 24 year old who runs, occasionally screws up and eats McDonald's in her car, alone, at 2:30am but the next day runs and forgets and doesn't care. 

Weight is an issue that most of us struggle with our whole lives. It consumes and consumes and consumes until food is the only thing we think about, until weight is what we put our identity in.

There are times when I'm my heaviest and it's embarrassing and I don't want to even show my face to anyone because I'm disgusted with myself. And it becomes a mind-lock. And a part of me is embarrassed and also guilty. Like weight struggle is some kind of woman bullshit or some other lie like that.

But it's real. I judge my worth based off of my size. I will sit on the couch and hide (which is really helping the whole size thing) because I don't think I'm good enough to go out with my friends, to go to a bar, to go to church. How sick is that?

"Hey friends, come to church where God loves everyone, oh but I'm going to stay home because I feel fat and afraid to show my face."

I think sure, it's amplified in a city like Los Angeles where there are more beautiful women than there are stoplights. And sure, you can say to me "there's always going to be beautiful women. you have to love yourself blah blah blah" 

YEAH I GET IT. No one who struggles with weight is looking for a lecture on why we struggle with our weight. ALSO you can't say to someone "But you're not even fat. You don't know what you're talking about." THAT'S NOT THE ISSUE, IT'S A REAL THING IF SOMEONE FEELS IT.

Of course it comes down to something so simple. That I am putting my worth in something that isn't eternal. I should be putting identity and worth in something that isn't of this world because really, this life is super fleeting. 

But people can preach bullshit at me all day long and it doesn't make me feel any better. It's not going to make me go for a run. It's not going to make me want to suddenly juice and love myself. It IS going to make me want to roll my eyes and tell them to shut up.

Sometimes when I feel one of these spells coming on - like this morning, when I looked in the mirror and cringed, I have to remember what makes my heart beat and who I actually am.

I am not what I eat.

I am not what I eat.

I am not how I look.

I Created the way only I am created. 

And you are you the way only YOU are created. 

People are embarrassed and ashamed to talk about weight issues, like it's too juvenile and stupid and like it means you don't love yourself. So I'm trying to rip off the band-aid and admit that yes, 98% of my thoughts are of how I can make myself look better.

But that 2%?

I know that other 2% is what I have to make everything else - 

I want to be able to look at a tree or the ocean or a cup of coffee or watch a movie and not have in the back of my mind, "I wish I was skinny enjoying this."

I think it's okay to want to better yourself and be healthy, obviously, but I just want to remember the truth of everything. I want to remember that God really does love me no matter how I look. I want to know that even if I don't craft or if I'm not petite or if I don't burn candles and journal as the sunrises, that God still loves me. That even though I'm not married, that I don't enjoy cooking, that I would rather live paycheck to paycheck and try to figure myself out, that doesn't make me any less of a woman, and a woman whom God loves. 

I want to remember that it's okay to doubt and question. I want to remember that even though some mornings I wake up and hate what I see in the mirror -- ultimately it's God's creation. We are DESIGNED and that is SO COOL and I don't want to forget that but I also don't want to sound all cheesy, ugh, LIFE, am I right?

I want to remember that this:

Is how I feel inside and that's actually a good thing. 

And that so whatever, sometimes the pie really is just better a la mode. And I just want to enjoy it. 

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1 comment:

  1. Hey girl, as I read your story I marvel at how similar it is to mine. Not FAT but not SKINNY when I was younger, fighting the chubby complex, and letting my addictive and perfectionistic personality completely morph my joy into an eating disorder, and even thought that's long past and I'm 19 instead of 15, and God has shown me my value doesn't lie in my weight or anything but him, I can feel the pain in you story and wanted to completely emphathize. I know how much it sucks when you are insecure and people completely dismiss your concerns "You're not even close to being fat, quit worrying!" because it doesn't make anything any better. Hang in there girlie, It gets so much better :)