Thursday, October 13, 2016

Beheld

There is so much right and good and wow in my life right now.


I've finally hit some sort stride with parenting, where I'm actually getting things right occasionally! I have more patience, and even when my patience isn't there, I can act as if and still feel like I'm giving my children what they need. My relationship with my partner has never been stronger. (Our current struggle is that we really like hanging out, just the two of us, and we don't get to do that often enough.) My health is improving by the month.


But.


There's always a but.


My body image sucks. It's awful. It sucks so hard.


Despite doing right by my body (and acting as if on the days I have the brilliant idea to maybe, just, like, not eat breakfast), I'm still mourning the re-gain of "the last ten pounds." And I keep asking myself why.


Why?


I believed for so long that those last ten pounds were the key to finally being attractive...to other people.


The thing is, other people find me attractive now. We can discuss later whether or not being attractive to others should be the destination. The fact is that I'm there already! I have arrived! My friends, my partner, the women in my ballet classes have all told me that I look great! Recently, one of the most gorgeous, intelligent women I know called me beautiful. My heart soared for thirty seconds. Beautiful. And then I was back in the old thought-rut.


No. Not good enough.


Why?


All the people who actually matter to me think I'm beautiful. (They also love me for dozens of other reasons, that I often remind myself are the reasons that actually matter.) So who is left to impress? Only the assholes who think women have to look one Certain Way to be attractive. Why do I want to be attractive to assholes?


Do I want to attract the assholes?


God, no. No. Please, no. Keep the assholes far, far away from me and my friends and my children.


But that raises the question: if I can't see what the people who love me see, am I one of the assholes?


I'm afraid I might be.




.....................................

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do you get professional help with regard to your eating disorder? It is nearly impossible to overcome without professional help and even then it is one of the most pervasive and stubborn sicknesses there is (and sometimes it's the symptom and not the real illness). I truly hope that you are able to overcome this and be healthy and happy. Your daughter is a sponge. She may be only 4 but she she will absorb your body image issues. I was a camp counselor once and an 11 year old girl would not eat (not the entire week) because she did not want the boys to think she was fat. I was 22 at the time and horrified. I am fortunate that the females in my life have not done that to themselves. Instead of thinking about attracting assholes, think about your daughter. Do you want your daughter to only care about what she looks like and who finds her attractive? To be clear I absolutely 100% believe you NEED TO END THIS FOR YOUR HEALTH AND WELL BEING. If that's not enough for you, though, to do it for yourself, do it for your daughter. She already knows and it will only impact her emotional and physical well being more and more as she gets older.

Emily said...

You are truly beautiful, and you are not an asshole. Eating disorders are a very serious, damaging form of mental illness (or, depending on your perspective, they are very serious symptoms of mental illness). While I certainly believe that it is possible, I know from experience that it is very, very difficult to overcome this illness without professional help. I am not trying to tell you that you are crazy, or to pressure you to accept help you aren't ready for, but I hope that when you are ready you will be able to look at all the wonderful things in your life and believe that your ability to be healthy and to enjoy them is worth it.

Anonymous said...

To be beautiful means to be yourself.
You do not need to be accepted by others.
You need to accept yourself.
Thich Nhat Hanh