Where Did I Put My Big Stick?

I constantly beat myself up; and I carry a really, really big stick. I've been plagued with some stupid low self esteem thing, which I've been told is really a version of pride, forever. How it translates to pride, I'm not sure (I think I used to understand), but I know I certainly don't feel proud about myself.

My most vigorous beatings are related to my weight. Those who know me best know this is the case. I've been on a diet for about 10 years now. I figure I've lost hundreds of pounds over those ten years. I lose a few pounds, then gain them back, then lose them again, then gain them back. I keep extra ones in the closet just for the joy of losing them every month or so; just for kicks.

No, I'm not terribly overweight. It's not a huge amount of weight we're talking about here; probably less than 20 pounds. My family tells me I look fine. Right. They're being nice. But the problem is, is that I don't feel fine about myself. I spent all but the last 10 years of my life being underweight, even anorexic through many of those years. Now, since a hysterectomy, my weight has slowly crept up year after year. The last six months have been notably horrendous and most of my clothes don't even fit right now.

What is my problem? Why do I care? Should I give up and just throw out anything that doesn't fit and realize that I'm not young anymore and this is just what happens? Or should I continue to fight this and stretch my decade long diet into infinity and beyond?

I know I could fight this better than I am. Firstly, I used to work out regularly and I stopped that last summer. I had a terribly depressing family issue that kinda got me started into this downhill slide, plus I had my schedule loaded which made making the time difficult. However, now I do have the time and I don't workout like I used to. I do some, but not like I should. I'm way to sedimentary.

My second issue is that I do eat too much. Hubby eats out a lot, we go places, we see people, we do things; many of which mean I'm not at home where I can keep the calories in check. I know, we're supposed to learn to eat smart at restaurants. But, be honest. When you're faced with a great pasta dish with chicken and cream with a side Caesar, are you going to do that, or eat a vegetable plate? Hmmm??? Oh yes, give me the veggie plate! NOT!!!

I have to figure out how to come to terms with my lack of will power. Obviously I don't want to be thin enough to make the appropriate effort to make the pounds drop off and stay off. I should be able to make it happen. I must not want it bad enough. I must want to flog myself daily about my food failings.

Enough for now, I have to go find my stick.


Ricky said...

You are quite exasperating!!!
Do you truly think that I am lying to you to make you feel better? Your lack of confidence in *me* and what I say is disturbing. I'm not lying when I say that, and neither is Rosie, that much I know. She constantly tells me, after we are done hanging out with you, that you look gorgeous and she doesnt understand how a mom can look so good.

And, it is a form of pride- because you have standards, and because you fail to meet those hilariously high standards (sorry to say it mom but you are almost fifty years old) you beat yourself up.

You pride yourself on your writing, your kids, your family, your accomplishments in life, your job, and well, the only thing you don't really pride yourself on these days is your body. And trust me, your looks are to be proud of- you dress very well, your skin looks great, your hair is wonderful, you do your makeup well. I often feel my heart swell with pride when I see my mom in church because of how great you look for your age. You pull it off really well, and I think everyone agrees, no lying here.

So, it is pride, and its starting to bother me. In the same way that dad's complete lack of care for his health bothers me- its completely selfish. I hate to say it, but his lack of care for his body bothers me because its selfish, and your overzealous concern for yours is selfish as well. I can find three dozen bible verses right now that talk about being confident and thankful for what God has given you, and you should be. Since when do you take a gift from God for granted? Your body is God's temple, and should not be looked upon with disdain, let alone anything but sheer joy at the gift of life.

Think about visitting a 3rd world country, you will have a completely renewed sense of joy in the gifts God has given you- not the LEAST of which is your amazing body.

I love you mom. And I'm a little harsh in this message because I love you, and I hope you expect me to bring the truth to you, not just fluffy "you look good" statements and pats on the back.

Treat your body like a holy temple, and HONOR it like one too.

Kat said...

I've struggled with this for years and I'm truly tired of it.

I know you're not lying. I know everyone means well. My use of the term "Right" is that I have a hard time believing it. Maybe because I remember junior high and high school days, and even when I worked at the Bon, people saying the same thing and then hear them whispering the opposite when the person left. As a result I tend to not put much stock in those kinds of words, which adds to my dilemma.

Don't you know that I have read, and even memorized the scriptures that target this issue, and I DO hears the words proferred by others. I have prayed, cried, sought prayer by others even; particularly these last 10 years. I hate that this thing has blown up to this point. I know I have to bring my thoughts in to captivity. I know my body is His temple. I know all those things. I know the right things to do, but I still really, really struggle. I'm sure you'll have things in your life that you will struggle with that aren't easily solved, but rather take much prayer and fasting.

I'm not trying to justify my issue, rather, in this transparent moment, share a piece of me so those who care about me can pray for me. I knew that when I decided to journal on my blog that it was going to make me vulnerable.

II'm truly not looking for pats on the back or "fluffy words." Far from it. Only God can help me. I don't need you to beat me up too.

Rosemary said...

OK, so you were saying something like this to me in the kitchen not too long ago, and I remember thinking in my head how ridiculous it all seemed to me. You were all "yeah, I'm so fat" and "gosh, I am so ugly" and I was so confused! I thought to myself, "wait a second. Does she see the same person as we do?"

I mean, none of us look the way we would ideally want to look. I've told you that I don't look the way I want to, and you shot me down and told me how skinny I was. Now, I could say "Wow, mom, you are so right!" or I could say "How can you lie to my face! I am not that pretty and I am overweight!" My real response was somewhere in between there, but I somehow have to come to the realization that people really don't view me the way I view myself, in the same way that you might see yourself differently than your entire family does.

Now, let's think logically about why your family would lie to you about your looks. They might not want to hurt your feelings. That seems fair, but aren't true friends supposed to tell you the truth? Your husband is probably your closest friend and has been for most of your life. Do you really think that he would lie to you about something like this? And your daughter Mandy, who is known to be in your face and say off the wall things, don't you think she would say something?

Being completely fair, I still sometimes feel fat no matter what anyone says. That chubb around the middle is my worst enemy, and no one can convince me otherwise. Girl to girl, I completely understand how you feel. But on the other side of it, it comes down to just repressing those feelings of being unsatisfactory, because those are not from God. If you have been on a diet for 10 years, then I assume you are not abusing your body, which is about 40 steps ahead of everyone else in America. If you think you should work out more, then go for it, but do it for the right reasons. Not because you are not good enough, but because you want to do more good for yourself.

None of us will probably ever look exactly the way we want to. Most girls will never be skinny enough, most guys will never be muscular enough, hair will never be curly or straight enough etc... and if we so did achieve the body we wanted, we would find something else wrong with ourselves that needed to be fixed. So we are all in this neverending loop of feeling inadequate. If you did lose those 20 pounds that you so despise, would you then be completely satisfied?

Sorry, mom. I hope you don't feel like we are beating up on you. I'm sure you know most of this anyway. We love you so much, and none of us want to see you with such a low self esteem, especially when we all hold you in such high esteem.

Ricky said...

you know, your blog says you are 250 years old?

I guess you learn something new every day.

Love you mom.