Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My own worst critic

Recently a friend reminded me of the immense value in remembering to look forward, not backwards.  It was a good reminder, but sometimes it's awfully difficult to do.  I don't intentionally look backwards, but there are moments when those thoughts do pop up.  I want to look forward, I really do, but behind me is a lot of physical and emotional pain, trauma if I'm really being honest, and that glares at me as I continue to on this journey to finding myself.

At work today, we began our annual college series workshops for seniors to help them begin wading through the often trecherous process of applying to college.  So, on Wednesdays when we hold our workshops, we all wear t-shirts either from our colleges or just simply a t-shirt from a college in general.  Now that I am fitting in just regular old t-shirts, I decided I would participate this year.  I haven't done it in the past because, frankly, nothing would fit me.  I never said anything, but that's the truth.  Nothing ever fit me.  Oh, the shame and humiliation of something so simple.  A t-shirt that most people could just pick up in the store or that they would get for free somewhere only goes up to a certain size and then there's nothing beyond that, so that overweight person could never fit in, even if they really wanted to.  I had committed to myself that I am going to move forward in stopping my practice of wearing clothes that are way too big on me because it's a more comfortable thing for me to do than wear something that actually fits. I'm in this place that things don't fit because I'm losing a lot of weight, but I mean stopping the practice of buying new things that are way too big to begin with.  Yet, when I was getting dressed this morning, I really had a hard time being comfortable in a shirt that actually fits me versus one I am swimming in.  All I wanted to do was pull at it and make it stretch out.  I decided, though, that I would be brave and get over myself.  The only problem was that I was being overly critical of my body.  I was focusing on every imperfection, or what I deemed to be an imperfection in my mind, and just had a hard time being okay with looking at myself in the mirror.  Here's what I wore.

That's a plain old XL t-shirt, not the 4X I used to sport.  Just for the sake of seeing where I no longer am, here I am side by side with a pic I've posted before of me eight years ago.

To a normal person (i.e. not me), the difference is obvious when looking at my body.  If I didn't recognize it in my mirror, all I had to do was listen to people who saw me today.  A lot of people commented on how good they thought I looked.
"You look amazing!"
"Oh my gosh, Miss B, you look incredible!"
"Look at how little you are!"
Those were actual comments people shared with me today.  And it wasn't just a few people either, it was all freaking day long.  I'm not complaining, just saying these were not isolated incidents.  So why, good Lord why, am I my own worst critic?  I don't want to be that way.  Even when I was in class tonight and we were doing some group work, I sat there and compared myself to people in my group.  I compared my legs to theirs, even my wrists to theirs.  My wrists?  Seriously??  I was actually shocked when I saw that I was smaller than several of the people sitting around me. 
I need to out my thoughts about myself right here on this blog because it's important that I am honest about how I'm feeling.  These are the very things that would lead me going to the kitchen and grabbing something to eat.  It starts with a piece of something healthy, then two pieces and pretty soon I'm back in the addiction of the food.  If I focus on that, then I don't have to deal with any fears I have about someday being a normal body size, even if that's the very thing keeping me from realizing I'm on the road to that now.  I have no idea if this is making any sort of sense to people reading this, but I think maybe you do understand. 
I am changing.  Scratch that, I've already changed.  Just the fact that I'm willing to explore a place of uncomfortability is huge for me.  I have hidden my entire life behind the weight for one reason or another and I don't want to spend another minute doing that any longer.  I deserve so much better than that.  As hard as this is sometimes, it is such a better place I find myself in now.  I am committed to continue working on letting go of the notion that I have to be perfect.   I don't expect that of other people, so why are the rules different for me?  They're not!


Melissa said...

You know, I think some may figure, "Gee, I'll lose all this weight, I'll look great and because of that, I'll be happy!" But as we are finding, with the weight loss comes the emotional issues that need to be addressed...our journey can be complex, or rather "multi-faceted," I think.

Like you, I am critical of myself. I decided to buy some clothes today that fit properly and when I was in the dressing room, I got really uncomfortable. I am so used to "hiding" behind baggy things; protecting myself with a "scuba suit" of fabric. I went ahead and bought everything, but I'm still nervous...I hope to get through this anxiety as time passes. I'm sure it will fade eventually, and for you too.

You look fabulous in your new clothes! Thanks for posting the pic. xoxo Melissa

Big Heart said...

Go Cougars!

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