Tuesday, January 4, 2011

when shame bugs bite.

"It's not oil that runs the world, it's shame" — War Dances

Recently a woman I know only by name and association emailed me and whomever else—I think those of us close enough to New York—to set up a lunch date in the city. She's from a ten day high school summer Journalism program we did—not the same year though, I think she attended the summer after I did—at Princeton U. when I was seventeen or so.  Arrangements were made for a cheap Thai place I happen to like in the city. But then last’s week blizzard happened and when I emailed to say that I couldn’t make it after all, I was glad to hear I wasn’t the only one as others sent messages to cancel, too.

The thing is…I was sort of relieved. Sure, I like Thai, I really really like Thai actually, and I was interested in getting to know everyone over good food, but when I got the original email I imagined myself with all of them—young, bright, thin—and fat me. 

Isn’t that terrible? I know.

Sometimes I allow how much I weigh to determine my sense of self. Like when I’m with my thin beautiful girlfriends and I feel especially fat. Or knowing that a boy isn’t paying any attention to me or thinking of me like that not because I’m not interesting or smart or attractive, but because the woman next to me is seventy pounds thinner. That I would become considerable better looking if I weighed as much as she.

Last week I wrote about respecting my body while trying to lose weight because it’s me, every single part of it, fat and all. But where do you draw the line between self love and body fat hate because, really, I don’t like the additional weight I’m carrying? How do you not like the rolls on your back, while claiming to love yourself? Or if you’re underweight—anorexia, etc.—how does one make that same conscious effort when your body tells stories you—I mean, WE—don’t like? I wonder…but at other times I can write about how precious we all are, no matter the size. And I believed it too, even right now.



Shay said...

I've just started to really appreciate my body [and after children too, what a bummer]. My battle is opposite honestly but I won't delve too deep into it. I believe the biggest step that we all must take is to IGNORE the ideals of others. When that's out the window you can begin to breathe and take hold that you are beautiful no matter what size or shape you are.

Just my 2 cents. :)

Baglady said...

I have the same issue. I love myself and I think I look pretty good for a fuller figured girl but when I am invited to meet new people or to a school reunion I worry that I will be judged because of my weight. It doesn't help that I am 6 ft 1 so I am just huge compared to these skinny short girls.

Anne H said...

I never had shame till I started to blog.
Now it's every day. It's my whole middle life.
Maybe through blogging I'm just more aware
of it. But not of what to do with it.
Maybe it's not a fat condition or an anorexic condition.
Maybe it's just a human condition.

Meri said...

I think you can still love what your body does for you, even if you are still irritated with certain parts of how it is working (i.e. underweight, overweight, an infection, the flu, etc.) and see those as temporary things you are trying to heal, while still loving your body for carrying you through life.


jin @SOUL + FOOD said...

we all have moments of insecurity...a love/hate relationship with our bodies from time to time - but I think that's completly normal. I feel good about myself in general, but I do have moments when I'm around my friends and those voices in my head start picking at my rolls and love handles. I typically feel like "the fat one" around my friends - it's something I struggle with but am trying my hardest to not let it get the best of me.

But like Meri says, these feelings are temporary

He Took MY Last Name said...

I know how I view myself changes greatly. I could be feeling like the skinniest bitch in the world, step on the scale and see i am up 4 lbs, devastating! or i could think of how fat I look today and get all depressed, but I have actually lost weight (which is worse, because I don't see any changes in my appearance) to how I look in the window reflections...

What the point is, I guess, is that our feelings about our selves can change moment to moment, but our general feeling of our whole sense of self stays the same. Generally speaking, I see myself as attractive and losing weight. Momentarily speaking, I may not feel that way.

Alexia @ Dimple Snatcher said...

- Love your 2 cents, Shay. Thank you :))))
- Baglady, first of all, thank you for adding me to your blogroll. I've been meaning to email you. Folks come here from your blog. And thank you for sharing your own experiences. It's helps to know I'm not the only one.
- Beautiful sharing, Anne. I think you're right about it being a human condition. For me it's how much I weigh, and for someone else it's something else.
- Thank you, Meri. I think that's a fantastic way of thinking about it. I completely agree with you, but unfortunately it's easy to forget. Thanks for reminding me.
- Me, too, Jin. We can't let it get the best of us. Thank you :))

Alexia @ Dimple Snatcher said...

Great point, Christy. I remember I read this article in Glamour about this woman who recorded how she felt for an entire mouth--fat, skinny, whatever--and she realized that she was actually the same weight for the entire month. Nothing changed so it was totally in her head.

Coley said...

Ahh really good replies here and I see and understand many of them. My sense of self and worthiness changes all the time. I'd like to think that I always feel worthy and such, but I know going through day to day life there are times when I think "Others would find me more this or that if..."
It sucks. On one hand I think - they aren't thinking about my weight, they aren't weighing my worth ... through my weight.
Then I realize, the truth is, they may be - even unconsciously - just like I tend to do.

I think acceptance of our whole lovely existance and worth is an on going process. I believe it deep down to my soul much of the time, and others, very very shallowly.

Hm. All very interesting. I think to myself, if I met you - your weight would never ever come into play with your worth. But then I think... maybe MY weight would...


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