Skip to content

I’m Sick Of The Obsession With….

Oct 11, 2013

[NOTE: In this post, I have inserted photos of me throughout the years, showing various sizes, shapes, and hairstyles. These are in chronological order, starting in 2003 and going through earlier this year. Challenge yourself. What is your first reaction when you see certain photos compared to others?]

388100_10150493104565050_1310093034_n  342_45459215049_3069_n 342_45456795049_6213_n 199194_6683100049_7884_n  580699_10150818154940050_1123589673_n  24384_413416880049_4564216_n  33772_479412725049_4369896_n   40988_464887780049_1974652_n   45101_460038300049_3024777_n    40560_462318480049_8149823_n    1185898_10151806083950050_358541194_n  web size -7  web size -39 web size -15 976660_10151657772575050_85297268_o

I’m Sick Of The Obsession With…Fat. Weight Lost. Body. Exercise. Food.

Irritated as hell. Yes. That’s it. Pissed.

But I know. I’ve been through it; I’m not a hypocrite. Hypocrites don’t admit that they are hypocrites. So I’m not a hypocrite because I admit that I’m hypocritical. I’m not hypocritical because things just are not that black and white.

Anyway….

I just did a search on Word Press for the tag “sizeacceptance” and, seriously, got two blogs that were instead focused on weight loss! WTF? Obsessed with weight loss, but using the tag “sizeacceptance”? Geez.

I can tell you my experience: until I quit trying to lose any weight, I couldn’t start on this journey of acceptance of myself AS I AM, INSIDE AND OUT. (My keyboard got stuck on CAPS LOCK at a very appropriate time.)

I used to diet. Then I did programs, including those that focus not on losing weight [they really do judge you by your weight, by the way] but on not eating trigger foods – programs that have food plans, suggest that you weight and measure your food, etc. In between many of the different “weight loss” things I’ve tried, I’ve gone in the opposite direction and gained massive amounts of weight in short periods of time. Hard on the liver. Lots of loose skin. Stretch marks everywhere. First time I looked in the mirror after that happened, I cried.

My reasonable analysis was that I kept doing something wrong, and that’s why I would go back “out there” eating again. I’d return to the programs with shame and my tail between my legs. I’d beat myself up and talk about how I had screwed myself over and lied to myself. I’d gear all up and kick ass again, and then… crash. My crashes were justified by something, either positive (“I’m now going to allow myself to eat whatever I want”) or negative (“I can’t deal with this thing without eating”). When I was in, I would do what I was told and settle into whatever it took to change the food and myself, and let the fat take care of itself.

But then what would happen? Well, it didn’t “work.” I didn’t get the desired results… which were what?

I’ll show you what I mean. I won’t lie and say that I haven’t benefited from this stuff. But the core issues have remained because switching the obsession from changing my body that I didn’t like to changing my eating was exchanging one behavioral “fix” for another.

Seriously, nothing is wrong with changing. And I suppose nothing is wrong with wanting to change per se. The desire to be better has fueled successes and growth for me. My mother taught me not that things can always get worse, but that they can always get better.

But when the desire to change is really masked self-hatred, lack of self acceptance, or a desire to be someone or something else, then that’s a problem. And oh wise me has just discovered that this has been my problem.

Let’s go back. This whole “weight loss” thing, right? I have [redundancy ahead] been there and played that, directly or disguised, off and on for years. I had this epiphany today, though. It’s surely not original, and most likely this has all been said [more eloquently than this]. But this is my blog, so I get to say it my way whenever I want.

So I always had this whole list of things that I didn’t like about myself or my life or wanted to change or whatever. I wanted to lose weight…

  1. To find better clothes and clothes that fit
  2. To have jeans that fit (for some reason, jeans are in a separate category)
  3. To have better sex
  4. To get a man, to be flirted with, etc.
  5. To have better sex (yeah, I said that one)
  6. To no longer be ashamed of how I look
  7. To be able to reach… things
  8. To have self-worth
  9. So people will not judge me
  10. So I won’t feel like they’re talking about me
  11. So I won’t feel bullied
  12. So I am not the fat girl anymore
  13. To finally be skinny
  14. To be able to wear a bathing suit
  15. To feel comfortable in shorts
  16. To look good in pictures
  17. To feel good about having my pictures taken
  18. To get compliments
  19. To get attention
  20. To be able to climb stairs
  21. To be able to ride a bike
  22. To be able to take a walk
  23. To not get out of breath
  24. So I would feel pretty
  25. To not be fat anymore

Twenty-five is a good number. I’ll stop there.

Each one of those things had an obvious answer, right?

  1. Lose weight
  2. Lose weight
  3. Lose weight
  4. Lose weight
  5. Lose weight
  6. Lose weight
  7. Lose weight
  8. Lose weight
  9. Lose weight
  10. Lose weight
  11. Lose weight
  12. Lose weight
  13. Lose weight
  14. Lose weight
  15. Lose weight
  16. Lose weight
  17. Lose weight
  18. Lose weight
  19. Lose weight
  20. Lose weight
  21. Lose weight
  22. Lose weight
  23. Lose weight
  24. Lose weight
  25. Lose weight

Pretty straightforward. Makes total sense.

But all of those times I lost it [the weight, that is], I still had this:

  1. I felt fat
  2. I still bought clothes that didn’t fit
  3. Many jeans still didn’t fit right
  4. I isolated myself from people who could trigger me
  5. I didn’t talk to my brother, and he didn’t talk to me
  6. I was mean – to myself and others
  7. I had to wear hose and control thingees to keep from flapping
  8. I was ashamed of my loose skin and stretch marks
  9. Thus, I was ashamed of my body
  10. Thus, when faced with nudity and sex, I was preoccupied with how I looked
  11. I still didn’t have self-worth
  12. I still felt like people were judging and talking about me
  13. I still felt like a bullied child
  14. I still felt like the fat girl [kinda the same as #1]
  15. I wasn’t happy
  16. I felt empty and alone
  17. I didn’t feel good or look like I wanted to in a bathing suit
  18. I wouldn’t wear shorts or show anything above the knees
  19. I wouldn’t wear sleeves that go above the elbows
  20. I liked how I look in pictures, but only at certain angles
  21. I got compliments, but they were tainted with my feeling like they existed only because I wasn’t huge anymore
  22. I got attention and didn’t like it
  23. Climbing stairs was still difficult
  24. I still haven’t ridden a bike since I was 13
  25. And I was still fat underneath the clothes and squeezy things, just not as big

So losing weight (each time) didn’t turn out as I had planned.

Today’s epiphany has been a long time in coming. It didn’t knock my socks off. It didn’t yell. It just kind of gently said, “Fat is not a problem,” “You don’t need to lose weight,” and, “This sounds like blog-worthy material.”

Let’s take the twenty-five problems I listed above and analyze them one by one.

  1. Buy better clothes and clothes that fit
  2. Buy jeans that fit
  3. Have better sex
  4. Either get a man or stop trying
  5. Have better sex (yeah, I said that one)
  6. Stop being ashamed of how you look
  7. Be creative with reaching… things
  8. Have self-worth
  9. So what if they are judging you?
  10. Change your feelings about whether or not they are talking about you
  11. Are you bullied now? If so, don’t tolerate it.
  12. You’re not the only fat girl
  13. You just listed twenty-five reasons that being “skinny” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be
  14. If you really want to wear a bathing suit, then by all means do
  15. Wear shorts if you want to wear shorts – or don’t
  16. You do look good in pictures
  17. Not everyone wants their picture taken
  18. Are you fishing for compliments?
  19. But you said above you don’t like attention
  20. Take the elevator
  21. We already addressed the bike issue
  22. So take a walk
  23. That happens to everyone
  24. Feel pretty
  25. You are fat, and it’s no big deal

But there’s more. Epiphany said the root causes of numbers 1 – 25 [first list] is not that I’m fat. Nope. Not that. I can and will to some extent go the behaviorist route and do stuff that I haven’t done while fat before. I started that about a year ago. But the problems that need to be “fixed” I think are included in the human experience. They are not unique to me, nor are they unique to fat people.

  1. To find better clothes and clothes that fit -> self-deprivation; delusional thinking
  2. To have jeans that fit (for some reason, jeans are in a separate category) -> self-deprivation; delusional thinking
  3. To have better sex -> shame; fear of being seen naked; fear of being judged; self-deprivation; not good enough for enjoyment
  4. To get a man, to be flirted with, etc. -> trying to get proof that I’m lovable
  5. To have better sex (yeah, I said that one) -> see #3
  6. To no longer be ashamed of how I look -> shame; proof that I’m a good enough person, that I’m worthy of love, that I’m worthy of love; that I’m lovable
  7. To be able to reach… things -> shame
  8. To have self-worth -> shame; proof that I’m worthy; proof that I’m lovable
  9. So people will not judge me -> proof that I’m worthy; proof that I’m lovable; to prove “them” all wrong
  10. So I won’t feel like they’re talking about me -> proof that I’m worthy; proof that I’m lovable; to undo what was done to me when I was a child; to prove “them” all wrong
  11. So I won’t feel bullied -> proof that I’m worthy; proof that I’m lovable; to undo what was done to me when I was a child; to prove “them” all wrong
  12. So I am not the fat girl anymore -> to be good enough; to be accepted and part of the crowd; to prove “them” all wrong
  13. To finally be skinny -> proof that I’m worthy; proof that I’m lovable; to be powerful; to be taken seriously
  14. To be able to wear a bathing suit -> to be like others; to be accepted and part of the crowd
  15. To feel comfortable in shorts -> see #14
  16. To look good in pictures -> see #14
  17. To feel good about having my pictures taken -> see #14
  18. To get compliments -> proof that I’m worthy; proof that I’m lovable
  19. To get attention -> proof that I’m worthy; proof that I’m lovable
  20. To be able to climb stairs -> shame; embarrassment; to fit in
  21. To be able to ride a bike -> shame; embarrassment; to fit in
  22. To be able to take a walk -> shame; embarrassment; to fit in
  23. To not get out of breath -> shame; embarrassment; to fit in
  24. So I would feel pretty -> proof that I’m worthy; proof that I’m lovable
  25. To not be fat anymore -> to fix everything; not being fat would fix everything

So what’s the psychosis? What is it really all about?

  1. I don’t feel worthy
  2. I don’t feel lovable
  3. I deprive myself of feeling good, feeling love, and feeling happiness
  4. I am ashamed
  5. I am embarrassed
  6. I want to be like others
  7. I want to be a part of the crowd
  8. I want to be powerful
  9. I want to be taken seriously
  10. I want to be looked at with respect and admiration
  11. I want to undo what was done to me as a child
  12. I don’t feel like I fit in
  13. I wait to live until I’m not fat
  14. I think not being fat would fix everything

So, in my mind, the core issue was fat. In reality, the core issue was this list of 14 things – cosmic pain of the human condition (or some similar list (perhaps more concise)). And the solution? To be aware of these things. I mean, I don’t have to. There is no rule or law or expectation (or there shouldn’t be) that says that I should deal with anything. There really isn’t. I can just be. I can stay as I am. I don’t have to change. But the uncontrollable direction of life is that we do change. That is understood. And I have known myself long enough to know that I will process #1-#14. I just will. It won’t be because I want to lose weight. There are things I don’t like about being fat. Not being able to reach…. is one of them. But the whole point of the journey of my life is to get stronger, to be of service, to help others. To Smile.

And to just chill out.

And to not be a party to your obsession.

~Liz

photo-2

Advertisements
5 Comments leave one →
  1. Oct 11, 2013 12:35 pm

    Wow, this blog really hits home for me. I suppose the crux of the issue for a lot of us is that until we learn to really and truly accept ourselves and yes, love ourselves, losing weight will be done for all the wrong reasons. Some will argue that any reason is a good reason, but it isn’t because bodies are ever-changing. I lost 60 lbs 2 years ago but I’ve gained 20 of them back. It’s not because I haven’t been trying. I love exercise and I do it at least 3-4x per week. I’m 49 years old and my hormones are out of whack, hence the weight gain. I don’t love my body at this weight, but my body is the home for my soul, for me, for all that I do with myself every minute of every day. It is what it is. (I hate that cliche’,but it fits). There are good reasons for doing things and then there are not not so good. I would like to be able to be naked in front of my new husband again like I was when we were dating and feel confident. I’d also like to wear the clothes I bought then. Maybe it’ll happen, but maybe it won’t. I have to work hard not to beat myself up if it doesn’t.

    I wish you the best of luck in your journey for acceptance. I think you hit the nail on the head in so many ways.

    Like

    • Oct 18, 2013 3:16 am

      Oh, thank you so much! I am glad it touched you, and I hope you will continue reading.

      Like

  2. Oct 18, 2013 12:40 pm

    So, have you moved into my brain and taken up residence there? 🙂 This sounds like me; so much like me. I first want to say that my first reaction at looking at your pictures is that I see this change from sad and restless to serene and comfortable. I appreciate your honesty and candidness in this post because it’s not sugarcoating the journey each of us is on, and it honors the importance of the journey to self-acceptance.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Diane Ravitch's blog

A site to discuss better education for all

fatmatters

On being a round peg in a narrow world.

Reading While Fat

a big fat queer who loves to read

Dances With Fat

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness are Not Size Dependent

Curves Become Her

fat brown feminist with a penchant for fashion. Writer-Activist-Funny Girl

plus size style 4 less

The only skinny thing here is my wallet

Curvy Girl Revolution

confidence, style & positive vibes for the curvy girl in a skinny world!!

Curvy Girl On A Budget

Confident Curvy Fashion! Some Say Silence Is Golden, I Choose Noise!

the tiny hobo

Illustrator, tea drinker, hobo

Live, Nerd, Repeat

Making life better through the perfect application of humor and nerdery

Stuff Kids Write

Like stuff adults write. But funnier.

The Jiggly Bits

...because life is funny.

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: