A short while ago I found this blog. Tam writes so honestly. Her posts are raw and it was not long before I was in tears. I dug through her links to old posts and she really gave me some food for thought. She talks about healing, about self love and about your body not being the enemy. She paints pictures of you mistreating another human being the way you mistreat yourself. Those pictures are terrifying. Her blog really resonates with me. I have joked before that I have an eating disorder, but the “wrong one”. It is no laughing matter. Self deprecation in the form of humour has been a coping mechanism for me. No eating disorder is funny. Whether you suffer from bulimia, anorexia or compulsive eating resulting in obesity. Tam talks about being conscious when you eat, something which I have a lot of trouble doing. I will eat without realizing how much food I am putting into my mouth and suddenly realize what I have done when it is too late. She talks about being kind to yourself, something I am most definitely not. Since reading about it I have found myself saying the nastiest things in my head. Why am I doing that? So many reasons. So many excuses. Why do I let what happened to me in the past, define who I am now? It certainly is easier to go through life without reflecting, without being present, but the results of this could be dangerous for me health wise. I don’t have any nagging health issues right now that I am aware of. I have no diagnosis of blood pressure, cholesterol, insulin resistance, etc. I don’t want to wait for it before I make a change. I am not going to go on a diet. I am not going to join the gym again. I won’t be banting. I am going to stop being an asshole to myself and take it from there.
In our CT Meetup goodie bags we got a voucher to go to a spa and The Stiletto Mum decided to organize a spa day for whoever wanted to come. This gave us all an opportunity to get together again and use our vouchers at the same time. There would be a jacuzzi involved. My first thought was “OMG NO!”. Clearly we are going to be required to wear bathing suits and I do NOT want to be seen in mine. I made a comment along these lines on the Facebook post inviting me along with the others. All the comments were positive and encouraging (along the lines of “What the hell are you on about, suck it up!” – in a nice way). A light bulb went on for me. I am likely by far my worst critic. What I was doing here was projecting my own insecurities and my own body issues onto everyone else. “I don’t want you to see me in a bathing suit, you’ll go blind! I’ll scar you for life!”. Really. Would I say that to someone else? Would I tell someone else “I don’t want to see you in a bathing suit, I’ll go blind! You’ll scar me for life!”. That really changes things, doesn’t it? How can I be so nasty to myself? Why treat myself like that when I would not treat someone else that way? This way of thinking has started to creep into my mind since reading Tam’s blog.
This is going to be an ongoing process. This is not something I can fix overnight. I will take one step forward and two steps back, repeatedly. I will continue to read Tam’s blog, because I am going to need reminding. All.The.Time. Tam also talks about words having power. I really think that there is truth to that. I need to be kind to myself and to others. From a young age I’ve said (mostly to my mother who called me selfish) that I need to look out for number 1, because nobody else will. The irony is, I haven’t been looking after number 1 all along. I have been an absolute bitch to number 1. Why, I don’t know.
With awareness comes change.
When we went to Avalon Springs this year, I decided before the time that I was not going to fret about how I looked in my swimming costume all weekend. I was not going to look around to see if someone was staring. I still wore cycling shorts underneath my costume, because I am not an unreasonable woman 😛 It was freeing. I swam with my children and walked around in the sun allowing myself to dry, instead of throwing a towel or robe over myself the moment I left the water. I don’t even know if anyone noticed. I didn’t feel ashamed to be alive, healthy and to play with my children in the water. I have come to realize I need to stop robbing myself of my own quality of life.
So slowly, I will start to change myself. Stop treating the symptoms and try to treat the problem. Maybe I’ve been trying to do it ass backwards all my life. Hopefully this time I have found the right path. Hopefully I will stay on it and if I don’t, I will not berate myself and I will find my way back. This will be an ongoing process and I will update on how it is going. If you can spare some time, go and read Tam’s blog. It is truly inspiring.