In my last blog post, I talked about my “mane” issue, and -not one to shy from barf-worthy wordplay- today I wanted to expand on the topic with a “weighty” issue.
In trying to free up space on my laptop last week, I discovered a video clip from January 2014.
I watched this platinum blonde bombshell in a tight red sweater dress with a mix of awe and regret. I was in love with her. This girl can have anything she wants. Is she even real?
At the time, I was 31 and my 10+ year marriage had just ended. I’d been laid off from my steady corporate job in New Jersey, was planning to move to Maine, and flirting with a Navy pilot who lived 3,000 miles away. I was also pretending I wasn’t in love with someone who didn’t love me back.
I(t) was a mess. Except not really. I felt more alive than I’d ever felt. Anything was possible. For the first time in my life, I wasn’t struggling with food. I had something far more appetizing: hope.
I wouldn’t experience that feeling again until five years later when, after many remarkable synchronicities, I quit my [next] corporate job, packed my car, and drove across the country to live in a town I’d never laid eyes on.
I also didn’t know then that, in just a few months time, Navy Pilot would erode my newfound self-esteem, followed by a series of events that would effectively seal the deal, and I’d settle back into a far more familiar place.
That is to say, carefully angled photos from the waist up.
I’ve always been chubby. I went on my first diet when I was 9 years old. By then, I would have given anything to look as cute as my best friends, The Twins, in their swimsuits. By 12, I heard loud and clear, “Boys don’t like fat girls.” By 16, I was anorexic.
When I was 33, I cold called a therapist and, trying not to cry, said, “My binge eating is out of control.” I saw her for three years.
If you made a list of all of the reasons people struggle with weight, I have 99.8% of them.
It’s still this giant mystery to me. I still feel like I haven’t cracked the code. The closest I’ve come is in realizing that I need to make friends with this so-called demon because she isn’t going anywhere. As news of the COVID vaccine circulation hit the airwaves, I actually thought to myself, “Better binge now while you still can.”
I recently watched a video clip (thanks, Flynn) about our ‘silent To Do lists.’ The bottom line: every bit of stuff we keep in our homes speaks to us. The dishes say, “Wash me.” The books say, “Read me.” And the clothes that no longer fit say, “You aren’t good enough for me.”
When we surround ourselves by things that don’t serve us -or people who don’t- we’re subjecting ourselves to silent, but very clear, messages that don’t serve us either.
I watched the girl in the 2014 red dress video and wanted to be her again. But would I really want to go back in time to that tumultuous place? Back to thinking some misogynistic creep was all I deserved? Back to going to sleep hungry every night? Sometimes it’s impossible to know which thoughts are serving us and which thoughts just bring us more anxiety.
I still haven’t figured it out.