Thursday, March 20, 2014

"thinspiration" is bullshit, and you're better than that.

It's intervention time, muffins. 

We're all guilty of it.  You've pinned that picture on Pinterest, you see that "skinny bitch" in the mall or on the sidewalk, you follow "How to Get the Thigh Gap" on Facebook.  You say "I want to look like her." And you tell your body it's not good enough.  Maybe you even say you hate it. "Fuck you, body. Why can't you have less of a muffin top?"

It starts innocently.  You tell yourself it's "motivation" - that picture of a hippo on the fridge reminds you that you don't want to be the size of one.  A bikini on display will make you think twice about that cookie, right? 

You need to stop.

 This isn't one of those posts that spouts off platitudes.  "You would be mad if someone said all these mean things to you, or told you you had to look a certain way! Why do you do it to yourself?" You should know by now, I'm a tell-it-like-it-is kind of girl.  I get it. We're all human, we all want what's over there. Greener grass. Blah blah blah.  I'm even guilty of coveting Missy Peregrym's abs.  Guess what? Still don't have those abs. Don't really want to feel like crap because of it. Should I?  

If I have learned anything during the last four years, it's that your barometer of success has to start and end with you.  It is not fair to stack yourself against someone else and then tell yourself you're a failure when you don't measure up.  You want some real words to live by?

You are enough. 

Plain and simple.  I'll even make you a blurry landscape picture to set as your wallpaper.  

This is really the crux of our problem.  We're always being told "You need this product in order to be beautiful" and "the only way you'll be happy is if you look this way. Look how happy these actors are!" You're never good enough to them. They want you to buy their shit, remember? If you were enough, you wouldn't need it.

You don't need it.

Have you ever looked in the mirror and been completely satisfied?  Not "It'll do" or "I wish I could get rid of _____" or "Where did THAT come from?".  I haven't.  Even now, in the midst of just be I look in the mirror and criticize myself.  I've spent too long focusing on trying to change, I'm wired for the struggle.  What does "accepting your body" really mean anyway?  

For me, I think it means acknowledging that I have come a hell of a long way, and allowing myself to celebrate that.  It means feeling satisfied with my body and it's shape.  It means telling myself I'm enough. 

P.S. Pining over a picture of a jacked up lady is just as bad as obsessing over a bikini photo. Don't try and justify the muscles as "healthy inspiration." Be your own damn inspiration.

P.P.S. I'm feeling extra-generous today. You get three choices for your wallpaper.  Choose wisely.

Pick the pigeon. You know you want to.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

just be.

This has been a long time coming.

I had visions of writing a joyous post once I had finally reached my goal weight. I would write about how I can finally move on from the mentality of being a fat girl trying to lose weight.  There would be some picture of me standing in one of the legs of my biggest pair of jeans. I might end up as one of those before-and-after motivational pictures on Pinterest, with some inspirational quote underneath. And I would say "Self, now you can be happy. You finally reached your goal."

What if I never reach that number I picked out of the air? What if I continue to be a slave to the scale, even though I long ago admitted it wasn't the best way to judge my progress?

I've been in the process of trying to lose weight for nearly half of my life. That is a hell of a long time to be hurdling towards something and feeling the constant self-induced pressure of it not being enough. That is a long time to be in a state of deprivation and sacrifice. It's a long time to focus on a narrow-minded goal that I might never attain.

I can't live my life like this anymore.

I used to motivate myself but thinking about all the fantastic things I would be doing when I lost weight. Wearing a bathing suit with confidence. Going out with friends and eating like a "normal" person, not having to worry about how many calories my meal was costing me. Turning heads and making construction workers whistle. These were my indicators of success.

I saw a friend I haven't seen in a while the other day, and he paid me the highest compliment: "You look so fit." The first thing that ran through my mind was "Yeah, but I still have that pair of size 8 jeans I can't fit into yet."  When I really sit down and reflect on the last five years of my life, this is what it boils down to. It's never good enough. I'm not a quitter, I'm in this for the long haul. I want the life I deserve, and I can't have it until I am happy with how I look in the mirror.

Why can't I be happy with how I look in the mirror now?

I've had a lot of external sources telling me it's time for a paradigm shift. I don't want to keep being the person who is miserable of a number on a scale or she can't fit into the jeans she wants to.  What kind of life am I living? 

My very wise cousin made a rather poignant observation - "Maybe you just need to be."

So that's what I'm going to do.  I'm going to make a commitment to myself to do something that makes me happy everyday.  I'm going to start appreciating my accomplishments and enjoying my body for what it is, instead of berating it for not being what I think it should. And I'm putting the fucking scale away. 

A new leaf.