Thursday, November 7, 2013

Because You're Worth It

I love the blogging community.  I have come across so many talented, thoughtful people that have inspired me.  One of those is Roo over at NeonFresh.  She seems like just the sweetest girl and has some seriously adorable kiddos.  If you're not reading her blog, you should be.  Go there now.  I can wait.....

So, the other day she blogged about Regina George-ing yourself as a mom.  Well, I'm not a mom.  I have a dog but in my world that doesn't count.  So, at first I thought:  great post but it doesn't really apply to me.  Oh, but it does.

If you've been around even half a minute, you know I'm trying to lose weight.  Have been for years.  Ug.  And I totally say things to myself I would never say to a friend and a friend would never say to me.  I know it's my defense mechanism.  If I make the self-deprecating comment about my weight, if I beat them to the punch, people won't say anything about it.

Except when it backfires...  And then it sticks in your mind forever.  Once upon a time I was a camp counselor.  We were doing staff training and I was out at the climbing/rappelling tower doing some kind of training.  I was working with a guy I had been friends with for a while.  I made some off-handed comment about being the "fat kid" or something like that.  And he made a comment back about my weight.  That's when I punched him.  The only person I have ever hit.  Then I told him to, um, f* off.  And I stormed off.  It was halfway through the summer before I went back to talking to him or going out for beers after work with him.  I was mad.  I was hurt.  I could say those things but other people could not.
Thinking I am really fat...  Turns out I wasn't.  Also oddly edited to block out kids faces and the name of the camp...

So, if I was so mad that my friend had made that kind of comment to me, why do I feel okay doing it to myself?  I shouldn't.  As a school counselor I spend my days telling girls that they are good enough.  That they are fine just the way they are.  And yet, I myself am telling myself I'm fat and not good enough.

But how do I stop?  I guess I have to start believing what I tell these girls.  I am good enough.  So what if I'm not perfect.  I'm working really hard.  I've ended (hopefully) the days of sitting on my butt after work, watching TV and eating junk food.  I feel great about working out.  I feel great when I make healthy food choices.

And sometimes I think back to high school.  I know, why would I do that?  But, even back then I thought I was fat.  I was always trying to lose weight.  I remember buying my prom dress my junior year and thinking, if only I was 10 pounds lighter I would look so much better.
Prom my senior year.  I would love the be the size I was back then, back when I started thinking I was fat.  Also, my dates face is blurred out in case he grows up to be president one day.

I told myself I was fat for so long that it became almost a self-fulfilling prophecy.  I just kept gaining weight.  I would sort of aimlessly try to lose weight but never really have much success.  I'd lose a few pounds but then celebrate by going out for Chinese.  Counter-productive.  But then 30 hit.  And something clicked.  When my husband and I have kids I want to have the energy to play with them like crazy.  I want to go to the lake with my in-laws and not feel ashamed of how I look.  I want to feel good in my skin.
I used to like this dress until I saw this picture.  I think this was my wake up call.

The negative self-talk hasn't stopped.  But it's getting better.  Since my 30th birthday I've lost around 17 pounds.  It doesn't feel like a lot.  When people compliment me that I've lost weight and look good, it's still hard for me to believe them because I know I still have a long ways to go.  But every day that I hit the gym on my way home from work I feel so proud of myself and I know that I'm making progress.  And that maybe it's not about being skinny, that it's about being healthy and feeling good.  The other day I biked 15 miles, the longest I'd ever done.  And I felt so crazy proud of myself.  And I didn't feel like that fat girl who felt bad for herself, I felt like I had just kicked serious ass.

So I just keep telling myself what I remind my high school girls, "You are good enough.  You are worth it.  You are perfect just the way you are."  And then I remind myself to not tack on, you'd be better though if you lost more weight.  And it's going to take all the courage I have to throw all this out there.  But, I am good enough and I am worth being healthy for.  Healthy is what matters.  So, I'm just going to keep telling myself that I'm worth it and if I say it long enough, it's going to happen.  And I will quit being so hard on myself.  Because, I'm worth that too.

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