"again, just because..."
I’ve put some weight on lately actually quite a bit of weight and I really don’t like it, nope, not one bit!
There are lots of reasons that a woman might add weight to her girth – age, lack of exercise, really crappy eating habits, icing – with or without cake, etc. and all of those I am certain have played a part no matter how small in my poundage accumulation. However, I have recently realized that the root of my issue lies on an entirely cerebral and emotional level and while changing all of the things that were previously noted – or just eliminating them – would certainly be of help, the real issue lies deep beneath the flubbery stuff and is part of that fortress around my heart.
My decent started from a wonderfully high peak, I had joined a gym in February of last year and I was in the best shape I had been since before children and that was a loooong time ago. I was toned and had definition in my arms and back, I was strong and could walk a 12 to 13 minute mile and walked a minimum of 3 miles every night after work. My body looked like one attached to a much younger woman and I loved it! I felt healthy and sexy and for the first time in my life the voices in my head about my body were fairly quiet. It was good … and then it wasn’t …
The bottom of the mountain is now, where I do not go to the gym nor do I walk 3 miles every night, in fact I just sit on my ass most of the time. I have lost all of the muscle tone that I was so proud of and all of the weight that used to be muscle is now comprised of fat, strictly fat which by the way continues to multiply at a fairly steady rate. I try to stay away from the scale and “the numbers” but I know that I have reclaimed a chunk of the 40lbs that I had lost three years ago and while I know that at that time I really was too skinny (that just sounds sacrilegious) the weight I have put back on is not good weight, as I said it is not muscle but fat – you know, the soft squishy stuff.
During discussions with my daughter over similar body issues we are dealing with, it hit me like a ton of blubber! Beyond the bad food and lack of constructive movement it was fear and even more so, protection at the root of my fat, and I knew exactly when it all began.
It was August of last year and I was hurt very deeply by words and actions of someone that I had considered for quite some time my best friend. All was made right verbally a month later but the damage had been done and the voices in my head had come back with a vengeance. Then in October, the second blow when my other good friend shut me out due to issues with her girlfriend - and again even though things were corrected later on, there was more hurt, more damage to my soul and more need to protect my heart.
That’s the kicker - I needed to protect my heart from further hurt and the hurts that cut the deepest were made by women that I had let into my life and had given full access to my soul. Women that I trusted and that I loved. Women that I thought loved me in the same way, but those were my expectations and I was wrong to place them on others but I did and I had to protect myself from further damage. So the fortress building began. At the time I just thought I was creating a wall around my heart - or actually rebuilding one that I had all but torn down, but I now see that I was also building a fortress with my body.
I do not like my body right now and I am ashamed of the way I’ve let myself go and horrified at the thought of showing my body to someone, especially someone that I might want to let into my life on a grander scale than just sex. But because of my self loathing I’ve closed up and am unwilling to open my arms let alone my heart to another. My fat protects me from being hurt, because in my mind not only do I not like my body but no one else possibly could either.
And it’s all bullshit!
I am not protecting myself I’m only continuing to reinforce the myths that I have been told and have told myself about my body. I must let go of the self condemnation and start the process of not using my body as a shield against possible pain or hurt. I will not be able to bring new people and friends into my life if all others see is the wall around me - not the physical “fat” one, because most people never see that regardless of what the nasty voices whisper in my ear - but the one that I subconsciously project because of my self hatred. And I will never fall in love again if I cannot love myself - imperfections and all - or genuinely open my self fully to another in both body and soul.
So, I’m starting to view my body in a different light. I’m trying to catch myself before I eat an entire bag of chocolate covered peanuts when I’m actually hungry for companionship. I’m trying to move more and get out instead of sitting alone feeling the emptiness of my apartment. I’m trying to speak kindness and love to myself - for myself - to counteract the negative voices in my head that tell me that I’m ugly, fat and unloveable.
None of this is easy but I’m trying and I’m seeing the truth - I’m seeing my truth - even the parts that I didn’t know were there. I’m seeing the ways that I deeply hurt myself and I’m not only acknowledging them but I’m finding ways to change and the love to end them.