I am my own worst critic!!! Does this ring true for you as well? If so, rest assured, you are not alone.
I have been incredibly judgmental of my appearance since I was very young. I remember my Dad verbally assaulting my Mom for being “a fat b****”. He said these words, in my presence, repeatedly during my younger years.
When I began to grow up I went through several episodes of anger and sadness over what he said. Because eventually he started saying it to me. I remember hearing things such as “you’re such a pig”, “you don’t need more food. You’ll just get fat like your Mom”. Even though I was very thin as a child, he would still constantly berate me.
About the age of 9/10 I began to develop and put on some weight. I was an early bird with height/weight. I was the tallest girl in my classes until I entered high school. The verbal abuse became physical abuse and my food was restricted and limited by my Dad and stepmom to an extreme severity.
It got to the point where I would “steal” food because I was so hungry. I got into trouble, got a whipping with the belt and then it would start anew. In 7th grade I ended up developing anorexia nervosa and a severe iron deficiency that lead to problems with anemia. No pre-teen should have to deal with such issues.
Most importantly, it happens to ALOT of young girls and women. We are told, from our very first TV program that women are to be thin, coifed and beautiful. It’s a totally unacceptable concept to EVER possibly be overweight AND be beautiful. It’s a damaging message we are sending to the women in our lives. It needs to end.
The problem with all of this is that it leads to SO many road blocks in life, for me anyway. I am my biggest obstacle. Because I have put on so much weight over the years, my self-esteem is drastically affected. I lose motivation to do things. I feel an overwhelming sense of guilt, which leads to self-sabotage. Then the entire cycle repeats itself.
It is a form of self abuse. It is something I am working on in therapy. My clinician is wonderful and helped me to figure out how to overcome some of my fears. I’ll tell you why.
I have a dear friend that I have known since I was 15 that I have reconnected with since returning to my home area. He was one of my first boyfriends as a teenage girl. We ended up going our separate ways and both found happiness and love with our current spouses.
Over the last year of Covid, and being endlessly isolated, we texted quite a bit. Took the opportunity to get to know each other all over again. He introduced me to new music and was just someone who has been “there” for me during some pretty stressful times.
We decided to meet up, after not seeing each other since 1996. He and his wife are leaving on their next adventure and it would be an opportunity to say hi in person before he leaves for probably a year or more. I really wanted to visit but I dreaded it as well.
I could not get out of my own head. I was beating myself up and was terrified of seeing that “OMG you’re huge” look I see in people’s eyes when they first see me. I seriously had someone say to me, after 10 years of not seeing each other, “Boy, you got fat!!” That was a rough moment. Especially because it was family.
So, I chickened out and canceled. I felt horrible about it but I just couldn’t get out of my own way. I created walls around me for a reason!! Sound familiar??? Yeah, I know.
I eventually did meet him for lunch. I made sure I dressed nice, hair done, makeup on, nails done etc. But I DID IT FOR ME. I had no reason to impress anyone and didn’t feel the need to impress. I just wanted to feel as comfortable in my own skin as I possibly could.
I’m sure at this point you’re wondering how it went? It was great. I had absolutely no reason to get myself that upset and worked up. I realized that good friends will stick with you no matter what. Weight be damned!!
I am very lucky that I have great friends and a husband that tells me I’m beautiful. I just wish “I” could believe it. What I do know to be sure is that I am a very soft hearted, kind and loving person. Don’t get me wrong, I can throw down when I need to. And I do it with sass.
The point of all of this is that we are all beautiful!! Big, small, short, tall, round, lean, it’s all labels. Who cares how heavy you are?! If you are kind to people, and truly love and adore those in your life, that is the true essence of a person. I am far from perfect. But, I am perfectly me. We all have room for improvement somewhere, right?
Let us stop beating ourselves up and missing out on life because of self consciousness and negative self image!!! Let your freak flag fly and live life. It could be gone tomorrow so don’t live with regrets. Tell people you love them and tell them often.
I hope that when my time comes people will never doubt that I loved them. That is what I want my legacy to be. What’s yours??
Please feel free to comment or send me a message with any thoughts.
Until next time, let’s all try to live our best life.