A friend messaged me today and was basically like “Hey, I don’t like when you talk shit about your former self; that’s my friend you’re talking about…” which was sweet and honest … we had a chat and she made some good points and I hadn’t really considered that anyone might be actually bothered by my self deprecating quips (aside from my long time friend Zeebs who always puts me in my place).
It got me thinking though ….
Some time last year I posted an older photo on my weight loss instagram account of me at one of my favorite places to visit when I am back in Wisconsin; Mars Cheese Castle. In the picture I am standing next to a cow statue, grinning from ear to ear and the caption said something along the lines of ‘not realizing the irony of standing next to a cow statue’ and about there being ‘280 pounds of USDA grade A beef in the black jacket’ … I later added parenthesis and said that I was just being a goof and not mean to myself, that it’s okay to laugh a little ….
But honestly only because someone commented about how terrible and rude it was to compare myself to a farm animal and how I should consider the feelings of others when I post things like that.
I should consider the feelings of others when I post a photo of ME and make comments about myself?
Why should we have to be positive for other peoples insecurities? If a person is so content or confident in their body; why should it matter how I feel about mine? ‘Hey I love my body and by you making jokes about yours I feel like you want me to hate my body.’ Nah, I don’t, but you bragging all over the place about loving yours doesn’t change my feelings, so why let me disrupt yours?
I responded to her much that way, politely but basically saying that I am not in the business of making other people feel badly about themselves; and I certainly hope that nobody would base their self worth or personal feelings on what I say about myself.
I meant it then and I mean it now. My story is mine, and yours is yours. Similarities aside, they are totally separate things.
I have always admired people who were comfortable in their skin no matter what, but I am not going to apologize for not having been in mine.
The truth is, I hated that body and I’m glad I don’t live in it anymore, no matter how happy I was with my life or anything internal or external. I felt betrayed by it for years despite my best efforts to change it.
But I will say this; I didn’t hate myself.
[So, please don’t make that assumption.]
I almost always thought I was the cutest and funniest person I knew.
I don’t bash old me because I think she was stupid or pathetic.
She’s me. What was on the inside at size 22 is on the inside at size 10; maybe sharper, maybe more comfortable, maybe wiser and happier – but still there.
I don’t forget that I had a fat body, I don’t pretend that I didn’t.
Clearly though, it didn’t sit well with me; if it did, there would be no old pictures to cringe at or joke about.
If you hear or see or read that I say something negative or disparaging about my fatter self, it’s not because I think I’m hot shit now and want to shame other people or fat me; my opinions about myself, my jokes, my snarky comments are mine, and to me, they are retrospective.
In the same way someone might look back at pictures of themselves from high school and say “Who dressed me?” or “Who let me have that hair?” … I look at pictures of me and think “Was I really that fat?” or “How come nobody stopped me?” (that last one is totally rhetorical because what could anyone have said or done)
Losing a significant amount of weight, no matter how you do it, is a roller coaster experience. You rise, you fall and even have brief periods where you are stuck in one position waiting for people or things to get on or off.
It’s weird, really.
Nobody can prepare you for the mind fuck that the whole thing is; yea your eating changes, your cravings, or your diet [way of eating, not a fad] but so does almost everything else. You would think I’d be used to it by now; the feelings, the outlook, the attention and ideas, the emotions; but I truly am still learning things about myself every day.
Today I learned that people who love me don’t want me to call myself names.
Hey, I’ll try.