I got to thinking on my run today about something important that I think every woman should read once. However, before that, let me give you some backstory.
Growing up, I loved myself. I loved my body, how I looked, how I thought. I thought I was stunningly beautiful and it didn’t matter what I ate, how much I exercised, or how much I weighed. Okay, so it did a little. About once a year, I’d weigh myself to find that I gained five pounds year after year and I got upset that I was no longer that amazing Size 2 and 120 pound (54 kg) girl. However, I still accepted myself and told myself it was okay that I was no longer a Size 2 because “size doesn’t matter”. To me, I still looked good. Even when friends would say, “Is that cellulite on your thighs?” I’d smile and say, “So what if it is? I look good!”
That was until I started dating the worst person in the world who manufactured insecurity in me every way he could so he could have that power over me. He started off real nice, saying, “Dang girl you’re so good looking, you’re so smart, etc etc”. Then, when he made it clear he didn’t want to be my boyfriend and I wasn’t to be his girlfriend but we would still be “dating”, he started belittling me saying, “I’ve dated hotter girls than you. Don’t you want to lose some weight? You would be so much prettier if you lost 10 pounds”. And it got to me because he dangled the title of boyfriend in front of me if I would just lose the weight. He didn’t overtly say that but in my mind I thought, “Well if he’s not ready to date me and these are his complaints, the solution must be that I lose this weight!” And let’s be real, a manipulative asshole knows that those are the dots he wanted me to connect. I knew I was still relatively healthy because I ate well and I got lots of sleep. But I never exercised because I didn’t like it back then.
So I lost the weight. I worked really hard and I liked how it felt. I liked how good it looked. But it wasn’t enough for him. He said “I like olive-skinned girls with dark hair” and well, I’m just never gonna look like that. I have a high chance of skin cancer so I can’t tan and I tried making my hair brown once waay before I met him. It came out red. I accepted that I would never look like that and it was hurtful of him to say those things. The important thing is: I accepted he hurt me and I let it continue.
While I’m at it, I’m gonna repeat one of the greats – JK Rowling: is being fat a flaw?
No it’s not. Doucheface and I broke up and he tried to get back with me. When he heard that I was starting to see someone else, he got controlling and I even had to get a restraining order. Maybe I’ll talk about that story one day but for now, here is one of my favourite memes.
Then when I started seeing Terrible Two, I gained a lot of weight. We ate out a lot and I got a new job with a lot of stress. Between him and the job, I didn’t have any time for myself since he was so needy. My hours were crazy – from 7:00am to 8:00pm (20:00) which by the way is illegal in most European countries but not America (???). He was unhealthy and I became it because when I tried to be healthy, he’d say, “You spend too much time at the gym and not enough with me. Why don’t I take you out? C’mon, it’ll be my treat”. So I’d give in because it was easier for me to do what he said than to fight to go the gym. Maybe I shouldn’t blame him as it wasn’t he who stuffed the food in my mouth but I always felt like my relationship with Terrible Two was more of a job than a relationship.
Since I believe in intersectionality, that everything is connected, I gained weight because of a relationship, I lost confidence because of a relationship, and I learned my lessons because of these relationships. I’m not here to say “fat people are unhealthy” because that’s an overgeneralised lie. I’m not here to say “everyone needs to work out to be healthy” because that’s another overgeneralisation.
But I am saying you gotta do what’s best for you no matter who is trying to pressure you otherwise. If running and counting calories is what you think is what you should do, then do it. If you find exercise to be a chore, no one is telling you to (well, no one has true authority to -> no one should) work out. It’s your body and the people who don’t realise that are the insecure ones. I feel sorry for those people at the end of the day because they’re too afraid to view things with that microscope internally.
I gained a lot of weight with Terrible Two and when I stepped on that scale after so diligently losing it for Doucheface, I was shocked. My own family belittled me and made me feel worthless. But being fat is not a flaw. I am working on losing it again because this is what I want to do. Sure, I received pressure from the folks but this is for me. I want to be able to run miles just because, I want to be fast, and I love the taste of vegetables and fish. There’s nothing wrong with that. Nor is there anything wrong with binging Netflix and eating Target’s Monster Trail Mix all day. Everyone has their own opinion on this and that’s fine. Frankly, everyone should have their own opinion because everybody has a different body. Where things go wrong is when people tell other people how to administer their body.
And this is a Treat Yoself episode because you’re the only one who’ll honestly treat yourself right. You can have pillars of support in your life and those are honest blessings but even if you believe you “become one flesh” when you get married, trust me, your flesh is still your flesh.