This is a post that I’ve been thinking about for quite a while now and it stems from a long-growing issue that has been knocking around my brain for over two years. I’m going to say now that it deals with some pretty heavy stuff – weight, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, self-esteem, etc so if you think that this could be something that could cause you harm, don’t proceed. Your health is more important than this.
This is also a difficult one to write because I really want to broach it with extreme sensitivity. The last thing I want is to offend or come across like an ungrateful bitch because trust me, if there was a simple quick fix to this, you know I’d take it in a heartbeat. And if this does offend you, upset you or make you dislike me more than you might already do, I am sorry. It was not my intention and I hope I can change that perception in the future for you.
I have a perceived flaw that I’m too “big” ie, overweight to live a happy life.
Yes, genuinely. And in this day and age, you’d think that I would obviously know that’s not true and I do, it’s not true for other people but I hold myself to a completely different standard. I’d tell one person one thing, that they’re beautiful and these things don’t matter but to me, inside my own head, the narrative is very different.
It works like this:
I believe that my size determines whether I was worthy of someone’s love and attention.
Therefore, I avoid most dates. I don’t shop for clothes because I tell myself that unless I lose a few pounds, I am not worthy of anything nice (it’s just not going to look nice on me). So the more I don’t let myself enjoy clothes and go out on dates and meet new people, the more I compare myself to people who do, the more I hate myself and worry that I’m wasting my life and… you get the picture.
You see, writing it out now, it’s absolute bullshit. But like with OCD, it will convince you otherwise – like the world isn’t going to end if I don’t count the lights on the ceiling – but what if it does?
I am not overweight – I don’t even reach the plus size range in most shops. I linger around a size 16 and as we all know that is obviously different depending on where you shop.
My weight didn’t always dictate my self-worth. It wasn’t until I graduated college that I let it get to me. It started with comparing myself to others until I stopped going out with friends and retreated into myself. I assumed people didn’t think I was good enough to be their friend, cool enough to be around, and the more I told myself that, the more I believed it was true. I mentally designated myself as the DUFF. Everyone was ultimately more beautiful than me because they had slimmer thighs, delicate chests and had a lifestyle that worked for them. I began avoiding photos, investing only in comfy, loungewear that said: “I’d rather look terrible in terrible clothes than in good stuff”. I’d torture myself by looking at stuff I’d love to wear. I turned down dates, I was afraid once they saw me, they’d be horrified. I assumed that boys who dropped me or ghosted me had seen “the real me” and were disgusted so I blamed myself.
I’ve always been taller and bigger than other girls growing up but I only started caring once it started to drastically fluctuate. I lost a phenomenal amount of weight when I was going through the worst of my depression and OCD only to gain it back on once I went on anti-depressants. I haven’t been able to shift it since. I have weeks where I commit myself to change. I go to the gym but don’t workout hard enough and am close to tears when I miss a workout (last Thursday I had to work late and I sobbed all the way home). Everytime I eat something that *I* don’t consider healthy (I’m talking anything at all – pasta, bread, even nuts), I break down. I can almost feel the weight forming on my hips, my body expanding and I’ll do everything I can to skip the next meal or at least lessen the blow. I keep doing this until one day I go out and eat a big meal and think “well, that’s the diet over then” and will, therefore, binge on a colossal amount of food in a week leaving me depressed again until the cycle starts all over again.
I hate going out in public. I am afraid of what people will see in me, this girl who expands with every coffee she drinks and food she downs. All I want to do is curl up and hide away. If I do go out, I opt for places that are nearer home. If I feel good and go out for the night, I rarely ever come back feeling the same. I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror or begin comparing myself to other people again. It’s relentless. It never ends.
And to this day, nothing really has changed. I keep putting off my life until I lose weight. I try and lose weight and give up at the smallest of hurdles. I’m unhappy, angry and damn frustrated. Whilst medication has helped the worst of my OCD, my depression and anxiety, it has helped this demon raise its ugly head. I don’t know what to do anymore. The harder I try, the faster I relapse.
I’m not afraid though, I’ve been in this circle for so long that I’ll either stay there or crack. I’ve cracked a few times and pushed myself for change but it’s never lasted. I don’t believe that waiting around is going to change anything either but there’s something in me lacking and I just don’t know what it is. Motivation? Time? Do I need to stop equating my size with my self-worth? (probably, that’s what I tell everyone but myself).
I don’t know. All I know is that it’s pretty miserable at times.