I… I just can’t.

Those who know me personally know that I’ve been a gym-goer since 13, and I actually cared about my body from the age of 17 on (blame it on the rumors that birth control made you fat and crazy). Then, in my early twenties, my preoccupation with the amount of exercise received and what calories I consumed was borderline obsessive. The bonus was that it generated the first truly successful round of dieting that I’ve ever had (I lost about 15 pounds in 2 weeks after seeing photos of myself at a summer concert… and promptly untagging them in mutual shame and disgust). The downside? I was obsessed! So obsessed that I felt guilty for eating anything not on my list of ‘ok’ foods. And if I didn’t work out? Cut that ‘ok food’ list in half. I can only imagine how annoying it was to hear me prattle on about which foods had how many grams of sugar per serving (I was creepily accurate), or my severe depression over the thought of giving up potatoes, one of my alltime favorite (and comfort) foods.

Then my depression seeped past the borders of my physique and began to fester in others parts of my life. So I went to counseling, I got on medication, which tweaked and changed up to today. The main change I noticed was that I lacked the level of discipline I had before I started taking anti-depressants. Initially it really bothered me, especially as the number on that scale slowly started to rise. Yet strangely, as soon as I would feel the stress building, it would stop and begin to dissipate within a few minutes. Eventually I reconciled that the pros outweighed the cons; at least I wasn’t obsessing anymore. So what if I was a little fatter; that was ok. I was still healthy.

Then, I broke up with my boyfriend of the time. And so began an approximately 2 year stretch of endless drinkin and drug-doin’, which lasted through another relationship too. I switched up my meds to an anti-anxiety (which fit my needs much better), and got my ass back to productive pursuits like going back to school. But I couldn’t deny the weight I had gained (and had been unable to lose) in the process. The eventual stress and heartbreak of another break-up exacerbated that underlying insecurity. I had never weighed this much in my entire life (not even during my fat phase at 14!). Initially my depression just kept me from eating (and so I lost some weight… I know it’s sick but it made me feel better). But then, my appetite returned, but my predilection to drink away my feelings and the lack of energy to exercise packed the pounds back on again… so I started throwing up after meals…

…Since I was a little girl I have HATED throwing up. HATED it. I’ve always had trouble with motion sickness in cars, and the unsteady feeling of nausea just plain sucks. But then came my drinking years, where the occasional over indulgence led to porcelain god prayers. I learned that eventually it wasn’t so hard or so painful to expel the evil in my stomach. The trouble was, this evil went from whiskey and/or prairie dog shots to… just about anything. At first I’d just do it a little bit, ya know, if I ate too much at a restaurant… but then I found myself relishing in the ability to binge on those things I normally stringently denied myself (pasta, white bread, icecream, cookies, potato chips, you name it). I’d get (more than) my fill, and then I’d just get rid of it. Easy peasy!…

…Ugh. I hate that I was like that. Luckily, I knew I hated it. I knew it was bad for me, and I knew I was better than that. Once I arrived in Sarasota I vowed that part of this summer was to kick that dirty habit, because all it truly accomplished was an increased sense of shame in myself the second I shoved that toothbrush down my throat. Thus far,  I have only been partially successful, if I’m being truly honest with you gentle readers. It’s still an ongoing battle for me, but I’m working on it. I’m forcing myself to incorporate other healthy habits that aid in combating the complusion: getting more sleep, drinking less, eating healthy, exercising, etc. And then I run across shit like this:

Again, for those of you who have known me for awhile know that I’m always eager to learn new things about fitness, even after my decline in discipline. I follow all sorts of healthy eating and fitness website and blogs, and am always on the lookout for new tips and tricks to facilitate a healthy lifestyle. One of my favorites is FitSugar. They’ve got great material: kickass workout videos, articles on eating healthy and/or how to target trouble zones on your figure. And their message is really encouraging and uplifting. Solid. Well, I found a fitness/food blogger via them today named Marian, she’s at PeanutButterPlank… when I perused her ‘about me’ section, my jaw fucking dropped. I had to take a screen shot immediately:

From Marian's 'About Me' section. WTF You're embarassed by that?!
From Marian’s ‘About Me’ section. This is her ‘before’ photo…. WTF.

Ok, ok, listen: She seems to genuinely care about her readers, and wants to promote healthy living in all ways, and I respect that. Shit, I’m now following her blog. But seriously, you find that embarrassing?! That is a beautiful fucking body. She does go on to explain how her wheat allergy and lactose intolerance were making her feel like shit when she looked like this, and that played a part in her determination to get healthy and lose weight. I get it. But SHIT girl! That’s you fat?! My god, what is this world coming to. NO I’M SERIOUS, look at what feminine beauty USED to be:

Capitline Venus: an example of a Venus Pudica
Capitoline Venus: an example of a Venus Pudica, or ‘modest Venus’

That’s muthafuggin VENUS. VENUS… AKA APHRODITE… AKA The goddess of love!! Again, I have to say, WTF IS GOING ON.

*Deep breath* Again, listen, I feel relatively confident that Marian’s main goal is to feel healthy… the looking ripped is just a bonus:

Marian's 'After' photo
Marian’s ‘After’ photo

My indignance comes from my own insecurities. Because Christ, if Marian thought she was ‘fat’ looking in her ‘before’, how the hell do I compare to the general population’s idea of ‘thin’ versus ‘fat’? I’ve lost five pounds thus far this summer, but honestly I’ll never look like that. No way! I’m a petite girl with curves. There’s only so much I can do to combat that, and the inevitable slow of metabolism as I age. Besides, I look at photos like that and think, that’s a level of obsession that I’m (still…?) glad I no longer have chained to my conscience. I like to live healthy, I just still can’t seem to find the balance between accepting my figure in all its beauty and flaws, and taking care of myself… at least, not yet. Not entirely.

Remaining bonus: I am lucky enough to have a dude in my life who constantly praises my figure, and he’s never even seen me “thin”! So I’ve gotta give a shout out to Mr. Red for that one; you help me remember that there are all kinds of beautiful, all kinds of sexy, in this world.

 

Current Jam: “The Lion’s Roar” First Aid Kit

And I’m a goddamn coward, but then again so are you
And the lion’s roar, the lion’s roar
Has me evading and hollering for you
And I never really knew what to do…

Well I guess sometimes I wish you were a little more predictable
That I could read you just like a book
For now I can only guess what’s coming next
By examining your timid smile
And the ways of the old, old winds blowing you back ’round

And I’m a goddamn fool, but then again so are you
And the lion’s roar, the lion’s roar
Has me seeking out and searching for you
And I never really knew what to do

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