Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Fantasies of Being Fat

Warning: Yup, you've got it, another fat grrrl post.

I weighed myself last night. It was not easy but I had to do it. Lately my back has just give out on me, and my wrists, fingers, and ankles ache. These are usually signs that I'm carrying too much weight on my body. It wasn't pretty but it didn't send me into a tail spin. I think it is because I had a shift in my thinking.

Yesterday as we driving to Costco for our weekly watermelon run, I said to H, "Why do I keep doing this myself" in reference to losing and gaining weight. H answered, "Because when you don't have your weight to focus on, you have to focus on other things. If you're still unhappy you have to deal with being unhappy. You can't blame it on being fat." And you know he was right although it made me a bit grumpy that he was so insightful at the time.

I've spending a lot of time thinking about what it means to be a fat grrl, about what it means to let go of the fantasy of being thin. But this thinking as lead me away from another important exploration: What would happen if I let go of the fantasy of being fat? What would happen if I was thin? You see every time I get "thin" (I assure you this is relative in terms of societal standards), I freak out. And yesterday I realized that last time I hit my goal weight I was feeling unhappy....depressed even. But I didn't, maybe couldn't, deal with it. So I ate. I ate myself to gaining 40lbs in about a six month period. I ate myself fat again.

Why? Because I have a fantasy about being fat. When I'm fat I can be angry at the world. I can hide my sexuality. I can express all my discontent onto my body. I don't have to deal with the emotions that make me uncomfortable because I just translate them as a general discontent about my body. My body becomes my whipping boy.

But this time around the emotional issues have not gone away. They're still haunting me because this time I know that being thin will not solve anything. And I also know that it's not hard for me to get "thin" (reminder: way relative...I'm talking like 15o here). I didn't feel deprived on WW. I ate normally to be honest. I ate a lot...all the time. But I wasn't sitting there eating an entire package of cookies for instance. I don't eat those cookies because I'm hungry. I eat those cookies because I want them to numb me from feeling. This is not about accepting my fat body anymore. It's about me accepting my emotional life.

You see I feel amazingly guilty for feeling depressed or discontent. I think that it's like spitting in the universe's face because I have so many wonderful things going on for me. I have a beautiful, loving husband who loves me. I have three beautiful, healthy, funny, wonderful children who love me. But there are times when I feel discontent. And then I start to wonder if I'm like my dad who was never happy with what he had. I feel discontent over my career move, and then feel guilty because I've been through so many careers. I feel selfish...and then sometimes I feel like I really don't deserve all this wonderfulness anyway. In those dark moments, I realize I'm waiting...waiting for everything to fall apart. And then I realize that there is a part of me that is trying to make that happen in order to get it over with...I can't seem to accept and enjoy that maybe this is my life now. Maybe it's okay to be happy.

And I realized that really my being fat had everything to do with having a pretty serious eating disorder. I am not naturally this weight. I am this weight because I ate myself to this weight. I looked over pictures of my family and when things are going good, we all tend to run around 150. My grams has been that weight for years now without any effort except walking. My mom gets to that weight easily when she's not distressed. And I looked at my kids. They're all thin. Even Piper who's a big girl is not fat. She's like me and she'll always run to the curvy.

I'm reading these signs now. And yes, I am going to get counseling as soon as we back from Mexico. But for now I'm curbing the eating and moving more. I'm trying to look at the emotions as they come then let them go without making judgements on them. And I'm trying to love myself a bit more. Love myself enough to enjoy what I have rather than destroy it.


John B-R said...

I have no brilliant comments or insights, just you go, girl.

Ernesto Priego said...

Ditto. (And please do enjoy Mexico's delicious food as much as you can!)

Yellowbird said...

I can totally relate! "Oh, it seems I am happy, but since of course I'm not deserving, obviously I must seek to destroy that." It's so weird, isn't it?
Have you seen that movie 'The Hanging Garden'? It has some of that whole hiding-behind-being-fat thing, which of course people do with all sorts of things. Anyway, I really liked it.
This is a wonderful post - you really express the feeling well.

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