Hello everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend. My weekend recap can be found here. Nothing life altering, but good nonetheless. Although there was something from the weekend that I decided to save for today’s post.
Yesterday, while doing the blog catchup thing, I was really moved by a post Katie from Health for the Whole Self did. Her blog is absolutely fabulous and I adore it. Probably because we are on the same page with what makes up a person’s wellness and health. Anyways, her posts are always a joy to read. They give great information, cool food ideas, and at times provoke some intense thoughts.
Her recent posts about a special black bathing suit were definitely thought provoking for me. It was a two part post (Part 1 and Part 2) from an essay she wrote for Caitlin‘s Operation Beautiful book. The essay dialogs an experience where she found the perfect black bathing suit and how her feelings in it she realized ultimately tied to her own self worth, confidence, and how she viewed herself. At the end of her posts, she asked if anyone else could relate? Um, yeah! Is there any female out there who can’t? So I’ll share my response to this post here instead of flooding her comment section 😉
This post brought me back to a time in my life where clothing’s look and fit, the scale, weight loss, etc defined me and my life. A dark time. A very, very dark time. I’ll do a not-so-brief history lesson. What can I say? A lot goes into it. My father and I had a great relationship until I was about age 12, when he decided to open his own business and got sucked in. He had no time for the family. Except for his extremely high expectations of our duties and how what we did reflected on him. He was basically a slave driver and that was the extent of his relationship to us during that time. It wasn’t so bad yet, but without a doubt I didn’t care too much for my father and was delighted when graduation came and I was out of the house.
Then it got really bad. For work and my major, I ended up doing lots of subbing to work towards my education degree and worked mainly in the school system where my parents lived. To save money I moved back home and the tension between my father and I escalated. To the point where every day there was screaming, yelling, emotional slander, and at times taking a physical hitting. The most memorable was probably the “I’ve tried to love you because I’m supposed to but I just can’t and don’t care, so just kill yourself” comment he gave me. Which I immediately set out to do. I was deeply depressed at this time and the way I got any sense of pleasure in my life was to have a sense of control through weight loss.
My entire self worth depended on how the scale dropped. I spent a TON of money on new clothes because I could feel good in them and get attention. I also blew through a lot of savings by buying an endless amount of exercise videos and products. My life revolved around my 1000 calorie/day meals and my hours upon hours of workouts and fitness “research”. This is also when my issues with binging developed as an emotional reaction to the toughest times with my father. I was a pendulum going between “perfection” and “I don’t give a crap” and it all related to food and my personal “skinny” journey. That was all that mattered and since I had no love from my father, I sought after being “good enough” in other ways.
Fortunately, I moved out a couple of years into enduring that. Went down an even more self destructive path of too much partying with friends and then woke up to realize I was missing something. Found other goals, got back some faith, and turned my life around. Over many years and plenty of tearful conversations there was forgiveness. Not only to my dad, but also to myself and my body. I still have moments where seeing myself not at my fittest discourages me. But I am so incredibly thankful that it is minimal.
I realize clothing size, weight, and how I look has NOTHING to do with my self worth. I am worth so much more than that. And I sincerely ache when I see other women get down regularly about themselves. Or when I see them addicted to eating very little or exercising incessantly. It always makes me wonder what they are trying to escape or control. I pray one day we can all open our eyes to our own unique beauty and be proud of it. It is tough. But no black bathing suit or size 0 jeans, those were my depression days “worth booster”, can tell you that you matter. You have a voice. Tell yourself. You matter. You are amazing.