When I decided to share this blog with anyone & everyone, I realized there is some element of bravery in this adventure. There is A LOT of bravery in sharing this post. If you suffer from an eating disorder or are a survivor of an eating disorder, this may be triggering for you.
We went swimming at Tristi’s today. I felt so excited to put on my bathing suit. I really like my bathing suit. I like the story of how I came to have this bathing suit. I felt so excited to go lie in the sun and – hopefully – get some color on my skin. I pulled on a pair of running shorts over my bathing suit. The shorts are every bit of 2 years old. I talked to Todd about how they used to fit loose. They did. I have photographic proof! Now, they are snug around my booty and my thighs, but I like that. That was part of our discussion – that I like having a bigger booty and bigger thighs. By no means is it all solid muscle, but there is a fair amount of muscle. I squat, I lunge. I do what Coach Aubrey tells me to do and I use weight. I feel proud of my thighs and my booty. There is power & strength there. The shorts are satisfyingly snug, not uncomfortably snug.
After swimming, I dried off and attempted to put the shorts back on. Tristi commented on how she thinks they are cute. We had been talking about trading clothes earlier because as I am getting larger, she is shrinking, so she said she will take them if I’m ever ready to get rid of them. Then, I couldn’t pull the shorts all the way up. I couldn’t get them over my thighs. They made a sound like the seams were tearing. Okay, no shorts for the short ride home. My brain went to a place that I would have preferred it not go. Chubby. Heavy. Fat.
While walking to the truck, CARRYING MY SHORTS I COULD NOT FIT ONTO MY BODY, I thought of giving them to Tristi. Why not? I need to stop wearing them. They don’t fit me because I am chubby. I am too big. Tristi has gotten so tiny, and I know she needs shorts.
When we got home, I got ready to shower. Chubby. Heavy. Pale. My stomach is so big. My thighs are fat, not strong. I am pale all over. My stomach is gross. My waistline is GONE. Chubby. Pale. Gross. Ugly. Those shorts must look awful over my chubby thighs. They are short, which means my pale legs are exposed. Pale. I could already tell that I didn’t get any color today. That’s not surprising.
I must disclose that this is very difficult to write. I work every day to love this body. I work every day to remind myself that I am so much more than this. When others struggle with their own body image, I remind them of these things that I’m not always good at remembering for myself. Every body is deserving of love and care. But this belly has to go. These things have to get toned.
I lose the fight against my skin tone every year, and every year I feel angry and frustrated that I am allergic to something in self-tanners (and this is the only thing I am allergic to, as far as I know). The only time I’ve gotten and kept a respectable tan is when I used a tanning bed, which I won’t do anymore. It’s so weird that I may see someone who is pale and my mind makes up all these reasons why it is okay for that person, but not for me (it is okay for that person, but not for me = that statement, alone, is a huge problem, that it’s not okay for my skin to be the way it is). Sometimes I can go long periods of time without giving a fuck. Yes, I am pale. Whatever. What-ev-er.
I don’t want to buy bigger clothes. I have convinced myself that buying bigger clothes means accepting my body at this size and not trying – not working – to make it better (read: smaller). Then I might accept it getting even bigger. How long before it’s out of control?
As I wrote, I work every day to love this body. I have had many long stretches of time during which loving this body went very well. Part of the reason why I love my bathing suit so much is that I spent the time and energy to work up the courage to try on bikinis and buy one. Earlier this year, I told myself my bikini days were over. I told myself I needed to get a one-piece bathing suit this year. More often than not, I do the work for my self-love. I do the work to keep it afloat. As you can see, there are times when I slip. My self-love isn’t as reliable as I need it to be. I am a work in progress.