Last night I was watching VH1’s “Celebrity Fit Club”, the only real “reality” show I can get invested in because there’s no way to “fake” weight loss. You either do or you don’t. It’s also a way to level the playing field for “us” the regular folk vs. “them” the lucky people who supposedly “have it all” – because our journeys are pretty similar. Even if they have a cook that prepares their meals, they still have to do the work of changing how they eat and going to the gym to work out.
It’s pretty much all the same.
They also have to face their demons that are keeping them fat – not unlike I’ve been doing with the vlogs.
Last night they all were instructed to bring something from home that they wanted to say goodbye to, so that they could toss it in a huge bonfire they had on the shore of Castaic Lake in California. Bobby Brown said something that really struck a cord with me when he tossed some old pants in the fire that represented an “unhealthy” time in his life where he was doing a bunch of things to himself he shouldn’t have been (i.e. drugs, etc).
He said he realized he couldn’t keep “abusing” himself.
What an amazing word for it.
It made me aware in an instant that I was my own abuser.
Like Hal said before, if someone says something about us that hurts us, it’s because we agree with them. If someone says something that triggers what I somehow have been telling myself (no matter how unconsciously), that anger is because they’re a mirror to what I think about *me*.
It’s not that someone ELSE doesn’t value me because I’m fat. It’s because *I* don’t value me because I’m fat. It’s not that someone ELSE thinks I’m not as good as someone who is thin, it’s because *I* don’t. And because those hurtful words are the same ones I’ve wired into my own Chatterbox, whenever I hear them from another person they just reaffirm those negative beliefs.
If someone tells my kids that they are [insert negative thing here], I have always told them just because someone said it doesn’t make it so. I never went out and tried to correct the behavior of the other person, only how my kids responded to it. My favorite phrase was, “If someone calls you a banana, does that make you a banana?”
But yet if someone calls me stupid, lazy, ugly, unlovable… I don’t follow this same advice. in fact, I then feel motivated to show whomever said this that it isn’t true. It bugs me so much I can’t let it go. I hold onto these slights and magnify them way more than any positive thing anyone ever says to me.
This is because I have already been whispering those negative words to myself, and generally have been doing it since I was about eleven years old. I look in the mirror and don’t see anyone there worth loving as I am because I don’t love myself as I am.
Which is why when someone compliments me it doesn’t matter toward my self esteem. I simply don’t believe them.
And you wanna know how I know I don’t believe them? Because I have always turned to those self destructive things that would ensure the world would agree with my negative self assessment. When the world looks at me they see someone obese, whom they can judge harshly (and do), and it all keeps going in this hellish cycle that started with my own abuse.
You’ve heard the old saying, “It’s hard to rise to low standards”? Well that’s what has been happening here.
The reason my kids are self confident and unmotivated by the thoughts of others is because they were raised to believe they are the final authority to their own self assessment. They know just because someone calls them a banana, it doesn’t make them a banana.
Yet I never taught that all too important lesson to myself.
This is why other people (like my husband) can brush off the things I can’t let go. They don’t care if someone calls them names or doesn’t like them because they know none of those negative things are true, and they like themselves enough to not need the approval of others to fill the gap.
As for me, I already think I’m unlikable.
One of the biggest surprises to me in my life is when people actually like and appreciate me. You don’t know how I’ve puzzled over Hal Sparks these last many years. He has no vested interest in liking me, there’s nothing really special I can offer him (or so I tell myself). Every time I go see him I’m always sure he’ll be like, “It’s been fun. Really. But we’ve spent enough time in life together. We’re done now.”
He never does this, of course, and continually amazes me by treating me like [gasp] a person of value.
The wonder of it all.
So that means the problem isn’t what I shovel into my face (for the most part). It’s how I’ve been verbally berating myself all these years that means I’m going to do whatever possible to punish myself. Getting fatter so that I’m more alienated and ostracized? Sure. Bring on the fried chicken and chocolate cake.
That lack of concern for my own health and my own life just underscores it. Just like if I chose to do drugs or drink or do any number of things that show I don’t care about my body, my family or my life.
I hate myself. Therefore I must be punished. And I deserve everything I get.
So I think one of the things I need to remember is that no one can make me feel inferior without my consent (thank you Eleanor Roosevelt), and that includes *myself*.
From this day forward I refuse to abuse me. I don’t deserve it, and I’m not going to tolerate it anymore.