Over the last 3 years I have had many people tell me I have inspired them, pushed them, helped them get past personal problems that have plagued them for years, all just by doing what I do. It took me a very long time to accept that what I do means something to someone else. But I look at the empowered women around me and I am inspired by them every day, so I kind of get it. I just never thought about what I do as being inspirational.
Actually…I take that back.
I have thought it could be inspirational, but that little voice inside my head always tells me it’s not. That what I do really can’t affect anyone else, how could it. Don’t be ridiculous, your simply a fat girl, with nothing to show for yourself. No degree, no real ‘fitness plan’ you do it all but what’s the point? No one cares; it’s them just trying to be nice to you.
I grew up being driven by negatives. “You have such a pretty face, but (insert whatever good thing my weight was going to ruin this week, here).” So much so, my internal voice is something I constantly have to force to be honest. I grew up listening to so many things that were not the truth that it became how I thought about myself in my own head.
I can remember vividly sitting at my computer playing World of Warcraft and thinking “I feel like taking a walk outside” and having my internal voice (I call her the fatgirl) replying with all these made up excuses as to why I shouldn’t…and it made sense! “You know once you get out there, you will get hot, start sweating, then you will feel awful, you will get a headache from putting your body through too much stress, and you will just come back feeling worse than you do right now. Honestly, just go upstairs, get another Coke and lets raid, you need gear and you can always go walk tomorrow. Besides, just run up the stairs, that’s plenty of exercise for someone as big as you are already, why give yourself a heart attack”.
And guess what, I didn’t go for a walk. I did exactly what she told me to, because I believed her lies. I had essentially programmed myself to lose at Life!
One of the first things I did when I started this whole journey, was I learned to listen to my body and know when I was lying to myself about what I was putting into my body. It’s easy to tell yourself that one Coke isn’t going to make THAT big of a difference, but then it’s never just one coke, its 3 or 4 when you REALLY look at it. It was never ONE Little Debbie Fancy Cake, there’s a reason they are packaged in TWO’s. You start to not pay attention to what you are eating, what you are drinking and what you are NOT giving your body.
When you can’t even admit to yourself what you are TRULY putting into your body, the fatgirl wins…Every single time!
I will be completely honest here…it totally sucks not being able to compromise with your inner self, because it’s easier to blame that fatgirl than take the fall yourself. If you put on 20 pounds, it wasn’t you; it was because no one had the right foods to eat on your trip. It’s because the hotel didn’t have a workout room. It’s because your schedule is too hectic and you just couldn’t find the time to get a run in. All great excuses…but it all comes down to you not making the right choices and letting your inner self lie to you.
Believe me, I still eat things that are horrible for me, but I am honest with myself when I do. When I can’t stave off the craving for a sugar cookie COVERED in buttercream icing…I eat one, sometimes I eat two! But I don’t pretend it won’t matter, because I fucking KNOW it’s going to show up on the scale, in the gym and around my waist. The difference here is that I acknowledge it and I put in the work to negate its affects as much as I can. I don’t simply pretend I didn’t eat it.
When I was at my heaviest, I would eat in my car ALL the time. Why? It’s because somewhere in my crazy head, if no one saw me eating it, it didn’t count. I could pretend it never happened if I wasn’t held accountable by someone else. Yet the woman I am today will hold myself accountable for every damn thing…and then some!
I sat in a theatre on Sunday afternoon watching ‘SPY’ with Greg. I had a soy caramel macchiato and a blueberry muffin because I wanted something sweet. I acknowledged what I was ordering and knew my work out that I’d just had was still kicking my ass, I could still feel the thermogenesis going, and I was ok with my choice, because I thought about what I wanted and didn’t make a horrible choice.
Why does this particular moment stand out in my head, so much that I bother telling you about it? I tell you because as I was drinking my coffee and having my muffin a woman sat down in front of us. She was very large, she reminded me of myself 10 years ago. She had a large soda, large popcorn, candy and chilli cheese fries on a big tray. She could barely get through the isle. Throughout the movie I kept watching her, as if I was looking back in time at myself. She sat there with her fries propped up on her tummy eating them, and at the same time would reach over and pick up the huge container of buttered popcorn and eat it too, often having trouble balancing the two containers. She would put the popcorn down, take another bite of fries and then take a bite of her candy bar. Then wash it all down with a sip of her soda, which if this story holds true to my life, would have been a ‘diet coke’ because we certainly feel MUCH better ordering diet coke with all the rest of that crap. It’s the lie we tell ourselves to make it all ok.
As I sat there, knowing exactly what that woman was experiencing, the euphoria of eating what she wanted, in a dark theatre where(usually) no one pays attention, and enjoying a movie with a ‘fat actress’ because ‘fuck you I’m a BBW and I do what I want’…she had a great time. I know I had a great time, sitting exactly where she was, doing exactly what she was doing…because of that little voice in my head that told me none of it mattered.
Granted, I am putting myself in her spot because in truth, I have done that very thing. More times than I can count, because I didn’t think it mattered, which equated to ME not mattering to anyone. You learn that when you are fat at a young age, that you don’t REALLY matter. Society tells us we don’t, we are simply a statistic, to push everyone else to not eat so much, to work out, to DO MORE. When really, the simple answer to the even more simple problem is, we all just lie to ourselves. It’s easier. It’s the reason I didn’t get the lapband surgery, I would have talked myself into not getting a fill over and over again, and I would have ballooned back up higher than I started. I am sure of it.
Because being honest inside your head is hard as fuck!
I still have a hard time in other aspects of my life. I have a hard time still being told I am pretty or beautiful. I can see it in the mirror, and I love being complimented, but if there’s a negative to be thought, I think it.
When I am in a relationship (outside of my relationship with Greg), and that person is attracted to someone else, I immediately think it’s because I am too fat, too old and too ugly so obviously they need to find someone else because I am not nearly good enough for them. In reality, just because they find other people attractive, doesn’t mean they aren’t attracted to me. I still have a hard time with the honest route here, even when I can logically turn it around and realize I am attracted to MANY men & women, and that doesn’t change the way I feel about the person I am in a relationship with, it just ADDS to it. Yet my brain still pushes the “I’m not good enough” scenario almost constantly. It’s a work in progress that is one of the toughest challenges I have.
As a close friend told me recently, I wear my heart on my sleeve usually and I had…ok have a hard time admitting that. I do get attached to certain people and I do tend to let my insecurities feed into my head way too much. I have an amazing life and I love it but there is a very distinct part of it that, while it rocks on SOOOO many levels, is also really lonely. My husband Greg loves me beyond compare and he takes care of me. He does not, however, get really involved in my fighting side. It’s not his thing, and I am completely ok with that. I do not get involved with his karaoke side…that is SOOOo not my thing lol.
Don’t get me wrong, Greg supports me 110% in everything that I do and he has tried getting into the medieval side of my world, many times over. It just isn’t what he likes and I would rather him love the time we spend together and be happy then for him to just suffer through it and do it for me, which is one of the main reasons we have the arrangement we do.
Most of the time, our differences are our strengths. He is very introverted and I am very extroverted. We fit like 2 perfect puzzle pieces. Yet, there are times, I want someone with me, to stand up for me, to be my champion, as I write this I remember Kelli (my best friend) telling me “What you really want is a Knight in shining armor…admit it”. In all honesty, she’s right.
In that side of my life, I am the Knight. I am the Fighter. I am the Valkyrie. I fight for myself! But, when it comes down to it, if I am honest, I miss having someone willing to stand up for me, to just be next to me and freely admit “hey, I dig this chick and I really don’t give a fuck what you think”. It’s as simple as that.
It’s hard fighting for equality, fighting to be a strong, independent woman and still openly admit that you really do like being taken care of on occasion too, which is why I rarely admit it. Again, it’s easier to lie to myself and pretend I don’t need it. But I know I do.
Being honest inside my head does help me deal. I can look at things differently when I am not listening to the fatgirl. Writing these blogs helps, when she gets really loud, I go back and read what I write. It’s easier to drown her out that way lol.
If you can find a way to be more honest inside your head, you can find ways to cope with the things outside your head too. I track my workouts, I track my weight (this one sucks some days), I track just about everything that influences how I train, because it keeps it real, and makes it easier to be honest with myself. Just like blogging makes the other things easier too.
If you listen to your body, and are honest about what you do to it and what you put into it, you can see the changes take effect. Trying to shut your fatgirl up is the hardest part. But it can be done. It’s how I got here in the first place, it’s how I can feel inspired and it’s how I can honestly accept compliments now.
Try it…you will surprise yourself I think!