I am cleaning out my closets again to go smaller, smaller. I want an uncomplicated life, something more manageable. Minimalistic. I don’t need things. I don’t need space. I want to be unencumbered.
Part of that purging requires me to try things on. But I don’t want to try things on. As I’m making my surroundings smaller, I’m allowing my body to get bigger. I know nothing will fit. I should just give it away, spare myself the pain and humiliation. But some of those pants still have tags on them.
The irony isn’t lost on me. I’m trying to minimize my space while maximizing my dress size. I’m cleaning out my closet while still trying to learn how to live outside the world of heteronormativity.
This pandemic hasn’t been easy. Not for you, not for me, not for anyone. The emotional and psychological stress has done a number on my health and on my psyche. “Eat the donut,” my brain says. “The little things are what matter now.”
“Have the pasta. Chase it with some cookie dough. You deserve it.”
My pants disagree. Even the stretchy ones. And when the stretchy pants disagree, you know you’ve crossed a line.
I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with food. I love it, live for it, find great pleasure in it… and it’s also my great saboteur. My Achilles.
Somewhere along the line of my life, I ingested the belief that fat = bad and skinny = good. So when the number on the scale rises, I begin to fall out of love with myself. I don’t want to be the bad girl. The doubt creeps in, the anxiety makes my heart race.
Or maybe it’s the carbs… it’s hard to tell.
I understand the extra weight can wreak havoc on my heart and my spine and other things that I need to survive. I understand the science.
There’s always an internal argument, though. But what about Lori who weighs 250 and still hikes in the Rockies? But what about Daniel who has smoked, drunk, and eaten everything in sight and lived to be 89? But what about Belinda, the body positivity guru, who has to buy two airline seats to travel? But… but… but… butt. (Names changed to protect the fat.)
I pass so much judgment on myself that I can barely function when someone mentions my body, the girth of it, the change in it, the dimples on it. No external judgment can ever surpass what I do to myself in my own mind.
I am relentless in my self-condemnation. I am unkind.
Some self-love would probably go a long way. I think the science probably supports that, too. But there are so many things I don’t necessarily love about myself. I’m trying, though. I’m making a list and since it’s the season, I’m checking it twice.
We could all use a little more love right now.
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Friends, I’ve long thought about teaching a class on writing. Recently, I was added to the faculty of the Story Summit Writer’s School, and it inspired me to continue to reach.
On January 4, 2021, I am launching my first online, self-guided course on revelatory writing. It’s called Memoir Begins with Me: Finding the Courage and Conviction to Write Your Memoir.
Have you ever thought about sharing your story in essays or blog posts or long-form writing? Does the fear and self-doubt creep into your heart? The voice that says, “I’m not good enough?”
It’s time to quiet that anxiety and dig deeply into our truths, into the stories that have made us.
And we’ll do it together.
Visit www.memoirbeginswithme.com to learn more and to register for class. I can’t wait to see you in the New Year!