Friday, February 28, 2014

My own worst enemy

I think I should say at the very beginning, if you're not up for some brutal honesty, this is not the post for you. Shit's about to get real up in here, and mama's gonna bare her soul. If you can't handle the truth (with apologies to Jack), please click back. I won't be offended.

Okay, so everyone left reading (all two of you) is okay with harsh reality? Good. Here goes.

Since the holiday season, I have been at war with myself. Hating my body. Hating it. Upset that I let go of my fitness goals and, instead, ate Christmas. All of Christmas. Carrying 10 or so extra pounds that I can see in my face, my muffin top (which is more like a coffee cake these days), my chins, my hips, my feet. Oh, how I wish I were kidding.

Hate is a powerful thing. A destructive thing. So the more I have railed against myself, the worse I have felt. This, it seems, is a struggle I am not going to win this way. I have got to knock it off.

By way of illustration, here's a bit of what I mean. The girl is the same; hell, the outfit is virtually the same. I see huge differences, though.
Di, me, Linda and Shelly last November at the Wine & Dine Half 
At the Wine & Dine, I was at my pre-holiday weight. I felt capable, strong and (GASP!) pretty. It shows, in every possible way.
Me, after I finished the Wine & Dine
My finisher photo shows Proud Maggie! My smile is genuine. My chin is singular. I look happy. I had also run well, for a pokey gal like me. All in all, this was a great night and a great race.

Contrast that with Princess Half Marathon Weekend. I'm heavy. I'm unhappy with myself. And it shows. Well, maybe not in the first pic.

Kath, Carrie, Linda, the Mad Hatter, Raquel, me, Jenn and the Queen of Hearts at the Enchanted 10K
I actually like the above photo. I think it's funny that I look like I have only one leg, and I like the way I am wearing a fitted tank and a tutu, in bright colors, and yet I look better than I did the following day, while wearing black in a style that didn't fit quite so closely ... as evidenced below. Anyway, the one leg that shows looks strong!
Me, after I finished the Glass Slipper Challenge
Again, the girl is the same. Everything but the skirt is identical to what I wore in the Wine & Dine ... but those 10 (or is it 15?) pounds really show. To me, anyway. In the cheekbones, and the hips. 

Other than the photo with the Queen, above, I hate hate hate every photo from last weekend. Every. Single. One. The monologue in my head has gone something like this:

"Cow. Fat. Ugly. SHIT homely. It's a good thing you already have friends, because no one would talk to you if they just met you today. You are gross, unloveable, and really ugly. See? We have proof. Just look at the pictures, ugly girl."

My inner voices are cruel. 

Sometimes they are echoes of things that have been said to me in the past. The old saying about sticks and stones? Yeah, that's bullshit. Names hurt longer, folks, and they leave scars that no one sees.

But back to me in the here and now: this is not a war. You cannot win if you war against your body. And the thing is, so much of photographs is angles, lighting and under-eye concealer. It really isn't reality. It's just a moment in time, captured in a still image.

So do I have some work to do? Yeah. I have 10 pounds of holiday weight to relinquish, plus 20 or 30 more, before I can say that I've reached my goal. Progress is slow. It's hard. But if it were easy, everyone would be fit.

The thing is, I have to work on how I feel about myself in concert with the physical changes I need to make. I would NEVER talk to a friend the way I allow myself to talk to me! What's that about, anyway? It's time to let it go. It's time to stop being my own worst enemy and learn to be good to myself. 

I believe we are all beautiful, but it's easier to see in others. I think we should all try to see in ourselves what the people who love us see. It's worth a shot, don't you think?