No More Apologies
Today, I think I am going to talk about me a bit more.
I’ve always been bigger. For at least the past 18 years, I have been bigger. I was a little softer. I ran out of breath a little faster. I ate just a little bit more.
Food has always been a comfort for me. It’s been a friend when I was lonely, a hug when I couldn’t get one elsewhere, and it’s even been pain when I felt like I needed to punish myself.
I had an interesting childhood. I won’t get too deep into it right now, but I had some damage. And I felt a bit neglected, so I ate. And I ate.
I was overweight all through middle school and high school. I didn’t get asked to a school dance until I was a senior. And I can’t tell you what changed. I didn’t get the boys I liked. I tried to hide myself so I became… forgettable. This isn’t even me talking bad about myself- I just was forgettable. I was just smart enough, just funny enough, and just fat enough to be forgotten. I succeeded. I wanted to hide so no one could hurt me and I did it so well. 10 years later, I still have a hard time being myself and standing out.
A few months ago, I realized how fed up with it I was. I was so tired of feeling helpless around food. I knew about disordered eating. I knew about eating disorders. I even knew about Binge Eating Disorder. But that wasn’t me. I mean, it couldn’t be. If I couldn’t manage to lose weight by going on a strict diet, then what business did I have trying to become a dietitian? None. But I decided to suck it up, mostly because I felt I was at rock bottom, and made an appointment with a therapist. After I told her everything that was going on, her exact words were “you know what the criteria is for BED? (I nod) So you know you definitely fit that diagnosis?” Yes. I fit the diagnosis to a T. So, here begins the long path to healing.
I’m currently really working on eating intuitively, especially without turning it into a diet. And I’m also working on accepting myself as I am now. I’m struggling with that. As someone who has dieted my whole life, it’s hard to accept that I shouldn’t diet. It is literally bad for my health. I should eat what I want without guilt and without shame. That’s so hard though.
I am also struggling accepting that I am beautiful the way I am. I don’t have to be thin and waif like to be considered beautiful. This, so far, is my biggest obstacle.
However, in light of the recent election and the wave of feminine pride I have seen. Something has dawned on me. In order to change society and its views of women, one of the things we have to change is the idea that our physical attractiveness is the “rent” we women pay to be on this earth. It is not. I owe no one, anything. No apology for the size of my waist, my intellect, or my ambition. I have apologized too much in my life. So, one step I am taking for myself, and someday will help other women do as well, is to stop apologizing for the way I look and to stop hating on myself for it.