Would It Be OK to Just BE?

Just Being | Domesticated Academic

A friend grabbed this shot of PIC and I at a wedding last week. We look extra pretty. Clean, shiny, eyes open (a rarity, honest), and generally looking put together to share in a special occasion.  The saddest part of this: I only see how fat my arms look. I only see how fat I look standing next to my date because he’s not fat, he’s a skinny dude. I felt insecure taking the photo, I remember the feeling I had at that moment. I hoped I didn’t have a double chin. I hoped my acne didn’t show up. I hoped I sucked it in enough. Man, why couldn’t I just be happy to have a really nice photo taken? My hair cooperated, we both had put on some nice duds, our travels were safe to the wedding, and we were having a good time. I ruined it in my head.

I’ve spent a lot of time, money, and other resources on being healthy. I’ve spent a lot of several things on losing weight. I think that we’re all in the same, collective boat here and while I’d rather just be eating some melted cheese, I know that I shouldn’t.

I feel guilty. All of the time. I feel guilty about what I’m eating, what I should be eating, what I’m wearing, what size it is, how it fits, is my stomach sticking out, do I have a new pimple, does what I’m wearing make me look fatter, you name it, I’m thinking about it and feeling guilty, insecure, anxious, and full of voided energy that is being wasted. So, for today, I’m reflecting. I’m paying for WW but I’m considering stopping for a while. I’m a slave to my scale. I have anxiety about stepping on it. I am counting points like an addict. I felt super guilty this morning when I ate a piece of starbucks lemon cake and instead of enjoying the treat that I hadn’t indulged in in several months, I felt nothing but guilt once I finished it. I’m sick of feeling like that after I eat. I’m sick of feeling like that after I try on clothes. I’m sick of having my self-worth and personal feeling of value wrapped up in a number, a look, a stare, or a rude piece of feedback. I know what I am and I know my worth. Neither of those things has a number or a pants size associated with it.

Here’s my thought though: would it be ok to just BE for a while? I’m not advocating for severe obesity or anorexia, but when will it ever be ok in our society, our social circle, or our heads to just be ok with who we are: the physical, the emotional, and the spiritual. We spend so much capital on our image, our health, our weight, our diet, our eating habits, our everything, but we fail to look at how we actually feel. We replace our true feelings with a number on a scale or the size we fit into in the dressing room, that all of our self worth has come from it. Our society has damned anyone who doesn’t look like a porn star into thinking that they’re useless. We even gang up on campaigns such as the Dove Beauty campaign when it doesn’t strike the ‘just right’ chord. I believe that they were trying to ‘do good’ with women but the haters killed it.

My friend had a horrible experience with a gym; the trainer insulted her, told her how inadequate she was, and brought her to tears. I know my fellow blogger and I know she’s aware of her athletic shortcomings. She’s not a pro-athlete for a reason, but she is living her life, working hard, being a wife & mother, and doing the best she can. She didn’t need some douchey trainer to inform her that she needed to lose weight, she went to the gym to work out for several reasons and weight loss was just one of them. Where did this guy get off judging her so harshly and saying HOW MUCH weight she needed to lose? That’s her journey, not his.

He put his shit into her head unfairly and unjustly. He let his problems become her problems.

Another friend was scoffed at on a flight, the other woman remarking that she should have bought two seats, even though my friend fit perfectly fine into ONE seat with no trouble.

A colleague went to the dr. for a terrible rash and instead of the dr. offering up medical advice about the rash, he started in on how she’d gained some weight the past year. The rash and the weight gain had nothing in common at the time.

For today, will you join me in being OK with who you are right now? How you look. How you feel. It’s really hard. I struggle every day. I know that those other people who judge us don’t matter, but they do get under our skin. They do affect us. They do bring us to tears. But for today, or tomorrow, will you join me?

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8 thoughts on “Would It Be OK to Just BE?

  1. I am “be-ing” it up today!! Thanks a lot for this post…it’s nice to read something and think that it could have come right out of my own head. It’s so easy to get all caught up in appearance, size, weight, etc. but what always helps me is to look at your WHOLE self, give yourself some credit, and keep working hard at what you can do/control.

  2. Found you through Renee’– great post!! Be happy who you are and learn to love yourself, then everything else is just going to fall into place the way it is supposed to.

  3. Thank you for having the courage to write what I feel, and what I suspect many others feel as well. Even a Ph.D. cannot make us feel like we look ‘right’. Societal messages are powerful, and people who are not considered the ‘right’ size are judged harshly. For the record, that is a gorgeous dress, and you look gorgeous in it!

  4. I just want you to know that this is me. All the time. Doctors, nurses, my mother… I cried as I read about my struggle mirrored here. I want to be healthy, boy do I want that, but it seems so far out of reach. I know I am a good teacher and I hope I am a good mom, but so often I feel so badly about myself that I can’t breathe. Tonight I will just be.

  5. thank you for a great post. I myself am having somewhat of a hiatus (forced I might say) I am struggling with a lot at the moment and unfortunately it is creeping into every aspect of my life. My point is: I just need to be for 5 minutes…remember to breath and take one step at a time. Again thank you. YOU are perfect right now, right at this moment YOU ARE. Be in the moment. (I guess I should practice what I preach!) Be good to yourself.

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