Is this acceptance?

I’ve put on weight. Like a fair bit. For real tho.

On the left: me, on July 28th, 2018. On the right: me, on March 24th, 2018.

That pic makes me wanna weep. In March I was still grappling with my diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder. I’d just begun to barely pull myself out of the worst depression of my life, one that had threatened to derail my career in Nov-Jan. My relationship with Hickster was a toxic destructive mess. I’d recently quit my dance team, and was experiencing semi-frequent episodes of cognitive distortion. I had lost a lot of weight from unhappiness. But I looked good. And I clung onto that notion like a life raft.

Since June, I am better. I am seeing the colors. I am also almost 15lbs heavier than I was in March. This is the heaviest I have been in years. As I am doing better, my career is back on track, and I’ve even been recently promoted, yay. But as a result, I have trouble working out 1-2x a week, I rarely go dancing, and my primary food group is candy and alcohol. Bad habits like stress eating are resurfacing. I am no longer anything close to being an athlete.

I look at that pic, and I feel shame. Because the weight represents the emotional burden of these past few months. I survived mentally, but there was a huge cost. And it manifests itself, in part, in a damaged body. I look at that pic and I see that I’ve let myself go, that I’ve stopped taking care of myself. I don’t believe anymore that I am beautiful. I feel worn out by all that life has thrown my way in 2018. I am ashamed that it shows.

But… this is not my first rodeo with body self-hatred (see reading list below), I know that this shame is self-imposed. It doesn’t correspond to how the outside world sees me. So even when I feel DISGUSTING, bloated and distended and almost deformed, I don’t let that stop me from slipping on a figure hugging outfit and going dancing. I want to stay home and hide under a tent, but I don’t let myself do so. That would be letting my sick brain win, and fuck off brain, I’ve too much pride for that.

When I saw those pics, I was horrified. I looked pregnant. I remember that night. I’ve been having digestive issues caused in equal parts by the lack of veggies in my diet, the industrial quantities of candy and also the spike in stress. It makes for a… “congested” combo, let’s just say. It’s one thing to feel icky plogged, it’s a whole other thing to look icky plogged. I blush with shame when I see those pics.

Except… I got SO many compliments from the dudes that night. My curves were not perceived as a bad thing, at all.

This guy ain’t complaining about nothing.

So even though I feel completely uncomfortable in my body, I know a lot of it is in my head. If I go out and force myself to dance, to put aside the vicious hateful voices in my head that tell me I am repulsive and gross and lazy and undisciplined, and let myself connect to my dance partners, I can find moments of freedom and joy. One dance at a time.

Maybe that is real acceptance? Acknowledging that the current state is not ideal, but not letting it stop me from doing what I love.

Acceptance is fucking hard, apparently.


Previous thoughts on body-image:

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9 comments

  1. I have always thought you looked fantastic, and I always just assumed your self-image was attributed to your dance teacher always telling you that you were too heavy, which always pissed me off. At the end of the day, you have to do what makes you happy. If that’s losing weight, then great. If that’s sitting on your couch for six months eating twinkies and drinking beer … then you do what you need to do to be happy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well Teacher didn’t help, that’s for sure, but nah, my self-image issues pre-date him by a long shot.

      And to be fair, Teacher also introduced me to dance, which has been a source of peace and happiness in times of turmoil. So that’s something.

      Like

  2. Okay. You look beautiful in both of those photos but honestly, I like you better now (not that my opinion matters massively). You look curvy and sexy and beautiful. I don’t see the pouch you’re talking about. I just see a slinky woman with calves to kill for, taking part in some sort of murder on the dancefloor and I LOVE it. Your hair is shiny, you have a gorgeous dress on and you just look…. healthier. In the March photo while you still look great you look too thin for your frame. It’s almost like you can tell that it’s weight loss that came from a bad place, rather than a natural baseline or something that came from a sudden switch to some sort of (bland but healthy) balanced vegetarian diet.

    With that said, I’m glad you have that “fuck you brain” because it is CRUSHING it out there in that green dress.

    You’re beautiful. That’s really the sum up for my comment. Inside and out.

    Liked by 1 person

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