01 October 2012

Body Image Issues

Erf. I thought I'd gotten over my body image issues. Apparently not so much. When probing my "why am I dreading going to see Mom? I love Mom. I haven't seen her in 3 years!" feelings this morning, it hit me. It's the weight I've gained, and the judgments she makes about weight. Mom's never had a weight problem, in either direction. She has to monitor her weight for dialysis, but before that, she never did. At all. She's just one of those lucky people who was about the right size for society's comfort all her life. And it's one thing she's never understood about others. Very little compassion or understanding for fat or skinny women. And so I picked that up and was rather hard on myself. Sometimes I still am.

Some Mom fails:
Mom: Stacy really let herself go lately.
Me: Oh yes, I'm sure she just decided to get fat, you know, while she's trying to convince Tom to marry her. Definitely.
Mom: Oh come on. You haven't seen her. She's huge.
Me: Huge huh? What, she's bigger than I am?
Mom: Well, maybe not quite THAT big.
Me: *sputter*
Mom: [quickly changes subject]

Keep in mind, I was 15 lbs lighter then than I am now. So, I'm feeling a little self-conscious. Dad was the same. I remember him saying, "That Tara is such a nice girl. Too bad she's so big". WTF, Dad? Tara was happily married and related to him. I asked him what that had to do with anything, and he just looked slightly embarrassed, slightly sad for me for being so stupid as to not know, and shook his head.

I know I shouldn't beat myself up about it. I know that I eat good, healthy food, in reasonable amounts. I know that I don't exercise as much as I'd like, but that I do as much as I can given time and health constraints. I somehow need to get a bit more, because it'll help me feel better, but I haven't figured out how to do that while raising three kids, one of whom must stay home or he becomes overstimulated to the point of a screaming meltdown.

I fully believe in Health at Every Size. And I know, intellectually, that it is not my job to be physically appealing to whomever might glance at me. But it bugs the piss out of me that I'm invisible because I'm not. Even though, again I know intellectually, that it takes the target off me that is imprinted on the body of women who are that societal standard of beauty.

And yet, here I was this morning, sitting with the boys while they played, making myself sick about how I look and what that means about me, and what Mom will think when she sees me.

So to work it out, my questions to myself:
Why do you feel sad about being fat?
Because it means I'm not attractive.
Doesn't your husband find you attractive?
He says so.
You don't believe him?
Because he's a product of society too, so how could he possibly?
You don't trust him?
Of course I do.
He's lying to protect my feelings. And the women he finds attractive other than me NEVER look like me.
So? Do all the men you find hot look like him? Do any of them?
Well, Ben Browder does, but other than that, I get your point.
So, do you still feel gross?
Because fat is gross.
Um... Because it is.
Says who?
And you're so sure everyone is right on all the other issues, aren't you.
Shut up.
Why? Because you enjoy beating yourself up about shit you can't change?
Apparently, yes.
So why do you have to be unhappy about being fat.
Because if I were happy, it would mean I don't care.
Would it? I mean, could you be happy and still want to change? Like you are with your kids. You love them as they are, and you want to help them be better. Could you do that?
No. It's not the same.
Because they're kids and they... DAMN YOU AND YOUR LOGIC!
And besides, what would be so wrong about not caring?
Um... It would mean my Mom is right about "letting myself go".
And? Is it something you need to prove to her?Fuck... Apparently it was. To hell with that. She can be right. Again.

Much better. I'm going to go eat some potatoes with the kids.