While on the way to work this morning, the local radio station I listen to posed this question to its listeners…”If you had a magic wand and could change one thing about your significant other, what would it be?”
Rather than listen to the calls, I (being the glutton for punishment that I am) turned down the radio, turned to the hubs and asked him, “So…what would you change about me?”
Every man reading this is now saying, “NOOOOOOO do not answer!!!! It’s a trick! Go back!”
But my hubs has been on the planet and lived with me long enough to know exactly how to respond. Begin with clarification.
“Is this what I would want to change about you or what you would want changed about you?”
But I am not so easy.
To which he wisely responded, “Well, there’s absolutely nothing I would change about you because I think you are perfect. But if I could change something about you to make you happy, I would remove the excess weight you worry about because I know how much it bothers you.”
Then he said, “Isn’t that what you’d do if you had that magic wand for yourself?”
I started to reply, “Hell yeah!” but instead I paused because when given all that power and only one wish for myself I want it to be the right one. So I looked at him for a moment and said that no…that’s not what I’d wish for.
I would wish for peace of mind. I would wish for the ability to accept myself the way I am and for who I am inside. I would wish for the ability to see myself the way he, and everyone else who loves me, sees me.
Because it’s really not about the weight. Sure, it’s about health but it’s more about just feeling good about who I am and how I’m perceived by the outside world. For some reason it still matters to me and that is more troublesome than this excess weight will ever be. And do you know how I know that? Because when I WAS thin I didn’t know I was. I was always obsessing and worrying and talking about my fucking weight. It was always on my mind. So waving a magic wand is not going to get to the root of why this weight bothers me so much. It’s not going to give the the peace I so desperately seek.
I grew up with a mother who taught me that we are how we appear and that smoke and mirrors were better than substance any day. She taught me to judge people based on their appearance and that if they were overweight (which she was every day of her life) then they were lazy and sloppy and not as good as us. Wait…what?
Danger Will Robinson…that does not compute! (Most of you won’t get that TV reference. It’s an old thing I assure you.)
So even though I’ve grown past that kind of thinking when it comes to others, I still think it about myself AND I believe that others see me that way as well. So I’m embarrassed that I look this way. Humiliated to be seen in the “plus” size section of the stores. Reluctant to invest any time or energy into my wardrobe because really…what’s the point? I’ll wait until I’m “skinny” again and then all will be right with the world. Like the tag in the back of my jeans tells the world what kind of person I am.
I am well aware that society has a predjudice against those of us carrying some extra pounds (check out airline seats if you don’t believe me) and that there are people in the world who do judge other by what’s on the outside but they aren’t the kind of people I would hang around with ANYWAY. So why do I give a flying rat’s ass what they think?
Because it’s how I was programmed. I’m not hard-wired that way but I’ve been loaded with faulty software that now has to be uninstalled. A complete reimaging (pun intended) is in order.
One thing recovery has taught me is to question everything that is instinctual to me. That most of what I was conditioned to believe as a child is crap and that it fucked with my head royally. That issues I uncover can seldom be fixed from the outside and that I must dig deep, turn over rocks and pick at some old scabs to get to the root of the problem and start the healing process. This is no different. This issue is not going to be fixed with my April challenge, a new diet, a new hairdo, more exercise, a better mirror or a magic wand. The only thing that’s going to change this is hard work on the inside.
It may be time to seek some outside help. I think I’m coming to a real turning point in my recovery. It feels like I’m ready to make some real strides in my mental health and well being. I’m not sure how that’s going to happen but this feels like the right path. Making this decision feels like…an exhale. Like a “Finally…I can move forward.”