Today a friend of mine sent some photos taken of me and her together this summer. I was appalled at how fat I have become. I do not have full length mirrors in my house and even when I'm looking in them at the gym or at a restaurant -- I'm standing up, have my shirt carefully pulled down to hide the width and breadth of my stomach and simply am not able or willing to focus on the "whole" picture. These images captured with the lens of a camera on warm summer days, however, don't hide a thing. I can see the swollen face, the stomach bulging out on all sides, the rolls of fat that form my short legs. I am thoroughly disgusted and ashamed and repulsed. I am cringing at the thought of the person other people see me to be, their comments whispered in their minds or aloud.
I began carrying this weight to protect myself. It increased as I held in the emotions and feelings. I used my girth for the strength to carry the responsibility of my mother, my sister, and for my badness. I have eaten and avoided taking care of myself as a form of self-hatred and self-abuse. Compulsive eating and living life as an obese woman is a slow form of suicide. All of these things are things that therapists, former fatties and books have told me. I haven't connected a single bit of it to my soul. I believe it ... but I don't feel it. Why? Because if the feelings come -- I stuff them inside with cookies, cakes, candy, hamburgers, ice cream, anything my body craves. I consume mounds of rich, sweet, fatty foods -- almost always in solitude, and almost never walked, ran or swam off. It has all just gathered on the bones and around the organs and muscles of my body, enveloping me, hiding me, protecting me, strengthening me. Those last three things are a lie that my inner child believes.
I remember in her book, "Make the Connection," Oprah Winfrey talks about hitting rock bottom when she was accepting an Emmy nomination and was embarrassed to go on stage. She recently talked about another bottom, where she began again to feel embarrassed to live in her own skin, despite her magnanimous success. I watched the preliminaries of the show "Dance Your Ass Off" earlier this week. Men and women shared how they wanted for the person who lived behind the fat to be revealed. The Battle of the Bulge it's called -- this war humans fight to reclaim the person who lives behind the blubber.
TT commented on a previous post, "I just can't help but wonder, Rae, whether you first need to find your rage toward those who damaged you, and go through it, THEN find forgiveness, then move on. It seems to me you have skipped a critical step, never having experienced that rage."
I can't help but wonder if all that rage is wrapped around my midsection, under my chin, and across my ass. I feel as though waging war against the fat is waging war against myself ... and maybe I'm right. I feel weak to wage a war.
God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage and Strength to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference. I surely cannot do this on my own. God, help me. I've failed so many times, I am afraid to even say I'll try again. I feel the resistance even as I fall at your feet in total surrender -- searching for a way to hold on to my way of living, hoping by some miracle that I will not have to go through the pain of taking off all this armour I've put on.
Help me to be humble, help me to be strong, help me to let this matter when darkness breaks into dawn.
4 months ago