Yesterday was a bad day for me. Let me explain.....
Yesterday I took the kids swimming. This is a stressful situation in itself. Not because of the kids.. because of me. I hate the way I look. I don't want people to look at me. I especially do not want people to see me in any less clothing than I would normally wear in the middle of winter. Outside. On a record-breaking cold day.
And so begins the war inside my mind. I waver between "I would really like to just go out and have fun with the kids." and "How could you even think of subjecting anyone else to your disgusting-ness by wearing shorts and a tank top, let alone a bathing suit! You will scar everyone for life!"
This begins the moment that the word (or thought) "swimming" enters my mind or conversation. And it gets worse and worse and worse.
I mustered up the courage to go look through my summer clothes. And I have a bunch of really cute stuff. Well, at least it's cute until I put it on. Then I hate it.
I dig through it looking for... What? Some type of miracle outfit that will instantly make me feel better about myself while allowing me to get in the water with the kids. And I come up with : Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Na-Da. I don't own one of those.
Short shorts? No way. My thighs will rub together and my cellulite will show. Long shorts? No good either because my scars will show and gross everyone out. Tank tops? Uh-Uh. My arm flab will be visible. Bathing suit? Completely out of the question. I may get harpooned. Jeans and a T-Shirt? Everyone will be looking at me wondering why I am at the lake completely covered up and sweating my ass off. *sigh* It is a no-win situation.
Depression. Negativity. Shame. These feelings overtake me and now I am in a mood. A really bad one. Nobody understands what is going on in my head and why I am getting crankier by the minute. I don't want to go anymore. I start over-reacting to everything - just looking for a way to say "That's it, we aren't going."
I get a burst of optimism and remember that I have a pair of swim shorts packed away somewhere that are long enough and I can wear a t-shirt with and not look like an idiot. I rush off to find them, try them on and ..... they don't fit. I'm too fat.
When I come out of the bedroom, back in my jeans, The Man says "Where are your swim shorts?" and I have to say in front of everyone... "They are too small." Humiliated.
Two years ago, I wore a Tankini to the beach. This year, I am too big to wear any bathing suit that doesn't look like it were made for an 80 year old woman. You know the ones... with the huge flower print in gaudy colors and the skirt? Ugh...
I ended up in long shorts that come down past my knees and a huge tank top. I still had issues because my scars showed on my calf from having a steel rod inserted in my left leg from knee to ankle and the resulting damage from a botched surgery. And because my arm flab showed. We arrived at the lake and there I sat on a rock watching my family and everyone else's family have fun. In bikinis. Where the hell were all the fat people? I WANTED there to be other fat people. Just to fit in. But, there were none that I could see.
Till one lady got up out of the water and started walking to shore. In a BIKINI. And I really disliked her. Immediately. I tried not to. She looked like what I would have looked like in a bikini. And she had no shame. She looked happy. She was having fun. WTF? She even posed for pictures on the rocks.
I kept thinking "She must have lost a lot of weight to be so proud of herself and how she looks in that bikini."
Then I hated myself for thinking that. Why would she have had to have lost a ton of weight in order to have a positive attitude about herself and her body? I'm as bad as everyone else I think is judging ME! Worse, even!
Then I realized... I didn't dislike her because of what she looked like in a bikini. I disliked her because I was jealous of her self-confidence. Because she obviously didn't have the war going on inside her head over how she looked (like I did). She was able to enjoy herself and have fun with her family and friends while I punished myself by alienating myself from mine, sitting alone on a rock feeling sorry for myself and being a miserable shrew.
I have issues. I realize that. When did I start worrying so much about what other people think and why do I even think that I warrant enough of their attention to even think anything about me? Why do I allow these negative thoughts to steal all the happiness out of my life and leave me sitting on the sidelines watching everyone else having fun? I truly am my own worst enemy.
Instead of being proud of myself for having worked so hard the last two weeks and losing two pounds, all I could think about were the 48 more pounds I have to lose. And you know what? It sucked. I allowed 48 pounds to steal one more day away from my family. I allowed negative self-talk to ruin my day and make me feel like a failure.
Now that I am aware of what I am doing to myself I need to find a way to stop it. I am 35 years old. I do not need anyone else's approval. I know that I am doing my best, every day, to be the best person I can be. I know that I am working hard to make the changes in my life to become a healthy, happy person. I do not want to lose one more minute with my family. I do not want to make one more negative memory in their minds or mine. I will NOT let 48 pounds that are on their way off of my body keep me from living my life to the fullest ever again.
From this day forward, I will put an end to all of my Stinkin' Thinkin' and fill my head with positive affirmations and truth. I will NOT let negative feelings or thoughts rule and ruin my life. I will take control of my inner thoughts and not wallow in self-pity and shame. Every day I am becoming a better, more healthy person and I will allow myself to feel positive about the present and the future. I will begin looking at myself through God's eyes and not my own.