Self-Indulgence as Self-Care
Last night the weight of my weight came crashing down on me, and I broke. I broke for an hour, and then, distracting myself with folding laundry and mediocre homemade pizza, I pulled myself back together. I haven’t cried so desperately in a long time, and it scared me to think that I could be that sad when I had been passing my days in a state of relative contentment. I am tempted to attribute the breakdown to my period; which I am experiencing in ‘full’ for the first time in months, thanks to my IUD. If that is the face of my mood swings (and if this gurgling in my gut is the sound of my insides imploding from a progesterone lull) I’m going to take ahardpass. Whatever the benefits of having one’s period are, they are grossly outweighed by me not feeling the unbearable heaviness of being.
With angry tears splashing over the majority of my face, and barely muffled cries of despair, I lamented every inescapable irony of which “big girls all get a little taste”. I hated how I looked – and I hated hating myself. I hated that I was so fucking tired from working out – and hated that I hated working out. I hated that I had taken something fun like gym classes and dance and turned them into means to an end. I hated that end. I hated that I couldn’t talk to my parents about it because they have been low-key fat shamey my entire life. I hated that I hadn’t realized it sooner. I hated that no matter how I explained to my mother that health and weight do not necessarily correlate, she would always be a little prouder of me if I were skinnier. I fucking hated her ignorance. I hated that in times like these I wantedto retreat to my parents, but I knew I couldn’t. I hated my father for the time when I told him how a guy at a club had overlooked me for my skinnier friend, and he told me he would do the same thing. I hated that he didn’t know how much pain he caused me by saying things like that.
I hate that I don’t believe anyone could be physically attracted to me; that I find myself wondering ‘what’s their deal’ whenever a man wants to have sex with me more than once. I hate feeling like I have to compensate for my weight by being more sexually available – by dressing sluttier, or covering up strategically. I hate that my whole day revolves around what I can wear to feel comfortable in and still look good.
I have so much hate related to so many years of living in a toxic, fatphobic world. I wish this had a better slant to it, like “things are improving”(because they are), or “people love you for ALL of who you are, and you must learn how to as well”(because we do). But this is a rant, and rants rarely have happy endings.
So I’ll leave you with this. If you have ever felt personally victimized by [Regina George] fatphobia, raise your hand and repeat after me:
No amount of self-hate, no amount of well-meaning, ignorant friends and family will take away the shit I like to do. If I don’t want to go to the gym today – if my body hurts – if I have pushed myself to the limit when I knew it felt wrong, then I will STOP and listen to my body.