I realized today, while looking at a picture of my mom, how much I truly hate myself. I hate the way I look, the way I feel, the way I act. I hate myself. You might be wondering why a picture of my mom, whom I love more than life itself, inspired such a realization. It was a candid photo taken of her from a pretty unflattering angle. Now, I think my mom is beautiful – inside and out. But I saw that picture and I instantly knew she would hate it. And she would hate her body. And she would hate herself – for however briefly. It would be another blow from the relentless hammer that is our self critic. “You’re too fat. Too gross. Too tall. Too pale.” The list goes on and on. We hate ourselves. Society has taught us to hate ourselves.
I say this knowing that I am still fat. I have a long way to go before I am considered even remotely skinny. But I hear a lot of “body positive” fat women talk about how they are genuinely happy and healthy at their size. I call bullshit. Living life constantly worry if you’ll fit into a booth or if a chair will hold you or if your clothes hide your fat enough. It is a miserable existence.
I’ve been hating myself a lot lately. I have stopped eating enough because I’m so fearful of gaining weight, and I just don’t want to eat. I’ve stopped caring for myself. Or rather, I’ve never even started. I just swung from one extreme of self-hate to the other.
I never started caring for myself. How am I supposed to know how to start? What does that even look like?
I guess it looks like effort.
So I’ll put in the effort, and maybe, just maybe, If I take each moment as it comes, and make the best choice possible in that moment, I’ll reach a point where I love myself. Yesterday I chose to eat. Today I’m choosing not to beat myself up about it. I am the cruelest of beings to myself. Maybe one day, I’ll be the kindest.