I believe that people who use food as a crutch and a coping mechanism, aren't that different from those who use drugs, alcohol and sex to numb themselves. You can just tell by looking at us what our vice is.
Chocolate covered almonds are my kryptonite, blogging is my therapy.
You know what's not really fun sometimes? Being a girl. Dealing with swinging hormones that result in pissy moods and unjustified relationship issues that come out of nowhere and hit you like a brick to the head.
I'm noticing a trend lately, and it seems to be getting worse as I get older. Out of nowhere, once a month, my confidence plummets, my memory is gone, I verbally assault random men, and I take well meant words and twist them to emotionally cut myself.
Take for example, last month. I'm laying in bed with Kwesi after a perfectly fabulous few days together, and this happens:
Me (feeling ridiculously unattractive and sad all of a sudden): Perhaps this is a bit on the girly side, but I still feel quite self conscious and body shy around you. I have to talk to you about this because you are my boyfriend, my lover, and the only man who gets to be in bed with me. And I feel like I need to tell you this now, in case you didn't know or hadn't noticed: I do not have the perfect body. I never ever will. Never!
Him (so sweet and patient): Let it be known henceforth that I love you and everything about you and that won't change. No one in this world is perfect... not even Denzel! In the same way that you accept my shortcomings I accept yours as well. I'll also accept that if you want to change stuff about yourself that is your own decision and I will support you.
Me (even pissier now than I was before): Hmmmmm.....interesting choice of words - because I don't view anything physical about you as a 'shortcoming'. In any case...thank you. I think. *harumph*
Him (still oh-so patient and now trying to make me laugh): Sorry about my choice of word baby. To me, shortcomings is something we're not happy about ourselves. Maybe I need to revisit the dictionary.
Me (getting bossy now): You don't need to revisit the dictionary, but you do need to tell me I'm pretty more often. Because I am pretty! And it is hard dealing with these body issues, you know! Sometimes I like that I am warm and soft and have curvy squishy bits. And other times, I despise those same things and wish I was built like a little Asian porn star!
Him (trying his best. I think?): I don't think that we should worry about these physical things in our relationship. Sure, an Asian porn star might be fun for a while but a guy would get bored after a couple of weeks...but I could never get bored of you!
Me (rambling and spiralling now): Maybe I'm just sad because I feel like the only hope I have at self-acceptance at this point is surgery. Oh, and insanely hard work, discipline, major deprivation and a serious lack of fun when it comes to food. Even less fun than I already am. No treat nights, no road trips, no eating out, along with working out even more than I already am.... so it then becomes a matter of balance... Can I lose more weight? Yes. Will it be easy? No. And where is the balance between having a fun, healthy enjoyable life, and being happy with my body? Am I eligible for plastic surgery right now? No. Apparently I have to lose another 60lbs before a plastic surgeon will even consult with me in his office! That could take years! For me, my insecurities run deep...and I feel torn. I love it when you to touch me everywhere, but I don't want you to touch me everywhere, because (taking a deep breath here, lip quivering, eyes filling up).....I am afraid that you are disgusted by me. That feels like a small barrier in our relationship...and I know that it is all mine, but it is there, and this is me...talking about it.
Him (in his own Jerry Maguire inspired moment): Oh my...I don't know where all of that came from, but can you possibly take all of that, wrap it up in a tight ball and toss it in a virtual garbage can? I don't want you feeling that way around me. I accept you the way you are. I love you the way you are. And I am never 'disgusted' with you! Am I aware of your insecurities? Yes, of course I am, and you can hold on to those if you choose and keep hiding from me all you want but I'll keep finding you... and when I do I'll hold you with loving arms, I'll touch you like the finest silk, I'll keep giving you the love you deserve. You need to know that we're in this for the long haul. We'll change things about our physical selves but through all of it our hearts will share a constant and unchangeable bond. That is so much more important than a six pack or a J-lo ass. I love Jennifer Bennett. Not Jennifer 'I wish she had a supermodel body' Bennett, but Jennifer 'bread, meat and lettuce' Bennett. The one who makes me smile often, the one that hugs me like a champ, the one who accepts my idiosyncrasies, the one who makes me gas up her car, the one who may love popcorn more than me, the one who is loved by many but only made love to by me, the one who loves my son... My order is "bun, meat and Bennett"... and I wouldn't have it any other way!
What I am struck by, is how much I admire her soft, warm, curves and her entire body - not that much different than mine - and yet I do not embrace myself in the same way.
I know I am not alone in this.
I know I am not the only one working on it.
Until I am someday as brave as she is.
This one is for all my curvy girlfriends, who struggle just like I do. Who are beautiful, just like she is. Just like I am. And for everyone who deserves to see themselves in the most beautiful light. The way I see you.
My current job, with a company that I have enjoyed working for this past 16 years, is not a job that is changing the world, making it a better place, or inspiring people to live better lives. But it is a job that I enjoy doing. It is a job that pays well, and offers great benefits and vacation time. I am crazy in love with my co-workers. I like, and agree with many of the company policies and missions. I really am quite happy traipsing in to work 5 days a week, going about my daily tasks with music in one ear, and jumping however high the boss requests expects.
I consider myself a committed employee, although by all accounts, not an overly excitable one. I'm there to do a job, not cartwheels and practice cheers with pom poms, after all... Plus, that just isn't in my nature to get all Ra-Ra! about numbers. People in my line of work are not saving lives, and despite how catastrophic management makes things out to be sometimes, consumers are still buying the goods we peddle in these tough economic times. Oh! And nobody has gone postal! That makes it a good day, if you ask me.
And at the end of my 8.5 hour day, I get to leave, head to the gym, and go on about my life. I honestly couldn't ask for a better set up.
While we have all heard the age old advice to "figure out what you love to do, and then find a way to get paid for it", sometimes the things we love to do don't help us keep a roof over our heads and food on the table, while still treating ourselves frivolously on occasion. (Nail polish, purses and make-up, hello!)
Maybe someday I will try my hand at getting paid to talk, laugh, help, inspire and teach...
But for now, in addition to my 42.5 hours in a people pod all week, I do other things that really lift my spirit and help to balance me out. I coach clinics with The Running Room - albeit a slightly new venture for me, it is one that I love! And starting next week, I will be volunteering with our local children's hospital - also coaching a running clinic. I can't wait to start! I also make time to travel, enjoy the outdoors, and really connect with other like-minded souls who I am lucky to call friends.
There is so much more to me than what I do for a living. And there is so much more to life than devoting it to a job that doesn't fuel your passion for life, or fill your heart with true joy.