This is the year I can’t be bothered to do a “lose weight” resolution.
Normally, I don’t do resolutions in general. Can’t be bothered to try and keep them, and the moment I break them.
But every year, whether spoken or not, I always have “lose weight this year” bouncing about in the back of my head.
It’s something I fight. Because despite all of the things I’ve done in life, all the things I’ve overcome, all the things I’m working towards currently…it’s this damned resolution that rings in my ears every year.
Because if I can do it, I can be truly successful.
Let’s unpack that, shall we?
Over the last few years I have climbed the ladder at work, and won awards for doing that thing I do so well. This year I have decided to get my MFA in creative writing, and am completing applications in between my other projects. I hope to get a short story published this year. I’m branching out socially. I actually think I’m enjoying it even. I take pictures and I SMILE, for goodness’ sake!
None of that makes me successful, to my Diet-Mind. I’m still fat.
How sad, right?
Most of us fat folks have a Diet-Mind. The Diet-Mind is that voice that sits in the back of your head and speaks to you when you’re at your lowest moment. It convinces you that the problems you’re having will somehow go away if you lose weight. Typically, that isn’t how it works, but the Diet-Mind is pretty convincing. It gives us something to change, to fix, to hang on to when there’s nothing else tangible to blame. We shift it inward. And next to the deep part of your soul, in a dark cave, the Diet-Mind lurks. Waiting for the moment to strike.
Sometimes we give in to that Diet-Mind, the harpy. Polishing its delicate claws, the Diet-Mind seeks to needle its way into our delicate psyche. We can’t be happy with our myriad of accomplishments.
I finally made it into Headstand! Diet-Mind: Doesn’t matter. Your belly hangs.
I made it to the end of the trail. I’m not even out of breath! Diet-Mind: But your thighs rub together though. Ew.
This outfit came together perfectly! I look amazing, and I feel— Diet-Mind: fat. You feel fat, hon. Because you are.
The Diet-Mind seeks to undermine our self confidence at every turn. No celebrating, because at every turn, we’re reminded that we are fat.
As if we didn’t see that in the mirror this morning.
Bit by bit, the Diet-Mind whispers into our ears about how we’d really look fabulous if we dropped about 20lbs. Think of the inversions you could make! The trails you could hike! You can’t do that now. You’re fat. You’ll embarrass yourself. Listen, how about you wait until you’re not overweight, ok? Let’s work on that first. Then you can hike, and do yoga, and dress properly. Come on, now. Be realistic.
The Diet-Mind is negativity incarnate.
I’ll pause here to say–sometimes, for some people, the Diet-Mind is a kind soul. It helps some of us get to the next level, to make a good decision for our health. For some people, the Diet-Mind is a life saver.
For others, quite a few of us, including me, the Diet-Mind seeks to destroy us from the inside. It wraps itself around our self worth, our confidence, our core well being and strangles what bit of positive thinking we have. If it isn’t our Diet-Mind being horrid, it’s someone else’s Diet-Mind telling us: hey, look, it can be done! She fixed herself. You can do it to! What’s your excuse? Or even still: I worry about you. Won’t you work on this? For me?
But…I’m not broken. I’m just fat. How can my fat bother you, exactly? I live in my body, you live in yours. Let me be happy in my body, you be happy in yours.
If I’m looking to lose anything this year, it’s the Diet-Mind. It knows when to rear its ugly head, normally when I’m at my highest stress level, and tries to convince me the way to serenity is losing 70lbs.
But being smaller won’t get my paperwork done, though. It won’t get this manuscript written or proofed. It won’t get me clients. It won’t improve my makeup skills. Won’t change my style–I’m already fierce.
What my Diet-Mind actually gets me is lower self esteem and lower confidence. It makes me think I’m not worthy of companionship, and that me being fat is why.
And absolutely none of that is true.
If I had to make a resolution this year, and call it a resolution, it would be this: to love myself more. To be kinder to myself. To accept myself in all of my flaws and failings, and to recognize that all of these come together to make this person. That makes ME. And loving myself as I am, in this body, is OK. Yes, it’s a radical act, but it’s mine to make, and I do so proudly.
Diet-Mind, you are no longer free to take up residence in my brain. Begone!