Monday, August 06, 2007

self-love means never having to say "I'm sorry"

Weight Chart

First of all, on the surface that line from "Love Story" was total nonsense. In any real love relationship I've been in, I've said "I'm sorry" a lot. But I think what it means is that love means the person knows you're sorry. Love means the person knows you want to do your best, no matter how many times you fail. Love also means that you won't stop trying to do better.

I've had trouble doing what's best for myself with my food lately. Even though I know I need to do better, I also know that my focus has been scattered by the million important things that I have going on right now. I will do better when I can.

I've been thinking about how often women with weight issues apologize for themselves to other people. They make jokes about how ugly and fat they are, they do things so people will like them, they date losers because "who am I to be picky," they take the smallest piece of cake because "You know I don't need it," ha, ha, ha.

Sometimes I go poking around in the archives of blogs I like, just to see where someone has been. This paragraph in the Body of Work archives just floored me, because it was so spot-on:
The only problem is that it never quite goes away, the feeling of having to work harder to be loved because you are fat, to make up for being unsightly by being extra-excellent and super accommodating. You can see yourself doing it, and you can try to stop yourself, but it always seems to slip out. The self-deprecating comments are always at the ready, because while I do not back out of the room any more, because I know that people see exactly what I look like, I have to make sure they know that I know exactly what I look like, too.
It's easy to see where the urge to apologize comes from, because there is a lot of cruelty in this world, especially towards people who are overweight. I could find lots of examples in the weight-blog world, but I don't really need to. If you're reading this, you've probably been there, at one time or another.

Because I write for a blog called Angry Fat Girlz, I got a lot of "But you're not fat" at BlogHer from people who were seeing me for the first time. I've been identifying myself as someone with weight issues for so long that it's weird to realize that I could probably pass for a civilian now. My weight, though I still have a few pounds to go before I fall inot the "healthy" BMI range, is unexceptional. I am not exceptionally thin, nor exceptionally fat. I'm just "normal," whatever that means, at least here in the U.S. I'm sure in France or Japan I'm still morbidly obese, because I hear women in those places don't get fat.

Lori has written about "Fathead Syndrome" and I'm definitely in need of Fathead Anonymous. I want to get past the need to apologize for myself, stop treating myself like someone from the "Scratch & Dent" section of the store.

And realistically, I should have done that long ago, even when I weighed more. I didn't ever deserve to treat myself as damaged goods, and fat jokes just aren't funny, no matter who makes them. It's time to stop saying I'm sorry for who I am, no matter how much I weigh.

3 comments:

  1. I totally identify with what you are saying. And a big AMEN to that last sentence. Great post, Jen.

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  2. Wow, Jen, that is very very deep. I want to save this post somehow to show to people to help them understand ME. Thanks for your insight.

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  3. I never even understood what that line from Love Story was *supposed* to mean.

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"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07