putting myself first – growing pains

*possible triggering re food restriction*

Recently, I got a comment on one of my earlier posts that I decided not to approve, for a variety of reasons. The commenter mentioned that she only eats one meal a day in order to try and lose weight because she feels that’s what her doctor wants her to do.

This is the first comment that I haven’t approved and it’s been sitting, quite uncomfortably, with me for a few days. I reached out to the ever so fabulous Fat Heffalump for some advice, as I don’t currently have these conversations with the people in my every day not-virtual life (sidebar – this is one of my favorite things about choosing to blog about FA, it has introduced me to some awesome people that i get to have amazing, nuanced, and challenging discussions with!). I think I have figured out what didn’t sit well with me about the comment.

Well, I think it’s two things. First, the comment was a bit triggering for me. I haven’t actually ever restricted my food to one meal a day, but I’ve certainly counted calories, food journaled, and obsessed over every little thing I put into my body (followed by mind-numbing guilt and telling myself some pretty horrible, awful, mean things that I would never say out loud).

And second, this work I do has been one of the first things (only things?) i’ve done JUST for me. I get to set the stage, I get to set boundaries, and I get to focus first and foremost on how I feel about things. I’m not saying I was some total saint who ONLY thought about others around her (yeah, how awful for me. i’m just TOO amazing a friend. /sarcasm). What I’m saying is that when it came to my body, my size, my health, I let every one else be the expert/steer the ship. Doctors will tell me if I’m unhealthy (and because I’m fat, I must be unhealthy), my friends will discuss their dieting habits even though it makes me uncomfortable but I say nothing because who wants to be THAT person who wants the conversation to go according to HER beliefs?, and on and on.

This though? This work? In this work, I get to make the decisions. And while it may sound like I’m totally on board with that idea, sometimes it’s really hard. Because I do things like disapprove of someone’s opinions or thoughts and I mostly hate the idea that someone has to abide by my strict rules to play. But I’m hating that idea less and less, which I think is good because this work is hard – it’s energy-sapping sometimes, and the only way that I can sustain it and maintain my health (mental or otherwise) is to set some ground rules that ensure this stays my happy place (not “happy” happy all the time, b/c there’s certainly some sad shit going on here, but you know what I mean). Other bloggers have “no diet/weight loss talk” caveats on their blogs and I may follow suit. We’ll see. If anyone has good examples of those caveats, send ’em my way!

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4 responses to “putting myself first – growing pains

  1. I am so glad that you were able to find a way of responding that feels right for you. And that I could help in some small way.

    This is YOUR space. You define it. If someone wants to talk about outside that definition, they have the whole internet to choose from.

  2. I’m proud of you making this about you and your journey. There are lots of times and parts of our world that we share and compromise and “give” on, and thank god for that… b/c it’s good to try other people’s thoughts and ideas on for size sometimes. But, it’s also good (and hard and brave) to do something that isn’t for others and/or that doesn’t bend and bow to the way others or the world at large would wish it to be. We don’t need to always “play nice”. (And you can wrap that up and put a nice big genderized bow on it, for all you ladies out there.) Call it boundaries, call is selfishness, call it self preservation, call it courage, call it loving your self… it’s something that very few of us ever get the gumption to do, and I’m proud of you for it, and for doing it in such a conscious way. You owning this journey as YOUR’S is a good reminder to hold tight to the things, the conversations, the struggles that make us “Us”. (And btw, I think it’s even more brave to write about how your thinking about this interaction, rather than just hitting delete and moving on without acknowledging it.)

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