Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Self Assessments

I can't remember the last time I believed someone when they told me, "You are beautiful." I am lucky in a lot of ways. I have people in my life that tell me I'm beautiful. Family, friends of my parents, and friends of mine always seem to be boosting my self-confidence. But I never believe them, no matter who it's coming from or how sincere they mean it to be. In fact, it usually just makes me even more aware of how un-beautiful I feel. And I always find a reason for their compliment not to be true. They're just being nice, they're just saying that, they have an ulterior motive, they're required to say that because their a family member/boyfriend/friend, they're just saying it because I'm dressed up, they're just saying it to flatter me because they know I've lost weight and they want to be nice, if they saw me without all this makeup they wouldn't think that, there's other gorgeous girls here and they don't want to make me feel bad, or they're just plain lying. In Sex and the City, the character Miranda, the one I identify with most, is seeing a guy who told her, "I think you're very sexy." And she can't believe him! She says to her friend Carrie, "Smart, yes! Funny, but never sexy. Sexy is what I try to get them to see me as once I win them over with my personality." Sometimes I think that's my mantra in life. I've been lucky enough to have wonderful men in my life, but I never understood why they wanted to be with me. And I know I've pushed many of them away because I don't feel like I deserve them.

Isn't is amazing that all it takes is ONE person's opinion to make you think you're not worth anything? And sometimes it's just the way you interpret their statement that makes it negative. I remember being a kid and watching my dad carry my younger sister around on his shoulders. I always wanted the same attention, to feel like I was just as special as she was. So I would want to be picked up too, to be carried around. And he would often say, "Oh no, honey, you're too heavy." And even as a kid, I felt big in a bad way and unspecial. Less special. I remember being in my bathing suit for swim team picture day and putting on a brave face and smiling and laughing with my friends. But I was always secretly hoping in the group picture that they would put me on the 3rd or 4th row so no one would look at my thighs. My individual picture was a horrible experience every year, and my parents would always (proudly) frame the picture and put it on display. I hated seeing that picture every day. In my high school swim team picture, they put me on the front row. Then they blew up the picture, framed it and put it on a hallway wall in my school. Every time I walked past that picture, I prayed that people didn't know it was me because all I could see was my fat. In fact, I think one of the reasons I gave up swimming is because I never felt comfortable on a team where everyone was tiny.

I was telling my dear friend this the other day, and she said she felt the same way. I think she's gorgeous and I always have, and I know her husband tells her every chance he gets how beautiful he thinks she is. And the fact that she doesn't think she's beautiful either makes me wonder what the HELL is wrong with the world today. What is getting put in the heads of KIDS to make them think that they're not good enough? Is it because they see their mother's dieting and working out constantly? Is it because the ONLY thing they see on television is people who look like they only eat lettuce all day? I know why America is unhealthy physically - but why are we so mentally dependent on food?

I'm not saying this because I want pity. In fact, if everyone of you who reads this (who knows how many that will be), comes and tells me that you think I'm beautiful, it will only make me more aware how screwed up I am. I'm not saying to stop saying it, but I just have a hard time finding it true. And I'll start to think I'm being placated. So why am I saying this? I'm saying this because I'm trying to explore why I got to this weight. What is it that made food my comfort for almost EVERY emotion I can think of, especially the negative ones. I can't go through this process without digging deeper and at least starting to realize why I feel so inadequate, so unworthy of the things that make life great.

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