Thursday, August 15, 2013

In Which I Get Real About Body Issues

I'm not sure where exactly to begin or what exactly to include. First off, I guess I'll warn you. This post may get a very deep and pretty lengthy, so if you're not ready for that, you're free to stop reading.

I've periodically written on this blog about some of my issues with myself and certain struggles I've had in my life. My motivation for that isn't necessarily selfish. Recently, I've noticed that many women across the blogoshpere are struggling with  their bodies and writing beautifully honest posts about it. I'm sharing my story as a means of catharsis, but also to let others who may have similar struggles, like many of my friends, family members, and fellow-bloggers, know that they are not alone. I sincerely hope that this post does not come off as a overly-dramatic or self-pitying because I am not going for that at all; I just know that in order to get to where I want to be, I need to share a little about my journey.

The light in me salutes the light in you: Namaste
Back in January, I wrote a post about my resolutions for the year (here), and I haven't forgotten them. All year, I've been working hard to live up to the goals I made for myself. I've been doing better in some areas than in others. For instance, I feel like my photo-taking skills have dramatically improved, but I haven't quite gotten the financially fit thing down. I have been investing the most time in learning to love myself, working out more, and eating healthier, which I'm coming to find are all directly linked. I've been going to personal training 3x per week since January and recently I joined Weight Watchers. I'm not going to talk about my weight because weight isn't judge of health, and it's simply not constructive. Overall, with these steps I feel stronger and healthier, which is wonderful, but there's still something missing.

In January, I started attending therapy again to recover from my body issues. It went well for a while, but it opened up a can of worms that I can't seem to shut. Over the last few months, I haven't been blogging much and part of that is because I've been busy with school, but the other part is because I was really too depressed to do much. There are only so many pictures of cats that I can post, amiright? I've always had significant body struggles and I'm realizing that I don't have any memory of loving myself completely. For example, a few months ago, my sister sent me this picture:

Cute, right? Wrong. See that little Kristie hiding behind her dad? She's hiding because she thought she looked fat in her bathing 8 years old. I remember that bathing suit, and the anxiety it brought. This photo makes me so sad for that little girl who was perfectly normal and healthy, but already mentally sick.

I won't go into detail about how I went into a spiral after my wedding after seeing pictures of myself, or how I often cancel plans with old friends who knew me when I was thinner (even though I still thought I was huge) out of fear of judgement. Thoughts about my weight and size have gotten out of control and occupy most of my thoughts on a daily basis. Of course, Karl is nothing but loving and constantly telling me how beautiful and perfect I am, but it means nothing if I don't learn it for myself, right? That's why trying to change is so important and why I go to therapy in the first place.

Photo by Dave Brewer
I know some of you will say, "Why don't you just lose the weight? Things will get better from there." Well, the truth of the matter is that I've been yo-yo dieting since I was eight. I've done everything from Southbeach to juicing to starving myself. I've lost lots of weight, but I've never lost that voice that whispers that I am nothing and mean nothing because my body is imperfect. That voice says things to me that I'd never tolerate anyone else saying. It cripples me and prevents me from being successful in anything I do. 

So, where do I go from here? Well, I'm creating an action plan. Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be writing posts, titled "Taking Back My Body," that discuss strategies for overcoming the kasheesties (what I call the bad thoughts), for getting past failure, for finding empowerment in other women, etc. I'm doing this as much for myself as I am for any of you that may struggle with these same thoughts or feelings. I think it's about damn time we take back our bodies and our thoughts.

So, I encourage you to stay tuned if body image problems or feelings of failure tend to plague you and I hope that we can start this journey together.

Until next time!

18 year old Kristie says, "Peace-out."


Lindsay Garlock said...

love you girl.

Shelby said...

lady, you are amazing. i'm excited for these posts!

Julie said...

Kristie - you're a doll. And I was literally just looking at that yoga picture the other night. Sure wish I didn't pull the "oh man, look how little I was" card. hard to not create those thoughts. Damn you hindsight.

Kristie said...

Thank you so much, friends. You are the best!

Cheryl said...

Kristie you are so far ahead of are amazing and beautiful! Keep up the great work you are loved and very loveable!


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