Body Hatred > Self-Love: Changing the Equation

It was a culmination of things that lead me to this place.

This place where, for the past two weeks (and counting), I have been subsisting on only lean protein, certain veggies, some fruit, non-fat, plain yogurt, and green tea. I’ve been in detox mode. Or as I call it in my mind, “fuck this fat” mode. And yes, the vulgarity is important.

I’m totally pissed off- at myself, at my fat, at my inability to just accept my body as it is and be fine. The truth is I AM NOT FINE and I spend way too much energy thinking about how unattractive I am because of my fat. THAT IS NOT OKAY. I’m sick of it- that way of thinking, that way of being. I’ve tried to embrace the reality of my chubby self. I dress it up and put on a brave face. I already eat healthy and work out 5 days a week. And yet I am still heavy.

What. The. Fuck.

So I decided that I had to DO something because I am not good at just sitting back and letting life happen to me. I’m a person of action. And so, inspired by a blog friend, I picked up the 17 Day Diet book and have immersed myself in the process. It’s very similar to South Beach which I had a lot of success on before I met Mr. Darcy. Remember when I dropped 30+ pounds? Well. Uh. I gained 25lbs of that back. And that realization made me crumble in a pile of my own self-loathing. I could tell clothes were fitting me differently but then I bought a scale and the truth of it could not be denied. This is not the first time I’ve had to take a very hard look at myself and my body.

There’s a part of me that doesn’t want to put this here- admit to my fatness like it’s some secret. The feeling of vulnerability in confessing that I am depressed about my body and my inability to keep weight off and the fact that I can’t seem to truly accept this part of myself is off the charts. But I know a lot of you struggle with this same issue and like all the other personal stuff I share, I figure sharing this might help some of you.

At work my co-workers are intrigued and/or appalled by the food I am existing on. Some of my naturally thin co-workers have never had to diet and having to give up certain foods seems unfathomable to them. “No bread?! I would die.” (I’ve heard this.) “Why are you doing this to yourself?” to which I asked, “Have you ever been fat?” A look of horror flickered across his face. Don’t say the word fat! Don’t admit your fatness aloud! No one wants to talk that bluntly about it.

It’s my fat and I will talk about it if I want to.

If you have never been fat, you don’t get it. There is probably something you might not like about your appearance but if you’ve never been overweight you do not get why I am doing this. That’s what I want to tell them. Eat your Wendy’s cheeseburger and fries and be thin and don’t worry about me. I am taking care of me.

That’s the hard thing about sharing your “diet” with anyone. There are so many opinions. How you should do it. What worked for them. You’re fine the way you are. You should just. . . FILL IN THE BLANK. I am not asking for advice because I am having yogurt and fruit for breakfast, okay? I’m just trying to get a handle on my relationship between my mind and my body. It’s really complicated and not easy but I am hoping it pays off. I would like to use all that brain-space and energy for more productive things than self-hatred.

I have done a great deal of really hard work on accepting myself. I’ve had a lot of success in every area but this one. I’ve reached rock bottom when it comes to my body hatred. I want to look in the mirror and not be full of judgment. I want to walk in a room and not worry about what other people are thinking about my size. I want to be free from the self-loathing. I’ve got shit to do and this? This is taking up too much time in my life schedule.





32 thoughts on “Body Hatred > Self-Love: Changing the Equation

  1. Woman, ME TOO. I am twenty pounds heavier than I was when I started dating the Horse Whisperer, and I’m tired of the self-loathing. I resent the fact that I can’t eat the same way other people can eat, but that resentment doesn’t make me thinner. So. I’m doing the smoothie/salad/regular dinner thing. And I might join Weight Watchers. I am over this nonsense.

  2. I love you.

    As someone who used to be much larger – fat, even – and who despite eating well and exercising will never be willowy, I’m always thinking about what goes into my mouth and I’m kind of tired ot it.

  3. You are right, you ARE helping others with this post. I am in a similar space, so I can relate to all that you have shared. In the past couple years I,ve found myself putting off getting together with old friends because I’m so ashamed of how far I’ve fallen off the wagon, and I don’t want them to see me “this way.”. Recently one of my friends died and I hadn’t seen her for years, even though she lived just 30 minutes a way. I feel terribly guilty for letting my selfish insecurity about my weight get in the way of being a good friend.

    Thanks for sharing, and for inspiring me. I wish you success!

  4. You’re such an inspiration to me in so many ways. I too have been struggling with my weight. The love of my life and I were both complaining to each other about our weight over the weekend. We’ve both gained at least 10 lbs just since we started dating (18 months ago today – yay us!) so it’s time to try to reign this thing in before it gets out of control. Side note: It sucks that men can lose it so quickly while we live on celery and green tea just to lose an ounce in a month! I need a plan and this 17 Day Diet looks good to me, but I hate to give up alcohol (Ketel One is my downfall) because we’re super social on the weekends. Guess I need to get my priorities straight. Thank you for your raw honesty and good luck!!

  5. Read rethinking thin by Gina Kolata and Good Calories/Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. I’m not encouraging you to give up, but make sure you know the facts about dieting and weight loss. It has never been proven that eating fewer calories and exercising helps you lose weight. Never. There have been several studies that show different people gain and lose weight at different rates and speeds, and that basically, all the diet crap we’ve been fed all our lives is not really based on science. The main point of understanding this is understanding that willpower and self discipline really don’t have much to do with weight loss.

    Also – and this isn’t really my business but whatever – your reaction to your body impacts your relationship with Mr. Darcy. If you don’t think you’re worthy of being loved because of a number on a scale, how do you think he feels because he does love you? If you’re constantly judging yourself on how you look, do you think that maybe Mr. Darcy might wonder if you judge him as well?

    The bottom line is that you don’t have to be thin to be healthy, and you need to worry more about loving yourself and being healthy rather than what a scale says. Does it mean you don’t have food issues? No. But those issues are separate from your weight. You won’t necessarily be healthier because you weigh less. I’m guessing Mr. Darcy doesn’t think you need to be sexier. So why is it so important to be at a certain weight? I understand wanting clothes to fit better, and maybe you slept better or had more energy when you weighed less. I certainly don’t have answers, but I want to make sure you’re asking all the right questions…..Thanks for being so willing to share your struggles!

  6. I could not love you more. You have a way of articulating what I didn’t even know I was thinking about myself. I am so lucky you are in my life and so proud of the way you are pushing forward and trying new things.

    TENNIS! 🙂

  7. Thanks for writing this. Everything you said rattles around in my head on an almost daily basis. I have been fat, and I totally get what you’re saying. Now that I’m at a healthy weight, I still spend way too much time constantly thinking about what I put in my mouth, and all of the negative self-talk that goes along with that. I try to remind myself that it’s persistence, not perfection, but I’m not always successful…

  8. I once was one of ‘those’ who could (and did) eat anything I wanted without gaining an ounce. Then I aged. I gained 20 lbs, nearly overnight. I’ve been depressed about my weight ever since, and its been a battle to take it off and keep it off. I was up over 40 lbs (overweight) at one point and managed to lose it all, just to gain 25 of it back.

    I firmly believe that exercise and control of what you eat (as in portions. I do believe that anything in moderation is okay.) is the only healthy way to lose weight, and more importantly, to be healthy.

    That said, have you had bloodwork done lately? You seem to me to eat healthy and you are certainly active. . . it boggles my mind that you find yourself not losing weight like you want to. Diabetes, hypo and hyper thyroidism are among many things that can have direct impact on your weight.

    Thank you for sharing such intimate details of your struggles. I am sure it isnt easy and I know you certainly inspire me and so many others to find our true selves.

  9. You gotta do what you gotta do and I support you 100%. Even though I’ve never been fat, I get it, I really do. There are days when I almost call in sick to work because I can’t find anything to wear that doesn’t make me feel like a sausage. Sometimes I feel like everyone is staring at my hair because I feel like it looks awful about 95% of the time. I could list about 10 more things related to my outward appearance that I dislike, issues that keep me from fully living life at times.

    But instead, I want to point out that there is something wrong with the fact that we think eating plain, non-fat yogurt, veggies, whole grains and lean protein is a diet. This is what we should be eating all the time! This is the food that is most nourishing to us and it is what will make us feel healthy and whole and centered. This should be NORMAL, not extreme or strange.

    One last thing I’ll add is that alcohol can be a major saboteur because of the way our body processes it. Basically, anything over one serving of booze (which isn’t much) is directly converted into fat. Most people tend to play down how much booze they drink because they don’t realize how many servings they are having or they think it doesn’t count if they don’t get drunk. Anyway, something to think about when you’re done with the detox.

  10. I never considered myself a skinny minny. At my fittest, there were always girls my height who were much smaller than me. But, I also wouldn’t say I ever dealt with being overweight.. that is, until I had a baby. Now, I’m carrying around an extra 30 pounds and cannot shed it. I’m used to being lazy (i.e., not having to diet or having to workout) and am enjoying the laziness … but, I hate the extra weight. I see photos of myself and cringe. I usually don’t bother looking in the mirror. I respect your decision to take care of yourself in a way that works for you. No one should judge you or guide you unless you seek their input. Every woman, no matter what their size, can understand what it means to have body issues and should let you deal with yours without stepping in!

  11. it took a stand on the scale at the doctor’s office to finally wake me up when i realized i was the heaviest i’ve ever been. that and noticing my clothes weren’t fitting right any more. it’s just so frustrating.

    thank you for writing this sizzle, i needed to read this today.

  12. i bought a scale for the first time in my life last week. i’ve never been “fat” – as an active person, and marathon runner, i’ve generally maintained some fitness (though never “thin”). however, i am about 20lbs overweight right now and i feel it. good luck on your journey. i am with you every step of the way.



  13. I wish it were easier, and I, too, will always struggle with my weight. I love exercise, it’s really a matter of what, and how much, I eat. I’m going back to weight watchers this week. And I’m cheering you on (from the midwest)!

  14. I was thinner once. Not thin but thinner than now. And I remember always thinking how fat I was. That I could look in the mirror every single day and there was perfect evidence of why I should/could/did hate myself. Because ZZOMG I WAS FAT!!!! Hide the delicate children and call the police.

    And now I look back at pictures of myself when I was thinner and wonder how on earth I could have hated myself/my body so much when it was simply normal. Average. And I think of how much time I wasted, how many adventures I passed up, how much love I pushed away because I didn’t think I was worthy – because I was average.

    And now I’m not average. And I have gray hair now too. And fine lines, let’s not forget the marks of Father Time’s march across my face. My ass isn’t as high as it used to be. But there’s something different now. I love me. I’m not a cover model or young or rich or anything everyone else has always expected me to be (and by everyone else I mean society in general and not the people who love me).

    When I learned to shed the pathology of societal neuroces and the BILLIONS of dollars a year diet industry I felt light as a feather. Now I’m happy going to the gym and doing yoga and eathing things that are good for me – because it’s what I want, not what I should. And it doesn’t matter that my ass is vast or my tits just get bigger… because I don’t have to live up to everyone else’s expectations of me. I only have to live up to my own.

    You are perfect exactly as you are. That sentence bears repeating. You are perfect exactly as you are. You are kind and loving and generous. You can be 40 pounds lighter or 40 pounds heavier and you will still be all those things.

    Now do the things that make you happy – if it’s beer in your cheerios and a nap or low fat yogurt and a dance class. Or mix it up and do something all new.

  15. I too exercised a lot and ate healthy and couldn’t lose weight. I just think I ate the wrong things and justified some of my less than healthy behaviors. I’m now learning what it takes to make my body function at its best. I also tired of the self loathing and while I was told often that I “looked cute” or that my outfit was adorable, I still felt shitty about my weight… So like you, I’m doing something about it. Totally cheering you on Sizz – you’ve got this!

  16. I just want to give you a hug. I get so damn sick of the comments and thoughts and “suggestions” about what I eat—and I hear you. I hope you’re able to find some peace within and with yourself. I’m with you on this journey, so much.

  17. What is crazy is that you are eating healthy and the way people should and getting comments on it. Why would someone question someone else who was trying to be more healthy? Why wouldn’t they just support them? You know I think you are beautiful, both inside and out, but I fully support you doing whatever will make you happiest.

  18. This post is beautiful. My husband has never struggled with his weight and just cannot understand why/how I do. If he wants to lose 5 pounds he skips lunch. If I want to lose 5 pounds I spend 6 months obsessing over everything I put in my mouth and sweating it out at the gym. I know that we are just different people but it really bugs me that he just doesn’t “get it”.

  19. Thank you for opening yourself up on here and sharing your vulnerability with other readers… because we are all vulnerable. Every person has something they truly hate about themselves that they wish they could fix – spending countless dollars and energy while losing self-esteem by the minute – only to see little or no results. Whether it’s something outward or inward, I think we all too often feel like we’re the only ones going through this dilemma. All the nice things said in the world don’t help because we will always notice things that others may overlook.

    I wish I had better answers for you… but all I can tell you is that we’ve all been there – where we look in the mirror and want to cry because what we see is either too fat, too saggy, too dimpled, too uneven, too wrinkly, too white, too dark, too skinny, too blotchy, too crooked, stained, spotty, porous, hairy (hello girl’stach)… you get my drift.

    What I can offer you is the support to continue your goal for a “better” you… whatever that “better” may be for you. I hope that your many readers can provide you not only a steady amount of “you go girl!”s, but also “I’ve been there”s and “I feel that way, too”s, to help you along your journey. I know I don’t know you personally, but in my short time immersed in this blog community, I can see that regardless of the missing face to face interaction, support and camaraderie are welcomed in the written word. I wish you lots of happiness being you. 🙂 Big hugs!

  20. You’ll find what works for you and it will make everything in your life easier. Seriously. I hated my body a lot until just shy of a year ago. Not hating it has made me a better, and happier, person. And I don’t think it was possible to stop hating it until it was in the best shape I could make it.

  21. Lady if you are not happy with yourself, then do whatever it is you need to do to be happy and comfortable in your own skin. Just please remember to be healthy because that’s the most important of all and doesn’t really have much to do with being fat or thin or whatever. Make sure you’re getting enough protein and other vitamins in your diet.
    In any case, I still think you’re gorgeous no matter what.

  22. Man, I get it, I know exactly what you’re talking about. Have you ever thought about indulging in a personal trainer? It is a good investment because they know how to work your ass off. Literally. Plus, you pay for a trainer and less of a chance you’ll just eff off the gym because, well, because its costing you both time and money. Worked for me. Was it tough? You bet. Did the first few work outs do me in? You betcha. Did I loose weight and firm up? You’d better believe it. Hell, it even helped with my depression. So yeah, a good trainer is worth their weight in gold, or at least I think so. Those first few times will kick your ass though so be prepared. Slowly you will begin to feel better, and better and better and better — it takes work and commitment but its easier and better than being on a damn diet all the time. A diet that will work as long as you remain on it, that is. Try Weight Watchers — it is the most realistic of all the diets I’ve ever been on. I don’t miss anything, I eat it all, I have just learned not to eat buckets full of foods I love. Like with everything moderation seems to be the key.

    Good luck with how ever you choose to tackle your weight gain. The above all worked for me. I fought it all the way though until finally the light bulb went off, but more importantly I began to feel better about the way I looked — the way clothes fit, and the fact that I didn’t have to go to the basement or top floor corner of a dept. store to find the fat women’s tiny, ugly section of clothing. I dropped 75lbs and have kept it off for over two years — actually almost three years. Sure it was a bitch to face up to my REAL problem of over eating, eating the wrong foods and then sitting on my butt all night long. My trainer helped me stay focused and remain positive. For the first time I didn’t try to do it alone — I had someone in my corner to help ME, just me, for that hour and a half every other day. No food tastes as good as skinny feels and that is the damn truth.

  23. Sizz, you’re an inspiration. You are such a fighter all the time – I really love how you always charge ahead and don’t let other people get in your way. I hope your fury leads you right to a place of happiness and acceptance. I might have asked you this before, but have you read “Women, Food and God”? I’m not religious at all, but I heard (I think on LesleyG’s blog) and from some other people, that’s it’s a really phenomenal book. I actually bought it for my sister for Mother’s Day and plan to borrow it back whenever she’s ready to lend it. I dunno – might be some interesting stuff in there that would be worth the read.

  24. I applaud you for taking care of yourself in a way that works for you and not feeling you need to answer to anyone, because you don’t. And the truth is, what works now may not have worked before, and what works now may never come up again.

    The important thing is that you are being healthy and working for YOU, and whether it’s a “diet” or trainer or nutritionist or therapist or the seventeen thousand other ways other people will tell you how to do it, well that doesn’t really matter. Because we are the only ones in our bodies and heads. And wanting to change something about ourselves does not equal the sum of our feelings for ourselves as a whole. I, for one, think that’s crap. I love myself from here to eternity and, yes, I would like better triceps and I work for them all the time. So there.


  25. as someone who has just lost over 100lbs, and spent the last several years/60plus pounds still over weight, wondering why i cant lose more weight, let me implore you to buy a calorie king book, and actually take a look at what you are eating. i spent years “eating healthy” after dropping 40 wondering what was up. but until you count every calorie you dont realize that all the work you do means nothing if you dont count calories. it worked for me. you have to burn 3,700 calories to lose a pound. That. Is. A Lot! it opens your eyes, and helped me lost the last 64!

    best of luck on your journey!!!

  26. Good on you for getting it done, and trying to get a handle on your health. I know I’m still a big girl, in a good space now physically. But it’s tricky. And it’s even harder when people don’t understand/ support.

    This is not a diet tip but I read In Defence of Food, great read really made me re-evaluate my beliefs about nutrition and why I believe what I believe. Interesting for those of us who struggle.

  27. Oh Sizz, you are beautiful outside and in, Just As You Are, but I hope you find the key that makes you feel your best. Don’t listen to those idiots who are concerned with what you’re eating. I despise when someone walks into my office and says either, “What, are you on a diet?” or “Do you KNOW how many calories/fat grams that has?!” GET OFF ME, BITCHES! I’m not trying to feed you, so why do you think you can comment on my food?! Anyway, I feel you. I’ve been trying to cut my carb intake, hoping it will kick start some metabolism or something…but then last night I was in a foul, foul mood, so I had a Crown & Coke. And I enjoyed it, dammit!

  28. you. you. you.
    i am so proud of you for taking charge of your happiness.
    cuz, really, that is what this is about: living life, fully and full of joy.
    i support what you need to do to make this happen.
    i love you, friend.


  29. That last paragraph is just full to the brim with awesomeness. Also: WORD. You can so do this, babe. You ARE doing this. And I’m here for whatever you need, every step of the way. Seriously. So psyched for you and this journey right now.

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