Thursday, July 14, 2011

Slaying dragons


Yes, when that word came to my mind this morning I realized that's exactly how I feel when I think about what has happened in the past few months.

I've had a relapse.

I know generally that word is saved for instances that involve drugs or drinking and their addict. Or perhaps an illness that endangers a life.

Though I know most wouldn't agree that's the case for me (and maybe it's not to that extent) I would say it is definitely what I've experienced and it's time I admit it to myself and to others.

If you've read this blog over the past couple of years you already know the 'issues' I have had with both food and my body image from the time I was 5 years old until this very day.

I have been having little flashbacks recently of the first time a kids called me fat. Possibly the first time I ever even KNEW that I was fat.

I was standing outside of my kindergarten room putting my shoes on to go home for the day, waiting for that bell to ring. When this first grader (who failed going through it the first time might I add), came up to me wearing the ugliest face in the world and said with the ugliest tone in the world 'You are so fat! You know that?!'

I'm pretty sure her face contorted all weird too when she said it. Like there was nothing worse than looking at me. Like my existence offended the world.

Little did I know that was only the beginning of would be the defining struggle of my life (at least thus far, and there have been plenty of seemingly worse things to have struggled with along the way - seriously, I struggled less with being molested!)

To people who grew up physically average, or just not picked on about being fat (I realize kids are cruel and they easily find other things to pick apart and I'm not the only one who was ever bullied in history), dealing with body issues is a much different challenge.

I've had friends who've gained weight later on in life that have said it was harder for them than for someone like me who grew up with it (being fat). In this moment I can't even figure out what their reasoning's were. I can't even try. It may have been the idea that they didn't know how to deal with gaining weight (because when you're fat from childhood you're a pro). They say it's more difficult because they don't realize what they've become in gaining the weight. Perhaps they don't believe they've actually gained it.

I think a friend told me once that it was hard to look back and see themselves skinny. I thought 'Wow, it must be nice to be able to see that in yourself. I could never say that'.

Even as I write these things the truth is right in front of my face but there's a clear disconnect between the truth and my brain.

All of the struggles that my formerly thin friends have I do too, only in the opposite form. They have a hard time accepting their new fat body the same as I have a hard time accepting my new fit body.

I know that they have looked at me different times through out my life when I've lost weight and said 'You have no idea what it feels like to be trapped in this body. You USED to be fat. I AM fat.'

My response is 'You have no idea what it feels like to be trapped in this mind. No matter how much progress I make towards a healthy life I can't seem to convince myself it's real. That it's me.'

Everyone thinks their struggle is the bigger one. I'm no different.

I didn't really want to write this post. To admit failure (in my brain I know it's just part of the journey, part of how I am getting to true success, that I really am getting closer to a healthier me - my mind is what keeps telling me I'm failing).

It's so incredibly humiliating to say 'I've messed up', 'I'm not there yet', 'I am seriously struggling so don't look at me as an example anymore!'

There was a time in the past year I honestly felt free, or pretty damn close to free. I felt good about my choices, definitely about my lifestyle and the healthy well rounded non restrictive way I was going about being balanced and healthy.

Although I will say that I never felt 'there'. I remember texting Dee on the anniversary of when I started with him and said 'I'm getting there!' and he responded with 'You already ARE there!!' I couldn't grasp that thought.

But after many changes through out the past year: going at completing the slaying of the dragon alone (once I was done with Dee), moving away from where my armour was kept, falling back into the thinking that a healthy life was a pant size rather than an ongoing positive lifestyle (and getting away with it for a while), all of these things have brought me back to a whole new dragon to slay.

In a way realizing that it's at least a different dragon is really very comforting. It means I've gone somewhere. When you journey somewhere new there are always new challenges but it means you've also learned a few more things along the way that will help you fight better.

You can never use the exact same techniques on one dragon as you did on the other. The principals are the same but there are always new things to learn to help you do better.

Though parts of me (ok most all of me) wants desperately to dig a hole and hide in my humiliation and embarrassment, there is a tiny piece of me that knows the Truth and will not let Eva roll over in defeat.

There's a dragon to slay damn it!

And a princess to be saved!

Excuse me while I suit up.