They are not just words.

You know that saying “Sticks and stones may brake your bones, but words could never hurt me?” Does that ring a bell from your elementary and middle school days?

Well, as I’m sure you have learned by now that words… will pretty much be remembered forever. In this blog post I will not use names, but will say all of the things that I can remember that has stuck with me since I can remember. I’m sharing mostly to vent, but also to let you know, you are not alone in how it affects our mind and body in the process.

First the words, then the process…

“Boar”

“Hah”, after walking in with make up too white for my face and a new haircut.

“What smells?” “Probably Rachael”

“You need mental and physical help for your weight”

After my friend donated her old Aberocrombie and Fitch jeans, I try them on and they didn’t fit “Maybe take this as motivation”.

“You would be so pretty if you lost weight”

“Do you stuff?”

Two of these statements were stated to me by friends, two were by the same person and one by a parent. None of it was said to hurt my feelings specifically (well maybe the first two were), and they probably didn’t know I heard them say things.. Either way, it has been apart of my journey and identity to this day… Okay.. It has been apart of my identity until about 5 years ago.

As we go around in life we pick up identities that we may or not intentionally create for ourselves. One for me was fat. Not just the identity that you were fat, but that being fat was bad. Being fat was gross, unhealthy and something that no one wanted to be.

The funny part was, I wasn’t that fat. No one talked about me being different at the time, I just got this idea that I was because I was so much taller and bigger than everyone else. I was 5’10 in the 7th grade and probably a size 12-14ish. I was probably the right size for my size, and the poor naive girl that I was didn’t even know what stuffing meant.

But because I had all of these people telling me that fat, not even fat, but being big was bad, I hated myself. I isolated myself, ate out of loneliness and well, eventually I became fat and became that person they hated and I hated myself even more.

I never threw up, or starved myself, it never really appealed to me. I did though remember thinking about food a lot in high school. I remember eating soy beans and thinking that they would be a good snack to help loose weight. That’s when I found out that I was allergic to soy, beans. They made my tummy hurt so bad, which was incentive to eat more, because then I wouldn’t want to eat at all.

The past 5 years I’ve spent undoing this damage. Undoing this “I hate myself” mentality. People like me and i’m starting to embrace that, and have started to like myself as well. It has taken a lot of time, and a lot of patience with myself to get to a healthier place, but it is possible.

 

 

 

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Something Positive.

Not sure if I mentioned this before, but a month or so ago it became suddenly important that I had to be apart of my own growing food process.

After watching that documentary series on netflix by Michael Polland, I realized that something I had been missing was the slowing down of all the things. (Which is hard to do when you are ADD.) But none the less I knew I needed to slow down the cooking tasks, so much so they would become mindful and not so much of a chore…

One amazing way to see process in your food is to have a garden, nurture it and see it grow. My boyfriend built me a garden bed for my 31st birthday and his grandma and my mother gifted me garden supplies and starts.

I planted them and have had such joy in watering them every day and watching them grow. It has brought me so much happiness.

A part of this hobby that has been important, has been the time that I get in caring for it. It forces me to get out of the house, walk around my yard, soak up the vitamin C, and care for something else for a change. It’s pretty amazing actually.

Watering my plants has become one of my favorite things to do as of lately. I come home, sometimes will have a cold beverage in my hand, sun glasses on and walk around my yard with the spray hose just soaking my plants while I soak up the sun!

Afterwords I sometimes sit on my back porch with a book and my cold beverage relaxing and soaking up the goodness of all that I have in my life in this moment. My garden, all though small, is my sanctuary and I never ever ever thought I would ever say that.

Picking

I cannot remember the first time I picked my skin, but I remember in middle school getting zits and popping them. I think this is where my picking nature started.

I remember I would wear makeup to cover up the zits that would form on my face. Makeup covered all of my flaws and made me look like someone else. Which I covered more in my last post.

I have this thing on my upper arms where I get little red bumps. I was and am really self conscious of them. I started picking at my arms I think to deflaw them, which only made it worse and then from there I developed it further with picking at my chest, stomach and now legs. It’s a super nasty habit. I don’t get why I still do it, and I go through trends where I do it more often than not. 

It is linked, I think to more the self hatred, self harm side of me and body perfection. I get it though, it’s so not logical to pick your body to gain body perfection. I mean… I now have scars all over my body from it.

Scars that I’ve accepted, scars that I’ve grown to love and accept as a part of me and my days of hurting my body. They are battle wounds in a way. I have and am surviving addiction of food and self loathing. Those scars are apart of this journey.

Makeup

Processing something else from my middle schools days I came across this revelation in my progress I wasn’t expecting. It was deeper than expected, and all though it seems like a duh thing I was so blind by its simple complexity.

I wear make up, I have ever since I can remember… okay probably middle school sometime I started wearing it. I wore it, and it became this mask I was hiding behind. I felt better when I wore it, and for some reason more confident. What I didn’t realize until most recently was that I wore it because I wanted other people to like me better.

They didn’t like me as is, I felt it and knew it. I wanted to be someone else. Makeup provided some security in that in helping me achieve that. I have believed this to be true with a lot of things that I’ve done to myself the last 25 years or so.

I’ve done this through make up, clothes I’ve worn, rapid weight loss, posessions and more. It’s sad. It’s incredibly heartbreaking to witness yourself do all those things because you wanted to be someone different because that’s what you think people want to see and experience from you.

It doesn’t leave room for yourself who is fighting hard to be itself, and when you don’t listen you suffocate your true self.