Look who's sharin' her story with passion, fire, and "get busy livin" attitude, our beloved Dee. Take it away sassy....
“Wow you look like a completely different person!”
A lot of people enjoy hearing that, hell some people LOVE hearing that. Especially after a break up when you’ve entered a big event looking drop dead amazing. That never hurts the ego right? It does hurt the ego though, when the statement is laced with wonderment, negativity, and almost a ‘what the hell?’ feeling.
Top that little sundae with a glorious dollup of canSer whipped cream and you’ve got what I call, a big ole proBlem. Capital B for blah.
Having been every weight under the sun, literally, 110lbs-250lbs (I’m currently a somewhat normal/healthy range thank you very much) I’ve experienced that ‘weight thing’ probably in more ways than the average person. The times I was at my heaviest (I’m 5’8 ½ ) was because of life saving medicine, treatments, and clinical trials. But did that make me feel any better? No, not at all. My personal sandwich board which read ‘I’m usually not such a cow I have canSer damnit!’ was out of commission and I couldn’t find my ‘this is a medical condition!’ bell to ring.
The first two months were hell, I won’t lie, having struggled with eating disorders (yes that’s plural) at a young age, all this anxiety came rushing back to me. And let’s face it, in today’s society there is pressure everywhere. In my life, it felt suffocating. I didn’t want to go out, I didn’t want to see people. Unless I had to, I barely spoke with anyone. I became isolated, uncomfortable and just miserable (a very toxic relationship didn’t help matters either). Why? Why, why, why? How awful of me to be so down on myself! I know that now, trust me, I do, but damn, isn’t that how it always is? I knew the treatment was saving my life, I knew it was the only reason I was still breathing, and yet…in the midst of this massive struggle that literally was life or death, I hated myself for having to wear a size 16 jean. Oh the horror!
I’ve always been a very active, very fit, person albeit more so on the thin side. But before the whole canSer battle, and after my eating disordered days, I had become very strong. I would run fourteen miles without even batting an eye, I lifted weights better than most guys, I won push up contests, I boxed, I surfed, I really loved my body and loved how I felt. I also thought I was just as strong mentally as I was becoming physically. Man, was I in for a treat. A little extra poundage can throw any person for a loop, try adding about 100 lbs in less then six months. People are cruel, people judge, people talk and it hurts. I’d be lying if I said there weren’t moments when I wondered if it was worth it. And then something happened.
My treatment changed, I got back into my healthy eating. Okay a little bit more obsessively than I should have, but damnit I was determined to get back to my ‘self’ (and by ‘self’ I mean the warped perception that my ‘awesome bod’ was the real me, not just the carrier/messenger/cute accessory to the fabu personality). I started slow with the working out, my heart rate had to, and still has to, be closely monitored. The weight started slipping off. Months passed by and then something happened.
I was at a birthday party for a friend, when I overheard somebody commenting on me, saying awful things about how ‘thin’ I was, and that I probably use chemotherapy as a cover up for an eating disorder. And to make it worse, she then stated how she wished she could be as thin as me, if only she had my willpower. Didn’t she understand that I was fighting for my life? That behind the smile, and at that moment, frail form, I was really sick?
I realized then, that no matter what size I was, every one was going to have an opinion. Every one was going to talk. Every body would probably always be wrong and go based off of wrong assumptions and incorrect facts (story of my life man!) and instead of just asking me about it, continue on in their ignorant state of bliss. The only thing I could control was how I responded. Viktor Frankl once said, “the one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance”.
I call that moment, my turning point. I suddenly wanted to hate myself for being so hard on my poor tired body, how selfish was I after everything I put it through, to expect it to perform miracles?! It was being zapped, poked, prodded and scanned, going to hell and back, and there I was, bitching because I couldn’t fit into that gorgeous dress I bought a few months back.
But hating myself, would just continue the self-harm cycle! Yes, that’s right, I said it. Feeling guilty about your body is self-harm. It’s a form of self-abuse, and one of the most common. Four out of five women, at one time or another in their life, has had disordered eating and warped self perception. What we consider ‘normal’ talk about ‘diets’ and exercise ‘these jeans make me fat!’ ‘I hate myself for eating that brownie!’ ‘I had a REGULAR soda my life is over!’ ‘I hate you for being able to eat that!’ do nothing but harm harm harm ourselves.
I wish I could lay out steps and tell you all that being happy with your body is easy, but I can’t because that’d not only be incredibly dishonest, but not the way you should go about it. You should never let anybody tell you what is right for your body and your mind, you need to find that out yourself. That does not mean that getting a work out tip from a buddy, or some healthy food ideas from a friend, is the wrong thing to do. It just means that you can follow all the advice books, self help tapes, and ‘diet’ advice in the world, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be happy with yourself.
I know what works for me, I know what keeps my weight up (or down, depending on the treatment) and I know how to listen to my body. If my body needs some more weight on it, then so be it. If a new treatment makes me gain weight again, bring it on and I’ll keep smiling! My body’s got enough crap to worry about, the added stress won’t do anybody any good, least of all me. Being comfortable in your own skin is a challenge, it’s something you learn mostly from trial and error (kickboxing and I, are not friends, however Krav Maga and I, enjoy a torrid affair every once in awhile, and normal boxing and I, run away together constantly). I always say that life is what you make of it, you are what you make of yourself. If you don’t like those extra pounds, okay, you can run those extra miles and you can jazzercise your nights away, but once those extra pounds come off, will that just make you want to lose more? Or will you realize that extra pounds or not, your body is the physical embodiment of your entire life, and you should be proud of it. You should strut that bad boy out every day like the fabulous amazing souls you all are with a big dose of ‘hell freakin yeah I’m HOT’. Your body is your badge of honor, your story, your life, all wrapped up in limbs, bones and flesh.
We are our own worst enemy, we always will be unless we retrain ourselves, and learn to love ourselves, and be well, happy with ourselves at any size. It can happen, I’m living proof that it is possible. It won’t be easy, but it’ll be worth it.
Educate yourself, branch out, try something new. Move your body, move your soul, move your self, just move, move, move. Don’t make any more excuses! Embrace yourself and your flaws. You’ll never know what you can accomplish by spending your time sitting on your butt. Excuses are the currency of the lazy person, consider this your warning that the currency is no longer accepted (kind of like the Euro and how it swooped in and took over! The poor Lira didn’t have a chance…).
This community/group/family is amazing because of the support everyone has for each other, use that to your advantage. Support one another, lean on one another, help one another, move forward with one another. You all have it in you, it’s just a matter of whether or not you have the cohones to bust it out, embrace it, love it, smother it, and never let it go. The possibilities of what you can become are endless, but nobody can make those possibilities a reality but you. You owe it to yourself to at least try, I promise it will be hard, and I promise it’ll get harder before it gets easier, but I also promise that you will never, ever, not even for one moment, regret it. You may ask, ‘what’s there to gain/lose?’ and that’s just it, everything. Isn’t that worth it?
The Scale Part 2 w/ Guest blogger Dee!
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Posted by cancer cowgirl xo at 8:22 AM