Sunday, April 8, 2007

Four Pound Alter Ego

Easter morning I put on my baggy jean jumper, a long sleeved high necked pastel striped blouse, small gold ball earrings, clunky shoes, minimal make up, my hair cap, and a sweater. I felt ugly. I looked like a missionary.

I had planned to wear a blue and black flowered linen sheath dress with little cap sleeves, a boat neckline and slits in the hemline to my knees. I had cute sling back black pumps and sheer black hose. I had an open weave black sweater with 3/4 length sleeves a big boat neckline and a waist, to wear as a wrap. I had dangly turquoise and black silver earrings, a silver and black watch and a beaten silver bangle bracelet. I was planning to wear my hair poofed up with product and dusted with luminescent spray. When I modeled this outfit for Mark on Friday he said I looked hot. As he detests Paris Hilton this was compliment indeed. And I agreed, I looked hot.

So what happened? On Friday I weighed 179. On Sunday morning I weighted 183. That's four damn pounds. Why at 179 was I "hot" and at 183 a missionary? I have no idea. And it is driving me mad.

I wasted half of Easter day detesting myself. I finally realized I was acting like a self centered nut, asked for God's and Mark's forgiveness, and got on with enjoying my day. But I am still in the dark about the self loathing that reared its ugly head with the four pound weight gain. Four pounds, no one could tell but me. And it was probably all water anyway. What was/is my deal? I spent two hours on the phone last night with a friend discussing possibilities. Here are our main conclusions:
1. Loss of control - I have gained four pounds and now I will continue eating out of control and gain it all back, and then some. I will not be able to stop myself from eating. I will hate myself.
2. Body dismorphia - My perceptions about my size are screwed up. I feel as fat with a four pound weight gain as I did with a sixty pound weight gain. And I will hate myself.

Okay I now see why the attack of self hatred. But why the unwillingness to do something about the ugly feeling. It stands to reason that if you felt ugly you would do all in your power to try and make yourself look and feel better. Doesn't it? But I did just the opposite. Instead of attempting to counter the weight gain and make myself look better, I tried to make myself look invisible. What's up with that? Is this more of the old tapes stuff? I felt fat as of old and if I was fat it was less painful to go unnoticed? Safer? Wow....I guess I haven't realized the extent of my fat need to hide. Hard to take this all in. If y'all have more insights I am in sore need of them.

What does this mean in the here and now? I want to look elegant whatever my size. I want to love myself enough to not look as though I were about to present the Gospel to the natives. Fat or thin I shouldn't have to hide out of fear. Gad, I feel militant all of a sudden.

Ethels, take your style, what ever size it is, to the streets. Stop hiding.

Love Bea

7 comments:

BigAssBelle said...

I wasted half of Easter day detesting myself. I finally realized I was acting like a self centered nut, asked for God's and Mark's forgiveness, and got on with enjoying my day. But I am still in the dark about the self loathing that reared its ugly head with the four pound weight gain.

I have long realized that I can feel kickass and frisky and sexy as all get out at 200 when I'm on the way down; alternatively, I can feel as hopeless and overwhelmed and unattractive as a sea cow if 200 is on the way up. It's crazy, really.

This is, to me, the most painful thing about this deal right now. It's almost worse since I've lost weight. When I was just accepting of the fact of being super morbidly obese, I had accepted the hopelessness of it and somehow separated it from who I was as a human being.

With weight loss has come a kind of obsession, almost, re how I look. Each pound, up or down, is freighted with meaning beyond 3500 kcal burned or not. It is this absolute madness that's driven me back to counseling. Sigh. It's just hard. That's my mantra and I'm repeating it here with you and with Debra: it's hard, too hard some days.

I'll bet you looked absolutely lovely in your easter outfit. I so appreciate your thoughts here. Thank you for writing.

Cindy174 said...

That outfit, the hot one, sounded great. It inspired me - I really ought to go buy something nice to wear for myself at this weight. I frumped around the mall the other day in a baggy top and some somewhat fitting jeans for a couple of hours waiting for my daughter to buy herself a top. It took way longer than I imagined it possibly could so I was not prepared for such a long stay and maybe would have actually fixed myself up a bit had I known. I realized that I really want to look nicer when I go out. I can look nicer, too if I give it some attention. I don't have to wait until the weight is gone. I used to dress better when I weighed more. I have not even dressed up this body at it's lowered weight to even see what it would look like. I like the militant attitude, too, it is motivating.

Vickie said...

I have been thinking a lot about perfectionism - haven't written about it yet, but this is what I have been reading.

It started with a radio show - saying that part of perfectionism was not understanding how long it takes to accomplish things - realistic time lines.

I googled on
"perfectionism attitude in depression"

and this is part of what I have been reading:

"I work more on the precursors of perfection--the need to be accepted, to be cared for," says Hewitt, "Those interpersonal needs are what drive the perfectionistic behavior."

Paul Hewitt, PhD
http://www.apa.org/monitor/nov03/manyfaces.html

and

http://www.coping.org/growth/perfect.htm

I don't know if this will help what you are sorting out in your own mind - but when I read what you wrote - I immediately thought of perfectionism.

Vickie said...

when you copy the links - copy down to the next blank line - as there is a part that is off the screen - but if you copy down to the next blank line - for some reason it picks up the missing part too.

Debra said...

Sweet Bea, Your story reminded me of the ambivalence that comes with body dysmorphia. Somehow missing is the pleasure in exhibiting the self, the confidence that comes from knowing that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and the acceptance that comes from not needing perfection but just good enough. It's a long, slow trail to those thoughts.

Beula said...

I am going to write about my perfectionism as soon as I get all my thoughts organized exactly right.

Mark's favorite saying to me is, "The best is the enemy of the good." I am supposed to take a lesson from its irresponsible message. Makes me want to bite him when he says it.

My favorite saying to him is, "If a job is worth doing it is worth doing well." Doesn't God who makes marriages have a sick sense of humor?

God help me, I am possessed by Martha Stewart.

BigAssBelle said...

if you're possessed by her, that means she's finally left my life. thank goodness. i love mark's saying ~ mine used to be the opposite, "the good is the enemy of the best." not today, thank goodness.