A series by Green Mountain alum Jacki Monaco on overcoming binge eating. Follow her journey every other Thursday as she blogs about the challenges and victories of recovery.
I had a surprise moment that tested my strength last week. I love to laugh, I pride myself in having a good sense of humor even, but some things that are humorous to one person just don’t resonate with someone else. As “friends” were showing me a website featuring embarrassing photos of women that were obviously not intended for public consumption, the feminist in me starting fuming while the child inside started crying.
My entire life has been focused, too focused, on how I look-how imperfect I look, and polluted with negative self talk. For the past 13 months I have been trying to put most of that focus on how I feel, not about how I don’t measure up to model status. When the company I was with started laughing at the “imperfect” natural physiques of “normal, average” women, I felt like they might as well have been laughing at me directly and I wanted to disappear. So natural beauty is only beautiful when it’s naturally perfect???
Here I was sitting next to “friends” as they mocked women of my weight and other relatable physical “misfortunes.” I felt like my soul had been stabbed and the tiny bit of self-confidence I had gained about my body over the past year just bled out. I woke up the next morning physically crippled (as I had slept in the fetal position comforting myself all night) and mentally defeated (as I felt for these women who trusted a significant other, or the like, to take a personal photograph of them only for it to be leaked and gawked at for any stranger to see and in this case, laugh at).
I share this story with you as an example of how the ignorance and shallowness of others can be detrimental to the fragile soul, the wounded vet, and the recovering heart. I’m doing my best to use my strength to not let what happened take away from everything I’ve worked toward, but this is one of my biggest challenges yet. I admittedly didn’t eat dinner that night after this occurred because of the direct blow to my self esteem. I have shaken my head at myself for this but also congratulated myself on self-soothing my inner child and the strength I borrowed from my inner feminist.
There will always be days that are harder than others. It’s how you react, take care of yourself, stand up for yourself, and remember to love yourself when you’re at your lowest that truly matters.
“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh