The say that to grow, you should do at least one thing every day that terrifies you.
Well, yesterday certainly qualifies.
I agreed to be a part of a PiYo Beachbody Fitness challenge, during which I drink one dense nutritious shake, do one dvd of PiYo fitness, and eat healthy the rest of the day. That's not the terrifying part.
The terrifying part is that I needed to take my official "before" photos, in 4 poses, in formfitting clothing, and not sucking anything in or standing strategically.
Do you know how long it's been since anyone has seen that much flesh on me?!
Not to mention SHARING these photos with my accountability group?
My heart was pounding as I changed into my sports bra and workout pant, sure that everyone was going to look at my photos and be immediately grossed out by the fat whale in front of them. That my fitness coach would look at me, shake her head and go, "Oh lord, you are a lost cause, not even this program could help you!"
For me, the photos were also a reality check for my body image. I haven't seen myself from all angles (I don't have the fancy changing room mirrors in my bathroom), and the rolls on my back were particularly disheartening.
Rolls?! When the hell did I get those?!? OMG, look how they just HANG there... where did those stretch marks come from... how the hell is my belly so huge? Instantly that episode of Grey's Anatomy comes into play, I have to have a tumor, that's it. There's no way I could have gotten here on my own. There has to be something else at play.
It's a sad state of affairs when you're actually hoping you have cancer instead of obesity.
As I cropped the photos for posting, a host of nagging, horrible, violent thoughts crept in from the shadows:
That's why no one takes you seriously.
Everyone's laughing at you.
That's why you don't have a boyfriend.
That's why you don't have a girlfriend.
Who would want to touch your gross belly?
That's why Friend won't introduce you to her boyfriend - she's ashamed that she has such a fat friend.
Don't eat in public - they're all laughing at you behind the menus.
Don't let a bit of stomach appear between your shirt ant pants, you'll gross out everyone.
It's a wonder you can even get out of the house in the morning, fatty.
How do you manage to fit a seatbelt around all of that?
At which point, I posted the photos, and wrapped my arms around my dog. He doesn't care if I'm a fatty, he just wants to cuddle. I cried a little into his soft neck fur while he looked back at me, anxiously. Then, I sniffled, wiped my nose, and got off the bed with a heaving sigh.
I won't be skinny by new years. Hell, I probably won't be skinny ever. But just once, I want to go back to the time when I could get out of bed in the morning and feel good in my own skin.
It's been a very long time.