Monday, March 1, 2010

All this *baring of the soul* is making me thirsty!

I learned to ride a bike when I was 7. My first bike was pale blue with a banana seat that boasted a chrome handle on the back of it. It had a little plastic basket on the front and red, white & blue streamers on the handle bars.

I remember waking up Christmas morning, our last Christmas before becoming Jehovah's Witnesses, and seeing this huge gift wrapped box sitting next to our tiny plastic tree and being speechless because I had gotten such a big gift.

I don't remember how long it took my dad to put it together but I remember he refused to put the training wheels on it. He said it was easy to learn and there was no point in wasting time. I find that ironic now because he later went on to weld training wheels he made out of a shopping cart to a motorcycle he owned.

The apartments we lived in had a small side yard that ran the length of the apartments. My first try was riding from our apartment, number 4, to my friend nurselizy's apartment, number 1. My dad guided the bike while running behind me but when he let go, my bike wobbled out of control and I almost crashed into the front fence. I'm sure I must have fallen but I really don't remember. For my second try I went from my friend nurselizy's apartment to mine and wasn't able to stop myself into to miss hitting the clothes lines. I remember that fall because I skinned my knee.

My third try, my dad guided the bike and I made it all the way to the front fence without falling. I thought it was because he hadn't let go but when I
turned around, I saw him standing halfway in between our apartments with a big cheesy grin and clapping. He ran up to me and said we should try again right away while I had this victory momentum. When he went to guide the bike, I told him I could do it alone this time and he let me. I got on the bike, he balanced it for me and then I flew through the yard. I was only seven so I don't think I knew what the names of the feelings I was having were but now I know they were pride, exhilaration, self confidence and just plain happiness. Besides this being one of the best memories I have of my dad, it is also one of the best ones I have about me.

The reason I'm bringing up this 30 year old memory is because I recently found that little girl again. The following post will be like an exorcism of sorts. I know my family members will be shocked to read the words I'm typing. All because I felt like I needed to keep these issues private, that I had to deal with them on my own because otherwise I would show my weaknesses.

For some years now, about 6 or so, I have felt vulnerable, inadequate, sad, angry, confused, repulsive, ashamed . . . and the list goes on and on. I'm sure I've touched on this subject before. Professionally, I'm still an ass kicker but personally? My self esteem in my appearance has been a roller coaster. I would dress up and feel confident, ready to take on the world but then I'd walk by a mirror and it would be as if someone stripped me of all that confidence and replaced it with feelings of repugnance and bitterness.

I've had debilitating bouts of depression that all centered on one specific issue. My body. Each year that goes by I'd feel more and more angry at myself for not being able to have the motivation and self control it would take to maintain a healthy weight. Each year I felt more self loathing than the next. I tried this fad and that fad. I entered weight challenges and nothing worked to keep me on track.

A couple of weeks ago, all my insecurities had regained force and punched me in the face leaving me feeling crushed under waves of inadequacy. Finding humor in anything was an impossibility which is why I needed to take some (quasi) time off from blogging and analyze myself. Sleep eluded me. My mood was so bleak, I felt as if my chest was going to cave in.

Over the past few days, I've wondered why I've let any other forces cloud my judgment. Why I let anyone make me feel inferior. Why (Why not *how* because I know the how) did I become so engrossed in this that or the other that I made it impossible for myself to go one day without this feeling of hatred for myself.

What happened to that chick who would be fearless at parties/clubs? Or the one who, as I think back on it now, WTF was I thinking, would ride on the back of guys motorcycles, speeding through the highway, feeling immortal? What about the woman who attempted skiing, no matter how disastrous the outcome was, I'm still proud to say that I tried. Specifically, what happened to that little girl who confidently told her dad she could ride her bike without his help and succeeded?

I did all these things because I had enough confidence in myself that I had no preconceived notions of failure. I didn't second guess myself, I just fucking did and so I was. Sure some of my choices and adventures weren't the safest but I'm here so lets not dwell on my intelligence, mkay?

That self confidence is to thank for a lot of special memories. I've had guys sing to me, I've had guys fight over me (that was more in my teen years but it still counts), I've had guys bribe my brothers so they could put in a good word for them, I've had men cry for me. Okay, that would need more of an explanation but now is not the time. I've gone into job interviews knowing how lucky they would be to have me. I was always sure of who I was. Now my sad ass shies away from mirrors because I don't need a confirmation on how unattractive I feel. I stopped accompanying Andy to any work gatherings because I was embarrassed on how much I 'let myself go'.

I let myself believe that that reflection in the mirror represented who I was inside. But that's not the case, I may have a different wrapper but I'm still the same person. The same person who believes she can accomplish anything she sets her mind to. One who refuses to sink deeper into this abyss of bitterness and is ready to do something about it.

Unfortunately, because I have had such a wall around me, sometimes people overlook the fact that I do have feelings. While strangers and people who don't matter to me may not penetrate my shell, it was still vulnerable to those I care about. Saying the wrong thing may cause damage no matter how well intended the comments may be. I can't change how people view me but I'll be damned if I continue this body dysmorphia! I know that what I see when I look in a mirror is only in my head and even though I may not be 100% happy with what I see, I still know it's nowhere near as bad as I make myself believe it is.  

I woke up a week ago with this angry need to change my life. Enough with feeling sorry for myself! I wasn't sure what my next step would be but I knew that I needed to regain control of myself. There is no miracle cure, no plastic surgeon is going to offer me thousands of dollars worth of free surgery, I'm not going to sign up for a "Fatty loser" reality show. What I have to do is what I have done my whole life when I really want something, work for it.

The important things I have wanted in life didn't come to me by chance or luck. I've had to work hard to get them so why should this be any different?

I am as of this very moment, putting a stop to any thoughts of shortfalls, failures or any other bullshit that has no right to be in my head. All I can do is change my attitude and strangely enough, people have taken notice of this life altering decision to take control of my self esteem. People have been commenting on how good I look, how young I look, etc. So tell me, my friends, what has changed? I didn't all of a sudden lose 30 pounds. What has made them see me differently? Could it be because I decided that I was done letting anything or anybody have that much control over me?

I know this may seem like another "oh man! I'm gonna change my life!" post but there is something different this time. I don't know how to put into words what's different but it's almost like I woke up and the person I used to be 10 years ago smacked me upside the head and told me to pull it together and regain control of myself. I am pretty sure I know when my self confidence in my body tanked and if my calculations are correct, I have a lot of years to recover for but I have no doubts in my mind I'll be successful this time. I know that I'm doing everything I can to change myself for the right reasons and that is to make myself happy.

Sure, I still have my dark moments but then I flip off my reflection and I tell her to enjoy her time because the happier me is slowly going to take over and then kick her ass. I just have to keep remembering that I am the boss of me and everybody else can go fuck themselves.

Also, I have lost 12 pounds since January so that has also been a great motivator. And, don't let anybody undermine your self confidence. If you need professional help, don't be ashamed to get it.


  1. You know what... I really enjoy your style of writing. I never comment on your posts, but always read them.

    I love the way you write, but this particular time your post really spoke to me. I am glad your self 10 years ago slapped you upside the head. Now I just need to find MY self 10 years ago to do the same and all will be well with the world.

  2. I have been thin my entire life. I took it for granted that I would always be thin. But perimenopause, a TOTAL mindfuck, and 3 surgeries where I stopped working out, totally put me in the weight crapper. 10 pounds on me might as well have been a hundred.

    I have gone up and down the miserable 10 pounds thing for 2 years now.

    It is so depressing to me and yes, it started to eat away at my self-esteem. I was always the hot girl. Wasn't I? WASN'T I???

    I'm mainly disappointed since weight gain is attributed to age and means you have to change your eating and exercising and all the other things I never had to worry about. Otherwise? The scale just goes up and up and up. GOD.

    I am going down fighting. But I hear ya.

  3. I am really unsure about how to word my comment because it's going to sound creepy and wordy.

    You don't know me since I never comment (I'm super shy), but I've been reading your blog for several months. I know that's not long. I've tried blogging about all sorts of different things, from gaming to music, but yours was the first blog I came across that was just you being you, and it was awesome. I just had this really strong urge to start something like that for myself. I tried, but ultimately failed. My creativity's been shot for a while and my posts just seemed very bitchy and whiny and so I stopped.

    Anyway, I guess my point was, you've been inspiring me for a while and I have kind of held you as my standard of what a strong woman would be and a great blog would be like. And when I read your post just now, it was pretty intense for me because I have struggled with severe Body Dysmorphia and have only recently begun to recover. I was really pretty shocked that you have it too.

    I guess my comment doesn't actually have a point (and this is why I lurk XP), but I just felt like I *should* comment and say thank you for being so open.

  4. Bee, this post has really hit a chord with me. I'm at a similar point having ballooned to being the most overweight I've ever been. It's really in the last few day that I've determined to do something about it and lose some of this excess baggage. And you know what? You're right. Just the resolution makes you feel- and maybe even look- a lot better.

    Good luck with it all- though I doubt you need it!

  5. Bee - your words have completely summed up how I've felt for a long time, as well... and I've also lost 12 pounds since the first of the year. We can make it!!! I have total confidence in you, and you WILL become everything you want to feel like becoming. =)

  6. You go, Bee! Good job kicking Evil Twin in the a**!

  7. You go Girl. The person that we have all come to love and admire here on your blog can do anything. Just let the real Bee shine through and you'll be great.

  8. Bee,

    I've been stalking your blog for about a year now. I don't remember how I found it. But I think you're freakin' awesome.

    Congrats on the weight loss. I'm insanely jealous (emphasis on insane). I joined Weight Watchers in November and I've only lost 12 pounds. I'm incredibly depressed about it. I haven't even averaged a pound a week, even though I'm doing everything right. You aren't alone in this. It's hard. Really really hard.

    I have a couple of blogs bookmarked to read when I need encouragement and an "I can do this!" attitude. I'm bookmarking this one.

  9. I can't say I know how you feel. Although I have self-esteem issues and mental ups and downs, I don't think I'm body dysmorphic. I met many people who were when I worked for a plastic surgeon. I'm glad you refuse to go that route.

    I absolutely believe that your level of confidence, feeling like you look good, affects how everyone else sees you. My husband used to say, "Get an attitude" when I was feeling insecure.

    Take care of yourself and know that if you slip, just pick yourself up and keep going. Thank you for sharing something so personal. I appreciate it.

  10. Bee - YOU ARE AWESOME.
    I feel your pain, I hate my blubbery body since I had a baby this past July and you've inspired me to slap myself in the face.

    Sometimes knowing that another person is experiencing the same hurt makes it easier to accept your own, so I thank you.

    However I wouldn't have had that delicious feast for 2 at Famous Dave's if I hadn't read that post a few weeks ago - so screw you at the same time!! (kidding, it was worth it)

  11. I am soooo proud of you!!!!
    I am in total shock that you have been feeling that way for so long, you have been extremely good at covering it up and projecting AWESOMENESS, I’m socked especially because you perfectly worded what I have been feeling.
    You know, I wish you could see yourself through my eyes and see what I see and not the reflection you would see. Since you can’t I’ll tell you what I have seen ALL my life:
    You are what I strive to be, from your beauty to you’re A S S kicking confidence and personality, you are the woman that I have looked up to since I was a kid, you are my role model, you are the one that has given me strength to pull forward, you are AWESOME all around! I have ALWAYS been proud to say “She’s MY sister”.
    I’m glad that you are making this change and people can see it, people can see you glowing :)

    Let me know if there's anything I can do to help!


  12. Bee, You have always been beautiful in my eyes as my daughter-in-law because I LOVE you.
    I know you can do this you are a stong person and you can beat this thing that has put you down. More power to you. LOVE Mom R.

  13. First off...."I may have a different wrapper but I'm still the same person", Im SO stealing that line from you.
    I look EVERY morning to see if you have blogged, and I just saw this today :(
    As you recall, I was always the *pudgy, underdeveloped* in the lot of us girls on "B" st. I dont know if its a woman thing or what, yet at one time I got really small (the size I always dreamt of), you know what.....I still felt like crap. NO matter how much I lost I always saw a ginormous pudge when I looked in the mirror. I struggle with it even today, yet whenever I get down about something I tell myself "What are YOU going to do about it"???? YOU have realized that YOU are in control of YOU!!! Cant wait to read your next blog!! Love you always Nurselizy Apt#1 :)

  14. Oh Honey. You made me tear up a little over here. I have battled with self esteem issues FOREVER.

    I really loved when you wrote

    "I may have a different wrapper but I'm still the same person. The same person who believes she can accomplish anything she sets her mind to. One who refuses to sink deeper into this abyss of bitterness and is ready to do something about it."

    That definitely inspired me. You are such a beautiful and strong woman and I am proud to be one of your faithful readers.

    Congrats on your weight loss, and keep up the AMAZING work.

    {And I too have recently decided to get a grip and started 'Doing Things Differently}

  15. hooray for bee!
    um, can i have your snaks if you dont want them?

  16. i still don't know how to ride a bike... don't laugh! i'm sure there's more than one 31 year old out there who has no clue how to ride a freaking bicycle!

  17. I was so impressed when I read this. I know what a struggle it can be to look at yourself in the mirror when you are disgusted by what you see. So many people probably share in your pain but none of them ever talk about it.

    You posted your feelings for all the world to see and that takes guts. I was really wow-ed by your ability to spill everything. You're attitude is amazing.

    I haven't met you personally but you're sister speaks so highly of you and I have to say everything she says about you is true. You are a very strong woman who could take on the world and win. I would wish you luck on your journey but I know you don't need it. So I will say I look forward to hearing about your progression.

  18. I am so blessed to know you and I concur with everyone else's comments, you ARE awesome!

    I know exactly how you are feeling... I struggle everyday too. Thanks for being so candid and for helping the rest of us know that we are not alone.

    BTW, I think I found your 12 lbs... 6 on each of my hips... ;-)

  19. Hearts and *smooches*! What an inspiring, thoughtful, raw post. Thank you for letting us glimpse in your feelings that is;)

    The power of attitude is incredible! GO YOU!!!

  20. Bee - you have inspired me to comment so much so, that I opened a dumb goggle account just to do so.

    I have determined that I am your long lost twin. I totally understand where you are coming from. I am also a "don't give me any sh*t" person and feel very confident in so many ways of who I am.

    Except in my physical appearance.

    I am like you - I was 120 pounds soaking wet in my younger days. I abused boys and had a great 'ole time. I remember getting special treatment and turned heads. No, I'm not trying to brag, but now I see what a difference my life is now that I'm much older and heavier.

    I don't turn heads (unless they are shocked at how I got into those jeans) and I often feel invisible. I often think that it's harder for women who were skinny when they were younger, and know of that attention, to later gain weight. We know what we are missing and it's sad.

    Not that I want to be slutty anymore (wait, did I say that?) - I'm happily married, but there's just that...who am I now?

    Now I'm 206 lbs. (yes, I'm putting it out there, world) and hate it. I can't stand to get my picture taken or see myself in photos. I threatened my husband's parts the other day because he was videotaping our children (dogs) and almost caught me in the camera. In my head, I'm 18 and fabulous, so when I see myself, it's almost shocking. And yes, self-loathing.

    It's funny that I just read this because yesterday I tried to wear last summer's pants and they are too tight. I am now disgusted enough to try and do something about it. But I know it's hard. Work, life, and stress make it tough to reach the weight loss goal.

    But you inspire me. And we "look at me wrong and I'll punch you in throat" gals have to stick together. Sorry this is so long, but just had to share back. You are not alone.

  21. Dammmmmmm it!!!! i just lost this really awesome heart felt comment !!!!!!!
    F word!!!!!!

    I said something like I'm so proud of you and keep up the good work, and to think of all the shopping for new clothes you'll get to do!

  22. what the hell is going on here?!?!?!?!?
    I can't see my comment!?!?!?!?
    I'm out of practice.

  23. I'm a stupid ass, just noticed the comment moderation thing.

  24. nice job losing the weight, I never would have imagined you were going threw all this, keep up the good work. just think of all the shopping for new clothes you'll get to do!

  25. You go, girl! I've enjoyed your blog and missed you when you took your sabbitcal. So, glad you're back. Thanks for sharing your struggles. I know it can't have been easy, but from the comments you can see you're helping other people.

    Remember, you're amazing and the next time the evil voices start their annoying chatter tell them to shut the #%#@ up!

  26. Bee,

    You are beautiful, and have a beautiful heart... that will never change no matter what...

    The Search

  27. Bee, as you can see, you are not alone and no one else sees what you apparently see in the mirror. You have turned the corner because you are ready to take control of you and do what will make you feel good. You already know people love and admire you, now it's time for you to do the same and it sounds like you're well on your way! You are BEE! Queen of the Blogosphere! Mother of Taz! Wife of Andy! Ruler of the Anonymous Clothing Store! More powerful than the almighty Oz! You are SUPER BEE!


Ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies.