“What’s your two sentence story?” Jillian, therapist to the stars, asked me. “Why are you having this surgery? You need to get real clear on the ‘why.’”
“Because I don’t want my body to be the story when I walk into a room,” I answered.
“I don’t think your body is the first thing people notice about you,” she responded.
“But it’s the first part of the story for me when I walk in the room. I don’t want to worry about it anymore. I want a body that is healthy, a body that is ‘normal,’ a body that serves me well. I don’t want it to overshadow my story in my own mind. I don’t want to have to worry if anyone else is thinking about my body, whether or not they are judging me for it. I don’t want to judge me for it. I want it to be the non-story… there’s so much more to this story.”
The irony, of course, is that now that I have had the surgery and dropped 50 pounds in the first two months, all anyone is talking about is my body. Jillian, therapist to the stars (so named because she sees all the smartest ladies at work - seriously, like 20 of us) did her due diligence and prepped me for this reality a while ago.
What I wasn’t prepared for, however, was the interpretations of what my weight loss would mean to different people.
Somewhere at the end of month one a woman who had lost 150 pounds put out a very clever photo series on the internet melding her before and after pictures into scenes of her new self posing with her former self. People - very well-intentioned people - starting sending me links to the photo series with “You should totally do this!” words of encouragement.
Her story is not my story.
Whether intentional or not, too many of the photos depicted her former self - the fat self - as male and in too many of the photos her new self - the vamped up, skinny self - was, literally, fighting her former self. That is most definitely not my story.
This isn’t a story of battle and struggle. My story is a story of self-love, of caring for myself in ways that I have never cared for both my mental and physical self before, of being kinder and gentler to me, of honoring my body, mind and soul as a whole being. This is about becoming whole.
The only epic battle here is me rallying against the bullshit that has long been embedded in my psyche by others - the never-ending loop playing in my head that told me I wasn’t worth this, or that there was shame in seeking out “the quick fix”, or that fed on the shame of not being able to muster the willpower to fix this without medical intervention.
That’s a story that too many of us share… shame, guilt, and a question of our worth. That’s the story that I am here to blow the fuck apart.