After yesterday I got to thinking about why I didn’t think I deserved someone great, and when in my life I would have picked that belief up. That led me to the last time in my life when I was at this weight, and THAT led me to the emotional issues behind it, as well as the fact that I’ve gained 25 pounds since I started dating Great Guy.
Now before I start writing, I feel like I should say a few things up front:
First, I make no promises about the focus or coherence of this post. I’m writing to clear my emotions out, so I may wander all over hell’s half-acre and back again.
Second, I want to make it clear that although I’m talking about my experiences with my emotions and weight, I do not subscribe to the theory that anyone can lose weight by changing their emotions, dieting, exercising, whatever. Just as there are some people whose weight seems to be naturally teeny-tiny (I have a sister like that), there are some people whose weight is naturally NOT so teeny-tiny. When I speak of my emotional weight, I am speaking for myself. I know my weight is related to my emotions because I was not heavy throughout childhood or adolescence, and my weight changes always directly correlate with what’s going on in my emotional life.
Ok. I read somewhere that certain weights on our bodies correspond directly with certain emotional traumas in our lives. When you start to lose weight, you might be successful for a while, and then plateau abruptly. Oftentimes during those plateaus you’ll find that you’re an emotional wreck. The reason, according to this theory, is that you’re trying to process an emotional trauma that occurred the last time you were at this weight. When you process it, you break the plateau.
So I was thinking yesterday about why I didn’t think I deserved GG: about why I felt like I had to earn what was already freely given. I started thinking about past relationships and when I would have picked up that belief – or at least where I could first see it manifested – and I started thinking about a guy I fell for when I was just out of college. As I thought about it, I realized that at this moment I weigh exactly what I did then.
That guy was the “bad boy with a heart of gold” that every girl thinks she wants. The problem is that heart of gold so often is just a manipulation to get what he wants. In this guy’s case, I don’t think he was even conscious that he was doing it: it was just how he had learned to function within his own dysfunctional upbringing. I can look back now and see how foolish I was, but at the time I couldn’t see it. I tried to convince myself that I was ok with the sort of casual relationship we had, but the truth even then was that I wanted more than I knew he could give. In retrospect, I created that situation: he was very up front about what he could and couldn’t give me, and I decided that whatever he could give me was enough. And even as I decided that, I KNEW it wasn’t enough. I knew I wanted more from him. But I tried to convince myself that I could be what he wanted: casual, laid-back, uninvested emotionally.
And in doing so, I totally mind-fucked myself. At 21, already coming off the heels of an eating disorder, hating myself for untold numbers of reasons, I decided on some unconscious level that my relationship (or lack thereof) with the “bad boy” was indicative of the fact that I was inherently unlovable. It confirmed all my worst fears, which I then continued to live out in other relationships, with other men.
So when I started dating GG, I looked for who I “should” have been. I looked for the person I thought he wanted, and ignored the fact that he was already dating ME. He already loved me, the way I was. But because I couldn’t bring myself to believe that was possible, I set about reliving old patterns, trying to change myself to fit some perceived ideal. And that led to everything I posted about yesterday.
The funny thing is that I’ve gained weight over the last several months since I’ve been dating GG, right up to the weight I was when I “dated” BB. The more I’ve made up expectations and then tried to meet them, the more weight I’ve gained. Once again, my body is my reliable indicator of what’s right or wrong inside my head and heart. One of these days I’ll learn to recognize the signs before they get so dramatic.
Now, regardless of what happens with GG (because I can’t keep wondering if and when I’ll hear from him – all I can do is hope it works out), I have to work on myself. I have to DECIDE that I’m worth loving, that I don’t have to be what anyone else wants me to be. In fact, regardless of what happens with GG, I have to be grateful to him. Because what I can take from this is the knowledge that I HAVE BEEN LOVED FOR MYSELF. Even if I didn’t recognize it at the time.