Often, after we turn the lights out at night and are snuggled in bed, Pete and I have the most honest, thought provoking, heart wrenching, awesome conversations. There is something about being quiet with no electronics, no TV, no background noise. Something about the darkness that provides anonymity to pour our hearts out to each other. Something about the conforting snuggle that makes us feel secure enough to let it all out.
Last night Pete made a joke about his excess skin and how it jiggled. I was instantly in tears. My thought was, if he thinks that he's jiggly, what does he think about me now? And what will he think of me after surgery/weight loss when I have jiggly skin? He wasn't trying to be mean. He wasn't suggesting anything about me, it was a response to him not feeling good about himself. And so, in true nightime conversation style, we had an awesome talk. So I'm sharing it with you.
I am having a hard time with body image right now. Pete lost 130 pounds. That's a whole human. He's skinny enough that his pant legs are longer than his waist is around. He's skinny enough to wear skinny jeans. He's skinny. And often times when I look at him I wonder if we "fit" together as a couple? By that I mean, when you look at us, do we look like we fit together? In my mind, no. He is skinny and I am still overweight. And through the silent tears and the hushed tones I told him this. And he held me, silently. Then he explained that he loved me no matter what I looked like. He had every confidence that I would be successful in weight loss with the help of a new tool - the gastric band. He told me I am powerful.
But you know what? I don't believe him. I don't think I am powerful for one moment. Then I thought about what the #OSOB event and Jen from Prior Fat Girl said about the emotional part of losing weight. I was silent for a bit, other than the slight hicups from trying to calm the tears. I took a breath and let it all come out...
I have been so successful as the overweight girl. I learned to eat to keep myself from being seen, to blend into the background. I learned that I can use my weight as an excuse for why I wasn't good enough to get that job, to date that man, to have those kids, to travel the world, to reach my goals. Dammit, I am a successful fat girl and part of me doesn't want to give that up. It's comfortable. It's familiar. It's what has worked for me for years and years. It's part of me. (It's very scary to admit this.)
Getting closer to a surgery date I am struck by how scared I am to let my fat girl go. What if I lose the weight and I'm still not successful? What if I can't lose the weight at all? What if people see the REAL ME and don't like me? What if I'm still not getting ahead at work? What if I still can't travel the world? What if Pete doesn't love me anymore? All these what if's and I have no excuse to rely on...other than me. The REAL ME.
I need to embrase the REAL ME. I need to know that the REAL ME is ok, no matter what she turns out to be. I need to rely on the REAL ME. I need to know that the REAL ME, is really who I am; is really who I have wanted to be my whole adult life. I need to start learning the REAL ME...now.
And with all that, Pete and I settled in for sleep. He knowing more about me and what I'm going through. Me knowing more about his current issues and what he is going through. Both of us feeling better together.