Thursday, January 6, 2011

Body self-esteem, jeans, and randomness

First off let me say I'm an idiot and I do not recommend emulating me in any way.  Ever.  And before you ask why, it's little things like this:

Last night was awful.  I got no sleep.  I must have woken up 6 times.  Not because I'm getting over a cold but because I took 4 different types of cold medicine.  What the hell is wrong with me?  Who takes one drug and, when it doesn't work, proceeds to take 3 more in rapid succession?  I'm lucky all that happened was I couldn't sleep.  As a biologist I should know better, and I do, but normally it's hard for me to care.

When your self-esteem in regards to your body averages a 2 out of oh, say a million, things like possible drug interactions lose their direness.  I'm so used to being disgusted with my body and seeing it as an enemy that possibly hurting it doesn't really strike fear into my heart.  And that's a big problem because I don't know where I'd be or what I'd be doing without this body but it certainly wouldn't be sitting here, typing this.  I should be worried about drug interactions, not nourishing my body, and fixing whatever damage I've already done.  But I can't help it.  99.9% of the time I hate what I see in the mirror.  And if what I see is already so bad then what difference does it make?

I worked on some of that in therapy for my eating disorder, after I was out of the woods food intake and weight-wise.  Unfortunately that wasn't until my last few sessions before I moved home after I graduated so it obviously didn't stick.  If (when?) I go back to therapy I know that would need to be something I focus on.

Another issue with having such poor body self-esteem (and yes, there's something weird about that phrase but I haven't come up with anything better) is that the smallest thing can trigger an avalanche of bad thoughts about your body.  For example last night, before the drug interactions, my boyfriend was putting his jeans away.  He grabbed a pair from the suitcase I haven't unpacked from LA and I started freaking out that he'd mistaken my jeans for his, again.  (Okay, to be fair they were actually his last night but he did confuse them when we were in LA and took my jeans into the bathroom to put on after his shower.  So the freak out was still justified.)  I accused him of thinking I'm fat.  That's the most logical explanation for why he'd think my jeans were his, right?  Never mind the fact that I just got these jeans that are the same color as his favorite pair.  Our exchange went something like this:

Boyfriend:  You know I don't think you're fat.  I think you're hot.
Me:  Well, fine.  I think I'm fat because you thought my jeans were yours.
Boyfriend:  (trying uselessly to reason with me) What do you think is more likely?  I'm dumb and grabbed the first thing I saw without actually looking at them or that you're fat?
Me:  Both can be possible at the same time.
Boyfriend:  But you say you know you're crazy.  So if you're crazy you're not actually fat.
Me:  Both can be possible at the same time.
Boyfriend:  So you're crazy and fat?
Me:  Yup.
Boyfriend:  If you weren't crazy you'd see how hot you are.  I mean, I'm glad you're at least a little crazy because then you don't see that you're out of my league and dump me.  But I wish you weren't so crazy that you think you're fat.
Me:  Yeah, me too.*

And it's true.  Once in a blue moon I get this weird flash where I can see myself for what I actually am and recognize my flaws but see the nice features I do have.  Then I can see that I'm totally average sized, actually leaning towards the slimmer end, but the rest of the time all I see is fat and gross.  What came first?  The body dysmorphia or the poor body self-esteem?  I don't know and that's for another post but I do know that my poor body self-esteem makes me so sensitive to anything I can even remotely blame on my supposedly being fat.  And it makes me not care about harming the one body I have.  Both of which are really, really bad.  So how do you overcome poor body self-esteem?  Anyone?

And now the random.  I hate it when I cut into an avocado and it already has brown patches.  Why does this happen?  Seriously, why?!  They look so nice on the outside.  Grrrr.  I don't eat enough lunch to begin with and then I have to cut chunks of it away.  But on the positive for today I saw a super cute dress in the window of Anthropologie while waiting for my bus so I think I might pop in there after work.  Who cares if I have half a dozen dresses I've only worn once?  The boyfriend's grandma is having her 75th birthday party soon with a professional photographer and I want to look cute!

*This conversation was immediately followed by me desperately trying to prove I was fat by telling my boyfriend my jean size at my skinniest and my jean size now.  This goal was slightly hampered by the fact that my boyfriend just looked at me and told me those numbers meant nothing to him.


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