A Shard of Glass In My Urethra

June 21, 2017 — 48 Comments

 

In some ways, it’s harder to hate your body when you’re thin than when you’re overweight.

Besides your own body negative narrative, you invite hate from others who think you are being an indulgent first world bitch.

 

I have always loved food. The taste of it; the experience of it; preparing it as an act of love. Sharing it with friends; digging into a holiday meal with family.

It’s sensuous and sublime and one of the great experiences in life.

Unfortunately, I was also an emotional eater as far back as childhood. Food was a replacement for love and attention.

 

I was a super skinny kid, before it was chic to be skinny. I had a big butt and a flat chest and  I hated my lopsided, pear-shaped body. I cried shopping for jeans that fit. If they fit around my waist, I couldn’t pull them up over my ass.

No boys ever liked me. In high school I was the smartest girl and I was in love with the smartest boy but he pined for a big-breasted girl with shiny hair and perfect skin.

 

 

In my 20’s I replaced a drug addiction with one to exercise. And so began my complex, deprived, unhappy relationship with food, exercise and my body. I worked out constantly and ate a very restricted diet. I was bone thin. My life revolved around the gym, sticking to my regimented way of eating, or bingeing as a reaction to it.

Every meal was a minefield.

A few years ago, I gave up exercise. I ate whatever the hell I wanted and gained a bunch of weight and was simultaneously miserable and ecstatic about it.

Breasts. I finally had them.
I could eat all the cake I wanted. I had much more time to do things I loved.
I looked in the mirror and LIKED what I saw. I only saw the voluptuousness, not the flaws. Breakthrough

Recently, I felt myself getting winded going up the stairs and knew I had to get fit. I didn’t want to drop dead of a heart attack before 50 like half the people in my family.

I’ve also been working two jobs and lost some weight as a result. Ironically, the combination of dropping a few pounds and going back to the gym has started the cycle of body hatred.

I don’t know why getting MORE fit and dropping some weight would make me despise my body to the point of not wanting to look in the mirror.

I just know that I choose growth and evolution of self.  I’m so many wonderful things, none of which matter because I look in the mirror to reflect my self worth and if that’s not being trapped in your own personal hell, I don’t know what is.

 

After I had my son, I was completely demoralized by the way my body looked. The physical perfection I had desperately and ineffectively sought was further away than ever. It wasn’t just that I had gained weight. I had transformed into an amorphous creature with baggy skin. It was terrifying – and I tormented myself to restore it to where it was before.

Almost 14 years later, that never happened. I know some women regain their gorgeous pre-baby bods. I don’t know whether it’s plastic surgery or Photoshop or round the clock private training but whatever it is, it’s irrelevant to me and the permanent kangaroo pouch I carry above my C-section scar.

 

 

I have had a volatile relationship with my body my entire life.

I’m closer now to a happy place with food than I’ve ever been. Those non-exercise, eat-everything years reminded me that life is too short to give up warm bread slathered with butter. Although I love the taste of healthy foods  – if I was a poet I’d write a sonnet extolling the magnificence of a perfectly ripe peach –  I’m in a committed relationship with cake.

And yet, I’m brainwashed by culture programming. If I have the perfect body, then I’ll have the perfect life. When you’re beautiful, people love you. We all want to be the beautiful people who everyone loves.

This is what is done to us. To all of us. It’s insidious and soul deep and reinforced every day, in every part of our lives. I’ve all but stopped reading my favorite writers online because I’m sick of being bombarded by The One Way To Finally Lose that Stubborn Belly Fat.

Just once I’d like to look in the mirror and see my body without cataloguing a litany of flaws.

I’m tired of being in a room full of people where the women all exclaim how beautiful each other is, while men greet each other with talk of work or family.

 

I don’t know how to change the narrative. I can’t tell you to start loving your bodies when I don’t love mine.

But there has to be a way to fight this, to reject the idea that we’re not beautiful unless someone tells us; unless our bodies are perfect – or even that physical beauty matters so much.

This is the prison women are in. It’s what that keeps us tethered to our own insecurities, too busy obsessing over our bodies to do the real work.

It’s why plastic surgery is a billion dollar industry and we don’t care if we die on the table from elective surgery as long as we die with big tits.

I will never understand the idea that women deserve admiration, above all other accomplishments,  simply because of the way they look.

 

I will tell this story, but I will not own it.

It is not mine. It’s not yours, either. This is because nobody ever told us the worth of our hearts and minds.

 

Body issues. Will this madness ever stop?
Talk to me. I’m listening.

 

Come hang out with me on Facebook and Instagram so I can have friends without leaving the house.

 

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48 responses to A Shard of Glass In My Urethra

  1. 

    I have never ever had a good relationship with my body. I am trying very hard to change that, but 54 years of conditioning is hard to overcome.

    • 

      I’m so afraid that time is running out. I don’t want to die never having loved my body.

      I knew you’d be the first one here. Love you.

  2. 

    Samara,

    I sort of draw inspiration from people who are self obsessed and think the world of themselves. I wonder how they manage this feeling of supreme entitlement for all the admiration and all the best things in the world, coz they think they are so ‘beautiful’.

    I don’t know why and how I manage to find out more flaws when I look at any aspect of my personality.

  3. 

    I think most of us understand that we’re supposed to love ourselves, flaws and all, but actually making it happen is a really, really hard step to take.
    I’ve been fighting with my disgust of my body since my 2nd son was born in January. With my first, the weight came off so quickly and I was semi back to pre-baby body after. This time, it’s not happening and I hate it, bitch about it, go back and forth, make excuses about why I hate making the effort to eat healthy and make ANY kind of effort to work out.
    So many factors help us hate our bodies.
    Clothing fits different from every single store and sizes have gotten smaller in the three years between my children. Media tells us to be beautiful so we’ll be loved and accepted. Constant access via internet to beautiful people who hate themselves as well but look fantastic doing it.
    I don’t know where I’m going with this. But wanted you to know you are strong to admit your struggles and beautiful because you can.

  4. 

    This is my fight too. I’ve gained and lost 100 pounds so many times in my life it isn’t even funny. I’d love to just enjoy my body. Ironically, being pregnant was the closest I’ve ever been to that. I ate what I wanted and people said I looked beautiful (see what I did there?).

  5. 

    There have been times when I’ve liked my body, but now isn’t one of them. I wish I could have a symbiotic relationship with my body, because is it really necessary to love our bodies? Can’t we just appreciate them for what they are–a temporary house for our souls? No, we can’t, because we’re always too concerned with what’s on the outside. My oldest niece recently had senior pictures taken, and everyone on Facebook was commenting how beautiful she was. She is beautiful. Model beautiful. Seriously. But, this incensed me!! What else is she besides beautiful? She’s spunky, and has a smart mouth which gets her in trouble sometimes, but I appreciate the fact she’s strong-willed. And she’s many other things besides beautiful, and why is that all people concern themselves with? I’m so fucking glad I wasn’t a teen during social media, because I would have hated myself even more than I did, and probably would have ended up differently. Fuck society and what they think about our soul houses.

    • 

      All anyone cares about with women is how they look. I don’t know if I take care of my skin and hair and makeup because I like it, or I’m brainwashed.

      My body made a tiny human. That should be enough to appreciate it for the rest of time- but I don’t.

  6. 

    Body issues always remind me of a song. Although it is a woman singing about men and their bodies, in my experience it works the other way too. Yes, love your bodies ladies, because despite all that cultural/advertising mythology, you are all beautiful.

  7. 

    Reblogged this on cabbagesandkings524 and commented:
    Samara writes on her relationship with her body and the world’s BS.

  8. 

    Hi Samara. I don’t think the madness will ever stop and that is such a shame.

    I had and still have an unhealthy relationship with my body. For years I was also bone thin and restricted. I messed up my metabolism. I still won’t touch certain foods. In the past few years I gained enough weight for people to be “concerned”. Recently lost 15 pounds and heard from multiple people who noted how healthy I looked. Yay? Not so much. I’m going to the Dr. bc 4 out of 4 blood tests came back abnormal.

    Madness indeed.

  9. 

    I so get it. Thank you for sharing this blog. I have always had the struggle with body love. Now I am 60 and still having it. It sucks.

  10. 

    I think that fitness for health is a good thing, but dieting is a minefield.

    Guys – young guys especially- are biologically evolved to be attracted to a certain kind of look in a woman first and foremost. It’s instinctual, not a simple conscious decision. No one wants to admit that or talk about it between the sexes, and women don’t seem to understand that because evolution programmed them very differently. Guys don’t get that part of women because they don’t have the programming. All this is below and before any conscious thought. I as a man have never in my life had to think about how visually attractive a woman is, it’s just there.

    That being said, it’s different for different guys. I don’tthink twiggy, anorexic women are anywhere near as visually attractive as a more medium build gal like Marilyn Monroe was, for instance. The fashion magazines are full of crap and wildly distorted.

    That being said, all this applies to the first five minutes you’re in the presence of a woman, which is before anyone speaks. A month later after conversation and shared experience, you get an emotional sense and an intellectual sense of who a person is that teenage boys haven’t learned anything about because they’re all instinct and no experience.

    Notice that I haven’t talked about what women find attractive in men. That’s because I’m a heterosexual man and how the hell would I know? I’m not a woman, and I can only speak to what I know about my own perception of attraction.

    It amazes me that there’s a whole industry of TV and magazine “experts” who tell women what they should look like *and that women buy it.* Just ask the dude you’re interested in if he digs you if that’s what it’s about.

    Personally, I would rather have a healthy SO that likes to do a lot of the same things I do so that we aren’t fighting over what to do all the time. Fashion? I’m from Wisconsin and grew up in the 70’s. Hippy chick, check. Blue jeans and flannel, check. Sun dresses, check. Nice dress on an evening out once in awhile, sure. The height of fashion is being comfortable physically in what you’re wearing and don’t run around town in sweats and pajamas because you’ll look like an 80’s reject. Nothing tough or crazy.

    Take care of your health first. If you don’t want a guy who exlects you to be Barbie in Cinderella clothes, stay away from suits who are in everything to “win” and see all of life as “who’s got the biggest and brightest”, because all the money and suits and big houses and fancy cars and yachts are the bullcrap men are fed about what women want.

    Throw out the fashion magazines, limit the TV, get enough exercise to be healthy, but don’t be a maniac.go do fun things. Things you enjoy. The guys who like those things will be there. Eat like a normal human being but light on carbs & sugar – doesn’t have to be absent, just in moderation.

    You’d be surprised at how attractive reasonableness, sanity, and having fun can be.

    If you’re interested in someone, and they’re hanging around with you but not making a move, try to hold hands or something – you’d be surprised at how many guys are shy around women.

    If you want a guy who actually digs you, as you are, a lot of times they might just be hanging out somewhere in the friend zone.

    That’s all I know. I’m not an expert, and I’m not going to pretend to be, but that’s how I see it.

    And if it’s *really* not about feeling physically attractive, then why the hell are you beating yourself up again?

  11. 

    Trouble is, during the carefree days of devouring whole baguettes slathered with garlic butter and slabs of chocolate cake bigger than your face, when you look in the mirror and don’t particularly like what you see, you just think, “Well, yeah, duh. This is the house that carbs and and saturated fats and added sugars built.”

    Then you actually try out this whole “fitness and moderation thing”, and wow…you still hate your body! In fact now you hate it even more because you’re actually TRYING for once, goddammit, but your reflection somehow still doesn’t match your ideal you, and everything is bullshit and horrible.

    In short, we can never win.

  12. 

    I too have a love/hate relationship with my body. I was thin when I was young and had no clue how good I had it because even then I didn’t like the way I looked. I’m sure my body image had something to do with the sexual abuse I had suffered but I learned how to use my body to get what I wanted and I thought sex was the way everyone showed they loved you… right? Of course that is wrong, but it created this monster of body loathing. I hate the way I look in the mirror. I try to lose weight and I will do everything right. However, if I don’t see immediate results, I give up quickly. The problem is.. if I am overweight (like now) no one (men) really look at me, but when I do drop a few pounds and I feel good about myself (however long that lasts) then pheromones jump off me like fleas and I seem to attract both men and women! Ugh.. And not in a good way. I don’t mind the attention so much but it makes my husband nuts!!! Jealous much?? again.. ugh! I am in a no win situation. I don’t give a shit what he thinks anymore. He loves me and we have a pretty good relationship now but there is no physical intimacy at all! NONE! As in… it was Christmas Day the last time, you know?? I just don’t care anymore….
    I know how to dress to look nice and I take care with my hair and nails and grooming because that IS what is important to me. But I totally hate the way I feel in my skin. Mine isn’t really associated with what society thinks, but what people think who know me. The real irony is that they see me better than I see myself… what the hell is up with that?????? I have a great mask though! I am terrified that one day people will see what is underneath.. :-/

  13. 

    As a woman, I teeter between hopeless apathy (and eating badly) and self-loathing. As a woman I know I am over critical and judgemental and brainwashed. As a lesbian…I’m screwed.

  14. 

    Reblogged this on The Preoccupied Pirate and commented:
    At barely 5′ tall and too much weight for my height, I have also gone through the gamut of emotions, I’m not thin enough. I’m not pretty enough, I’m too old to be sexy and desirable.

    Somewhere along the line I finally decided to own it! This is me world, take or leave it! And you know what happened? More people liked me because I liked me. Did I lose they weight? No. Did I change my body? No I changed my mindset and it set off a chain reation! Someone once said you can’t expect someone else to love you until you love yourself and I have had that proven to me!

  15. 

    Reblogged on The Preoccupied Pirate https://msenecal68.wordpress.com and commented.

  16. 

    You said it.

    I recently lost 20 lbs, the result of working hard, but I am still not happy and want to lose more – I could lose another 20. But the fact is that I probably won’t be happy with that either. So, I have no idea what the answer(s) are, I only know that we have bought into a false economy and are really paying the price for it, which is what we are expected to do.

    • 

      I’ve wish I was as in shape as I was when I thought I was out of shape.

      • 

        I think like this about other things. I practice drums or I write a lot, and I get better, but the better I get the more I am able to notice what I haven’t achieved (I try to tell myself that these higher standards are a sign that I am making progress). Then I quit because, you know, it’s no use, then months later, or years, I listen to a recording or read something I wrote then, and I think, “damn, that was good.” But by this time, I have to start all over again.

  17. 

    Hey relax. Life is not about men and what they find attractive the issue is really with women and what insecurities they hold. Remember no-one can make you feel anything without your consent. Wait hold on,…. women who don’t care about men are called spinsters in some quarters of society, suppose that is what I am and proudly so. Don’t worry be happy.

  18. 

    You are the perfect weight, whatever that is. Your soul is weightless!

  19. 

    Been there done that. Even have a 14 yr old son and the kangaroo pouch above my c-section scar. I didn’t turn my brain around until I started working with a therapist who uses hypnosis. She helped me deactivate food triggers, then life triggers, and today I’m a very different person. Actually, I’m more me, less shit and triggers. It can happen! The key for me was getting into my unconscious mind – where our triggers hang out, simmering, waiting to strike. I’ve written in detail about some of my sessions if you’re curious (follow my gravatar). Oh yeah, for what it’s worth, today I’m down 90 lbs from an all time high of 310, and I truly honor and respect my body all the time. All.The.Time.

  20. 

    Oh babe you hit the nail on the head again with this one. You were flat-chested too? I was tormented for that until about the 8th grade/freshmen year when they finally decided to show.
    We’re the same in so many damn ways. Plus the tomboy thing, that added to it. I always got shit for that too. Thank you for writing about this. Still so many women I know go through it. My mom has issues for years. She had anorexia on & off most of her life.

  21. 

    I could care less if my tits are big. However, at 48, I’d love to weigh a little less. I’m not heavy, just vain. I used to be a size 2 and I just can’t accept that this isn’t possible anymore. BTW, I’m watching Mean Girls right now. The irony isn’t lost on me.

  22. 

    Samara,

    I have a “meat puppet” more than I have a body. The “body as a temple” thing irritates me, it seems we all have some sort of temple area to our being and, well…it may mot be our body.

    My dream is to one day be stoned to death, but instead of stones, people would be throwing cheeseburgers.

    RR

  23. 

    “I’m so many wonderful things.” Yup. You are not defined as a person solely by your exterior. That’s just one layer of the onion, to paraphrase Shrek.

  24. 

    I really get this….I too was the skinny girl for my entire life until I became pregnant at 34. I always exercised….have made that part of my life since the age of 18 and it keeps me from killing people, total stress reliever. That said I still hate my body….I would likely hate it more if I didn’t exercise. The sad fact is that a big chunk of a woman’s personal power is directly related to her “pretty”. Society as a whole likes pretty, shiny, new things. It’s shit but it’s the truth. I try to self talk myself out of the loathing but it trails me like second hand smoke in a room full of smokers. I try to hide my level of self hate from my daughter because I want to minimize the damage I inflict but I can’t stop the tsunami of images and messaging she has gotten and will continue to get throughout her life. It’s fucked up and the game is rigged.

  25. 

    You are such a beautiful and clever writer! I haven’t been keeping up with blogs lately but your stories and thoughts are glued in my mind. How perfectly written this piece is. I can relate 100 %. Well done!

  26. 

    It’s an amazingly written piece I have read so far. Can’t deny the fact that at some point of time in our life we all despise our body neglecting the fact that if we ourselves won’t find comfort in less than nobody else will see our worth. Keep writing more!

  27. 

    I will say that I’ve always preferred small breasts. To me they are even more feminine. And I like women who are physically fit, whether they are skinny or not. And vice versa. Skinny girls with no muscle are not as attractive to me. Not that it should matter what I think, I’m just saying there’s no one standard of beauty. Strong is sexy to me. So going to the gym and eating what you want could be an alternative that enables you to walk up the stairs without getting winded, and eat your cake too (though I personally have a love hate relationship with sweets mostly because I think it makes me feel bad – but I’m not sure I don’t just hate myself for other reasons – and the sugar exacerbates it).

  28. 

    I’m a man with the same issues. It’s summer now and i can feel the dread swelling at the thought of taking my shirt off at the beach and castigating myself for not having done nearly enough – for the thirty fifth summer in a row (I only started caring about this when I was twelve) – to leave the beach with my pride intact. I could write a series of books about how all-meat pizza is like the Angel of Death to my self-control, how my life would seem as empty as the calories I devour without the carbs I adore, about how chocolate is my best friend when the chips are down – which they are at least once a day, usually at night, when feelings of having squandered the day reach a crescendo. An emotional, gluttonous binge quickly makes a world so wrong seem right again. Until the next morning, when I look in the mirror and let out a big sigh; at which point I say ‘fuck it’ and have bacon, eggs, toast and butter for breakfast.

  29. 

    Reading through the comments, it’s amazing that so many women hate their bodies. A foreign world for most guys. The sad thing is all the emotional pain that results from this stuff.

  30. 

    “I’m tired of being in a room full of people where the women all exclaim how beautiful each other is, while men greet each other with talk of work or family… I will never understand the idea that women deserve admiration, above all other accomplishments,  simply because of the way they look.”

    Seriously? This is the 21st century so get with the program, girls! Aren’t we past this point, as enlightened and progressive women? I hope and believe that I am.

    I will admit, though, that I still mentally beat myself up over the number on the scale. At least now it doesn’t stop me from getting out of the house when I want to and living my life, even if my clothes may feel a bit snug (a sensation which may only be in my own mind) and fear that I will have to buy a larger size sooner rather than later, just to be totally comfortable in as many aspects as possible, both physical and mentally. Life is too short!

    I hope and believe that my daughters are past that, too, though for sure I didn’t and sometimes still don’t set the best example for them. At least over the years, I have moved, and I think they have too, past the point of over or under consumption and over or under exercising. Again, life is just too short to live it in that uncomfortable state of second guessing myself and my appearance.

    I am way past the point of caring what ANYONE else thinks about my physical appearance. I am so far past that point that I shake my head at the lengths and dangers other people will put themselves through to end up with a body that is “acceptable” to them only on the basis of how it looks compared to others.

    Really, I believe I am enlightened, and also lucky, to find myself often in groups of women who greet each other with talk of work or family and, more importantly, with talk of the larger world around us. My challenge now is to get past the point of just talking about that world, and to extend myself to take action to improve it.

  31. 

    PS Where did you come up with the title for this post? It raised a lot of really horrible images in my mind as I read it.

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