So, my plan for last Tuesday had been to do some fabulous Fat and Pretty in the Big City edition of Fat Tuesday, because I was in the San Francisco Bay area the weekend before, but it didn't happen. I'd thought I would go to some awesome stores and find cute plus size clothes and take great pictures of myself wearing those.
But that didn't happen. What did happen was probably so much better, but still, it left me blogpost-less last week. Hence, Lady Buddha. (I'll tell you the story some day of how she came into my life. I promise.)
So, I decided that this week would be sort of an "accessories" week, because accessories almost always fit. I LOVE them!
But that's not going to happen. Because something else happened, and I'm going to talk about that. (Don't worry, though, you'll get a good look at my obsession with jewelry and other fun things soon.)
Today I'm going to talk about...pictures. And how I wanted to cry last Tuesday after an a-MAZING weekend with some of the loveliest, loving women I've ever met.
The first weekend of October, my cousin and soul-sister, Nicole, and I went to a creativity retreat led by Andrea Scher and Laurie Wagner. I know. I sort of couldn't believe it either. Do you know who Andrea is? Did you take a look at Laurie's house? I mean, it was kind of a "wow" for me all weekend long. And there was a lot of laughing and crying and introspection this weekend that was entirely a surprise for me. There was writing and painting and gluing and eating going on as well, but that ended up taking a backseat to all of the other incredible things that were happening.
As with all weekends like that one, you don't want to go back to your normal life, right? You want to just float on the positive emotions until you get to your next chance to feel...blissful. When I saw, Wednesday morning, that one of the attendees had posted pictures of me, I was excited to look at them.
And then I saw them.
And all I saw was a really fat girl.
It made me sort of sick to my stomach. In fact, I texted Nicole about it right away, telling her that I was trying to not let the upset me. But they did upset me.
All those warm, fuzzies I had from the weekend flew out the window (okay, not out the window because you can't actually open the window in my classroom, but out the door and down the hall) and I was left with this sadness.
Because I felt like the real Andria wasn't there. How could she have been when the real Andria looks nothing like the Andria I was seeing in those images?
I'm not saying real Andria is thin. I know I'm not. But I didn't realize what I really looked like.
(Yes, I do look in a mirror every day, but even the person in my mirror, while overweight, doesn't look like the person I was seeing there.)
Nicole texted me back: "Just flipped through Allison's and Erin's pictures. Many of you because you are beautiful! The camera was drawn to you."
I really do wish I could believe this. But, at this moment, I don't. I don't like those pictures of me. I want them to be erased from memory cards and the internets and never ever to have existed.
But that won't happen. And so, I'm going to just keep on keeping on. I'm going to get up in the mornings and dress the best I can. I'm going to try to love myself and show myself that love in ways other than eating (although it's still going to happen; I have to be honest with myself). And I'm going to try to not let myself be dragged into the self-hate votex that is swirling around me.
Honestly, I could use some help. Friends, what are some ways that you show yourself love when all you want to do is eat Phish Food?