I Hate Whiny People

I’m sorry about that post I wrote where I complained about getting muscles. I hadn’t slept in a couple of years and my only clothes were covered in the vomit of a small child. It was whiny. I hate whiny people, because I’m naturally bent toward it. We often hate in others what we gravitate toward when we’re in the flesh.

But I won’t delete those thoughts, because I think there is some validity to the parts that don’t sound like a tween left out during couple’s skate. Which was always the case for me. I don’t think a boy ever once couple skated with me. That must be why I hate that TLC song about waterfalls…

Where was I? Oh. It’s hard to deal with body issues. I spent many years pretending I was okay with my body. But I was far from it. I think I’ve even lied here about learning to be comfortable in my skin. If it’s a continuum, I’m almost as far as a person can get from posting one of those bikini pics that go viral about post-baby bodies being beautiful and mushy and inspiring. So learning is a gross overstatement.

It’s even harder to be almost at your goal, and then change goals.

My original plan: get thin. But that plan only works for supermodels and mint cookies. When my plan changed to Get Strong, I wasn’t prepared.

You don’t know this, but my horrible dad used to show me fitness magazines when I was young and tell me I should look like those women. Um. How does an elementary-aged kiddo deal with that level of dysfunction? She doesn’t. She develops lots of issues. And struggles, even 20+ years later, to buy bigger pants.

But when your body composition is changing due to actually developing muscle groups, your pants stop fitting.

Healthy-minded people go buy new pants. Abuse survivors spiral into a funk and consider just abandoning the new plan, even though the new plan is obviously better and necessary.

I’m trying to get into that first category, but am not yet there. So I fell into the second. And I was actually considering giving up all my progress, just so I could get back into my skinny jeans. Knowing that Adelaide will gain more weight. Still needing me to lift her. Move her. Carry her.

That’s the problem with being a complete nutcase abuse survivor…I’m always retraining my brain.

I can’t understand how people get bigger from strength training and just go buy bigger clothes. Or how they look in the mirror and just accept that their goals are in progress and their bodies are transforming little by little.

My brain shouts, “You are never good enough! Your body is never good enough!” If you have never experienced it, I can’t even begin to describe it to you.

But just try to imagine yourself as Cinderella before her Fairy Godmother shows up. Dirty, unloved, tired, and no hope of being able to attend the ball. Then, imagine still feeling that way AFTER the bibbidi bobbidi boo and the pumpkin carriage.

If Cinderella looked into a mirror when she was clothed in regal threads and jewels and said, “You still can’t pull this off. You will never belong at the ball. There isn’t enough magic and sparkle to ever make this work.” That’s how I feel.

When I was a size 0 at 5′ 7″, I felt fat. When I was 208 pounds at 5′ 6.5″ (pregnancy makes you shorter…just another glorious perk to growing children), I felt like no one could ever think I was attractive ever again.

It took 18 months after Bess was born, but I got back down to the weight I enjoyed. A sweet 135. The clothes I liked. The body I thought was pretty.

This summer, my back couldn’t handle lifting Adelaide. When her physical therapist suggested strength training, she warned me I would get bigger. I thought I would be okay with it. A friend said she went up a couple clothing sizes. I thought I could do it without getting depressed.

But getting back up into a second trimester weight, outgrowing all my clothes, and feeling like I had no one to understand just how messed up I felt inside, I threw up online. Filled a page with my sleep-deprived thoughts. And they didn’t make much sense if you didn’t know that I had a dad who used to tell me I wasn’t fit enough or thin enough or anything enough.

Even though God calls me His child, clothed in royalty, I get this nagging inner voice that says, “You won’t ever be good enough. Adelaide will just get bigger and bigger. You won’t ever be strong enough. You’ll just look fat again. Just quit. You need to be skinny again. Everyone at that ball will be thin and perfectly coiffed. You’re already an emotional mess. Now you’re a physical mess, too.” Like I said, if you haven’t been there, you can’t get it.

Dave told me to go buy new pants. I brought my mom in for reinforcements. Because even trying on clothes can be crushing for me. I knew what I needed. I went straight to the jeans that fit my shape well. I tried on 13 pairs of jeans and bought the 12th pair.

The size number was double what I was wearing just a couple months back. The jeans I had just packed up, along with most of my shirts. I couldn’t handle looking into my closet and seeing all the things I could no longer wear. It was the worst. Scratch that. The worst would be finding out I had to watch a Nicolas Sparks movie in order to save my family.

As I waited in the line, I was psyching myself up to buy them. Officially admitting I had gained back more than 30 pounds. Crazy, I know. Seriously, if you don’t have body issues, you should celebrate with an ice cream cone. And buy me one, too.

All of this meandering to say, it is worth it. The strength training is worth it. Writing about the circus in my head. Worth it. Coming off as whiny, while working through my recovery, worth it. Spending money on bigger pants. Definitely worth it.

And that concludes another edition of raw and unedited writing that maybe shouldn’t be shared. But, oh well.


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3 thoughts on “I Hate Whiny People

  1. Ali says:

    Big long distance hugs!
    First of all, I love reading your posts, and in my books, your last post DID NOT come off as whiny!
    Bodies are so tricky sometimes – there are so many layers to how we process our experiences with them: the societal, the social, the psychological (such as being an abuse survivor) and the biological (because our experience as humans is truly embodied). As someone whose body size changes at the drop of a hat (in both directions and not voluntarily) I too have a closet full of clothes that range in size from 00 to 12. It can feel disheartening to feel like you aren’t in control. But, I have to say, regardless of my size, the one thing that I really enjoy (when I’m with it enough to exercise) is to have the feeling of really being strong.
    AND, let me congratulate you – as much as it may FEEL sucky, putting on 30 pounds of strength is amazing! You must have worked so hard! You’re right – Adelaide is going to continue to grow, and she is lucky to have a mom who is both mentally and emotionally strong enough to cope with her own body issues to give her the physical support that she needs.
    On top of that, one of the best ways to cope with sucky feelings is to share them. I once heard someone say (to paraphrase) that when we share pain we halve it, when we share joy we double it :) Keep up the good work and don’t beat yourself up Mama!


  2. Amber says:

    I agree, you did NOT sound whiny. I struggle with similar issues, though from a somewhat different origin (my mom, rather than my dad, who is narcissistic, but not physically/sexually abusive). I can totally relate with the struggles to buy new clothes. I just went through my closet and drawers and boxes of clothes. I have shorts from when I was in junior high, thinking I would someday be back to that weight and be able to fit in them again. Medically, I’m not able to be at that weight right now and it is a struggle. I finally added them to the giveaway pile. But part of me wants to keep them – my mom always wanted me to keep smaller clothes because I would need them when (not if – when) I lost weight and “was beautiful again” (her words, of course).

    Hm, and here *I* am whiny and rambling, I’m not sure what I’m trying to say – except that you aren’t alone in having these feelings. And I’m glad you are open enough to write these things so I can feel not so alone too.


  3. Shannon says:

    I love everything about this. The content matter, the raw truth, and the pic at the end. All of it is me! You definitely don’t have to be an abuse survivor to have those horrible ‘not worthy enough’ body image issues. I connected with every word in this post. Thank you for speaking what I can never get into words. If you don’t have the body image issue, there really is no way for anyone to understand the constant-ness (not a word, I know!) of it. It is ALWAYS there. Even when we’re in our mid-30’s. I’m right there with ya babe. It never gets easier, but we now have sweet babies that make the hard work and recovery well worth it. I love you girl! Keep up the work, and please keep writing!


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