September 6, 2013

does this mat make me look fat?

     I learned about hiding myself in all black clothing shortly after someone asked me when my baby was due.  In case you are new around here, I’ve never been within ten miles of pregnant; and at the time I wasn’t even remotely interested in it.  I was out shopping and the lady at the register kept grinning at my waistline.  Naively, I just thought she was checking me out (air quotes).  Looking back, I should have picked up on the fact that she was in her mid to late seventies and wearing a wedding ring.
“When are you due, hon?” she sort of cooed at my bellybutton as she folded my new purchases.
“I’m sorry?” I could feel a burn crawling up from the middle of my chest spreading out all over my body.  Did that spinster just say what I think she did?  Luckily, I’m a levelheaded sort of girl and quick on my feet.  I picked up tiny a plastic hanger-y thing and with each word, slammed it on the counter a little harder.
“NINE.MONTHS.AFTER.I.GET.PREGNANT.OLD.LADY!”  With that, I spun on my apparently chubby heels and huffed (and puffed) straight to my car where I sped to the nearest McDonalds for a “Number-one-no-onions-please-with-a-supersized-diet-coke (really?)-and-a-side-of-barbeque-sauce”.

That was the overeating phase of my eating disorder.

I quickly found that black was, in fact, the new black.  No color, no patterns, no deviations, just hide.  I could not bear to have any attention brought to what was happening on the outside of my body, much less the inside. Because the over eating was all about hiding.  I stuffed myself to stuff the feelings.
            Eventually, I became miserable and unhealthy and a danger to old salesladies all over (yes, it happened again.  And again) and so after at least 14 different failed "diets" I learned how to eat right and exercise the old fashioned way.  I HATE THE EATING RIGHT AND THE EXERCISING AND ANYTHING OLD FASHIONED. 
            But, I began to lose weight.  And then I lost more, and more, and suddenly I made it back to the place of numbness where I began.  Only this time I was starving.  And people noticed.  And again, I was so ashamed for anyone to see me.  I thought that they might look at me and know what was really going on.  So I continued to hide myself in black.  Hoping I could camouflage the thin and the pain.
The under eating was hiding too.  I starved myself to starve out the feelings.

            That was the under eating phase of my eating disorder.

            Time has passed now, and I ran out of ways to run away from the feelings, so I had to get healthy.  No more shenanigans.  I gathered up all the fear and the hurt and shame and distortion and gave them a great big heave-ho up to God.  I sort of hate to admit He was able to handle it all without any help from me.  He has been so good to help put the broken pieces of me back together into a better whole than I started with.  He's so beautiful that way.

    After a long time of no physical activity, my counselor recommended Yoga. YOGA.  I laughed.  I don't consider myself to be the yoga-ish type. I consider myself the drink aspartame, talk too much about myself, and wear big jewelry type.   But, then I decided to try it.  I mean, I blog now... why not join the cool kids in the rest of the cool things?  

            Last week I walked into the studio, filled out my paperwork and met my instructor.  When it was time to purchase my mat, I grabbed a black one and then stopped.  I’m not going to hide anymore. I am changing my default. I reached back and picked out the brightest, ugliest, PURPLE yoga mat you have ever seen.  You would certainly lose your focus and your zen and everything yoga-y with a glipmse of my fancy fuchia towel.  But you know what? Every time I look down at it, I don’t see a dark square reminding me of hidden hurt and shame.  I don’t think pounds or calories or numbers… I see hope. 

And if I ever see that saleslady again, well, Namaste sister…

1 comment:

  1. Ok, now I'm a stalker! I am dying to start yoga!! I do pilates reformer, but I think my stiff body needs the stretching of yoga......maybe we should hang out! ;)