Memory Provoking

Posted: March 15, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend. My weekend recap can be found here. Nothing life altering, but good nonetheless. Although there was something from the weekend that I decided to save for today's post.

Yesterday, while doing the blog catchup thing, I was really moved by a post Katie from Health for the Whole Self did. Her blog is absolutely fabulous and I adore it. Probably because we are on the same page with what makes up a person's wellness and health. Anyways, her posts are always a joy to read. They give great information, cool food ideas, and at times provoke some intense thoughts.

Her recent posts about a special black bathing suit were definitely thought provoking for me. It was a two part post (Part 1 and Part 2) from an essay she wrote for Caitlin's Operation Beautiful book.  The essay dialogs an experience where she found the perfect black bathing suit and how her feelings in it she realized ultimately tied to her own self worth, confidence, and how she viewed herself. At the end of her posts, she asked if anyone else could relate? Um, yeah! Is there any female out there who can't? So I'll share my response to this post here instead of flooding her comment section ;)

This post brought me back to a time in my life where clothing's look and fit, the scale, weight loss, etc defined me and my life. A dark time. A very, very dark time. I'll do a not-so-brief history lesson. What can I say? A lot goes into it. My father and I had a great relationship until I was about age 12, when he decided to open his own business and got sucked in. He had no time for the family. Except for his extremely high expectations of our duties and how what we did reflected on him. He was basically a slave driver and that was the extent of his relationship to us during that time. It wasn't so bad yet, but without a doubt I didn't care too much for my father and was delighted when graduation came and I was out of the house.

not so genuine smiles at high school graduation

Then it got really bad. For work and my major, I ended up doing lots of subbing to work towards my education degree and worked mainly in the school system where my parents lived. To save money I moved back home and the tension between my father and I escalated. To the point where every day there was screaming, yelling, emotional slander, and at times taking a physical hitting. The most memorable was probably the  "I've tried to love you because I'm supposed to but I just can't and don't care, so just kill yourself" comment he gave me. Which I immediately set out to do. I was deeply depressed at this time and the way I got any sense of pleasure in my life was to have a sense of control through weight loss.

My entire self worth depended on how the scale dropped. I spent a TON of money on new clothes because I could feel good in them and get attention. I also blew through a lot of savings by buying an endless amount of exercise videos and products. My life revolved around my 1000 calorie/day meals and my hours upon hours of workouts and fitness "research". This is also when my issues with binging developed as an emotional reaction to the toughest times with my father. I was a pendulum going between "perfection" and "I don't give a crap" and it all related to food and my personal "skinny" journey. That was all that mattered and since I had no love from my father, I sought after being "good enough" in other ways.

Restriction

Binge Eating

[Source 1]     [Source 2]

Fortunately, I moved out a couple of years into enduring that. Went down an even more self destructive path of too much partying with friends and then woke up to realize I was missing something. Found other goals, got back some faith, and turned my life around. Over many years and plenty of tearful conversations there was forgiveness. Not only to my dad, but also to myself and my body. I still have moments where seeing myself not at my fittest discourages me. But I am so incredibly thankful that it is minimal.

I realize clothing size, weight, and how I look has NOTHING to do with my self worth. I am worth so much more than that. And I sincerely ache when I see other women get down regularly about themselves. Or when I see them addicted to eating very little or exercising incessantly. It always makes me wonder what they are trying to escape or control. I pray one day we can all open our eyes to our own unique beauty and be proud of it. It is tough. But no black bathing suit or size 0 jeans, those were my depression days "worth booster", can tell you that you matter. You have a voice. Tell yourself. You matter. You are amazing.

We are all Beautiful!

[Source]

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34 Comments to “Memory Provoking”
  1. Ugh, Tina I am SO sorry you had to deal with that. It really just breaks my heart. I am glad you have to come realize your own self worth and feel good about yourself. I can’t even imagine what you’ve gone through.

  2. homecookedem says:

    What a powerful post and my heart breaks the younger you that had to go through that. But I am so happy that you’ve turned it all around and have realized that you are worth so much more than your pants size. By the way, your graduation colors look a whole lot like mine… CHHS by any chance??

  3. lessonstolearn says:

    What a painful experience. Thank you for sharing it. Everyone has a different story, but I think many of us can relate to those feelings of burying emotions and self worth in food. It is so inspiring that you’ve been able to take such a painful experience and build such a positive and happy family life for your child.

  4. Lindsey says:

    Great post, Tina! I loved it!

  5. Lindsey says:

    Also, I can relate so much to using dieting as a sense of control…it’s a nasty, nasty path to go down and I am glad we BOTH have worked our way out of it and are working on appreciating our real self worth … not related to our bodies!! It’s very empowering!

  6. I loved this post. You’ve a crazy journey and I love how you came over everything and now you’re so beautiful! Yes, weight/clothes/appearance does not define us and this post was definitely inspirational :)

  7. Danielle says:

    This was a a great post :)
    I’m so sorry you had to endure that when you were younger. It takes a strong person to overcome something like that and I really admire you!

  8. Awesome post and thank you for sharing. Also, thank you for linking to the other blog post. I really appreciate your honesty and love for life!

  9. kbwood says:

    what a beautiful post! i love how REAL you are. its soo refreshing

    http://www.notw.com/

    thats where i got my shirt girl!

  10. oh my goodness, I can’t believe you had to go through that…how terrible..i can’t even imagine .

    You’ve come a long way! you are such a beautiful person and an inspiration to other bloggers (like me!)

  11. Mellissa says:

    I really appreciate the honesty in this, it is so hard to talk about difficult periods in our life but what is even harder is admitting what we did to cope during those periods.

    I understand difficult parent relationship and know how hard it is to forgive and move on. Hugs to you!

  12. Like others, I appreciate and respect the honesty in this post. You really are such an inspiration! xoxo

  13. lisaou11 says:

    Oh wow Tina, I had no idea it was ever that bad. I’m so sorry you went through this, but it sure sounds like you’ve come out a much much stronger women. There’s obviously a reason why I’ve always looked up to you, and I think you showed me why tonight.

    Thanks for being so honest. I think you all taught us a little something.

  14. Wow – it was so sad to see you’ve been through all of this girl. You are such a positive blogger and to see how far you’ve come is amazing. :) Most blogs I visit don’t talk at this depth – thank you for sharing your strory – you’ve admitted things on here that some may not even have admitted to themselves yet.

  15. You go, Tina! Rockin’ post.

    I’m so glad you have got your life back. You’re so right. There is so much more to life than obsessing about our bodies!

  16. Vee says:

    I knew you went though some dark times in your past but had no idea that it was that bad. Forgiveness is an extremely powerful attribute to have. You know, you have come out as a winner and because your experience, you can relate to a lot of people who may be going though the same thing and inspire them to get better.
    Great post, it must have taken a lot of courage to write it and I applaud you for it! x

  17. Lindsay says:

    wow, what a crazy past…glad to see you came through and healed!

  18. How resilient of you to be able to overcome such negative comments. No one should have to endure that! You seem to be in a very healthy and happy place now. Congrats on the success!

  19. I appreciate your honesty in sharing your story.. you are really an inspiration! My heart aches for those going through things like that too. When have you have been through it and know the hell it is, it gives you a new perspective an understanding of others.

  20. Therese says:

    Wow I was just going to thank you for introducing me to the bathing suit essay, but honestly I was much more captured by your story. I can relate to so much of it (the restriction/binge cycle) and still struggle with not letting my self worth be determined by how I look.

    You are such an inspiation! I know your daughter is going to grow up with a wonderful grasp on appreciation for her God given talents…as well as her beauty!

  21. peanutbutterfingers says:

    i’ve always thought you were a strong and amazing woman and understanding everything you’ve been through only further reiterates those feelings. you are amazing and have truly overcome tremendous pain to become the amazing woman, wife and mother you are today.

  22. Ameena says:

    Thank you for sharing your story…I think we can all relate to some extent. My dad was also pretty distant and worked a lot! My goal is to be a more hands on parent but I see now how hard that is! I have a better understanding of my parents now for sure!

  23. this is an incredible post. there are so many women out there who have gone through similar things, but don’t talk about it. you’re helping to encourage and change lives with your amazing story!

  24. Jennifer says:

    Tina, thank you so much for sharing with us some of your life. You don’t know what it means to hear it from somebody who is as beautiful as you and it let’s others know that any person can struggle with body image issues. I really want to share a few things with you that I could use some advice on, but I think I’ll just email you instead. Just know that your post encouraged me today.

  25. Heyyy girl. Thanks for sharing. I knew a lot of this already but its still good to hear it sometimes. Its hard to remember that you’ve been through so much when you are such a strong, kind and amazing person today. :)

  26. Wow – you’ve been through so much. But I’m sure it has all contributed to your amazing outlook on life today. Our past makes us who were are today. So impressive that you were able to overcome all of that.

  27. You are so brave. I can totally relate to this, but I’ve never been able to open up and share that part of my story…Just so you know, you aren’t alone… :) It’s encouraging to see that someone else can feel your pain. You’re so strong now and have come so far!

  28. Brittany says:

    What a beautiful post. Thank you so much for sharing with us! Being able to truly forgive is such a wonderful grace that God gives us!

  29. What a beautiful, strong, and honest post Tina. You are a very brave and strong woman!

  30. Monique says:

    (sigh)

    Whenever I am feeling down, I just wanted you to know that I sometimes come back and read this post. It makes me feel not so alone and I know that someone hurt like I did revolving around my self worth. Thank you for sharing so openly with us. Obviously I know that you know, but you never know who may need it.

    Thanks again for commenting on my site and my story. I could feel the love behind your words and knew you meant every word of it.

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