Eat, Drink, Be Merry, and Try Not to Have a Panic Attack.
Here we are folks, right smack dab in the middle of December. I love winter, I love the snow, I love the cozy weekends, I love the food, it’s Christmasy as fuck everywhere you turn, and it truly is my favorite time of year. I am knee deep in holiday parties, both work related and just plain old fun ones. I have plans most nights, and as an extrovert I really enjoy it! It’s not sustainable, but for a few days it can be very invigorating, dare I say even energizing. If nothing else, it’s an excuse to wear party dresses, so I’m all about it.
Here’s the thing though, this is my first holiday season where I’m not dieting, restricting, or measuring. I am eating all of the free food, drinking all of the free wine, consuming everything that I have spent years looking at with cartoon puppy-dog heart eyes. It feels great! I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a major factor in why I’m enjoying these social outings so much. On the other hand, dieting is all anyone wants to talk about, and I’m about to lose my goddamn mind. If I hear one more “Oh I really shouldn’t,” “I’ve been so bad this week,” or talk of whatever asinine diet trend is the latest to hit the market, I am going to have a public freak-out so large that I undoubtedly will lose my job for it. I’m not necessarily saying that you have to consume each and every thing that you see, but if you could just stop shit-talking yourself for at least a couple of hours, that would be so great. It’s tough, because yes, of course I understand where they’re coming from. I would be lying if I told you that I’m no longer tempted to weigh myself. I don’t do it, but it’s damn tempting. If it didn’t require a fresh set of batteries for my scale, I probably would have caved by now. I just don’t want to care about my weight anymore, I don’t want to put off my happiness until the scale tells me that I’ve earned it, that I’ve been “good” enough to savor life in a real, fulfilling way.
When someone complains about how much they need to slim down, or how bad they’ve been this week because of what they’ve eaten, it does two things. The first is it makes me want to slap them, to shake them until they see their value and worth, and embrace every inch of their flawed, beautiful selves. The second thing, and this is the part that truly has me on the verge of a panic attack at all of these functions, is that it undoes all of the work I’ve put in so far. I have been telling myself that my weight doesn’t matter, and that I am worthy regardless of my size. I have told myself that it is okay to gain weight, and have even at times even come pretty close to believing it. When all anyone can talk about is how much weight they want to lose, it proves me wrong. Obviously, it does matter what I weigh, because it’s the only thing on anyone’s mind. Do they think that I should lose weight? Should I think that I should lose weight? Should I lose weight?
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that desiring to be thinner is in and of itself fatphobic. Telling yourself that you would love yourself more if you were thinner is fatphobic. Expressing fatphobic ideas and ideals out-loud, even if those sentiments are only targeted towards yourself, is spreading fatphobia, and it can be very hurtful.
Be kind to yourself, be kind to others. Have a cup of hot chocolate, get yourself a cookie, and have a holly jolly ole’ time. If you can’t do that, please for the love of sweet baby Jesus on his sweet little birthday, stop body shaming yourself, and stop spreading that poison to those around you. Just be quiet. Merry Christmas, everyone.