Friday afternoon, while at physical therapy, I totally lost my shit.
I hate when that happens.
I've been going to physical therapy for my knee and my tailbone for about two months now. While my knee has shown marked improvement, my tailbone continues to be, well, a literal pain in my butt. Physical therapy involves my physical therapist massaging the area around the coccyx to loosen the tight muscles that they think are causing me pain.
That's right - twice a week I get my butt massaged. It's so awesome.
I don't know when I became such a prude about my own body, but it was really hard to accept that this man I had just met was going to by rubbing my behind. I mean, I've never even had a male doctor before, nor am I comfortable with the idea of ever having one. However, in the interest of getting better, I sucked it up, so to speak, and dealt with it. When his assistant started to work on me, I told myself that he was very busy, and hey, at least this was a woman. I could deal with it.
Then on Friday the new guy, who I had only seen once before was instructed to do a treatment on me. A treatment that called for my pants to be pulled down quite a ways so that my butt crack was exposed. I didn't like it, but what was I going to do?
Then it was time for the massage, and another girl who I had seen before but had never worked on me was sent my way. She too had my pants down pretty low. And that's when it started.
First, there was just a strong feeling of unease. Then the more I thought (obsessed) over it, the more my hands started to shake. As I laid there after my massage with the ice pack over my lower back, I started to feel the familiar tightening in my throat, where a lump was beginning to form. I told myself repeatedly to just calm down, that I was overreacting, but do you know what? The same way a hysterical woman will become more hysterical when someone else speaks those words to her, I become more upset when I say those words to myself. It's awful.
So I'm laying there and tears start leaking from my eyes. I was frantically wiping them away, first with my hands and then with my shirt, while trying to unsuccessfully will myself not to cry. I wasn't sobbing or anything, but the tears just kept leaking and I was powerless to stop them. I knew I had to talk to Chris (my therapist/trainer/nutritionist) before I left or the situation was going to be stained in my head all weekend.
I pulled him aside (by this time it was pretty obvious I was upset) and explained to him what had happened, and why I was upset, and why it was a big deal to me. He knows about my OCD, but not my childhood or the anxiety disorder or the PTSD. I confessed that I felt ashamed (because I do) that something that happened over 25 years ago should be able to affect me like this and I can't control it. He was really nice and apologized. I guess when you're dealing with people with weight issues, it comes up occasionally.
I confessed to him that sometimes it feels like I'm too broken to fix, so why am I even bothering to put myself through all this?
Earlier in the week we had a discussion about body type. It seems to me that there's a certain comfort in being a fat kid and saying to yourself, "Hey, I could be skinny if I wanted to, but who wants to starve themselves and do all that work?" The thing is, when you start to watch your diet and start to diet and you are told that you will never be able to be tiny because your body type makes it impossible, well, it's discouraging. All I heard was that I was "big boned." I didn't know that was a real thing! I thought that was something that fat people said to make themselves feel better about being fat!
So, when I picture my five foot, four inch frame, here's what I see in my mind:
Oh, not the one on the left. The gorilla skeleton on the right. Short, squat, and big boned.
I know that's not accurate. I know that is my mind reacting to things it sees, things it hears, and emotions that I feel in a negative way. I know that when I run on the treadmill, the reason each footfall makes a loud noise is because it's hollow under the belt, but what my mind tells me is that I'm TOO FAT to run, and I'm TOO BIG to be on there, and those footfalls aren't normal, but rather THUNDEROUS AND LOUD and I'm going to break the machine if I don't stop.
I consistently buy clothes that are too big for my frame because if they are even the slightest bit snug I fear that the hulking bulk of my body will burst forth from them if I lift an arm too high or sit too fast. I think I have this picture of myself in my head where I'm much, much bigger than I actually am because I feel like it's better than thinking I look thinner than I actually am.
All this time I've been telling myself, At least I'm not in denial about how I look,
but actually in a way, I kind of am.
I am making progress, slowly but surely. I'm eating better than I was three months ago. I weigh 13 lbs less than my pre-pregnancy weight. I'm down quite a few inches. I no longer weigh more than my husband. I've started jogging again and I've been exercising with weights and bands and all that good stuff for two months. Today I bought a pair of jeans that yes, are a little snug, but they fit and they are two whole sizes smaller than the ones I was wearing to the store.
I just need to keep moving forward and to get out of my own dang way.