Hello and welcome to another edition of #TransparentTuesday! During #TransparentTuesday, we remove the rosy filters of social media and share real life.
Happy December! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
As predicted, this past weekend was punctuated by some pretty lonely moments. I'm glad I made a plan and some lists, and I did take advantage of them.
- I went to a friend's for Thanksgiving (thanks Lizzie and family!!!)
- I didn't eat my feelings
- I worked out (here's the fun hyperlapse video. Can you find me?)
- I watched all 8 episodes of Scandal
- I listened over and over to Adele
- I didn't drink too much wine
- I didn't eat my feelings
- I let people know I needed help, and went to see Mockingjay Part 2 and then ate delicious Mexican food and had margaritas. Because yay, margaritas.
- I didn't stare too much at social media
But I still had pangs of loneliness. It's not that I need someone to fill my life or make me feel whole. I just feel like I have a lot of love to give. It's a weird feeling, actually. Just craving a connection to someone that is real. Something to fill that family void that feels larger during the holidays.
I actually had a date scheduled for Friday that I was excited about. He ended up canceling the day-of and hasn't texted or called since. Unmatched me on Tinder. Before I meet people, I encourage Googling. I want someone to know exactly what I look like so I don't waste anyone's time if they're not attracted to me (or vice versa). I think the photos I have on my profiles are realistic, but I'm all about transparency (obvi, hence this Transparent Tuesday series). We were talking (on the actual phone!) and I asked him why he hadn't Googled me, and he said “I want to learn about Emily from Emily.” Fine by me.
So when he canceled and went silent, my mind automatically defaulted to thinking the Googled me, didn't like what I looked like, and just ghosted. When in reality, maybe his old girlfriend wanted to get back together. Or maybe he's just a jackass. In any case, I hated that my mind automatically assumed that the fault was mine. Or more specifically, my body's.
I read these profiles and they say things like “An active lifestyle is important to me, and I'd like a girl to be active as well.” “Cool,” I think. “I like to be active! It's important to me!” But then I realize they're probably just saying they want a girl who is thin, and I move on to the next person. Or they say things like “I appreciate a woman who takes care of her appearance!” Um, I do that. But not likely the way they're talking about.
I know we can't be everything to everybody. I certainly have a “type” and not all men are it. But those statements – being active and taking care of one's appearance – I wish they were within society's definition of possibilities for people of all sizes.
With these whirling thoughts in my mind, I went to the gym this morning and was excited to add a good amount of weight to my deadlifts. I had the ever-so-patient (and kick ass trainer) Lucy record it: (RSS readers, there is a video embedded below. Click through to the full post to view)
When I watched the video, I had a rumble of emotions. A clash of body image messages and a battle of self-love and negative self-talk. It was quite a collision. I thought-vomited on Instagram:
War in my head. My body felt so great doing deadlifts with much more weight than even last week. But my head saw the video and didn't process it as strength, it processed it as failure. Failure to look on the outside how I feel on the inside. Failure that people can't see this strength behind the jiggle of my stomach or size of my ass.
But you know what? The people who fail to see the strength or beauty inside aren't worthy of my time, energy, or love that I have to give. You know who IS worthy of it? I am. 😊
My mind may have processed it as failure for a second, but I'm immensely thankful to be able to call bullshit on myself. I now see strength 💪
I felt so good. So strong. Do you see me grinning at the very end of the video? That was real.
After watching and viewing this video from the public fat-hating goggles or lenses of dates who rejected me, I felt like a failure. How can our minds flip so quickly from feeling strength to feeling completely inadequate?
In the end, we're the ones who have to occupy our bodies. Focusing on those feelings of strength and accomplishment is of top priority. I'm glad I have the self-awareness now to recognize this, but it's exhausting.
So for anyone else who has had these feelings, keep your chin up and throw those goggles out. I'll work on doing the same.