“Blah Blah bounces back to pre-pregnancy weight just after two weeks of giving birth.” The ridiculous tabloid reads. I sarcastically mumble, “It takes 9 months to put on the weight so it makes perfectly healthy sense that it would fall off in two weeks.” I try to just stare at what new gum flavor I want to try instead of reading tabloid titles. I used to read those types of fitness/health magazines during my eating disorder phase. With each article I read, I would add more and more food and exercise rules to my mental list. So I knew it was in my best interest to keep staring at the gum and not read what new rabbit food diet some celebrity was on. Being that the customer checking out ahead of me was grocery shopping for an entire army, I had some time to think.
Back in the day when there was little availability of food, being overweight was coveted. Being overweight meant you could afford food to get fat on. Now in our 21st-century, Americanized-culture, we have an abundance of food. Therefore, the opposite “skinny/thin” is coveted.
That which is the hardest to obtain is the most praised.
And it’s not just being skinny. It’s being rich. It’s being popular. It’s portraying “perfect.” I use the word “portraying” because we all know we aren’t perfect. But gosh darn it, if people would stop trying so hard, it would be a much more even playing field. We want to be the best at something. I wanted to be the best at something. But I quickly learned that I’m not the most pretty, the most fit, the most intelligent, the most creative, the most loving, the most organized, the most talented, etc.
I’m not the best at anything.
We are conditioned to desire being more “er.” More skinnier, healthier, prettier, younger, etc. Because if you are more “er,” then you might have that pie all to yourself (metaphorically). Our society praises the best. Somehow average has always been boring. Attainability is boring. Believing that everyone can have a piece of the pie is boring.
My eating disorder was fueled by my desire to be the best at something. It only ended in a daily cycle of disappointment with myself.
But, during my recovery, I found that I liked not being the best. Instead of striving to be the best, I enjoyed learning about myself. The eating disorder stunts your growth- physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. It’s an addiction, it consumes everything about you. When I slowly gave up my addiction, I started to grow. I enjoyed learning about myself.
I learned that things with fat in them taste a lot better.
I learned that I get drained from being around people, but I become re-energized when I am alone.
I learned that I don’t like afternoons, I like mornings and evenings, but dread afternoons.
I learned that I enjoy taking naps during these said afternoons to make them go by quicker.
I learned that I enjoy making online photobooks.
I learned that I have an hourglass figure. So I started to learn how to dress it.
I learned that I enjoy teaching group exercise classes.
I learned that I like playing with make-up. So I started playing with make-up.
I learned that I like blogging. So I started blogging.
I learned I still had low self-esteem. So I starting building my confidence.
I was finding my deeper sense of identity, personal worth, and security in being me.
I gave up the notion that I had to be the best, I gave up wanting to be more “er.” Average, instead, became my healthy. I let go trying to prove I was worthy by collecting accomplishments. I gave up trying to win approval from anyone and everyone. I embraced and welcomed my average-ness and it was glorious. I learned that it’s actually okay that I’m not the best. I thought people liked me because I had something of the “best” to offer. That I had something people wanted to obtain. When I learned to give this up, I just was Megan. No one can be me. I’m the best at being Megan.