On Saturday, I had a phone call with a new friend who is helping me process some body image issues. She asked me what life would be like if I didn’t have body/weight issues as part of my life.
“I can’t even imagine what that would be like.”
We talked about not having excuses . . about becoming who I thought I could be . . . about dealing with my fears of either not being enough or of being too much.
“So could you give that voice a name? What would you call it?”
Without a pause:
(Note: I have an amazing friend named Fred and this has nothing to do with him.)
On the left is my super fly friend Fred and he is not at all like the Fred I’m about to describe.
Fred is a grouchy old man with white hair who thinks he can tell me what to do. Tells me that I’ll be too much if I’m fully me and not weighed down and pre-occupied with thoughts about what I should or shouldn’t do or eat or be.
“So, Lisa, if you could talk to Fred, what would you say?”
“Shut up, Fred. You don’t even know me.”
Fred doesn’t know me. He doesn’t.
But he thinks he does. He tells me I’ll be too much or that I’m not enough. He tells me that I were ever fully me that I would overwhelm the people in my life or that if I were fully me it still wouldn’t be enough.
Side note: Isn’t it odd that we can have fears of being too much but also of not being enough?
So from now on, that’s my response: Shut up, Fred. You don’t even know me.
You don’t know my heart. You don’t know my spirit. You don’t know that I would move heaven and earth to help the people I love and that it hurts me to the core when I feel I’ve hurt someone. You don’t know that even when things look easy for me, they’re hard. You don’t know that I second guess myself more than I don’t and that I have unresolved fears you can’t even imagine.
But neither do you know that even with that, I am strong. I am capable. I am loved and talented and full of life and joy. I refuse to be defeated by life or fear or by something as menial as food. I can sing and paint and teach and read and learn and cook and make people comfortable in my presence. I can laugh and love with the best of them. I’m fun and funny and smart and I made a perfect score on the writing portion of the GRE.
Shut up, Fred You don’t even know me.