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w o m a n
b o d y   i m a g e

A semi journal of my feelings as they happen


Friday, May 26 2000,
Well, having vented all my feeling pent up below, I do of course feel somewhat better, and somewhat foolish, as one does when one confronts feelings in a public way.
Still, I've decided to keep this page up, I have not blamed anyone for the way I feel, merely acknowleged that I feel this way. I know it helps to know you're not alone, and perhaps we can start the healing together, to use psuedo-psych speak.

Tuesday, May 23 2000, at a time that I should be in bed
Being fat

I genuinely cannot say whether I really am ugly or pretty anymore. I used to hate myself deeply, believing I was grossly overweight, yet daring to hope it was not so.
I was 12 at the time, I was not even large by any standards, I was not shapeless, and I had a sway back, but by the time of my first pubescent growth spurt, I'd gained a beautiful figure. I say that looking back now, because then all I could see was fat. I still am stunned when I look back at those photos. I weep for the girl who was lost. If she could have known how pretty she was, what would I be now? Would I have wasted so many years in an endless cycle of self hate. Of only seeing a gross ugly fat blob in the mirror.
That image stayed with me, until eventually I did become overweight, it still is there. I was on the verge of being clinically obese. This is merely a Body Mass Index of 30 or higher. It is a score of % body fat.
I got up to 28 at my biggest. About a size 14-16NZ, waist of 30", hips 40". Not huge, but enough for me to be called a "fat cow", "fat ugly slag", Miss Piggy", "too healthy to be Shelby" (in Steel Magnolias). All within earshot of many others.
Apparently people have no idea of the deep wounds they inflict using these words.
Do they not think that I say these words to myself at least once every hour?
Do they think that I really don't care that I'm fat?
Don't they realise I will never acheive my dream of being a leading lady in musical theatre because of my weight?
Size is the very first thing people can see, I mean, at a distance who can see eyes, or can see what's behind the eyes when the general outline is so obvious.
Yet I also scream inside that I'm not fat, I'm normal, healthy and no less wonderful than anyone else.
I hurt so much from these conflicting thoughts that I feel lost. It is perhaps because of these two different images of myself that I can no longer see me as I am.
I can look at the photos of me over the last year, and see the transformation I made, actually see that I've lost a lot of weight. Yet again I'm of a double mind and heart. Why should I be happy that I've lost weight if I really feel that I was perfectly fine the way I was?
Why should I be pleased I actually starved myself, eating one rice wafer a day for over a month to get that way?
What kind of message is that to myself and other women I've told never to do anything so stupid.
I put on about 3 kilos after that.
I of course still had the same size 16 image in my mind, seeing rolls of fat and stretch marks that I blamed on being fat, so I never saw the weight come back on.
Until other people mentioned to me that I was getting fat.
That was 2 weeks and one day ago.
I've since lost the weight.
I plan to lose more.
It scares me that I can lose weight so rapidly by simply not eating.
And how much easier it is now to not eat.
I haven't had a poor appetite since I was a baby, when the Plunket Nurse thought it important enough to put into my notes.
But since being betrayed deeply by two men in the course of two years, something snapped. Instead of relying on food as comfort, it now can be a sourse of disgust. I feel physically ill when faced with anything like ice cream or cake. Yet I still feel hunger pangs.
I want to eat a full proper home cooked meal, but I cannot face it.
And yet, I'm determined to lose more weight.
I need to.
As an actress as soon as those 10 kg are gone, work will just pour in.
I will be able to do a modelling assignment, maybe a day's work and be able to live on the money for the next month.
This weight issue is incomprehensible to men, which is why I've got it in my   w o m a n   page.
I hope that this doesn't scare men off from reading it. And I'm not blaming men in general for my eating problems.
But these men had no idea of the damage they were doing to me.
The seeds of self hating were planted many years ago.
My mother has no idea how much her own issues with weight had on me. I do not blame her for instilling in me the belief that dieting would cure every thing that was wrong inside of me.
I do not think she realised that the words she used about herslef would be endlessly copied by me.
She was hospitalised as an anorexic in her mid twenties. Around the time I was ababy.
Ahh, yes, remember I mentioned the poor appetite as a baby? It may be pure coincidence, but what we see and hear in our infancy stays with us.
I can see her in my minds memory, trying Weight Wtchers, Jenny Craig, low cal low fat diets.
This might be fine if as a pre-teen I wasn't seeing myself as being like her, and if she thought she was fat, so must I.
Even now I cannot eat without feeling guilty around her.
"Are you still hungry?" Comes the cry if I'm rattling around the cupboard after dinner.
No. I'm not. I'm just walked 35 minutes to catch a train, walked a further 20 to get to the gym, trained for an hour or more, walked the 20 minutes back to the train station and got a lift home.
A bowl of veges is plenty to recouperate after all that with no time for a snack.
See what I mean about my two minds?
On one hand I find eating a chore and full of guilt, on the other I'm defending myself.
I know I have a problem. And I am lacking energy at the moment because I'm simply not putting the food in that I need to fuel my activities.
Today I feel I over ate, yet I'm hungry.
To me this seems a huge amount of food:

a) a 2/3 cup bowl of light cereal, plain, with a drink made of banana and milk and two knobs of fat free ice cream to thicken it.
b) three small japanese rice crackers
c) a bowl of veg soup (only the liquid) with 2 pieces of toast
I'm feeling shame for writing it. I feel it's too much for someone like me to eat, yet I justify it by saying I'm training. I need the energy.
I think this is true. But I'm still too tired to do much training. By the time I've warmed up (the walk to the gym) and stretched (45 mins on average, I'm very flexible and need to contsantly ease that flexability by stretching, or I seize up and tendons snap causing damage) I'm too tired to do the sctual stunt training.
Perhaps tomorrow I'll feel clearer. I'll have trained three days in a row.

Being plain
What do I say here. I feel exhausted from finally writing how I feel in a way that others will actually see. Maybe people who know me will wonder where it all came from, or were waiting for me to say everything I can. Maybe some will feel I'm attension seeking.
But I must finish this tonight, or I'll lose the train of thought.
I'm plain. I am no great beauty.
These words cut so deeply I can no longer feel them. For they are true. How can it hurt to tell myself the truth?
I do look a good three or four years younger than I am, which is fortunate, for I feel I can use that as 'catch up' time to try and become beautiful.
Or some conceived notion of beauty.
All my costume work has taught me that ideals of beauty are forever shifting, never settling on one type for long. Long for a lifetime, but not for society.
So I look at these ieals, adn I know that at some time I was concidered beautiful. And I wonder how I'd view myself then.
For time, I felt beautiful. This was around the time of the miracle weight loss. Which was sparked by me feeling at my lowest about my weight.
If you really want to know the tale in full, go here. Basically a guy played a lovely mind game on me. Built me up to knock me down.

p e r f o r m e r     c o s t u m e r     m d b   h o m e

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