I’m gaining weight again. Slowly, I’ve been trying to adopt small, albeit significant, changes to my way of life. Coffee: black with no sugar, sometimes hot, sometimes cold. It’s been a while now, a month, maybe more, and though at times a sugar craving hits me with a shiver crawling from my chest, to my neck, to my mouth, it subsides. In the words of Myleik Teele, this thing is a marathon, not a race.
This morning I showered and got dressed to run a quick errand. When I saw myself in the mirror, I changed my glasses, then my clothes, and repeated variations of this for at least an hour. I considered not going outside at all. I didn’t like the way I looked. I hated how nothing fit right. How despite the constant effort, I always seemed to look so sloppy.
Eventually, I gathered myself, pulled on my favorite black pull on trousers, a black tee, barely-there black sandals and yellow round frames. I slipped in my earpods, blasted Lizzo’s ‘Worship Me’, and left. Leaving the house lately has required this kind of effort. These ebbs and flows of confidence coming to me boldly only to be hit with overwhelming anxiety that has me running scared moments later. It is exhausting. But it’s where I am right now. Rather than fighting it, I’m leaning in. Doing little things to find that internal calm. Giving myself one less thing to think about. I’m wearing what I love, even if it means rotating the same outfits in an already minimal closet every week. I’m giving myself manicures. Choosing the things I gravitate toward, rather than already defined societal standards that don’t align with who I am. I’m listening to Lizzo and Daniel Caesar and Eartha Kitt. I’m sharing the moments.
I’m also starting to recognize the importance of affirming myself. I never realized how constant my self-berating is. How actively working to change that is ongoing work. A kind of praying without ceasing.
I’m remembering that I’m not alone in these feelings. That the most revered among us feel it too. I can embrace my power to change the things that bother me while loving myself as I am in this moment. I can do both. I’m also learning that this work is internal. That no amount of wardrobe changes can fix a broken psyche. You have to do the work. You can’t escape it. You can’t escape yourself.
When I got home, I stripped off the pants and tee and bra and slid into my favorite almost backless black dress. Maybe because it hides my FUPA. Still, I can’t remember the last time I felt so beautiful.