When I look in the mirror, I see a fat girl

But this is what the camera sees:


The thing is, I can look at this picture and understand that what I see (fat girl) doesn't match up with reality (not fat girl).

But so what? KNOWING THAT in my mind does NOTHING to change how I feel about my body.

Yesterday, one of my friends Voxed me and was like: "Whhhhyyyy are you doing this Paleo???"

And so I thought about that.

And here's why: I feel ugly and fat unless I can fit into this size 2 dress:


Looking at these two pictures together, though, maybe I'm the only one who can see the difference? In other words, the girl in the first pic is not as OUTRAGEOUSLY FAT as I imagine her to be?

I've never had an eating disorder, PER SE, but one thing has always remained: I always feel fat. I always feel not good enough.

And there is the core issue: I'm Not Good Enough. 

So, if I'm going to be extremely honest, here: I'm "dieting" not because I want to be healthy. I'm dieting because I want to be skinny again. Skinnier than size 2. I want people to say: "Wow, you're so skinny!" Oh, god. Let me just be 100% honest: I want to disappear. I want to be waif-y. Because somehow, when I look in the mirror, being skinny makes me Feel Like A Good Person.

There it is. Excuse me for a moment while I bawl my eyes out. *LOUD SOBBING NOISES*

OK, I'm back.

I've done enough therapy and recovery work to know where this comes from. MY CHILDHOOD. Of course it does. Godly women were tiny, weak and very quiet. And I was never, ever tiny enough. 

In my church, a diet trend would sweep among us like a flu epidemic. Dieting was the new holiness. If you were "on fire for God," then you were earnest about fasting and doing juice cleanses and--especially if you were a woman, you tried to fast yourself down to a size zero; which is pretty much the same as saying you whittled yourself down to invisibility. 

Here's the thing I never learned: moderation.

I mean, you never just ate this way 80% of the time. You went cold turkey. All in. You gave 110%. You cut yourself off. IF YOUR RIGHT HAND OFFENDS YOU, CUT IT OFF!!!

Pretty much you attacked everything in life this way. There was no such thing as pacing or moderation. "Burning out for Jesus" was a virtue!

Alright, so. Here I am. Day 3. Gluten-free/Paleo. I *do* need to lose a few pounds just so I can fit back into my regular jeans. BUT. I don't need to be ALL FUNDAMENTALIST about it, do I? No, I don't. I can be gentle with myself. I can ease back a bit. I can have some frozen yogurt at night.

Most of all, I will LOVE MYSELF just as I am right now. I will not WAIT until some point in the future to love myself. I can accept and cherish my body with all it's stretch marks and kinks and "imperfections" right NOW.

Because here's the dirty secret: even when I was a size 2 and the "skinniest" I'd been since highschool? I STILL FELT FAT. Also? I wasn't any happier than I am today.

All Together Now: I am beautiful. I am lovely. I am perfect just the WEIGHT I am.