Polar Bear

Polar Bear
My Boy

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The pea under the mattress

So, a little about Polar...  He was a Great Dane.  I rescued him and his sister from a backyard breeder when they were tiny puppies.  What never stood out to me, but was just part of my boy, was that Polar was completely deaf, and was partially blind.  Never aggressive or unkind, he was the mushiest, biggest softy I have ever known-and that includes people.  To me-he was perfect.

Me, however, I have never viewed as even close to perfect, and I wondered to myself today why I have such an obsession with my self image.  I know why I literally gained weight-food rewards me or comforts me and I do truly love the taste.  But knowing why I started dieting and obsessing and picking myself apart was a mystery to me...so I went digging around a bit in my big fat head...

When I was young, I was beautiful and perfect, and I never thought about fat content or total carbs.  When I was in 7th and 8th grade, I had a HUGE crush on a boy named Chris.  At summer camp I tried to get his attention by being good at everything I could.  How was I to know that some guys view competitive women as a threat?  So he called me fat.  Was I fat?  Not in the slightest.  I was average and healthy, as all young kids should be.  I remember crying at night wondering why he hated me so much and how I could not be fat and he would like me.  Never did it dawn on me that I wasn't fat-in my mind he spoke the truth.  Now I know what a jack@ss I was, but moreso what a little Napolean sh*t he was.  I wish I could shake that girl.

In high school, again a boy dictated my self worth.  Neil, a pompass little sh*t, rebuked my attention, and called me fat.  Was I fat you say?  A size 12, which is now a size 8.  Again, I was a super athlete, and he was a sports flunky, riding the bench for fun.  Throughout my first few years of high school, I had numerous boyfriends and many other guys fall at my feet...but what stood out to me?  Neil calling me fat, and me failing to gain his attention as a freshman.

But I think the biggest setback came when I was a junior.  I played sports hard all summer to improve my standing on the teams on which I played.  I dropped about 10 pounds, to 132 pounds.  I remember this number because I was really proud, and it remains the lowest weight I have been since I hit puberty. So I had even more guys chasing me, and I heard my best friend, Jamie, was going to ask me to the prom, which sounded perfect to me.  So I was sitting in the gym after practice one day, and his Dad, our head athletic director came up to me and again alluded to Jamie possibly asking me to prom.  Then he said, and I quote, "You know you would be perfect if you lost 15 pounds."

So there it is.  Not just some stupid crush telling me I was fat, a trusted coach and mentor, and the father of my best friend telling me I wasn't good enough.  I also remember but not in as crisp detail the numerous times he joked to his son in front of me about my and other girl's growing assets-always a perpetual perv.

No matter how many times I have gained and lost weight, and tried to reach deep down to get at the root of why I rollercoaster and have never felt peace when looking in the mirror, I always come back to the pervy athletic director, and that day in the gym.

I heard years later about him harassing and commenting on young students' bodies-still.  Still inflicting his mental torture on young girl's-creating a generation of obsessed mental cases, even after some girls speaking out.  He still works there.

So what is the lesson here?  How do I reconcile this with myself?    I need to get over this viagra-sucking mf-er.


I'm Annie said...

Good hell, I cant believe that coach! What a horrible human. He should not be allowed out of his house, let alone be allowed to still work with young adults.

I'm so sorry, for each of those instances. No wonder we have a hard time with our self-esteem.

I look forward to catching up on your posts and following your journey! :)

Polar's Mom said...

I know, now you know why I thought you should read mine. Seems we all have that tiny pea under our mattress somewhere. I could probably write a long post about the people who treated me poorly because I was fat that continue to haunt me, versus the wonderful people that treated me with kindness that I probably forgot about... But my question is-at what point do we set these people's cruelty aside and move on-does it inhibit weight loss success from the beginning or motivate us to be better? Or will we ever shed that stigma in our heads, or will it always hold us back no matter how skinny we get?