(Big Mouth Bares All)
Shortly after posting my first blog entry, I received a note from a dear friend who wrote the following:
When you bare your soul about body issues, I am always in two minds. On the one hand I admire you so much for laying your fears, dreams and struggles on the table on the other hand I have to wonder at the world if you feel 'less than'. You are without a doubt one of the most attractive people I know. People love to be around you. My children adore you, and you are one of the blessings I count for them (and for me) every day. I am concerned by your body issues only because they may sometimes make you unhappy.
Of course, I had a bit of a cry. But in a good, how-lucky-am-I, type of way. I have incredible friends, am surrounded by people who love me, and somehow, magically, the most amazing, interesting people come my way. I am blessed. And this is by no means a smug, self-congratulatory posting. Or an attempt to be love-bombed by people taking pity on me. I just need to acknowledge it.
So why put myself 'out there'? Why such a public forum for such a private matter as body issues, and why share my feelings of inadequacy with anyone who cares to log on ? Perhaps because having written a column ( by the same name) for Woolworth's Taste magazine for the past four years, I have gotten used to baring parts of my soul...so much so that it no longer seems so strange to me. And of course, there are still some things that are intensely private, things I could write about, but don't, because of a sense of self-preservation.
I believe that one of the reasons we read is so that we may, upon occasion, chance upon someone else's story or experience that resonates with us. We long for that moment where we say to ourselves, 'Ah. I know what he/she feels like; that happened to me; I thought only I have felt that way.' And so we read, to realize that we are not alone.
If someone like me battles with feeling ugly and overweight, someone who has a lot going for her and who has many people in her life who love and support her, how much more difficult is this struggle for those who are not as lucky. So I write, all the while hoping that if my story ( and hopefully my victory) can make one other person feel less alone, less 'less than', then it would have been worth it....
(And then of course there is the small matter of pride. Just imagine for a minute... imagine putting all this out there, and then not losing any weight, not dealing with body issues, not learning to cook... I'd look a right (fat)arse...And I'm hoping not to do that....)
(And one other thing. If you're reading this, and think that I feel fat and ugly, all the time, let me hasten to assure you, that there are times, when I feel Absolutely-Bloody-Fantastic. Like the time Nicci took Bianca and me to watch Gordon Ramsay in action at the Good Food & Wine Show. On that day, dressed in black, silver bracelets, leather biker-jacket et al, I decided that subtly, seductive Issey Miyake perfume was not called for. No no, on that morning I sprayed on sluttish Strip by Agent Provocateur... As if....)