Travelling overweight is not impossible. No matter your weight, shape, age, travelling is a lot of fun, the best gift you can give to yourself. Don’t let your fears stop you.
Fear is not your enemy to defeat or to despise. It is, in fact, your friend. The annoying one.
There are many reasons for people to have fat. Only a few has anything to do with laziness and willpower. I’d like to put this out there.
What’s it got to do with skirts? Well yesterday wearing a short dress brought up some long-forgotten fear in me that I didn’t expect.
I never wear short dresses in the summer when I can’t wear tights underneath but yesterday I just popped out to the supermarket and didn’t want to change for a quick grocery shopping.
It was eerily empty, must’ve caught a dead period and I felt very visible without being able to hide in the crowd. I felt like everyone was looking at me. And soon everywhere I looked, I saw men. And suddenly I felt like every man was a predator. The guy on the phone who happened to be in the same aisle, was “following” me. The men who were buying something to barbecue were “gaping” and “talking about me”.
I discovered a while ago that one of the things holding me back and keeping my fat cushion is my fear of attracting men and their unwanted attention. This fear was something I’ve known but it was an abstract reason.
It was real yesterday. I was so conscious about showing too much flesh that I didn’t buy our usual cheese because it was on the highest shelf . It was a debilitating feeling, scary and lonely experience, and I was close to tears.
Nothing happened, hell, nothing even changed, I’m still the fat girl, no more (or less) attractive than I was the day before.
Was it a flashback? A warning? A reminder why I keep this safety cushion? Or just an old fear flaring up one last time before it disappears… Time will tell.
Does any of you have/had similar experience? I guess I’d just like to reach out to know I’m not alone. To know that it’s healable (if that’s a word). Thank you.
Hello my long-not-seen friends! “Wassup wassup” as my coach would say. “What’s the craic?” would be the phrase if we were in Belfast. “How you doin'” – if Joey wanted to hit on you. (It’s a good chance lol.) “How _are_ you?” is my go-to phrase after a hug. And I really would wait and listen to how are you – not always because I’m such a nice and friendly person (I can be) but sometimes because I don’t want to tell you how I am.
I am incomplete. Imperfect. Irregular. Especially this week. I missed blogging, and the A to Z challenge so much but things piled up at work and had insanely long hours. I’m now tired as fuck and my plan for the long weekend of Easter is to sleep. And maybe do my Easter cards. (Better later than never, eh?)
But this week is about laughter and being laughed at so here’s a joke I made up. (Literally 5 minutes ago, just for this challenge 🙂 )
My cat and your cat walk into a cat bar.
“Gimme a big glass of 3.5% milk with whipped cream!” my cat says with defiance.
“Shit!” your cat says with open-mouthed admiration, and before she finishes her glass, that’s exactly what my cat does.
Knocking myself down
The original plan was to record a video of myself telling a joke but I don’t want to show up with hair undone, wearing no bra and my old glasses. But that’s what I do at the weekends at home, and after the week I had, I can’t be arsed to do more. (Not even for you 🙂 )
This also holds the message that the way I am in my natural form is not enough for others. Can’t be enough, is what I say to myself with hiding me. I guess deep down, before I reach that level of self-love that must be there, I believe I’m ridiculous. That’s why I am afraid to really put myself out there. That’s why I always hold back.
Links to laughter
Well that confession was a bit heavy but I’d like to finish this catch-up post on a lighter note. So here are some posts that made me laugh this morning reading the A to Z challenge:
- Rob Z Tobor introduced us to a Victorian inventor who just wanted to win at poker
- Kalpanaa is not afraid to make us laugh at her and I adore this post
- My favourite tale collector, Zalka Csenge Virag, features 2 badass mice today and it’s made smirk and think at the same time
- Megan is writing a satire about why not to be a writer and my favourite line in today’s post was “or else call it steampunk”. Damn true! 🙂
Thank you all for being your lovely selves and here’s to a good, relaxing day even if it’s not a bank holiday where you are. Take it easy. Tomorrow I’ll be back with an interesting video that I’ve been wanting to make since I had the idea. See you then!
I have created this blog to keep me on track as I work on facing, overcoming my often irrational fears. I want to live life more freely, less restricted by my own imagination. For April’s A to Z challenge I am tackling one big fear each week: started with “Being Seen” and currently focusing on “Hurt by Laughter“.
I don’t remember many things from when I was little but one of them sticks out: one evening, I must’ve been around 11-12, I decided to write a letter to the guy I had a crush on. I’m not sure why but either mum or her boyfriend at the time realised it wasn’t my usual quietness they were used to. So they asked me to show them what I was doing. I remember feeling pretty satisfied with how the letter turned out so I didn’t object. I gave it to them and waited for praise. You’re probably guessing right, I never received it. They laughed instead.
“You can’t be serious” Joe said.
“I am” I said. I was shocked at the reaction and I was stubborn.
“You can’t give it to him” mom added.
“It’s ridiculous. You’re a girl. You can’t write to a boy like this.”
They were both in agreement. One thing led to another and mom tore the letter up.
“Forget it!” she said. “Just talk to him!”
“A letter…” they would say laughing even some time after that.
I think the memory stuck because it showed how much she didn’t get me – talking to anyone outside of my close circle was always out of the question.
Because they could (would) laugh at me.
It’s a horrible fear of mine. Not being taken seriously, being found ridiculous is even lower on the scale than walking through fire. (Theoretically of course. I’ve never walked through fire.)
Many years later when I was working as a serious management consultant at the young age of 25 or so, I needed to make a good impression at a first meeting with a unit head of a bank. I was nicely dressed, high heels, suit, seriousness and professionalism, prepared with the questions etc. so it went well. At the end of the meeting he walked me to one of his teams who was on another floor. It was but the last step of stairs that did me in: I fell on the ground without any trace of womanly grace, literally flat on my stomach. It was like time slowed down and my thoughts were super-quick but I couldn’t move my body enough to even lessen the impact. To the guy’s credit he was more worried than laughing but our mutual respect had a serious fallback (pun intended). Since then I always hold on the rail by the stairs as if my life depended on it. Only because I don’t want to feel ridiculous.
It’s the same in many other areas and I believe I could probably lead all my problems back to this one simple fear: not wanting to be laughed at.
So guess what? This week I’m going to do all kinds of uncomfortable things that I’m not good at or sure about – I’ll even try to make you laugh just so that I can experience that the world (even only just my world) won’t end after a little laughter at my cost.
I’m super-super anxious of course but as they say “no pain, no gain” and I’m also kinda excited to try new things. We’ll see how it’ll go! 😉
Do you have any bad experience about being laughed at?
Since I started to focus on overcoming my sometimes crippling fears around the middle of February, I have been able to celebrate some wins. Step by step, week by week I am facing something I shied away from before. Gently, lovingly, sometimes shakily but I show up. Here’s what’s happened:
- Week 1: ✓ Kept a gratitude journal 5 times a week and mused about how we can be positive
At first sight they look easy and indeed, anyone can do them. What makes (made) them so terrifying to me is simple: unreasonable Fear.
But what is fear really?
At first sight Fear is not just a bitch but an attention-seeking one at that. It’s egotistic, consuming and burns up everything. It confines and ties me down, using the one thing I love the most about me: my imagination.
What am I actually afraid of?
- I’m afraid of being laughed at. I don’t want people to look at me and find it ridiculous.
- Being judged. I also don’t want to be seen and judged. “Look at that fatso.”
- Disliked. I’m afraid if I open up, people won’t like who I am.
- Rejected. I’m terrified of showing vulnerability, some need and getting a no in return.
Fear warns me of the pain these situations would cause. It wants to protect me but in return it throttles me. I’m like a caged bird (no, really) and by locking me up, fear deprives me of the sunshine that would keep me alive.
Fear is protection
I don’t doubt that fear’s got good intentions. We fear the fire because it can kill us. We fear heights because if we fall, again, it can kill us.
But then my fear tends to get overzealous. Would being laughed at kill me? Sure, it would hurt, it would be uncomfortable but I would survive. Isn’t it natural that some people will dislike me? Don’t people always make judgements at each other, fat or not?
I love fear for loving me so much that it wants to protect me from all kinds of pain. I want to use this mutual love between fear and me to give space to each other. As they say, if you really love someone, let them go. I need air, freedom to soar and not be tied into a cell, no matter how safe it is.
Fear isn’t a bitch after all: it’s an overprotective lover who wants only good for me. I just need to prove it that I can take a little pain in order to grow.
Thanks to the A to Z challenge I now have an excuse to turn my Courage Journey up a notch. During the next four weeks I will take daily challenges in real life to expand my comfort zone working with a specific type of fear every week. Hope you’ll come along, too!