not a number.

Trigger warning: body image/eating disorders.

Today I did a couple things–I went to lab, and I had some discussions about lab.

In specific, I went to Scientific Principles of Fitness and Conditioning lab and we all pinched each others’ body fat with calipers.

I think I don’t need to say that I, nor anybody else, in the lab was really looking forward to the whole thing.

I have not blogged any on the subject of body image. I’ve started several posts, and never finished them. Just because I haven’t blogged it, doesn’t mean I haven’t struggled with it.  From what I heard today, though, was that while nobody talks about their insecurities, we all shared the same struggles when staring the body composition lab in the face today.

Like this guy:

tweet1.tiff

From the similar remarks between my classmates to one another and the lab instructor, I figured out I was definitely not the only one. The comments from my friends Natasha and Jenni on Twitter solidified this too–as if the lab were cruel and unusual torture. (It’s not torture, it’s exercise science. But still torture when you’re in there). Nobody took the option of going into more secluded space; nobody refused to participate–yet we all hesitated to start, and we all complained.  This lab, I think, for everybody was a step out of our comfort zones, and a step towards the realization that I have from time to time that pretty much everybody struggles with their perception of their own body.  And I knew I was in good company and not alone with my insecurities in this lab.

Last week was National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. I had full intention to blog on the body image subject then. However, it is timeless.

Today, inside myself, I freaked out over the numbers in front of me.

Today, I tried to pacify myself knowing that I am healthy.

Today, that is hard.

My thoughts tear between I am okay and I can do better. The old patterns, the old thoughts come back to me.

Where every bite is agonized over and sometimes, frequently, not taken–or where every bite is ignored fully. I cannot live in either of those places as I have in the past.

Where I compare myself and my body to those around me . . . frequently my often very athletic classmates who I feel so different from the majority of the time.

Where I agonize over a stupid number.

I get angry at myself for doing this. I get angry at society that i feel the need to feel this way about myself. I get angry that I just can’t shake the thoughts and move on and move outside of myself.

My heart knows I am not a number, that I am more than a number–it’s my head that needs convincing.

held up on my last strings / of this marionette of me / that you control in your spare time / pick me up i’m a pantomime / but cut the act. / and all the strings and the stupid smile / you’re seeing inside, i’m slowly breaking / my heart is aching.

this marionette of me / just ain’t cut out to be what i would like to be

skulls and hearts and crossbones /  pick me up when i am all alone / the only friends that i dare see /  fears of what you’ll do to me / but let me fall . . . / onto the dusty floor / and let me cry and talk what i / have held inside for so long.

and i am cutting all my strings / you can try to hold on, but i’m already gone.

held up by your dwindling, nervous hands.

this ain’t me, no . . .

marionette of me, tess dunn

And I am not alone.