I learned about hiding myself in
all black clothing shortly after someone asked me when my baby was due. In case you are new around here, I’ve
never been within ten miles of pregnant; and at the time I wasn’t even remotely
interested in it. I was out shopping and the lady at the register kept grinning at
my waistline. Naively, I just
thought she was checking me out (air quotes).
Looking back, I should have picked up on the fact that she was in
her mid to late seventies and wearing a wedding ring.
“When are you due, hon?” she sort
of cooed at my bellybutton as she folded my new purchases.
“I’m sorry?” I could feel a burn
crawling up from the middle of my chest spreading out all over my body. Did that spinster just say what I think
she did? Luckily, I’m a levelheaded
sort of girl and quick on my feet.
I picked up tiny a plastic hanger-y thing and with each word, slammed it on the
counter a little harder.
With that, I spun on my apparently
chubby heels and huffed (and puffed) straight to my car where I sped to the
nearest McDonalds for a “Number-one-no-onions-please-with-a-supersized-diet-coke
was the overeating phase of my eating disorder.
I quickly found that black was, in
fact, the new black. No color, no
patterns, no deviations, just hide.
I could not bear to have any attention brought to what was happening on
the outside of my body, much less the
inside. Because the over eating was
all about hiding. I stuffed myself
to stuff the feelings.
I became miserable and unhealthy and a danger to old salesladies all over (yes,
it happened again.
And again) and
so after at least 14 different failed "diets" I learned how to eat right and
exercise the old fashioned way. I HATE THE EATING RIGHT AND THE EXERCISING AND ANYTHING OLD FASHIONED.
I began to lose weight. And then I
lost more, and more, and suddenly I made it back to the place of numbness where
I began. Only this time I was
starving. And people noticed. And again, I was so ashamed for anyone
to see me. I thought that they might look at me and know what was really going on.
So I continued to hide myself in black. Hoping I could camouflage the thin and the pain.
The under eating was hiding too. I starved myself to starve out the feelings.
That was the under eating phase of my eating
has passed now, and I ran out of ways to run away from the feelings, so I had
to get healthy. No more
shenanigans. I gathered up all the fear and the hurt and shame and distortion and gave them a great big heave-ho up to God. I sort of hate to admit He was able to handle it all without any help from me. He has been so good to help put the broken pieces of me back together into a better whole than I started with. He's so beautiful that way.
After a long time of no
physical activity, my counselor recommended Yoga. YOGA. I laughed. I don't consider myself to be the yoga-ish type. I consider myself the drink aspartame, talk too much about myself, and wear big jewelry type. But, then I decided to try it. I mean, I blog now... why not join the cool kids in the rest of the cool things?
week I walked into the studio, filled out my paperwork and met my
instructor. When it was time to
purchase my mat, I grabbed a black one and then stopped. I’m not going to hide anymore. I am changing my default. I reached back and picked out the
brightest, ugliest, PURPLE yoga mat you have ever seen. You would certainly lose your focus and your zen and everything yoga-y with a glipmse of my fancy fuchia towel. But
you know what? Every time I look down at it, I don’t see a dark square
reminding me of hidden hurt and shame.
I don’t think pounds or calories or numbers… I see hope.
And if I ever see that saleslady
again, well, Namaste sister…