I left the cafe feeling sinful and ashamed. With each step my cheeks reddened as the realisation of what I HAD JUST DONE crept into my consciousness. I had temporarily switched off my internal alarm system and now I would pay the price. I had been so GOOD and now I had really fucked things up. There was no coming back from this, everything was about to implode and unravel… I had just eaten – a big greasy breakfast.
Two poached eggs, mushrooms, hash browns, toast and a sprinkling of spinach, to be exact.
My stomach gurgled as I sat in the front seat of the car, half listening to my children, half calculating the calories I had so piggishly consumed. ‘YOU SILLY FAT COW!’ my Inner Skinny Bitch says. She talks with a Euro accent and is fiercely hot. My Inner Skinny Bitch (ISB) lives in my conscience and takes immense pleasure in putting me down and making me pay for moments like this. I imagine her sitting at an oversized desk, reclined back with her hot stilettoed legs perched arrogantly on the desk top. She shakes her head and wiggles her slender finger at me, ‘You did it again fatty!’.
I hate my ISB – she’s a tyrant.
There should be nothing depressing about tucking into a big, healthy(ish) meal. Yet within seconds of swallowing my last mouthful, it starts. The guilt is overwhelming, and the negative self talk doesn’t let up until my food is digested and I have made some kind of ‘deal’ with my ISB; ‘carrots and celery for lunch? You got it!’.
The truth is, I wouldn’t say I’m someone who is overly concerned with my appearance, but oddly enough I’ve been on a ‘diet’ most of my life. Does it stop me overeating? No. In fact all this ‘diet’ actually is, is a perpetual pattern of consuming what I want (within reason) feeling shit, and then getting over it and moving on to the next meal. It’s more an exercise in self loathing and negotiation than anything else. My internal voice (skinny bitch) is there to keep me in ‘check’, to make sure I’m always hyper aware of what I’ve put in my mouth. As much as I hate her, she’s my creation. I’ve made her the way she is – rarely positive, and always first in line when she’s got something mean to report. She’s a bully of the worst kind.
It’s widely known that women are harder on themselves than they are on anyone else. I would never begrudge a girl a big meal. Nor would I be negative about somebody’s physical appearance. In fact, I find it easy to see the beauty in those around me. So why can’t I just give myself a break? Why can’t I get rid of the Inner Skinny Bitch once and for all?
Every New Year’s Eve when I’m making personal resolutions, the first thing on the list is always ‘lose weight’, as though if I could just tick this one off, then the other stuff would fall blissfully into place. Even on the most joyous of NYE celebrations, my Inner Skinny Bitch has to show up and throw down the gauntlet: ‘By year’s end, you SHOULD be thinner!’. I’m not silly, I know there are FAR more important things in life to be concerned with and to strive for. I know full well that a much more evolved, more ‘adult ‘ resolution would be ‘Accept what you look like’ …But I’m not quite there yet.
I would like to say that ‘losing weight’ has completely fallen off the 2017 wish list – it hasn’t. But it HAS dropped down the totem pole. Top of the list this year is ‘to be kinder to myself’. I’d like (please!) for my Inner Skinny Bitch to just chill out a little; get a bit chubbier, laugh more and for God’s sake, let me eat my big, greasy breakfast – with relish!
￼By Brooke Klaassen