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I Can Accept That

January 6, 2012

Self Acceptance is essential for a happy life. It seems to go without saying, yet I constantly hear people who claim to accept themselves complain about the size of their ass, their thighs, their hips, and God knows what else. Ironically, the biggest thing about those same people is usually the size of their egos.

Size Acceptance and Self Acceptance go hand in hand. You cannot possibly accept yourself unless you accept your size. However, that is merely the first hurdle. The harder part is really accepting who you are inside. Period.

For instance, I struggled with social anxiety for many years. I’m sure it was at least partly a consequence of my size since I had taken a lot of shit for my size over the years. Naturally, I was a little shy and wary due to that extra baggage. However, I now believe it has more to do with just me than my size. I am simply a pretty quiet, solitary person most of the time.

When I was a teenager, I was able to manage my social anxiety by getting drunk and wasted out of my mind. But when I got into my 20s and my friends had all gone their separate ways, starting families and such, I had less opportunity to party my ass off and anesthetize my shyness with drugs and alcohol.

Plus, the necessity of going out into the world and make a living among strangers made my shyness and wariness take center stage again. I used to beat myself up about it a lot. Whenever people looked at me like I was weird simply because I was so quiet, I would blame myself. I was ashamed. I would wish that I was different… that I could simply chat with ease at the water cooler, just like them.

But when I heard the inanity of most of their conversations, I began to realize that I was just fine exactly as I was. I am even more okay with it now. You may not think I’m the life of the party when you first meet me, but believe me… it’s a farce. Underneath my unassuming façade beats the heart of a party animal.

Writing has been a huge blessing as far as enabling me to express myself while being totally in my element. We are both on the other side of separate computer screens, but we are communicating. At least, I am communicating with you. That seems to be the way I am the most comfortable… unless I get to know you. Then I can let my zaniness come out and play.

Another thing I’ve had to learn to accept about myself (and forgive myself for) is my tendency to be quite critical. I admit it: at times, I pre-judge. I see a skinny woman somewhere and I automatically assume she’s a skinny bitch. Or I see a great-looking guy and I automatically assume he’s an asshole who’s full of himself.

But every once in awhile, they defy the stereotype — and sometimes, they even turn out to be pretty cool. Then I  regret assuming the worst. I realize that it is probably a defense mechanism I developed many years ago to protect myself from being hurt. Now, I can embrace my weaknesses and the things about myself that are not so nice. And let’s face it, pre-judging people and being overly critical is not nice. I am nice, however, and I am working on being nicer every day.

I can also accept that even though I feel (and sometimes look) like a total sexpot, the vast majority of society does not see me that way simply because of my size. I may complain about it at times and think it’s unfair, but the bottom line is that I feel beautiful and sexy, my husband thinks I’m beautiful and sexy, and even a few flirtatious guys who regularly chat with me on Facebook to tell me how sexy and beautiful they think I am. So why should I care if the masses think I’m deluded? Let them have their little delusion about all of us fat people being sexless and ugly. Meanwhile, let’s just bask in our sexy, alluring confidence and the love of our fans.

One thing I am totally unapologetic about, and unequivocally accept about myself, is lambasting fat haters and just plain ignoramuses. Anyone who is consciously (and even unconsciously) obnoxious to someone else does not deserve mercy, in my opinion. I totally accept my vociferous and sometimes foul-mouthed tirades against them, and I also applaud those who join me in such tirades. That’s why I love this website so much.

Self Acceptance is not easy. Self Acceptance is not a glib and flowery concept, like a Hallmark card. It actually takes some real blood and guts at times. It takes some serious soul-searching and self-examination. But when you have it, you know it. And there is no greater gift that you can give yourself.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 6, 2012 2:55 pm

    Geez, I could have written this. I’m not exactly shy in social situations, but I definitely have trouble communicating with other human beings, except online, where I can pretty much pick and choose the kinds of conversations I have, and avoid conversations about stupid shit I don’t care about. I hate small talk, and it’s impolite to discuss politics or religion, which are two of my favorite subjects. So, yeah, I withdraw from social interaction and I like it that way. Me and V against the world, and our tiny team of weirdos to back us up.

    And Self Acceptance is hard, but well worth all the effort.

    Great post, Gabriela!


  2. Emerald permalink
    January 6, 2012 3:19 pm

    I also identify a lot with what you’ve said, Gabriela. In my case, I was told from fairly early on that my ‘un-girly’ attitude to my looks (and being fat was seen as part of that) was the chief reason I had no friends. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that it was way, way more to do with my lack of social skills – I’ve long suspected that I might actually have Aspergers (I haven’t been formally diagnosed but I have a lot of the characteristics). I still only feel truly comfortable around certain types of geeky/arty/pagan/alternative people, and thanks to circumstances I’ve ended up in an area where it’s hard for me to meet regularly with those kinds of people in the flesh. Like Atchka, though, I find the internet an absolute godsend for interacting with people in a way I can cope with.

    I also used to use alcohol to ‘oil’ social situations – somewhat disastrously, because I’m one of those people for whom booze in more than very small amounts actually makes me ill. But I no longer apologize for not being a party animal, because it’s simply not the way I am. Fortunately, I married a guy with a similar personality, so we’re happy being a couple of geeks together.

  3. January 6, 2012 3:48 pm

    Blood and guts…you said it! The hardest thing about self-acceptance can sometimes be the fact that as introverted as any of us may be, most of us do not live in a vacuum. If we could live in a nice little bubble where are bodies didn’t ignite other people’s judgments and disgust and were left alone to feel good about ourselves, then positive self-esteem would be a cake walk! But because we are subject to outside sociological influences, we are constantly being tested…our resolve for self acceptance gets challenged over and over. Having like minded people around us is helpful, vital…but as you so eloquently put it, it all comes down to our own personal hard work.

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