A wise blogger wrote to me after reading my recent entry at Refuse To Regain. She said: “Don't be so hard on yourself. Nobody's perfect. And let me tell you something I've learned along the way. Nobody wants to listen to someone complain about how fat they are or how fat they feel. It gets old real quick. I learned this the hard way. Find something else to complain about...like the weather.”
She’s right. I HAVE been a whiney ass lately. I suspected this was true even before I got her email, but I didn’t really acknowledge it until today when I was on my way home from the gas station and I listened to myself yell to no one as I drove down the street.
I was mad because a selfish/ignorant/belligerent/assholeofacollegestudent pulled up to the gas pump I was OBVIOUSLY waiting for. When he swerved his beater around me and up to the pump, his girlfriend turned around and laughed at me from the passenger seat (I think she pointed, too, the little b-word). I thought about the scene from “Fried Green Tomatoes” when Kathy Bates smashed into that chick’s VW Beatle after the little b-word stole her parking spot. I fantasized the boy and his girlfriend looking on in horror as I squealed in delight while I rammed his pathetic little car with my Jeep, and when I was done, repeating Bates’ infamous phrase: “Face it girls, I’m older and have more insurance.”
But the gas station was packed, there were too many witnesses, and the police station was just down the street. Not to mention I might have blown the place up, gas being explosive and all.
What’s at the heart of my rants and complaints and negative self-loathing is sometimes easy to identify. Other times…like now? Not so easy. But since losing weight and changing my attitude and and blah blah, blah, I’ve learned I have to sit down with myself and dig into the feelings rather than ignore them. Ignoring them only causes food to go in my mouth. Well, after the yelling in the car, that is.
When I got home, I started figuring it all out by thinking of something happy, namely Claire, which led me to remembering one of the songs my daughter sings to her when Claire’s sad. It’s from the show Yo Gabba Gabba (which you have to be a toddler to appreciate) and it’s called “Think Happy Thoughts.” I’ve watched Cassie sing this to Claire several times, and by the time Cassie gets to the chorus – “Think happy thoughts, happy thoughts / That’s what you gotta do. / Think happy thoughts, happy thoughts / and a smile’ll come back to you” – Claire’s tears have dried and she’s back to her happy self again.
So I’m thinking maybe it’s not always about figuring out WHY I feel the way I do. Maybe I just need to deal with the feeling, acknowledge it, and find a way to move on that doesn’t cause me to repeat the hurtful/angry/self-abusing behavior. Maybe I just need to think happy thoughts sometimes to get over the rough spot instead of shoving food in my mouth or whatever it is that satisfies me for two minutes.
My happy thoughts today of Claire led me to a satisfying emotional place. I no longer want to pummel that kid’s car. I’m not calling myself “fat” or any other name. I’m not “all there and together” necessarily, but I can feel what I feel in the moment without further self-degradation. And I’m not bitching about how fat I am or feel. That’s useless. Makes no sense.
Sure, the things that are bothering me and worrying me are still present, but there’s no need to take it out on myself or others. Life’s just like that sometimes. Hormones, bad moods, worries and complaints. That’s just the way life is. You gotta take it all in stride and think happy thoughts sometimes.