Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Old Insecurities and Lessons Learned

I grew up "the fat kid".

Looking back, I wasn't fat.  Not by a long shot.  But the two girls in my neighborhood were underweight so I was the fat girl, by default.  With that title, days in elementary and middle school were filled with insecurities and daily thoughts that no one liked me because I was fat.  I was an easy target for others when the tears flowed easily and I missed a lot of school because of those insecurities.   

*Let me clarify that, not for one moment, do I blame my parents for my insecurities.  My peers created them and I fed them.  They are mine to own and mine to conquer.*

When I entered high school I decided, once and for all, the fat girl was NOT going to exist.  She was going to disappear for good.  Instead, people were going to meet an outgoing, funny girl who didn't care about appearances.  I was going to be friendly with everyone and never give anyone a reason to dislike me. In four years, I perfected that personality.  So much so that when I was talking with a high school friend after the cheek gash incident that I was feeling insecure, they couldn't believe that vanity was my biggest issue.  I had learned to hide it from even the closest of friends. 

And then I entered college.  And drank beer.  And ate food at 2AM.  And spent a summer in Alaska eating everything I could as an emotional reaction to heartbreak and change.  And I became the fat girl.  Again. Only this time, when I look back, I really was fat and there was no excuse or chance to hide behind humor.  I was fat.  Luckily, I had friends who didn't care.  They loved me despite of the weight.  But I never loved me.  With time, I dropped most of the weight and when I left college, I felt ok about myself.  Yes, I always thought I could lose more weight but honestly, I don't know a time when I haven't had that thought.

Enter Eric.

Enter a man who loved me for me.  Enter a man who showed me how to shine with confidence.  Enter a man who taught me to surround myself with good people who made me better.  I may never have truly learned to love myself but with Eric's love, I have learned how to feel confidence in myself and put old insecurities in the past.  I love working out now and feeling good about my body.  I love that I'm working on it and Eric is fully behind my choices to be healthy.  I may still want to lose those extra 10 lbs but I have learned to love me, despite the body image issues that flare up.

So, imagine my surprise when all those old insecurities rose to the surface on the heels of Friday's accident.  One 3 inch gash to the face and I was instantly transported to the 12 year old fat girl.  I was instantly transported to the days of hoping others wouldn't see my physical flaws because they wouldn't gauge me worthy of their friendship.  And I was instantly transported to the days when I hated myself.

It's been a rough couple of days and not because of any physical pain.  Having to explain the story over and over again and have people stare has not been easy for a girl who hates physical scrutiny.  I hated growing big during pregnancy because I equated it with "fat girl".  If I had known it would be my only pregnancy, I would have embraced it differently.
Lesson learned.

I know the injury could have been worse and don't think for a minute that I don't thank God for watching over me.
Lesson learned.

The scar will heal.  I'll do my best to manage it and make sure I have done my part to keep the scar to a minimum.  Just like I have done all these years to keep my "fat girl" scars to a minimum.  It's time to love my fat girl self so she can heal, too.  Without her, I wouldn't be who I am.
Lesson learned.

All scars tell a story.  Be them emotional or physical.  We carry them with us to remind us of lessons learned.

And every single lesson is worth learning.


  1. OH Chelle,

    OK now I am crying. How many women have insecurities that no one (or very few) know about. For the first time in 15 years, I am single and let me tell you, I understand. I hide it with jokes and snippy comments abou tht ex but in the end, it is my own insecurity about being the only single girl in the bunch.

    I hear ya about past issues, I feel for you and I am here for you!

    Love you always by friend. PS- You are still gorgeous!

  2. This was a very well-written post honey. I think we have all suffered with some sort of insecurity at one point in our lives. I was incredibly skinny growing up, but not in a cute way. I had no curves, no butt, no hips, no boobs...nothing. I was a string bean and that's what everyone called me. I hated it, and I hated the fact that I was so tall. I hid behind my humor too and tried to be everyone's friend. But that in turn made me no ones girlfriend and I remember that being hard. But low and behold...I woke up one morning in college with all of the above. I put on the butt and hips from beer and thanks to two pregnancies, they will never go away :-) But you know whats so funny about this post is that I look at pictures of you on your blog all the time and think "Gosh...Chelle is so pretty!" and here you are...thinking you aren't. Just goes to show you that all of your insecurities really are in your head :) You are beautiful my dear and that cut on your face will heal. And what little bit still shows, will make for a great story and lesson learned.

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  4. Although my face might not have showed it the day you walked off the plane from Alaska...I have loved you for who you are from the day this senior became friends with one amazing sophomore...Thank you Gary Blackburn!! I love you...

  5. My heart went completely out of my chest hurting for you when I read this! I want you to know that only you see yourself this way. I always have and always will see you as a beautiful, strong, afraid-of-clowns, smiling, only letting the insecurities out in the middle of the night, best friend. I have always seen you as your personality, not as a body-type. You would never describe your friends as the fat one, the thin one, the grey one, the cross-eyed one, and we would never see you as anything more than your personality. You are beautiful on the inside and the out. We may not like how we are physically shaped, but we must like how we are personality shaped. And you, my friend, have wonderful shapes in both departments! I love you, scared & insecure, strong & independent, and always will!

  6. I could have written the part about being the fat girl... except I reall was and still am. The fat part is just like any other insecurity but I have to say I think its worse. But, I've never been too skinny or too tall or too short, so maybe I'm just bias. I just watched the Oprah Show on Geneen Roth's Women, Food & God and I think I need to pick it up!

    I'm glad you've been able to maintain a healthy weight. I've yet to conquer that hurdle.


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