This past weekend I took a whirlwind trip to New York City to be part of a workshop offered by Fiona Sutherland on having tough conversations. Sometimes in life I find that certain things occur at a perfect time. For me this was perfect timing. Diet culture is everywhere. It is infiltrating all corners of my life from work to personal and even my kids. I am finding these conversations hard to have. Hard to hold space for sometimes. Hard to constantly speak up. But I do. I live with a hell of a lot of privilege so I want to use that privilege in anyway I can to give a voice to marginalized and oppressed bodies. I want to help my children see the privilege they have and to speak up for other bodies. This is what I planned on learning more about but fate or Fiona herself, decided that was not the most important conversation I needed to have. The tough conversation I need to have is with myself.
You might be wondering why I am writing about this as learning how to navigate the tough conversations in the non diet world might be more what you need. Hang with me, I think I might get there by the end. And if not maybe you need to have a tough conversation with yourself as well.
I lack the ability to say no. I have been pushing at 120% for almost 2 straight years. I am afraid to say no. I fear that I won’t have anything if I don’t do everything. And I need to do it all perfectly. This all came crashing down on me at the workshop when I heard the statement “ perfectionism is diet culture”. I have been spending so much time and energy pushing back on diet culture but really just moved it to another form. I try to perfectly demonstrate what my disease is like to help others, I try to be the perfect clinician, I try to be the perfect teacher, I try to be the perfect parent. I try to be the perfect spouse. I spent a lot of time being hard on myself for not reaching perfection in these areas yet I am the only person on earth I expect perfection from. The question that came up for me was “why?” If I am being very honest I am not doing great in any of these areas because I am empty. Even writing this post I was hard on myself because I have been busy and not written in over a month. I started writing this thinking it needed to be stellar to make up for not writing recently. However as I wrote and the words started spilling out I realized what I needed to say. And it is this. I can only do so much and that is ok. I do the best I can with everything I try and it never needs to be perfect. Mistakes teach me things and help me grow. I can model trying instead of perfection. I can be brave. I can be me. After all I think that was the whole point of me calling this blog “unapologetically me RD”.
So here is my tough conversation “Lori you are living a life that has bumps and turns and surprises and joy. You have a place in this world and can use your privilege to leverage the voices of the oppressed but you can’t do that if you strive for perfection. You will be wrong. You will make mistakes. This life is messy. Be messy. Get in and stay messy. Be brave and be you”.
Until next time be unapologetically you while I be unapologetically me.