Or maybe we don't. I have no idea who is reading this, and what, if anything, they know about my week and my life. I'm writing this entirely for my benefit, but if someone else gets something out of it, well... that's pretty great too.

If low self-esteem and bad body image are going to bother you, by all means, look at this gif for a while, and then go check out something more fun.


For those are you who are still here, well. Moving on.

I have low self esteem.

Which... okay, is not really that unusual, I guess. There are plenty of other people out there who are in my boat, I'm sure. I very much doubt that my issues are unique. I don't think I'm very pretty or attractive, and some days, I'm not even sure that I'm very smart or clever or funny. There are a lot of days that I look in the mirror and I just can't think of anything nice to say to myself. No "cute hair," or "nice top," or "hey that was a pretty bright thing you did, go you." Just... "Oh, okay. Well, finished washing my face, so that's something. I guess you're not a complete loser."

Geeky Spouse thinks this is something I need to work on, and I really am trying, but it's hard. When someone says something nice to me, there's a voice at the back of my mind going "LOL, NOPE," and if I say something nice to myself, I know I'm just saying it because someone wants me to (generally GS. It's part of his program to get me used to being kind to myself.) And I hate to blame this on something stupid like mommy-issues or daddy issues, but... Part of me really has to give credit for at least some of my self-esteem issues to my Dad.

And doesn't that sound pathetic? I can't even take credit for my own issues. But... here's the thing. I love my dad. I am pretty ridiculously a Daddy's girl to the extent that GS always laughs a little to see us together, because it's so obvious. And all the while growing up, Dad used to pick on my little sister's weight. It's something she struggled with more than I did when we were kids, and he would say stuff to her like "you look like a five pound sausage in a two pound bag" if she was wearing clothing that didn't fit.

Real sweet, right? We both pretty much hate that phrase now.

But then he would look at me sometimes, and then turn to my sister again, and say stuff like, "You're just like your mom. Zoë's like your aunt. You know how gorgeous your mom is--when you're grown you'll be just like her, and Zoë will be overweight like your aunt." Actually, I believe the phrase he used was pear-shaped. (I know it was. It's difficult to forget. He said things like this while I was present.)

He would also tell her that she was smarter than me, that I had to work for everything while it just came easily to her, and if she would only apply herself... And so on. (Here is my dirty secret: In school, I never needed to work for anything. It just came easily to me too. I did the work because I wanted the grades. It wasn't lack of understanding and the need for more practice.)

So Dad was trying to build up her self esteem... generally at the expense of mine. And not very successfully, I might add. Being told constantly that you need to lose weight and watch what you eat and that you'll be pretty later is no more helpful than being told that no matter what you do you'll never be as bright and pretty as your sister, so why even bother.

And then, of course, I started struggling with my weight, so I started getting the weight comments, too. Including a memorable occasion where I came home from college for Thanksgiving, he looked at me and said "Are you pregnant?" I had been dating my then boyfriend, now spouse for a month at the time, and I was a virgin. I was mortified. My stepsister overheard, and--to her credit--made some comment to him that I can't remember, but was along the lines of STFU.

She's always been so classy.

Anyway, the point of that long wallow in pointless family history is... I have really terrible body image. Which brings us back to today. Which is Wednesday, and Wednesdays are always just a little... challenging for my self-esteem.

I'm a Weight Watcher and have been for nearly three years, and my weigh-in day is Wednesday. I woke up this morning (a little late), and showered and dressed and looked in the mirror and thought... "Well, not bad, Zoë. Actually... pretty good. You look good today. Surely you have lost some weight this week." The thought was kind of shocking, actually, because usually I look in the mirror and go "oh, God," and don't see the fact that I have lost about fifty pounds in the three years I've been a Weight Watcher. (I see it when I look at before pictures, but not when I actually look in the mirror. Whatever.)

So, weighed in today, and... I was up a half a pound. And before you say anything, yes, I know that weight fluctuates wildly and that a half a pound is nothing really and could just be me retaining fluid, or a thousand other things, and not to put so much weight (ha ha) on the scale. I've been a Weight Watcher for three years. I know. But I'm up about 9 pounds from my lowest weight on the program, and I'm frustrated, and seeing that today was really disappointing, especially when I started off the day feeling so unaccustomedly good.

So I'm trying to remind myself to be proud of the fact that I felt good this morning, and that I actually went to the gym a lot this week, and maybe I wasn't as good about eating healthily as I maybe should have been (Day of Gaming Drunkenly, anyone?), but I did a lot of other things that were really good for me.

But it's hard, because I have low self-esteem, and I just keep looking at myself and going... "Welp. You blew it. Just like you always do. Why are you even bothering?"
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