RePost: DO YOU HAVE ISSUES? What is Your Weasel?

Last night on WOTC, we got to talking about "issues" - What is your major issue and what are you doing about it. It was just so cathartic, interesting, and amazing how everybody chimed in to help each other with their issue...to comment & make recommendations without malice, but with real concern & love.

So, what was my issue...Body Image. Somebody suggested that I might have Body Dysmorphic Disorder and that I really need to get some therapy. Perhaps. However, after looking up BDD and what the DSM IV has to say about it....NOPE that's not me. I still have issues with my image of self, but it ain't BDD:

Diagnostic criteria for Body Dysmorphic Disorder
A. Preoccupation with an imagined defect in appearance. If a slight physical anomaly is present, the person's concern is markedly excessive. (Yes, I would have to say I am often preoccupied with an "defect" in apprearance. However, I don't really look at it as a defect, more of a disappointment in my appearance. I don't think my concern is "markedly excessive")
B. The preoccupation causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. ( NOPE. As all of you know, ain't nuttin impaired about my social, occupational or any other area of functioning. I might spend an extrodinary amount of time making sure all of my dunlap is appropriately harnessed, but I'm not missin fun, work or anything else that I find important.)
C. The preoccupation is not better accounted for by another mental disorder (e.g., dissatisfaction with body shape and size as in eating disorders). (YEP. My preoccupation IS better accounted for by another "mental disorder"....DAMN...but my issue is not BDD)

But Wow....what other "mental disorder" - ISSUE could I have. More research and the one I came closest to (but still don't meet all of the DSM IV criteria) is and eating disorder, Bulimia Nervosa (non-purging type):
  • While I don't have recurrent episodes of binge eating, I do sometimes feel like I don't have control over what I eat.
  • I do have inappropriate compensatory behavior in order to prevent weight gain - most notably exceessive exercise (I don't misuse or use at all diuretics, edemas, vomiting etc. I'm way to vain for that nastiness)
  • My inappropriate compesatory behavior does/has occurred, on average, more than 2x/week for 3 months - how about ALL THE DAMN TIME.
  • YEP - Self-evaluation is unduly influenced by body shape and weight.

Well now. Now that I recognize my issue at face value, it is time to recognize and get busy with course corrections. Like I said in the post below:

I am a work in progress. I AM beautiful in His site.

While in Italy, Karen shared with me the preface of a book she was reading (I've forgotten the title now), but the preface was a story about a boy watching an Eagle that was soaring through the air as Eagles do. Did you know that Eagles fly the highest of all birds (they reach for the stars), they can see the farthest of all birds (they have great vision), and they mate in the air as no other bird (they stay true)? Well this Eagle swooped down to capture its dinner - it swooped down and snatched up a Weasel. The Eagle soared back up into the sky and just as it was at it highest, the Eagle started struggling and suddenly came falling back to the ground. The boy had to find out what happened to the mightiest of all birds. When he found the Eagle, the Eagle was dead. The Weasel had bitten into the chest of the Eagle and stopped the Eagles heart, killing it. How could this lowly Weasel bring down the most majestic of all creatures?

The Eagle wouldn't let go of the Weasel. If the Eagle has just let go of the Weasel (the baggage, the past, the demons, the whatever is holding you down and keeping you from soaring), the Eagle would have been able to keep soaring.

What is your Weasel?

The minute I read this story, I knew but wanted to reflect a little on it so I was a little quiet that day with Karen. I wanted to think about what I had written a few days before in the middle of some Piazza waiting for a tour guide (that never arrived), when I was alone in the city with nothing but my own thoughts - my own noise - and that damn Weasel sitting on my shoulder weighing me down...

I was sitting on a stone bench waiting for my Photo tour/class and had about a half an hour before they were supposed to arrive. I pulled out my notebook (I journal/I blog) and just started writing exactly what was rattling around in my head at that moment making me a bit melancholy:

As I sit in this square watching throngs of people from all over the world, all shapes and sizes, I wonder and fret about my state of mind regarding my body image.

All these people, all these shapes, all these sizes - and a good majority overweight or just downright fat or obese. Do they think about how they look or how fat they are as much as me? Do they care as much as I seem to? And if the world doesn't fret about it, then why do I?

Where are all the thin, extrodinarily beautiful people I see on TV, in movies, in magazines? In the throngs of humanity I have encounted so far, I haven't see them yet. I see ordinary beauty to the left; a rugged handsomness over there; happy, well lived faces at the statue; some sad; lots of plain, everyday pretty; some just plain; some just, well, plain unfortunate. Ah, there she is...and then, on a rare occasion (maybe for this moment) the skinny beauty, but uh, with some slight un-airbrushed flaw. SO WHAT?! What am I aspiring to/for? What am I trying to acheive? And if I do, will it make me happy? Will I be satisfied?

Why do I look in the mirror and one minute see gorgeous and then later catch a glimpse of me in a reflection and cringe? I've starved, dieted, exercised like mad & put myself under a knife and I'm still not satisfied. WHY? When will I be happy? Why do I not see what otheres say they see?Why can't I seem to control this, this what? Is it my weight or is it what I think of myself, my image of me that I'm trying to control? It's there, the answer, right at the tip of my mind but I just can't seem to hear it for all the noise.

I feel the cloud of depression hovering over my head and I struggle at this moment to shake it off and quiet the voices of doubt and confusion. Be still, Lisa. Be quiet. I will hear God. Talk to Him now for you know that He can clear the voices. Be still. Be quiet.

You've been made in His image. I AM beautiful in His sight.

It wasn't until a few days later when I read the story about the Eagle and the Weasel. My Weasel is doubt in myself, in who I am. My Weasel is this issue of weight and body image that I have been trying to control myself. That damn Weasel makes me doubt myself, my worth - he is biting into the heart of me, keeping me on the ground, when I should be soaring. It is time to shake him off, let him go, let God and soar....and don't swoop down and pick him up ever again.

I am a work in progress. I AM beautiful in His sight.

Thank you, Karen, for sharing with me. Thank you for your company, your wisdom, sharing the truth, for loving & accepting me (and for spending 24/7 for 7 days with a crazy woman). I had a great time and dropped my weasel...I can still see him running after me, but I'm turning my gaze to the sky.

Genesis 1:12


  1. I'll read your post, but I just wanted you to know that you should have been on my list, I just couldn't remember everybody. Blame it on the head.

  2. Anonymous10:37 AM


    You are beautiful. Every time I see you I am in awe of how happy, glowing and confidant you seem to be. I aspire to be as you are one day, but I guess we all have our weasels. Keep soaring and don't let it get you down anymore.


  3. Anonymous5:49 PM

    This is so beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing. It's nothing like knowing that you are not the only one conflicted on the inside.