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These are my thoughts, yo.

Project Totus Wk. 1

jasmine banks

Week one is under my belt.... I feel like I am withdrawing from heroin. I was driving by an A&W the other day and it took all of my willpower NOT to go all 'Fast and Furious' and whip my minivan into that drive-thru. Um. I don't even *like* A&W. I don't like how my body feels after I eat it and I don't like the taste of the food. My head told me I NEEDED it... because when I am afraid or overwhelmed or reactionary this lady likes her some MSG. I like the way whole clean foods make my body feel, alas, I am breaking a life long relationship with all things over processed. I was raised on Hamburger Helper y'all... that we topped with Ranch. Ranch is fat girl ketchup...mmmmm. I have already started to see changes in my body. Upon noticing such changes, I promptly freaked the hell out and started to worry about people looking at me, noticing me. For those who know me in the for real world you might ask, "But Jasmine! You are so vivacious and outgoing." Well...  I *am* and I also create a sassy 'in your face' persona at times to distract myself and maybe the world from my pain. So I journaled about my reaction and chatted about it with the psychologist. Here is what we surmised:

 

Victims of trauma, particularly sexual abuse, create shells of protection. Some do this  with intellect, money, power, risk taking, chaos, etc. I decided that food could be my comfort and protection. Eating put on pounds and pounds made people stop looking at me.Or it at least made me think people weren't looking at me. Paradoxically it also made people admire me. How you ask? People would frequently say, "you are so beautiful, for your size."  "For someone as big as you, you are pretty athletic."

Did you gasp? Don't be too surprised- people say these things all the time to overweight and full figured people. Don't EVEN get me started on the "you have a pretty face but..." line.

I digress.

Weight kept me from getting noticed, an outgoing vivacious and hilarious persona kept the deeper parts of 'Jasmine' from being noticed. Dr. Becker, my psychologist, gave me some homework. She asked me to be more intentional about being present in my body and not analyzing in my head (her nice way of saying, "stoping being so fucking neurotic")  SO week one of Project Totus has been about gathering my team, setting my goals, and getting started. I feel like I am on track to becoming well and un-fractured: whole.

I was talking to my friend, Lyndi, the other day about this project and why I am doing it in the public eye. I told her, "I am a bit disgusted with myself. It seems lofty and voyeuristic." She disagreed and encouraged me saying. "It is your thing. You don't come across as self-righteous. I hear you when I read your blog" After our lovely lunch date I realized two things:

I wanted to do this publicly because I would stick to it if I felt like I would let some of you down. This made me deeply sad. Where was the concern about MYSELF? Why couldn't I do something that mattered just for me? Maybe in doing this project and feeling obligated to the people who follow my blog I will happen upon that piece of self dedication that I have lacked all these years. Maybe in doing this for others, representing those who are too afraid to talk about their struggles, I will find that I really was doing it for me... who knows.

 

I wanted to do this publicly because I am just brave enough to be myself. Even if that means looking like a hot mess I can, more than most, be ME. I hope that in being myself others might be inspired to be more of who they are without all the pretense.

Y'all. This is such a disconnected post. I will admit that is how this project is going to be. It will be totally unstructured and messy. It will be beautifully confusing. It'll be authentic. We are on to week two and I am so apprehensive and thankful to have you in my corner!