Since I started my blog I have been struggling to decide whether or not to include a section on losing weight. I finally have decided to include it because it is one of the most controversial areas in my life. I have many thoughts on the subject and will undoubtedly fill thousands of pages with these thoughts. I want to start right at the very beginning with how I feel about this one. I believe that every single human being on earth deserves to feel beautiful and proud of themselves. I think that the practice, especially of girls and women, of dieting for social acceptance is a very serious problem regarding self esteem and quality of life. I can’t tell you how much time I spent on the side lines simply because I felt too “fat”. There are far more important things in this world besides looks alone. I truly believe in my heart that we as women need to stand together and no longer accept feeling like second class citizens if we don’t happen to look smokin’ hot in a spandex mini skirt. The problem doesn’t really exist out there in the world but rather in our own hearts. Did I really avoid pursuing a university education because I wanted to be thin before I applied? I always felt, and still do, a little nervous in social situations. I think it’s a fairly common thing but I got into the habit a million years ago of blaming it all on my weight. I can see now that I was just using my weight as an excuse to avoid doing anything that may have made me step outside of my comfort zone.
Low self esteem was a real problem for me. Having low self esteem doesn’t sound like such a big deal but it can really impact a person’s entire life. It can stop a person from living the sort of life they want to live.I didn’t want to let the world know just how much it affected me. I still find it a little embarrassing but the message is too important to me not to share. I never had a boyfriend in high school even though I would have loved to, I never applied for a job where lots of other people worked because I was afraid of other people, I avoided secondary education for the same reason, I never pursued art, I never did anything at all that would make me stick out; all under the guise of being “too fat”. “I’ll do it when I lose 30 pounds” I told myself about everything. Looking back now I can see I was just scared. I felt insecure and inferior in so many different areas. I didn’t have a boyfriend until I was 22 because I just could not wrap my head around the idea of anyone wanting to be with me. The real problem here is that because I was overweight and could lose 40 or 50 pounds it seemed like a reasonable goal. It seemed like a good goal like I was really pursuing self improvement. When in reality what I was really doing was hiding. I had found a way to never take a risk. A way to sit on the side lines of my life and I was milking it for all it was worth. For some reason that I still can’t figure out I felt like I was wrong as a human being like I was less than everyone else and I was really uncomfortable in my own skin.
The excess weight melded with that feeling and it became that I was less than everyone else because I was “fat”. This problem started in grade school when I was teased about my weight. My parents tried to help me by encouraging me to lose weight. My entire family switched their focus to helping me lose weight. I got weight loss books and memberships as birthday presents. I was bribed to lose weight. I was reminded about all of the things I couldn’t do because I was “too big”. It seemed as though the entire world wanted me to lose weight. I had the additional bad luck of having my thyroid removed when I was 9 so I actually couldn’t lose weight. The doctors swore that my meds were right and that it was just that I was lazy. I was put under even more pressure to lose this weight. Not only was I not a good enough person to begin with but now I was too lazy to even try. I was bad and wrong and I lived a life of shame. Indecently I found out 20 years later that my meds were wrong thanks to a couple of great doctors I finally feel alive now, but that is a different story. My family loves me and I know that all of them were trying to help me but the problem is that there is no reason to fix something if it isn’t broken. So even just the fact that they were trying to fix me made me feel like I needed to be fixed. I am not broken! I don’t need to be fixed! There is not one thing wrong with me!
Nobody in my life ever, not even once, suggested that I consider the possibility that there was nothing wrong with me. It was a book called Women Food and God where I first read this foreign and bizarre notion that I didn’t need to lose weight to feel good enough. This book suggested that I just had to start being kind to myself. This book woke me up. I realized that the reason I never managed to keep the weight off when I lost it was because the weight itself wasn’t the problem. The problem was that I used food to express how I felt about myself. Dieting was the ultimate expression of self hatred. I had to learn how to treat myself with dignity. Since I was already hurting myself with food I had to learn how to use food to heal myself and the journey began. I can’t blame the people in my life for my twisted self image. The real problem was inside of me. It took me two decades to realize that I had the right to be happy just as I am. My weight actually has nothing to do with anything except my weight. I still want to lose weight and I am going to lose the weight too but this time I know that losing the weight won’t make me better; it will just make me smaller. I will still be me. I will always be me and I’m not going to be disappointed about that any more.
I intend to prove that I can be beautiful and happy at any weight and that I can create my dream body without suffering. If you want you can follow along with me as I lose weight and learn to be kind to myself in the action section of my blog.