I assumed she meant because I’d written that my dad had given me a rare compliment and I was pleased that I was making him proud, especially as he doesn’t share his feelings very often. (That makes me cry – happy cry – when I think about it.)
But actually she was feeling sad because she had read it that my parents were not accepting me as I am – overweight or not – and putting pressure on me to lose weight. So I thought I should explain a bit more in case others were thinking the same thing.
I am so blessed to have amazing parents who support me and encourage me and absolutely accept me for being me – whatever my weight and despite all the anxieties I must have put them through over the years.
My parents worry about me (comes with the parenting territory). They could see that I was putting on weight and that I wasn’t happy about it. They just want me to be happy. Although they would probably still have concerns about my health if I was 30 stone, they wouldn’t love me any less and knowing I was happy would be the most important thing to them.
When I am overweight and I look in the mirror I don’t like what I see. I realise few people are 100% happy with what they see but to me when I see myself overweight I see failure. I have failed to control my eating; food has controlled me instead. I have been weak and allowed myself to overeat – again. I’m not aiming for the “perfect” body; just to be in control. I realise there’s a thin line: maybe I’ll achieve the weight loss but won’t be happy with my flabby arms or my saggy boobs (gravity gets to us all eventually!). Perhaps I’ll always be unhappy with something. Perhaps I think losing weight will make me happy but it won’t. Perhaps…. perhaps….
A part of me (a little part, but it has a very loud voice!) says well if that’s the case, why bother at all? Why put myself through the deprivation twice a week? Why even have a set of scales in the house? And a slightly bigger part of me worries whether my efforts to lose weight and become healthier will have a negative impact on my youngest daughter who struggles with similar issues to myself. Am I just putting all my hang-ups onto her? I’d like to think I’m setting a good example – but will it have the reverse effect?
Being totally honest here – it would be much easier to give up. I want to. It would be much easier to eat without care or concern. If I could only get rid of the guilt and the nagging voice (also very loud) that I’ve failed. Yet again. Failed at what? Failed at being the person I want to be on the outside. I’d like to think I’m already the person I want to be on the inside – honest, kind, reliable, faithful, hospitable, loving, and patient (well I probably need a bit more work on that last one!) – and who cares about what a person looks like?
The sad truth is that in this world, lots of people care what people look like. Very overweight people can suffer terribly from bullying, rude/thoughtless comments and strange looks. They are sometimes overlooked for jobs or dismissed as inadequate/unacceptable in other ways.
I’m not obese. Right now, in fact, I’m “normal” weight. Slightly to the high side of normal, but normal none-the-less. Woohoo! I should celebrate that success! This week I got back down to my pre-Christmas weight. Yay! So no one (should) look at me and judge me. It’s just me doing the judging. I haven’t exercised in ages so although my weight is down (yay again!) I’m feeling flabbier around my middle and thinking it’s mostly muscle mass I’m losing rather than fat. So when I do start exercising again the weight will go up instead of down and that could potentially cause another downwards spiral for me.
How to stop it? How to stop the self-judging? How to let it go? Answers on a postcard please… (or blog comment!)