That's a really big word, isn't it. It's not a word that you hear everyday -- guilty is a much more popular word. Shame is more powerful than guilt, a more saddening word, really.
Shame is what I feel every single day when I wake up. Oh it hurts to write that, but it's true. Every day when I wake up, I remember the day before I did not diet like I wanted to, so I feel shame...and disgust. That's another big word. These two emotions visit me every single day and
I AM SICK OF IT.
I remember in an earlier post I wrote about how I briefly thought about titling a blog, 'Sick of Weighting.' I want to write about more than my weight and really, I wasn't ready to do that. I wasn't ready to highlight my failures, I wasn't ready to be honest in such an accountable way to people who I did not know their intentions towards me. You see, I know that some people will read my words and have empathy and understanding. They will want more for me, for me to be happy, but not punish me within their minds for my shortcomings. But others...will they look at me in disgust? Will they wonder what the hell my problem is, just DO IT already! But here's the thing - no one can look at me with more disgust than how I look at myself. And anyone that has any kind of understanding about addictions in general, will understand it's not just too many cookies and not running around the block enough. It's so much more.
When I was a child, I wasn't allowed snacks. It really was kind of ridiculous, because when my dad was a child he also wasn't allowed snacks, and it was not healthy for him either. Once he shared a memory of his mom chasing him down the street because he took a piece of bread. And yet, I would stow away food in my closet for when I got hungry, knowing I wouldn't be allowed to eat. I would eat that food not only when I got hungry, but when I would hide in my closet, listening to my dad have an episode of anger towards my mom or brother.
ok this is getting heavy, but I'm ready now. I want to grow, I want to move on from this. Please just dismiss this if it's not your cup of tea.
I don't want to speak ill of my dad, he's dead many years now. If he had lived, I want to believe we would have reconciled some of the issues from my childhood that made rifts in our relationship. I don't blame him for everything. I am accountable for my own choices, but habits are hard to break and I am explaining how I became the person I am today.
Anyway, in grade school I started noticing I didn't have skinny legs like my friends. But there was much stress in my home life, and food was my comfort. I have many memories of my growing-up years that I wish I didn't have...and attached to those memories are more memories of how food made it all better. So as much as I wanted to have the skinny legs, I needed to eat. Then came the middle school years, and so then came boys. Still, I needed the food more. I wasn't very heavy, but heavier than my friends. It became something I thought about all the time...and yet, it was still less stressful thinking about my weight, than the problems at home. Thinking about weight and food, albeit negative thoughts, was still a respite from thinking about home. Does that even make sense? It's like it still gave me reprieve from what was going on behind our closed doors.
The summer before going into high school though, I wanted to be like all the other girls. So I starved myself, and lost about 25 lbs. That was the thinnest I ever was in my life - 118 lbs was my lowest weight (well, since grade school), but I slowly started inching back up. I started dating that year, and the feeling I got from the affection from boys was better than food. (Can you imagine?) I just didn't really think about it that much and the slow weight gain actually didn't bother me, I don't remember why, except that I was so preoccupied with boys. Not having a lot of boys mind you, thinking about them. :)
In November of my sophomore year I think I weighed around 130lbs and that is when I started dating someone steadily, we dated through the remainder of my high school years. My senior year he was away at the USNA as a plebe, and that was a very stressful time for me. We didn't manage a long distance relationship as well as I wanted to, I still loved him dearly, and my home life still had stress as it always had. So without the comfort of a boy to ease my emotions, I went back to food full throttle. And some drinking. By the time I began college, I weighed around 150 - and felt very, very fat.
By the time I graduated from college, I weighed around 160. 10 lbs in 4 years wasn't too bad, and that was mostly gained my sophomore year after dad died. I got married, and by the time I got pregnant about a year and 1/2 later, I was in the 180s. What?! I still don't know how that happened - well, duh, of course I know how it happened - but although that was a transitional time in my life, I wouldn't say it was a stressful time. And with Kevin, I have certainly never had to hide food in the closet to eat later.
I just want to interrupt myself to say that this is one of the things I love most about my husband. He met and married me at a very different weight than I am now. He knows it is the stronghold of my life, it is bondage really, and he has never contributed to my shame and disgust, not once. He has never looked at me accusingly, he has never made a single remark, he has never made me feel anything but accepted, supported and wanted. He makes the same kind comments about my body to me now, as he did 10 years ago. I just wanted to give a shout-out.
Not that he reads this.
Anyway, I got pregnant in the 180s and gained almost 40lbs with Bailey. That put me in the 220s...which I was losing when I got pregnant with Taylor when Bailey was 15 mos old. I was in Weight Watchers with my mom and we both were doing good, I was back in the 180s with a goal to get at least to my marriage weight by the end of the year. Instead, by the end of that year, I was back in the 220s with a very unhappy baby, a busy husband trying to work hard to provide for us, and a 2 year old with CF and bowel issues. So I never lost that weight.
Excuses, excuses? Maybe. But these last few years have been very difficult for me, and I want to validate to myself how that did have something to do with my eating. And on my mission to a new me, I'm going to try something different - being kinder to myself. See, I am not only sick of my weight, I am sick of the way I treat myself. I'm sick of all of my damning thoughts. I'm sick of thinking so much less of myself, than how I think of a perfect stranger. I have done some good things in my life, and for the 2 seconds I reflect on those things, I spend hours reflecting on my shortcomings. I'm sick of being nervous every time I walk into a room, worried what people think when they look at me. I'm sick of worrying what people feel about me, wondering if they just think I'm one big failure. Because I'm not. And if they think that, then those aren't people I want in my life anyway.
I want to be strong. I want to be confident. I want to be healthy. I want to be a good example to my girls. You know, my children - as far as I know - still have no clue about weight and body image. So far, neither of them have made any comments about themselves or others that have given me pause. Well, except for the one time Taylor, looking at me while I was bending over, said I have the biggest heiney ever. In front of my gorgeous, teen beauty of a babysitter.
Anyway, I feel like this is the perfect time to renovate myself, before they take notice that I am at an unhealthy weight - or worse, that I don't love myself. I take pains in keeping that from them...I even stride around a water park in my bathing suit, just so they don't catch wind that I don't feel worthy of doing so.
Said bathing suit has a skirt on it by the way, something else I'm sick of.
So here's to today. Here's to health. Here's to loving myself, instead of hating myself. What a leap! I'm ready. There will be times I fall, times I don't make the choices I should have. Times that those damning thoughts creep back in, with a vengeance. But I am praying, and I am confident God will help me. He wants me to be healthy, He wants me to be the best example I can be for my girls. I have joined Weight Watchers, and if you're interested, I can log my progress.
Can you do me a favor? If you read this post, can you leave me a comment in the comments section? I want to know if I should pursue sharing this topic further, or perhaps there's no interest there.
Thanks in advance for the love and prayers.