Accepting Myself, Where I Am and Moving Forward
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
I have a history with weight loss and weight gain, as I'm sure most of you do too. I've been overweight (ok obese) for most of my life. I'm in my 50's and can count on one hand the number of times that I have been able to fit into a size 14 or smaller.
In 2007 I had lost 153 pounds - I felt fantastic! I went from a 4X to a size 8 in 13 months. It took me a while to get comfortable in my new skin but for years I loved it. It's sad to say (because my size should not have made a difference) but society accepts you better when you are smaller. My social relationships were better, my career was better, my husband couldn't get enough of me, everything was better and looking back I think it had a lot to do with the relationship that I was having with myself at the time. To put it plainly I liked myself. I had boundaries and respect for myself. I would look in the mirror and think of the future, all the possibilities that were laid before me.
Zoom to 2015..... I won't go into the details of why or how, but I have regained 85 of those 153 pounds that I've lost. These days I look in the mirror and I find myself mourning my past and not looking towards the future. I've been like this for a long long time. Not to mention how depressing shopping for clothes that are a size 1X or 2X - there aren't many options out there (not like when I was shopping for a M or L), that's just the way it is. And I'm not the type of person who is totally into fashion but one does like to look pretty and feel good when putting on an outfit.
When I first started regaining my weight, I tried nipping it in the bud but found with menopause that I just could not lose it like I use to. Or maybe it was something else, I don't know but nothing I tried was working. And I just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger. And even though it compounded the problem, I turned to food for my solace.
Now I hurt - emotionally (my husband and I are still together but he no longer shows any desire for me, and as a result my self-worth is non-existent) and physically (it's hard to move this much weight while battling COPD). I have no energy and am tired all the time... this is no way to live. I use to take pride in my appearance - I've given up, as long as my clothes are clean and I'm clean that's good enough. To be honest, at times, I feel like I'm just waiting for the grim reaper so this can finally end. Wait..... what the heck happened to my life? this is NOT how it should be.
I've done a LOT of soul searching this last week. It came down to 2 options: Option 1) I can stay the way I am, stay lonely, hating myself, mourning what I once had, while shortening my life
Option 2) I can accept me in the NOW, learn to love myself the way I am, while striving for health. Notice I'm striving for health not striving for that elusive size 8.
Yesterday I decided to fight back and chose option 2.
Clear the slate! I am going to Accept Myself, where I am today. Yes I'm big now - why fool myself - I can't hide it - everyone can see it. But that doesn't mean that I have to hate myself does it? Hating myself just compounds the problem. So I'm going to move forward from this. I'm going to wipe the slate clean and start again. I am going to let go of my past! So what if I lost over half of myself years ago - lot of people do it, it's gone, history, dust!
Being my current size and with my limitations does not mean that I don't deserve the right to enjoy life on this earth. People who try to hide those disgusted looks can't seem to see that I am still the same person as I was when I was a size 8 (pretty shallow of them but true).
First Step (done): As a way to cleanse my soul and get me to be in the NOW, I emptied out my closet of all the pretty little clothes that were screaming out to me, the ones that I missed wearing so dearly. All the size 8, 10, 12, 14's.... as I put each one into the bags, I realized they were trophies of what once was. I was going to keep them with hopes of fitting into them but they are my past and if I keep all of them I'll still be mourning it so I'll be donating 5 recycle bags so someone else can wear them. It was sad in a way but also refreshing saying goodbye to that past. I did keep a few of my most treasured pieces, the ones my husband picked out, to be used an incentive.
Second Step (in progress): Write an action plan. I use to walk or run on my elliptical for miles and now I can barely walk a block - my legs and lungs give out. So I need to find a workout that I can do and just do it. Even if it's walking around that single block, resting, then walking some more. Riding my stationary bike - that's what I started with when I was 296 - 5 minutes at a time. Just get moving! Every Day!
Third Step (this will be a constant): Food - make healthier choices and log it! Period. No more mindless eating. Food is not a band-aid; it fixes nothing! Relearn how to eat properly! Learn from SP! Just because my husband can eat anything and everything, not gaining an ounce, does not mean that I can or should.
Fourth Step (another constant): Bring back those boundaries I once had, respect myself and find the joy in life once again. Do the things I WANT to do! I let work take over my life, working overtime every day, much the same way I let food shove down my emotions. No more voluntary overtime! I'm using that time for me!
Baby Steps, but I am moving forward and (I think) may even be looking towards the future 5 pounds at a time......