Some mornings you wake up and think “Today is going to be the start of something different.” This was one of those mornings for me. I’m finished procrastinating and telling myself that I will do it tomorrow. Tomorrow has finally come. I have grown tired of my current situation, and have hit rock bottom. I’m ready to start clawing my way out.
The defining factor in my life has always been my weight. I have been overweight since the 3rd grade. Ofcourse, throughout my schoolage years, I was never THIS overweight. Currently, I am 226.2 pounds, and only 6 pounds less than my highest-ever weight of 232. That is a tremendous amount of weight to be carrying on my 5 foot, not quite 2 inch, frame. Sometimes you have to sit back and just say, “How did I let it get to this point?” I’ve been thinking about this question for some time now, and I’ve come up with a few reasons. They’re not excuses by any means, just contributing factors that I have to change if I ever want to change myself. I can trim it down to 5 causations: emotional eating, lack of anticipation for fun future events, flawed system of rewards, bad eating habits developed in childhood, and the wrong type of acceptance.
One of my most recent realizations is that I self medicate with food. I am a major emotional eater. If I am sad or depressed, my first impulse is to go stuff my face. I went through some depression this past winter and managed to pack about 20 pounds on by eating through my feelings. Junk food is my instant happy pill, and it has to stop. I need to find productive, healthy ways to work through my feelings instead of eating through them.
Tieing into the emotional eating aspect, is a lack of happy events to look forward to. I was reading an article in Good Housekeeping about how to get and keep happiness. One of the items listed is anticipation. It said you should have events on your calendar to look forward to. My calendar is completely devoid of happy events, with the exception of my 2 boys birthdays. (I enjoy planning their parties so very much) I’ve come to find, the thing that I anticipate is going out to eat! I don’t have trips planned with the family to look forward to, I don’t have lunch dates with friends scheduled. I don’t have movie dates with the husband planned. Nothing. My husband jokes about how I always want to go out to eat, and I have come to realize that it is one thing I have to look forward to that I enjoy. Don’t get me wrong, I look forward to enjoying playing outside with my kids and things like that, but those aren’t things you “plan” for and have that sense of anticipation build up. When it comes to going out to eat, I get excited thinking about where we are going to go, what I want to order, and what the atmosphere will be like. It is sad and pathetic really, but this has been my life as of lately. I need to make an effort to plan other things to look forward to. Things that I can plan for and think about, and just get excited about! I need these distractions, instead of just looking forward to my next meal.
I have become the typical mom. I do not buy things for myself. If I have extra money, I would rather pick out cute clothes for my kids, or new toys for them to enjoy. I love buying them new things, and feel extremely guilty if I purchase something for myself. Over the last few years, I have forgotten about me. I have forgotten that I need rewarded to, that I deserve to buy things for myself occasionally. My method of rewarding myself was always dinner out and not having to cook. To celebrate anything, typically means a meal from a retaurant. I need to change this!
My bad eating habits started early in childhood. I have pretty much never liked vegetables, and very few fruits. My mom’s method of cooking was not a healthy one. She never used spices to flavor foods while cooking. Her method to make foods taste good was pretty much the Paula Deen way, lots of butter! It was only after I moved out and started cooking for myself and my own family that I have learned to start using spices to make flavorful food instead of throwing in a stick of butter. I’m not blaming my mother by any means, just stating that I didn’t know any better. So, now I have to learn to eat healthy. This is hard for me because I still don’t like vegetables, and need to find out how to incorporate them in ways that I can tolerate.
As an adult, you want to find acceptance with your body. You want to feel comfortable in your own skin. I had this level of comfort, but it was all wrong. My acceptance of the fact that I am this overweight has allowed me to just gain even more and not do a damn thing about it. I’m not saying that I want to be unhappy with myself forever, I just never want to be okay with being so unhealthy. I have a real fear of my own mortality. I worry everyday that I am going to develop diabetes, have a heart attack at some point in my life, or any number of other things that being overweight can cause.
So what has finally led me to make a change if I had grown comfortable? A series of events, comments from people and taking a good look at photos of myself. First of all, I know that I am overweight. I know how big I am, but it does not make other peoples comments about my weight sting any less. The truth still does hurt! My inlaws are the most hurtful when it comes to comments about my size. My sister in law and mother in law make the most comments that sting. This past weekend, we had my husbands family down for dinner. His mother kept making comments about getting “fat” (she is a recovering drug addict and has started to gain weight). She was looking at photos of the Easter Egg hunt with the kids that she and I did, and she said “I told you I am getting fat, look I am bigger than Kandi!” Ugh. First off she isn’t bigger than me, but using me as a point of “fat” reference really hurt. She made several other comments, but that is the one that stuck out. I’m tired of letting my weight be the weapon of choice for people to use to hurt me. Also, I took a good look at some photos of myself from this past weekend. I don’t even recognize myself anymore. It is almost as if I am looking at a photo of someone else. I guess we all have this mental picture of ourselves, and it can be quite unsettling to see how we really look.