When I started writing about my weight loss journey I imagined myself sitting at my laptop being witty and wise and hopefully inspirational. Whats happened is Ive opened a can of worms where my feelings about my metamorphasis have bubbled out in a shocking way.
Im not an overly ‘feely’ sort, uncomfortable with diaplays of emotion and Hey, losing weight is all good and happy stuff isnt it?
It can be, the positives outweigh the negatives hugely, but there is a whole catalogue of the ‘feels’ I’ve ignored. Im fairly happy, but there is a melancholy I’ve never thought about or addressed. I’ll try explain what I mean if you bear with me.
While I was overweight I feel I was still a child inside. Waiting for someone to come and fix me. Eventually I ‘grew up’, took responsibility and fixed myself. I believe inside, that the moment of me taking control was the real moment I became an adult despite being already being a wife and mother and working. I was a scared, overwhelmed child.
Im not suggesting everyone who is overweight is emotionally immature, I telling you what went on in me.
I took control and lost weight, everyone applauded and said “Well done! Youre so much better! How gald you must be! and how positive all round.
The child is still there.
And shes feeling rejected. She was fun, she was loving, she was a caring mother, she was brave and now everyone is glad to see the back her. Im still the same person, something small changed within and that led to a huge physical change, but essentially I’m still the same person but everyone seems glad to be shot of her! I know they’re just happy for me, but something still grates.
There are more negative emotions, but most are easier to rationalise. Guilt certainly. Guilt that I gained the weight, that I wasted so much of my life feeling negative about my body, that I wasn’t a good role model for health to my children, that I was too weak to change and lots more.
A friendly Hypnotherapist who I chat to informally about weight loss issues has assured me that guilt is normal and it would not be normal to have no guilt or negative feelings so I just remember his words at those times and try not to dwell on it.
Anger. Not with myself, with everyone else. Passing the buck? Maybe, but allow me to explain.
Quite often as a hugely overweight woman I felt strangely invisible. Particularly to the opposite sex. I was the size of a house and people, especially men seemed to look right through me, around me even. My reaction was to become loud and funny, the stereotypical ‘funny fat girl’.
I remember walking down a long corridor carrying a awkwardly shaped parcel and struggling through doors. There were people around but no one helped, I thought nothing of it but a little sad that manners were so lacking.Two years later, having lost all my weight and dressing more attractively, I walked unencumbered by any parcels down the same corridor and was very nearly mowed down by two guys dashing out of side offices and having a funny man-fight about who would open the door for me. One then proceeded to accompany me to the end of the corridor holding all the doors for me. I smiled and thanked him but I despised him! I was so angry at his shallow stupidity I could have kicked him! It may have been sheer coincidence and maybe the poor guy would have done the same for fat me, but I doubt it. People ‘see’ me more nowadays. maybe its because im confident and more outgoing but by not ‘seeing’ overweight people it destroys a little of their self esteem every time it happens. I’m told the elderly and disabled encounter this often too.
I realise this is all very self pitying and irrational. This is me and my story and I want people, particularly weight loss organisations to understand there is so much more to losing weight than just weighing less. To put into place the changes need to slim, a radical rethinking must occur. That rethinking must extend into the psyche as well as the kitchen. Be prepared to work hard on your body AND mind in order to make these changes permanent.
My goodness this is a grouchy entry. I suspect the holidays are taking their toll on me. The time of year suggests new beginnings and ‘out with the old, in with the new’. Maybe this following year I will invest more time on my emotional health and