It’s hard to explain. I’ve spent my whole life being somebody else. Anybody else but me. How do I express that? That’s how I got to be well over 400 pounds. I never thought it was enough to be me. I had to be what others expected me to be. Or. Or. Or. Or I wouldn’t be loved.
But what exactly does that mean. It means I didn’t love myself. It means I put myself last. It means that if I had just eaten lunch and someone called me up and said let’s do lunch, I’d say “okay” and then go eat again. Because I didn’t have it in me to say no. To say I’d just eaten. Why did I do that? I felt so desperate to be loved that I feared the consequences of saying no. I literally felt like I wouldn’t be loved if I said no.
That’s a simple story. Other examples are more complex. And defy explanation. I did so many things I didn’t want to do because I felt I wouldn’t be loved. If I saw a movie with someone and they didn’t like the movie but I did, I’d say I didn’t like it because I didn’t want to disagree about something so simple because I didn’t feel like my opinion had validity. It’s nuts when I think about it, think about my behavior.
But look at it this way: there’s a reason why obesity is an epidemic. Those reasons are mostly emotional. Mine are. They just are. People who lose weight gain it back because they don’t look at the WHY!
I don’t mind looking at why. It’s the only way out. I’m afraid that if I don’t do what people want they won’t love me. Sadly, sometimes that turns out to be truthful. I clearly remember when I first started working on my weight some people would tell me I wasn’t fun anymore because I started being more particular about the food I’d eat and the restaurants I’d be willing to eat at.
There seems to be so much in my head about this. It’s a battle I fight on a daily basis. How do I be me in a world that, at times, doesn’t seem to want that? It means that sometimes I have to make choices that might and probably will disappoint some.
The thing is my desire to feel loved outweighs (yes, I’m using the present tense) all else. That’s why it’s a constant battle. Most days I still don’t feel loved.
BUT that’s a part of my growth process, this growth process. I always took refuge in food. That’s where I felt/feel love, so it’s natural that I experience sadness and loneliness as I transform my life into a healthier existence.
Do you know why I love Bikram Yoga? It’s not easy. It’s d*mn hard in fact. But when I’m there, in that hot room I feel happy. Some people have told me that they think it’s a bit much, but some of these same people offer me food with processed sugars, and that’s much more harmful. Why? Let’s say I’ve had a few days away from processed sugar and someone says to me “Here, have this cookie (or whatever).” And I say “no”. Then they say,” but it’s only one.” Well let me tell you what will happen—I’ll have that cookie and then want to buy a whole package on the way home and eating a whole package of cookies is way more dangerous than doing Bikram Yoga.
I wish I could explain it more or better. The good news is that there is a way out of the mess that’s in my mind and heart. And I’m finding it one day at a time. One moment at a time I’m seeing the wondrous beauty that’s around me. And I’m learning to delight in me.