Truth #3

3

I want more. A lot like Princess Ariel, I sometimes spend my days daydreaming about having more. Similar to Ariel, the “more” that I want aren’t the material things in life, I want to see the world, so to speak. Often times I feel as though my weight is a glass wall that holds me back from life. Whether that wall manifests itself as fear, lack of confidence, or any other paralyzing characteristic, it’s there and it keeps me from venturing out and being a stronger person than I know I can be.

I know that pinning everything on my weight seems like I’m taking the easy way out. But I’ve had so many encounters in my past that have validated my fear and have given me reason to “blame” my weight:

1) I’ve had people tell me that I could get a date if I lost “the weight”.
2) I’ve had jobs taken right underneath me to someone less qualified but more attractive, in one case she didn’t even apply for the position.
3) Already, even though my external confidence has dropped since losing weight (I’m backwards, I know) – I’ve gotten so much more attention than I ever received when I was heavier, and the attention level seems to be directly proportioned to my weight loss.
4) I’ve had “birdies” whisper in my ear that I should lose weight, because it’s the only thing that’s “holding me back”.

I find myself stuck between a rock and a hard place. We are taught as children to learn from our mistakes. Whether indirectly or directly. When we touch something hot and it burns us, hopefully, we learn not to touch it next time. But we also learn to not let harmful words effect us, and that sometimes it’s best for us to ignore them. It’s hard for me just to ignore the comments about my weight, because I have to learn from it, right?

The “more” that I want is simple, I’d like to think. I’d like to be a great mom, wife, be moderately successful, be happy, travel, and create a loving household. Yeah, I know. All things that I could have now, right? Not-so-much. I don’t exactly have guys beating down my door. I also don’t just sit around waiting either. But the truth is, guys choose my thin friends over me in every situation. I endure being the only one not dragged out to the dance floor, or not approached during dinner parties, or even the only one left at the bar during girls night out.  But I keep smiling, being charismatic, and strong – simply because that’s who I am. My failure here feeds into truths 1 and 2. Although I can pretend to be happy in public, until I learn to truly love myself, I should not bring anyone into my world anyway.

What I think I’ll do is ensure that the “more” that I want from life, also include me reconciling my demons.  A process that I am starting now.  It’s a process that has been eye opening and rewarding both at the same time.  I have to remind myself that it took me 28 years to get this way and that I won’t change over night, but I will change as long as I am willing.  I won’t let thoughts of “more” bring me down, I must let it fuel me to achieve “more”.

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An Open Letter to my Future Self…

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Dear Me,

As I sit here with a glass of red wine, that I’m not drinking, just holding in my hand, I think about you. The biggest question that plagues my mind is, “Did we make it?”, “Did we reach our goals?”. Or did we fail like we have in the past?

Even more so than our success or failure, I want to know did we learn to love ourselves? When I started this journey, I came across a blog that said that I should document everything and visualize what I wanted to look like. I did more than that, remember? I did some magic with Photo Shop and within a half hour you were there. Smiling back at me with a smile that hid all of the pain and the hurt we’ve been through. I started to cry, I hope you remember that day. It was the day that I decided to change my life. To change every bad habit that I’d accumulated over the course of 28 years on this Earth.

But, I’m feeling a bit… tired? Yes, tired. It’s a tedious lifestyle when you think of it. Long gone are the days that a drive thru window expedited dinner plans but also expedited our obesity as well. Working 10-12 hour days, going to school, cooking, working out, being a friend, a daughter, a sister, an aunt… It’s all beginning to eat away at me. It’s weakening my resolve. I need to know did we make it? Do we love ourselves? Is this worth it?

Right now, I can’t say that I’ve learned to love myself…. yet… I’m getting there. It seems that the love I feel for myself has been directly proportioned to my weight loss and I see that as being a problem. Did we figure this one out? Not knowing is plaguing me. It’s eating me alive. I’m so fearful of making it so far and failing. We are at 40 pounds lost, the highest we ever made it before now was 50 pounds. So close to the best we’d ever done. What makes us different this time?

If only you could tell me what happens. If only I could have a sense of certainty. While I have your attention, I need you to remember a few things. If we did make it, never forget what it felt like to walk up the stairs and get winded; to not be able to fit in airplane chairs; to be looked at as if you’re subhuman because you’re obese; to cry at night after you ate 1200 calories in one setting; to feel uncomfortable in our own skin. Promise me that you’ll remember this, for it’s our only hope at maintaining our goal.

If we didn’t make it, it’s ok, and it’s never too late to start and try again. We’re determined if nothing else.

Finally, I apologize for letting us get this way. We endured much ridicule, pain, and tears solely because of our size. Had I learned sooner, maybe we could have avoided so much.

Please give me something to look forward to.

Love,
Me