So on June 1 I began a diet. I have shunned diets for years. The word diet seriously makes me start to sweat, because for as long as my memory goes back, I have been all too aware of weight, especially my own. I have always struggled with my weight. It has been a source of much strife in my life. I don't like to even think about how much pain this struggle has caused me over the years. If I ever hear another person say to me, "Your face is so pretty" I will die. When I hear that, my take away is "BUT YOUR BODY IS NOT!" Unfortunately this approach , of not dealing with the issues, usually ends up with me not dealing at all with healthy living and then I gain more weight! After having surgery seven years ago, I have been able to keep off a large amount of weight. But, this past year, I have let life and FOOD get in the way of healthy choices and saw my weight creeping up to a yucky place again. I have faced the reality that I will never be a size 8. But, one day this spring, as I felt my pants getting tighter, I thought to myself.."What the hell, are you going to eat your way to the next size?" A dear friend of mine had done a diet last year and had great success from it. I had contemplated doing it but because of my distaste of diets, I was reluctant. Then one day, my mom told me how she ran into a friend she had not seen all winter, and she had lost a ton of weight on the same diet. I don't know what happened? Maybe I thought it was a sign from the heavens, maybe I was all too aware of how out of control my eating was, but I signed up the next week. I started June 1st. I have lost a considerable amount of weight. I feel great in many ways, but I am also just beginning to get to the root of the impact of thirty nine years of weight issues. I am realizing how much I sabotage myself. I am realizing how much I don't believe in myself or give myself credit. I am realizing how incredibly selfish I am. I am realizing that if you don't deal with issues they don't go away, they and you just get bigger. Above all I am realizing, for the first time in all my years of knowing and being married to Jeff, that he has never seen me for my weight. We were talking about my heaviest weight the other day, after I found a horrible picture, and I asked him what he thought of me back then. He just looked at me and said, "You know, I don't even remember, you've always just been Suzie." And that sentence, made up for any shortcoming that man has. He loves me for me. Sure he wants me to be healthy, but he is there for me, quite literally through thick and thin. This truth has been at the heart of my weight struggles. Not feeling like you're good enough, sucks. It has caused me to make some horrible decisions over the years. Trying to find ways to make myself feel good in unhealthy ways, whether it has been too much alcohol, toxic relationships, or eating a whole box of thin mints, is how I have coped for far too many years. As much as I have always felt that losing weight would magically make this feeling go away, it usually only makes me more aware of where I feel I am not good enough in my life. The struggles I have with mothering and marriage and being a good enough friend, good enough social worker, all contribute towards my feelings of inadequacy. Being the mom of two girls, I have been very aware of how my own body image affects my girls. I want them to have respect for themselves and others. I want them to be healthy. I want them to be able to know when they want an oreo or a carrot. How many of us never really know when we are hungry for something? I have realized over the past handful of years how mindless eating can be. I don't want that for my kids. I want them to pick partners who will say to them that they love them for their minds and spirits, not just their bodies.
I'm sure as I continue on this journey that I will discover more truths about myself. It is hard work but I'm game. Dang, will I be one together chick by March and the big 40 or what?!