This morning I stumbled across a blog post which has been ringing in my ears all day. I think everything happens for a reason and I was meant to read this post (my views on the universe in another blog post coming soon, not really).
The writer was discussing the connection between Adverse Childhood Experiences and health issues, such as obesity. I could see so much of myself in the writers post. So much of what she said was a description of my health and my experiences.
A few years ago a friend asked me why I am overweight. I’m overweight because I eat too much that’s obvious, you can’t be overweight without eating too much, but that wasn’t the question he was asking. I answered the question without thinking so my response was honest and unfiltered. I told him I was overweight because the excess weight was protection. It protected me from having to put myself out there romantically. I reasoned that I couldn’t date at that weight and I believed (at that time) that no one would want me. At my heaviest I was not at risk of meeting someone, getting close to that person and, my biggest fear, they potentially hurting me, ultimately rejecting and abandoning me. My weight was the thing that kept me safe. I wasn’t overweight because I was greedy or lazy, we had this conversation on the top of Pen Y fan during the Three Peaks Challenge. I was overweight because it was comforting.
It took me a few years after this but I realised that I had the inner strength and resilience to deal with disappointment and rejection which made it safe to venture back out into the world of dating and the possibility of a romantic relationship.
So why now as a happily married woman am I still overweight. My weight has the potential now to stand between me and my goals so why aren’t I glued to a nutrition regime with the weight falling off me. I can stick to a marathon training plan for 6 months why not a diet? I know that my weight will be a barrier to me achieving the things I want to achieve. This raises even more questions. Am I still overweight because I’m afraid of failing? Am I afraid of having nothing to blame for poor performance. What if I lose all the weight and I still can’t achieve my dream of a 6:10 marathon. What do I blame then? Can I cope with that failure? Is that the reason I can’t let go of the weight?
I’m unhappy with my weight not because I think being overweight it makes me a bad person or it’s something I should be ashamed of or that it makes me lazy or unattractive person. I’m unhappy because of the things my size prevents me from doing. My weight isn’t the sum of who I am. I am in a happy loving relationship with someone who values me for more than the size of the dress that I’m wearing. So why, apart from not being able to run faster, does my weight bother me so much. I think it’s because the number on the scales is not a measurement of my worth but a reflection of the state of my emotional health.
I’m unhappy with my weight because my abilities are severely hampered because of it but I’m also afraid of not being able to keep it off once it’s come off. I lost a lot of weight about 10 years ago and I was able to keep it off for 3 years but as soon as I hit a crisis it all came crashing back on. I eat every bump in the road, every stressful situation and every argument. What if I lose all the weight and then hit another crisis and it all comes piling back on. Currently, crisis after crisis has seen my weight soar and it is reaching a critical point.
I must find the courage to face down the reasons that have previously stopped me from being successful in losing the weight and overcome them. I’ve got to find the reasons and deal with them. I won’t lose weight because I think I need to look beautiful or because I know it will reduce my chances of developing cancer and diabetes. I don’t want cancer or diabetes but personally those things won’t motivate me or help me find the trigger or flick my switch.
I have lots of great qualities and I’ve achieved lots of wonderful things. My body size and shape does not reduce or erase these but my weight does matter, to me. But not because of the reasons you might assume. It matters to me because it demonstrates I have a problem. A problem I need to root out and resolve.