Monday, January 28, 2013

Why does this matter?

First of all, I have to tell you:

I never let my weight keep me from doing anything I wanted to do.

I never let my weight keep me from wearing anything I wanted to wear.  If I could find it and liked it, I wore it.  I didn't play the "does this make me look fat" game because -- let's face it -- I was fat and no matter what I wore, I would look that way.

I never valued myself or anyone else less because of their size.  When a dear friend told me she was considering weight loss surgery, I was honestly surprised.  I just saw her, not her size.

So why?

Because I got tired of blood vessels in my leg popping when I went on vacation and walked all over the beautiful places I've visited.

Because I got tired of not sleeping well.

Because I got tired of writing 2X or 3X when I was ordering shirts.

Because I got tired of hurting and being exhausted at the end of a routine day.

And because I got tired of being the fat one.

It's very possible that others didn't think of me that way.  Maybe -- like I did with my friend -- you just saw me and never thought of it.   But I did.  I still do.  It was engrained into me as a child and it's part of the programming that I'm trying to undo.

My dad's family has a lot of Type 2 Diabetes.  My mom's family has had its fair share of heart disease.  I knew that no matter how healthy I was now, I was setting myself up for both of those.  Losing weight is no guarantee that it won't happen, but why face life with a loaded gun?

And why be tired all the time?

There's a lot that I can't control, but I can choose to control how I manage stress and what food I put into my mouth.

I can choose to either live at the whims of a frantic schedule or I can take a few minutes and plan and breathe and restore some sanity to things.

Let me tell you:  when your method of stress relief adds more stress to your life, you have a problem.

And I had a problem.

So I want you to know: Here, there will be no judgment.  I know exactly what it's like to be tired and sit down and eat a bowl of chips.  And another.  And another.  And another.  I know what it's like to have an overwhelming day at home with your kids and think, "Well, at least I can make cookie dough," and then somehow never get around to making the cookies.  I know what it's like to have to figure out what to tell your kids when you ate all the snacks in the house.  Or the cookie dough.  Or even the girl scout cookies.

Here, there will be no preaching.  I knew for several years that I needed to deal with my food issues, but I also knew that I didn't have the mental and emotional stamina to do it.  Caleb had just been diagnosed with Type 1 and as soon as that smoothed out, Em was in her wreck.  Before those, it had been work+grad school+other life crises.  It took every bit of anything I had to deal with life in front of me. 

I don't know how I knew it was time, I just did.  And someday -- if this is to be part of your journey -- you'll know when the time is right too.

My guess is that I will always have to think about what I will -- no why I will and won't eat.  I would love to grow to the point that I was intuitive about food and emotional honesty, but I don't know that it will happen. 

Food isn't like other escapes.  You can't just choose not to eat again.  You have to figure out something that works for you.  I hope I can help you figure it out.

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