FOR WOMEN ONLY

My last post “The Battle of MY Bulge” seemed to spur a bunch of comments, mostly from women who were having a difficult time losing weight. In that post I wrote that the answer to maintaining MY weight loss was to think and eat like a thin and healthy person.   One reader’s comment to me was “I’m interested in knowing how you think a thin person thinks.” 

Weight has always been a huge issue for women.  And lately I seem to be making the same comment over and over again to friends … “STOP TELLING YOURSELF THAT YOU ARE FAT!!!  I’ve come to realize that there is an epidemic of women who feel inadequate, who say the same “mean girl” words to themselves that I said to myself every day:   “I’m so fat”… “I can’t believe how fat I am” … “How did I do this to myself?” …”I don’t want anyone to see me” …”I have nothing that fits” … and even “I hate myself.”  It makes me very sad to know how many women are going through this when they should love themselves for everything they do for others!  We are so much more than what we see in the mirror.

I would like to try to give women back their self-esteem but first they need to realize that they are the emotional center of everything!!!! We carry so many burdens!  The burden (and pleasure) of raising children, keeping a home, working, caring for our aging parents, putting dinner on the table, worrying where the money is going to come from; then there’s pregnancy, postpartum depression, peri-menopause, menopause, post-menopause….!!!  Aren’t we allowed to go through life’s ups and downs with a little bit of extra weight here and there without making ourselves the target of our own hatred?

Here are a few things that have helped me nurture myself into a healthier body and frame of mind:

  • I’m not afraid to look in the mirror.  I am the best that I can be right now.
  • I am flawed and beautiful, like everyone else.
  • My inner voice tells me that I can eat ANYTHING I want so the worry and stress about food is gone.
  • Food does not control my life because food doesn’t have a voice.
  • When I eat something fattening or unhealthy, I have a smaller portion.  Gorging is no longer necessary when you have permission to eat anything.
  • I never eat until I am stuffed; that simply doesn’t feel good!  Instead, I eat until I am satisfied.  That means that my plate may not be empty when I am finished but that is okay;  those leftovers can be eaten tomorrow.  Therefore I am not ever depriving myself of the food that I love.
  • I make healthier choices about what I am going to eat because I know that I feel better eating that way.
  • I never say that I’m starting a diet on Monday.  In fact the word diet is no longer a part of my vocabulary.  IT IS OVER!  I am just eating.
  • The best parts of me are not what I see in the mirror.
  • Giving love, comfort and compassion to others makes me love myself more.

So be kind to the inner and outer you and remember that you are a gift!

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

The Battle of My BULGE

As far back as I can remember I’d always felt bigger than everyone else.  When I saw pictures of myself standing next to other people I thought I looked enormous.  I would tell people that I had a “big frame” (or people would tell ME that) and I hoped that was really the case.  People would say “you have such a pretty face” or “you’re in proportion”.  Okay, what does that really mean?  You’re fat but there’s a part of you that still looks good? …or …Your fat is evenly distributed over your body?  I didn’t feel small enough and because of that, I didn’t feel good enough.  I tried every diet in the book but I always made it back to my original high weight.   There were many times I told myself it must be the RIGHT weight because no matter what I did I always came back to the same number.  During the times that my weight was healthy I still saw a fat person in the mirror.  Let’s just face it; I had a negative self image and I didn’t believe I could ever look like a normal-sized person, whatever that looked like.  The things that I said to myself were horrible and mean; things I would NEVER say to anyone else.  Why did I think it was okay to say them to myself?

Several years ago I lost about 20 pounds from illness and decided that it was the right time to capitalize on my weight loss.  For some odd reason this time I was able to not only maintain the loss but add another 10 pounds to it – a total loss of 30 pounds which I have kept off for five years.  I have learned that the key to my own weight loss has been about the change in the things that I say to myself.  Now I treat myself like a good friend; someone I value.  Instead of hearing my inner voice say ” I’ll NEVER be thin; I look huge and disgusting!”, I tell myself that I AM a thin person with the habits and attitude of a thin and healthy person.  The word “diet” doesn’t exist in my vocabulary because I don’t deny myself any foods that I really want.  This change in attitude takes the power away from the food and gives it back to me!  I rule the food!  While I still really enjoy eating, it is not the love of my life. And when I over-indulge I don’t berate myself. I’m normal and everyone has cravings.

I recently had lunch with an old friend I hadn’t seen in several years.  She told me that I looked half the size of my former self.  A few days later I was trying on a dress at a local store  and the owner said “you’re thin; you can wear that.”  It was shocking to hear both of those comments after a lifetime of feeling too big.

I have so many things to work on to make a better, happier, healthier me but I am happy to be on my way.