Monday, July 23, 2012

Why the Weight Loss Obsession?

These past couple of months I've received a few comments from people about why I'm so focused on losing weight. Why I obsess about it when, according to them, I don't have a lot to lose. So, I thought I would explore that a little more and find out why.

It all started with just wanting to be healthier. With Rod passing away, I really looked at my own eating habits and wanted to change them. I didn't want the same fate. It was my initial wake up call.

Then, it started to take a turn. I went from wanting to be healthy and not be on a diet, to working out more and really watching what I ate. Not letting cookies or ice cream enter anywhere in my diet. Obsessing about losing all the weight and hitting my goal. So, how did this start?

In part, it has to do with being single again. One of my ultimate favorite shows is How I Met Your Mother. And when I became single again and started to think that I would enter the dating world at some point, I kept thinking about how Barney constantly says he won't date "fatties." He has used this line in many episodes, and I just started to really notice it when I had to worry about myself on the dating scene again. I realize that most guys (I hope!) aren't that shallow. But, that 25 extra pounds I had was making me feel inadequate. Definitely not ready to enter the dating world and afraid of the judgement I would face by not being thin and pretty.

So, that leads me on to the bigger issue. Why do I, or did I, feel so fat and unattractive? The answer to this question is hard to admit, and I fear the repercussions of admitting it.

Throughout the past six years, I can't remember a time when I was told I was beautiful or sexy. The highest compliment I ever got was "nice". There were many times when I would get all dressed up, do my hair all pretty and walk down the stairs and not receive a single compliment. I tried over and over again until eventually I realized that I would never get anything more. My self-confidence took a nose dive. I started to not care about how I looked because it didn't seem to matter. I gained some weight, I wore sweat pants constantly and would only try to look cute for weddings or something big. I figured if no one thought I was beautiful or sexy, there was no point in trying.

I remember getting ready for a friend's wedding. I bought a beautiful dress that I was so excited to wear. It made me feel beautiful in the store. I got ready, did my make up, put on some sparkly heels and walked downstairs and did a twirl with a big smile on my face. All I got was a "cute" and he went back to watching TV. I almost cried. And that was the very last time I tried to impress.

Maybe you're thinking I shouldn't have let it bothered me so much. Or let my self-confidence ride on what someone else thought of me. But that's what we do, isn't it? Especially when that someone else is your husband, you take what he thinks seriously. And not having that constant reassurance is hurtful. 

It is possible Rod thought I was beautiful and just didn't know how to express it. I realize that now, but during the time, I couldn't see that. I just felt horrible about myself and after he passed away, I realized how low my self-confidence was. So I've been working on rebuilding it. Finding a way to see myself as beautiful. The weight loss was the first step. I'm starting to come out of the obsession phase of it, and starting to view the weight loss as getting healthy again. But, that obsession helped me gain more confidence so I'm okay with it for right now.

I don't know when I'll be able to look into the mirror and say that I'm beautiful. I hope I can soon. Right now I see myself as being pretty sometimes, and I'm starting to like my body again. At least I'm not looking in the mirror and thinking "this is as good as it gets" anymore!

If you take anything from this post, take this: compliment your spouse, friends or loved ones. That reassurance is important. I read this quote yesterday and I love it: "I think everyone should be told they're beautiful until they believe it."

Until next time~

1 comment:

  1. This is a beautiful post! It is real, honest, and so easy to relate to. A combination of life, emotional baggage, and bad genes got me to where I am at...and only hard work will get me to where I want to be. I'm so happy to now be following you on your journey.