If you haven't, please read this blog post by The Militant Baker. As a "fat girl" I needed to read this post! While I was "kind of" beginning to accept myself as I am, at least until I cracked that barrier between me and weight loss, I wasn't quite as accepting as I probably should be.
I do not like my weight at all, but (and I'm not spouting excuses here) when strong genetics and an eating disorder come into play, it is much more difficult to change your mindset. I look exactly like my mother's mother. She was short and round. While my mother is tall and slim and my dad only had weight issues as his mobility decreased, I got grandma's genes! Dadgum it! My mother's half siblings I would consider morbidly obese, up over 350 pounds both sister and brother.
I certainly do not want to end up in their situation, but I think accepting the cards you're dealt is a step toward breaking the barrier and right thinking. After seeking help from a counselor, the first one I visited believed that you can be addicted to food. I think that is a hard pill to swallow. Yes, I think you can be a sugar addict or coffee addict or crave certain types of food, but to be addicted to something you have to have to survive does not make sense. Most addictions are to drugs and alcohol, neither of which you necessarily need to survive. I'm talking mostly about street drugs here. Of course, prescription medication addiction is rampant as well.
The next and best counselor ever, Heidi Moss, verified this for me. You can create food habits and again crave certain foods, but food addiction in general, no. Food habits, emotional eating, stress eating, all of these things are tough to stop doing. My issue became binge eating disorder, which the NEDA recognizes now as an actual eating disorder along with anorexia and bulimia. We all know that a person suffering with anorexia will not eat at all. A bulimic will binge and purge. Someone with binge eating disorder, like me, will eat until they are miserable physically and then with that comes the guilt for binging. Binge eaters often do so in secret, at certain times of the day or night, and of course, hide it from family and friends.
My initial pattern was to binge after everyone was in bed. I planned out my binge food like I would any other meal. Once you start this pattern, it becomes extremely hard to break. And the reasons you do it are also related to extreme stress, emotional issues, and it became a type of self-punishment for me as well. I punished myself for not being good enough, for not being able to control my eating (That makes sense, right?), and for anything else I could think of. I didn't deserve it at all, but I felt as if I did.
Eventually, after seeing Heidi and involving myself in a group session, the binging was practically nonexistent. It was not easy and while I could stay up once I'd put Jake to bed and not binge, avoidance of being up alone was the biggest help. I was working at the time, so it was good for me to lay down and read for a while and still get to sleep early. Avoiding my triggers was a huge help and eventually it felt less and less like avoidance and more like I had gained control.
It felt good for another reason as well, and that was that I'd changed my profile on a couple of dating sites I was on, writing about me as I am without apologizing for it. It worked, and I had the opportunity to meet a handful of very nice men. One in particular, a year later, I still see regularly. I'm not calling him a boyfriend because for lots of reasons, I am not rushing anything about this and I don't want to call it a relationship either. May sound silly, but that's another story. I'm enjoying "dating" without commitment of any kind, with absolutely no strings.
Also, after almost a year , I am also binging again. The stress of losing my job and feeling like a loser after being unemployed for 10 months is a lot to handle, and I'm not handling it well. I have good days and bad both regarding keeping my chin up and binging, but for the most part, the binging is out of control. My son is dealing with anxieties now, partially from all the changes we've been through. It's tough to see him go through these things; I feel like I'm missing something as a mom. I'm back to punishing myself for not being able to handle life and the shit that happens. I don't like being weak, yet, I am when it comes to this eating disorder. It takes over even though you don't want it to, and if that sounds ridiculous, well it does to me, too!
What The Militant Baker has done with her post is help me to at least know that being heavy is okay, nothing to be ashamed of, and that you are who you are. And most of all, she's said in her own way, to live for the now and not "when" you lose weight because "when" may not come and you've done nothing, had no fun, and wasted the small amount of time you have in this life. Perhaps reading this post daily will help me reach the beginning of control.
In meeting the men I did last year, it was very hard to believe that they had an interest in me at all (See that self hate there?), but that they were okay with my body shape and size was the hardest of all to believe. They were though! There are men out there who are okay, even like, even find sexy a larger woman! Who knew? MB says that when someone tells you you're pretty or pays any type of compliment, accept it and say thank you!
She says, "We are all much much more than our bodies, but our bodies are a beautiful part of us too. Beauty comes from the inside AND the outside. I am of the firm belief that every person is beautiful, and so this leaves the inside to be the part that is the most telling when it comes to true "beauty"." I love this paragraph.
MB talks about so much more so please read her article if you have the least bit of doubt that as a heavy woman you aren't beautiful just as you are. You are beautiful inside, outside, in spite of your issues, in spite of those who think fat is ugly and unattractive.
You are beautiful!