I was reading Chris' post about acceptance. It really made me think. Actually, it really helped me...it helped me focus. Thanks Chris.
Ok, so I'll tell you guys a little bit about my childhood. I know I've told bits about what formed my messed up body image, but I want to be more specific this time and if you'll hang with me...hopefully you'll see what I'm gettting at.
From the time I was around 5, I was a chubby kid. I'm not sure why. I was picky and my grandparents would give me treats when I was with them, but I wasn't with them most of the time. My mom took me on walks and I rode my little bicycle in front of my house...ya know, when it was safe to do that kind of thing.
But, the whole time, my parents would argue about my weight. My dad would say I need to be on a diet and he'd tell my grandparents to not feed me candy. He'd eye my plate at dinner, keep tabs on what I was eating, yet he'd bring junk into the house when he'd want. Eventually, he started making me bring him the scales once a week and it wasn't like a "let's get motivated and healthy and be positive!!" kind of thing usually, it was "Kim, go get the scale now..I'm sure you've been screwing up" kind of look. I'd have to wipe tears and endure a big knot in my throat through the whole thing. I'd tell him I needed to use the bathroom before using the scale and I'd cry just enough to not leave my eyes red, but enough to where I could breathe a little better. This wasn't on every occasion, but I was fearful nonetheless every time. I hated myself...hated what fat was...hated it on me...hated myself inside for being fat on the outside. Years flew by, and I eventually lost a good bit of weight on Jenny Craig. All of the sudden, my parents were buying me cards telling me how proud they were of me and I'll never forget them buying me that Elizabeth Arden Sunflower perfume just b/c I was doing so well. Man oh man, I thought I'd hit the self love jackpot. I was really loving myself (so I thought)back then b/c my parents were looking at me differently....they were accepting me so I accepted myself.......for a short time. Then boys started noticing me...in the dirty way. If I got my heart broken, I'd self destruct. When I felt I was losing control, I began scratching sores on my chest. I hated everything about me for the longest time b/c I never could accept ME in my own skin....meaning physically, mentally, and emotionally. I was still the fat girl inside...not just a fat girl...in my head I was the fat disgusting girl. Somewhere along the way, I ended up marrying a man that was a bit like my dad. I rebelled of course...and gained more weight. I eventually learned I couldn't depend on anybody else to help me know my worth. I decided to love my fat....yep, love my fat. It sounds bad, but when you've been taught to connect your outer image to your inner love, it's hard to say, "Well, I love myself but I don't like my body right now or yeah one day this is going to kill me." B/c even saying those things would send me back into a depression b/c I'd feel like I'd failed my loved ones again. I think many of us who've been really fat for any huge period of time, feel pressure from trying to do it for our loved ones or doing it for ourselves and we give up. For me, it was necessary to look at my big body in the mirror and make a choice to love every bit of me for where I was at the time...b/c even if I knew I was going to die early, leave my kids w/o a mom, leave a husband single, I just needed all the consequences to be gone so I could dig myself out of the hole people had been stomping me down in all my life. I needed to be selfish for just a small while. I think some of those people who are into the whole "fat acceptance" movement maybe got there the same way I did and maybe didn't move past that. Sure, some people are just in denial, but when you've been denied your God freakin given right to love yourself WHOLLY all your life, then you end up having to take great strides...sometimes insane strides to just have some kind of view that allows you to love yourself....even if it's one that can kill you. I stayed at that place for a little while so I could learn to be accepting of my flabby stomach, my hundreds of stretchmarks, and my double chins while also learning about the good character traits I have. Once I learned how to love myself in this moment, I could finally acknowledge the realization that my weight would cause lots of harm to the ones I love the most along with myself...whom I also love. So, now here's my problem. While I've finally turned a corner in my life, I'm coming to the realization I feel stuck in a way.
B/c of the way I grew up, constantly having someone make every decision for me and criticizing my image...I guess I allowed that life to follow me into my marriage. While my husband doesn't talk negatively anymore about my image (well, once in a while he does), I know he still wants me to lose weight. However, every time I've began to lose weight, he always brings me down. This time around I told him I'd try to change up the food situation so he didn't feel like he was dieting the whole time too. Of course, he got mad about it anyway and since last week, I've been angry. I've been angry b/c we haven't been getting along super well, he's been super distant, and this is a reoccuring problem we have when I'm trying to do something good for myself. I'm starting to believe that what he says and what he actually wants are two very different things....and I don't even think he realizes it. I think even though he denies it, that he is scared of me changing b/c maybe I won't depend on him so much and maybe I'll expect more from him for a change. He won't feel like that knight in shining armor who saved me from my screwy life anymore. Then, here lately, I find myself trying to fall into old patterns...almost like I'm trying to appease him in someway. So, now I'm confused. He says he wants me healthy, but every time I try...he fights against me in some way. He totally denies that he's scared of what things will be like once I'm in shape. Yet, he seems so threatened by my confidence here lately and he's nitpicking about every little thing....something I used to do that he hated. It's just all so strange and I'm ready to turn MY corner that I've reached. So, is he telling the truth ya think or do you think he's in denial? I think all of this may come from disliking change...he hates change. Either way, all of this is a wake up call to me...realizing I've been a little stuck b/c of this issue. I'm GOING to get healthy....no matter what. I'm just afraid of how it will affect the future of my marriage sometimes. Sounds stupid probably, but I really do think this will be an ongoing issue and I'm not sure how to nip it in the bud w/o causing some resentment on both our parts. I certainly do not want to fall into old patterns again b/c I feel like giving up all b/c he gets mad about eating healthier. At the same time I want him to be excited about my changes. I also would love it if we could enjoy the positive benefits from all this and stop living a life set up for a fat person...I want us to l-i-v-e. Any suggestions? Sorry this is so long. Whew I needed that! lol
So, thanks Chris for getting my hamster wheel turning...lol.