Day 10 Question 10:
What do you think about a lot? What overwhelms your thoughts?
I know this entry is going to overwhelm me because I am going to be completely honest about a subject that I could and would not talk about for years. The main thing that overwhelms my thoughts every single day is my weight and my body. I have struggled with my weight and it has fluctuated up and down for the last 10-12 years. Even in my younger years I was “chunky” (Ugh I hate that description). There is not one day that passes that I do not think about the way I look and usually detest the way I feel and think about my body. In the last 2 years I have lost about 60-65 lbs. I workout pretty regularly and stay active but I just cannot change the thought process. I have seen a counselor and my friends and family have told me that “our weight and our bodies are not who we are” but is that really true? We live in this society that focuses on being thin and glamorous and that is what men want women to be. I know I am not repulsive but I just unable to feel sexy and confident in this department no matter how hard I try. I have changed my thought processes in so many different ways and I believe I live a healthy, fulfilling life but I just can’t get a grip on changing the way I think about my body and my weight.
I am not sure where my obsession with this came from. I can be sitting in a room with family members or my closest friends having a light, fun conversation and my mind can steer from the topic at hand to thinking “Ugh I wonder how fat I look right now” or “I wonder if these people think I am repulsive because of this part of my body or that part of my body”. I absolutely HATE it. In my own head I am squirming by feeling this sort of discomfort. It just seems so unfair. And trust me I know life is not always fair. I just don’t understand it. The last guy I dated said some of the most wonderful things to me. He always told me I was beautiful. We had our ups and downs but he would tell me my eyes were captivating and he loved spending time with me. There are many memories I have with him that I will hold onto because they felt amazing. But there is something else I also hold onto…and yes this is going to get personal. In the bedroom we did have some issues. Sometimes it was kind of awkward and he was not always able to perform. He would say that we lacked chemistry and that was the issue. Trust me that was not the issue. We had unbelievable chemistry. We laughed together and even when we weren’t speaking you could feel the chemistry floating in the air. What ended us was the baggage he needed to take care of in his life (well I think that is what ended us-I am skeptical of what is really true or not anymore when it comes to dating). He had an ex that he was in the process of divorcing and he has a very significant blood disorder. He was getting his life back on track. For the most part my life was on track so our worlds were not meshing. His needs and my needs were not in sync. Anyhow, I have veered away from the point. Him continually saying that we did not have chemistry (which felt like a stab to the heart that dug deeper and deeper everytime I heard it) just made me think more and more that I was not attractive or appealing. Some people really have no idea how badly words can hurt. I felt (and I still wonder) that it was my imperfect body that was just a turn off to him. I wonder if he took the easy way out by saying he needed to get his life together when in truth he was just repulsed by my body. These are the things I think. Yes, trust me, I know how unhealthy this way of thinking is. But I told you that honesty was what you would ge no matter what. I write what a lot of people are thinking but are too scared to admit.
People can be really cruel. Again, I realize I have lost a lot of weight and I am in a much better place than where I was. There are women out there that are significantly heavier than I am and they walk around with complete confidence. I envy these women but in the same I think it has to be impossible to be that confident. I cannot grasp how they do it. I refer back to high school a lot in my entires, which would seem like I am holding onto a lot from my past (which on some issues I am sure I am-again I am being honest). There is significance to certain things and that is why I mention them. When I was in high school I was overweight. I was not “huge” but I definetly had weight on me. The last place anyone wants to be overweight is in high school. Kids back then were cruel but nothing in comparison to how they are nowadays. It was hard then but I thank my lucky stars I am not in school now. I remember walking down the hall and a boy in my class said (with other kids swarming the halls), “watch out we need to widen the hall for Diane to come through”. Now mind you, I was not severly obese, I just was not thin. I carried weight in my lower body. I am 5’8 for fucks sake! Sorry I just felt some internal anger bubble to the surface. I have had comments like these made to me at various times in my life and every time it has happened I have felt a little more broken. I have felt like who I was never mattered because it was only about what I looked like. I was devastated. I have always known how much I have to offer people in my life but it started to lose significance because I felt like so many people could never get beyond the outer appearance.
I have always known my mother has wanted the best for me. I have mentioned her in many different blog entries. I will reiterate that this is the most incredible woman in the whole wide world-yes I am biased but I still stand behind my words. I can say this now with full confidence because I have grown up and learned so much and I now understand who my mother is and what her intentions were (I am sure I will have a whole blog dedicated to her in the future). She never ever had ill intent. My mother commented on my weight at different times while I was growing up. Sometimes the comments came in the form of snide remarks. Let me also tell you that we did not grow up in a household where eating a nutritious diet and exercise were implemented regularly. It just wasn’t commonplace in our household. My parents were raised that way so they really never thought about raising us kids to learn about and practice being healthy. Neither of my parents are thin people. What my mom didn’t know is that she never needed to say these things to me because I was already saying them to myself. I obsessed about my weight/body day in and day out and I truly believe this has been a huge source of my anxiety. It has affected so many aspects of my life. What a lot of people don’t understand is that when you feel this way it is as if everything else going in a downward spiral. Your thinking process revolves around this. You start by hating your body then start thinking no one is going to want to date you and if they do they must have a hidden agenda because no one would ever want to date someone like me. You realize (well this takes time) that the media has brainwashed you to believe that being thin is the only thing that is important and will lead to success. To this very day television is swarmed with reality shows. With the exception of The Biggest Loser or maybe one or 2 other shows, how often do you ever see an “overweight” character? Actually, how often do you ever see an overweight character on any television show or in the movies. I realize you do see them but a lot of the time when they are on something, there weight is the topic of discussion. These are the people that are getting bullied or have to defend their weight and act as if they are beautiful on the inside and that is what matters. They don’t ever act like just regular day to day human beings. There was a show on one of the networks called “Dance Your Ass Off”. I never watched it (dancing shows have never been my thing) but I saw a preview for it and all of these people (contestants that were going to be on the show) were saying all of the things that they could do if they lost the weight. One girl said, “I might just get a boyfriend.” I couldn’t believe a network would air that. So, television is basically emphasizing that a girl cannot have a boyfriend if she is “curvy” or “thick” or “plus-size”? If that is the truth then I think we should be quite disappointed in ourselves as a society. I also remember an episode of American Idol. There was a woman named Frenchy (she was plus-size) that went through the finals and she was on stage singing. Simon Cowell said, “I think we need a bigger stage”. This episode viewed to millions of people. I remember thinking at that very moment that if that was me I may do something drastic and take my own life. That is how badly someone’s words can hurt. People wonder why they are such severe eating and mental disorders in this country. It is due to the ignorance of people that hold certain positions of power. It is disgusting. It is crazy that I have a hard time remembering certain good things from my past but episodes such as these sit in my mind with complete clarity.
This entry is extremely hard for me to write. I feel like it is really hard for me to express what I am really feeling. I am in a good place in my life and I have more determination than people could even imagine. There is nothing that is going to destroy me. I just felt like I had to talk about this…even knowing that everyone would have the opportunity to read it. For so long I was ashamed of my thoughts and I now HAVE to step outside of my comfort zone if I want to keep moving ahead. I will be completely honest once again…and I might catch some shit here for saying something I should know better than to say. I am 33 years old and still single. I know a man does not define me and I know that if a man truly loves me that he will love me for who I am and not what I look like. I atch so many people around me, my same age or younger, that have been in many relationships or are married. They have these companions in their lives and that is something I really want. I want a male companion to share so many experiences in my life with and grow with. I cannot help but drive myself crazy in thinking that this has not yet happened to me because men aren’t attracted to me because of my body. Yes I know this is crazy-I am far from repulsive- but it goes through my head. I hear so many men talk about women that have “slammin” bodies and how attractive they are. I hear men make snide comments about fat women. It’s a really hard thing to swallow because I have lost a significant amount of weight but my body still has flaws and imperfections. Unless I were to get plastic surgery I will always have that saddlebag on my right thigh and I will still have stretch marks. With everything else I am pretty good about accepting and moving on. With this though I certainly do struggle but I have not given up. These thoughts are what have kept me secluded for a little while now. I needed to get them together. I am not sad or depressed. These thoughts haven’t taken over my life. They are just thoughts I need to get in control and I am working on the best possible way to do this.
I know so many women (I know some men do too) struggle with their weight. I worked with middle and high school kids and I always stressed the importance of good health but not letting their thoughts regarding their bodies determine who they were. This was a situation in which I did not always practice what I preached. I do not feel badly about it though. If I could help even one young girl in not going through the same self-torture that I went through then it was worth it to preach and preach and preach. I wish I could see our society take a shift and focus less on appearance. I don’t imagine this happening in my lifetime though. To anyone reading this, young girls especially, please embrace who you are and love yourself starting right now. Do not let others determine how you should look. Strive to be healthy but decide what you think is healthy. A thin model does not determine what is healthy for YOU!!! A workout on the Biggest Loser might work for those people but you need to find your niche. If I can take this journey, I would really like all of the people out there that are struggling with the same issues to join me.
All of my love :0)
Obviously I wrote this quickly because the thoughts were swarming in really quickly. Sorry about the typos and misspells. I will fix them soon 🙂
Thank you for a wonderful insight, you know you are not alone in these thoughts. I think most women have these thoughts day in day out. I for one ponder on this most days… I’m not big, but i have issues and I have a belly like a spare tyre which haunts me everyday and my arms… when did they get so chunky!. But im trying harder to do some exercises now but i know its a slow process. But enough about me… My point was that… I read earlier about an earlier post you wrote…about being optimistic or pessimistic. This has alot to add to your persona and your confidence… Life is about balance, first you need to find confidence in yourself then other things will follow… don’t let your past relationships haunt you… just realise it wasn’t meant to be and maybe whatever you did before that wasn’t right, learn from your mistakes and try and improve your better self. Looks is not about everything, we all know, we can improve in some way or other, its about personality and how we connect with people. And if your optimistic enough and work on your inner self, confidence will follow. We’re not sheep… We all individuals, thats what makes us interesting. Apologies i’m waffling now…
you are soooooo NOT alone!
I hate my hair. I’m thin, but my thighs are hefty. I wish Mom and Dad had splurged on braces for my teeth.
Need I continue?
But I’m pleased to say that I’m finally coming to terms with my body and who I am.
Teresa, I do not know you personally but I do know that you are beautiful :0) Thank you for your insights and input so far. I absolutely love it. I look forward to following your blog journey as well. :0)
Congratulations on the weight loss.
And no, we are not our body. As I’ve heard it often said, we are not a body having a spiritual experience; we a a spirit having a bodily experience. Well, not in exactly those words; the original was put better. But you get the drift, I hope.
The world we live in is focused on cosmetic things, superficial things, appearances, things that don’t really matter. That’s not a healthy thing. What it makes for is a lot of immature adults—adolescents in adult bodies, basically.
When men want women to be something or other, it’s usually only to satisfy their their lusts, especially if they focus on physical attributes. You don’t want those kinds of men. You also don’t want those kinds of men who degrade women in any way.
As hard as it is, it’s better to stay single than line up with a man who emphasizes physical attributes because they’re generally interested in only one thing: sexual conquest. Over the long run, that sort of relationship will wear out and fade away.
The emphasis in just about everything these days is being sexy, as though that was all there is to life. Even cars are sexy, if you listen to the ads. You got to be pretty perverted to think a car is sexy, in my opinion. :o)
One thing I know is: It’s awfully hard to change a lifetime of negative self-thought. Personal experience. I still have trouble with it and I’m nearly twice your age. But as Winston Churchill once said, “Never, never, never give up.” By the way, that was his entire speech at a college commencement exercise.
I also want to thank you for following my blog “Odds and End Thoughts” at https://oddsandendthoughts.wordpress.com/ .
While you’re there, you might want to check out, “Pretty vs. Lovely” at https://oddsandendthoughts.wordpress.com/2012/01/24/pretty-vs-lovely/ and let me know what you think. I’d be very interested in your opinion, given the depths of what you’re going through.
The biggest issue, as I see if from afar, and I’m sure you know it, is not your weight or looks, but your thinking process. Our thinking stirs up our emotions and our emotions stir up our thinking. It’s a vicious cycle.
There are thing you can do, but that would take a much longer time than I’ve already taken. Whatever you do, it takes a great deal of positive emotion (not thinking, but emotion) to change your thinking.
You’re all right. So, hang in there. :o)
Thank you Cris. Your response really means the world to me. I was just driving home from seeing a movie with a friend and it hit me that this is the first time in my life that I truly feel happy. A lot of things are starting to make sense and I am way more than my thoughts. I am this beautiful entity that has tall sorts of power. I feel moments of enlightenment and bliss and they are absolutely amazing. I do believe I am one of the lucky ones. Your words are really inspiring. This blog is changing my life in a way that makes me love myself and love life in a way I never thought possible. Thank you for being a part of the journey :0)
Glad to be of service. [Bowing] And doubly glad to hear your heartening words.
Your journey has now been extended to Odds and End Thoughts at https://oddsandendthoughts.wordpress.com/
I hope you like what I’ve done with your question #24. Great idea, by the way—a question a day . . . answered . . . will keep the doctor away.
Welcome to the fold!
We struggle with many things not of our own making, and lose our identities in the process.
Maybe if we just asked ourselves the question without looking in the mirror “Who am I” and let the answer unfold in many ways in its own sweet time, we will discover much more than the media likes to tell us
Your bravery to express this is in and of itself amazing. Kudos and blessings. Reading some of what you expressed was like reading the thoughts through my brain…. WOW
Being thin isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I lost weight when I was 23, suddenly. Two and half stone. But I was then too thin, and stayed that way for thirty years. I looked awful, ill and was called anorexic by unkind people The thing was I couldn’t GAIN weight, no matter how much I ate. It turned out I had a rare medical contition. But being thin didn’t make me feel any better than you. Life is about who we love, who we share with and who we care for. Just care about yourself and your family and friends, be who you are and don’t worry about your body. That’s just the vessel you happen to have to walk around in. Good luck!
I think maybe you’ve made a breakthrough already by being so totally open and honest with this. I think about my flaws constantly. I hate looking in the mirror because I see every little imperfection. I’m not a big person at all and i have never been overweight but believe me body image is always on my mind. I wonder if its more about personality type than a state of mind – similar to people who are perfectionists or who have control issues. I’ve never thought of myself as either of those but I wonder why it bothers me so much considering it could be much worse than it is. I suppose we’re all competitive in a way and we see the covers of magazines with models and assume that is “the goal” and so that immediately starts us off (no matter who we are) ‘at the bottom’ working our way up. I hold the media responsible (for all the negatives) they focus on the wrong things and play down the right things – they have such power – its too bad they don’t take advantage of it and use it for good!
I totally agree with you on the reality tv and “Idol” story…I often think about how things are handled and always immediately worry that the person affected could easily do something drastic…because I know how it would affect me. I find it amazing that anyone would be willing to go on one of the reality tv shows – knowing the producers are only looking for ways to get ratings and that is usually at someone’s expense I wonder if its worth their 10 seconds of fame.
I really appreciate your honesty – I’m fairly certain I could never be that open.
Thank you for stopping by my site!
Maybe we can help each other out by sharing the strengths we do have!
This response made me smile soooo big. I don’t know you but I do know you are a beautiful person and that is the most important. We do get wrapped up with everything we see and what society is telling us is beautiful and that is completely warped. Kindess and compassion are way more beautiful than anyone’s physical appearance. I would definitely love to keep in contact :0)
I have been “fat” all of my life. I have always felt inadequate and self-conscious. Then one day, I had to have emergency surgery, and I came very close to dying. It took a year for me to recover. It was then that I decided that worrying about what I looked like wasn’t very important. What is important is that I am a good person and I deserve to be loved for who I am, not what I look like. And, if there is someone out there who can’t handle the fact that I am fat, then they are not worth my time, anyway.
Sometimes we just have to put things in perspective. In the whole scope of life, it is how you live and love everyday, not what you look like. People are going to remember how kind you were, how loving, etc. you when you die, not how big or small you are. Blessings! 🙂
You are so right. We are, most of us women, so hard on ourselves when it comes to our bodies. There are all types of beauty, but what’s most beautiful, is being able to love and accept ourselves for the unique, one-of a-kind beauties that we all are… 🙂 Thanks.
I shared this with my wife. She needs to know that there are others out there willing to be open about things — something I’ve worked with her to do. Thanks for sharing.
I love that you shared it with your wife :0) Sharing and expressing have helped me soooooo much :0)
You are going through the growing pains that all women go through. How can we not feel inadequate with all of the false imagery of women on tv. I love that Cindy Crawford said, “I don’t look like that,” looking at her airbrushed photos. Weight, skin, hair, society is brutal when it comes to judging women’s looks. We can’t reach that state of “perfection.” it’s a process, but we have to learn to love and accept ourselves, just the way we are. Here are two links that will help on your journey of self-discovery.
And this wonderful quote from Beyonce:
With your honesty, You’re well on your way to being the authentic you–once you find it and accept it, no one can take it from you. It is a never ending journey that requires daily maintenance.