Friday, April 3, 2009

Once I Was Overweight

Once I was Overweight. It was 1992.
I'm almost five foot ten and I weighed about 80kg (175 pounds).

After that, about 4 years later, I moved into the Obese category, weighing about 95kg (209).

Eventually, after the Heartbreak of 1997 and the Doomed Marriage of 2000, I qualified for the Super Morbid Obese category, and let me tell you not just any old fat chick gets that label. My BMI was 54, and I weighed around 170kg (374).

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I was the second heaviest person in my class. It was 1986 and I was 16 years old, almost at the height I am now (five nine and a half). I weighed 64kg. Smack bang in the middle of the Healthy Weight category. I'll say it again - I was the second heaviest person in my class, including boys. Every day I was told I was fat, ugly, slow and was always the last person chosen for sports.

No wonder I have such a screwed-up body image. No wonder I constantly question whether it's even worth all this money (cost of my weight loss surgery =$18,000) and effort to get to my new goal weight of 80kg, which will see me still Overweight. I need to find a way to disconnect from the numbers, but how do I measure my "success" if not through BMI points, clothing sizes, centimetres and kilos? Sure, there are a number of things I can do comfortably now that I couldn't 50kg ago. I'm not disputing the fact that I've lost weight and gained health and fitness. But basically, I've hated my body since I was 10 years old, no matter what number was attached to it. And lots of other people have hated it too, and have told me so.

Sadly, I find myself still hating my body, still lamenting its ugly lumpen-ness and scarring. Even worse, now I've lost a lot more weight from my top half than my bottom bits - where I was once an "even" size 26, I'm now 20-22 in pants and 16-18 in tops. Nothing fits me properly. I would never want to go back. But sometimes I wonder WHEN or IF I will be able to learn how to value my body instead of viewing it as my enemy.


Kerry said...

I am only going to type positive things.

You look fabulous
You are fabulous
We love you
Now can you try to love you as much as we do. Give it a go. Please.


Jena said...

Oh sweetie...
I don't know what to say exactly but I do feel your pain. Even though we have totally different stories we have this in common: our bodies are our enemy.

Your worth is based on who you are, not what size your body is! I have seen very unattractive people (not overweight) who suddenly become attractive when I see them relating to people. They might be ugly but then their charisma, humor, kindness, generosity, mercy, and all those other kinds of soul qualities shine so bright that you don't even think about their looks. You just see their person. I believe it's exactly the same with weight. It's not about your size, hun. It's about loving yourself and getting to know who you are despite your shortcomings. We all have them. Weight is yours.

You feel like other people don't accept you physically. What a terrible lie. You've been fed mis-truths that have traumatized you, that's what I think. People who judge outer appearance have more problems than the people they judge. Hold your head high and be the best you that you are.

You feel like you don't know how to live with yourself and accept yourself. I'm still learning that one myself. I think body image problems come with many women at many shapes and sizes. Even really skinny women can have such complexes. It's not just you, it's so many. People most often criticize themselves so hard that they're not even noticing other people's flaws. You are one of those "other" people! People don't worry about what you look like, they worry about what THEY look like.

Most of all, whether you are struggling with body image, accepting yourself at any weight or shape, or whatever, I think the best thing to do is just try to live each day healthily. If you are doing things every day that are healthy, then you are treating your body with respect, and that's what it deserves. When you treat your body with respect, you treat YOU with respect, and I think you'll find your confidence increases.


Love, Jena xoxo

Borderline Lil said...

THANK YOU for these lovely words of support, Kerry and Jena. You're both right - the next part of my journey needs to be about accepting myself and loving myself for who I am.