Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Weight and Self Worth

I see myself differently everyday. Sometimes every hour. It often depends on who I am with or if I'm all alone.

I have the best opinion of myself when I'm with my long term friends. These are the people who have known me for years and years. Through good and bad and worst. They have known me at every weight and age (at least since I was 15), and they have chosen to remain with me. And I have no idea why.

I've been trying to untangle some relationship knots of late. Like most people I prefer to think that my problems are someone else's fault, but I'm pretty good at taking ownership for things that aren't my fault as well. 

Sometimes I think I work so hard at being honest, that I lose sight of feelings. I work so hard to be sure that I'm not being too easy on myself or being unfair to other people, that I forget to take into account my feelings about things. 

This is all very vague. Let's get down to specifics. I am a 52 year old woman. I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and 2 rapes as an adult. I'm 5'2" (on a good day) and I weigh . . . well a lot more than I should according to all the charts that are out there and a lot more than I did over 30 years ago when I met my husband.

I come from a family of overweight, sedentary people. I married a man who is active all the time, and his mother was a swimsuit model. Seriously. 

I've embraced activities over the years. Hiking, swimming, yoga, biking, even scuba diving. Most of them I enjoy quite a bit.

I love to cook, and the older I get the more I love sweets. I've trained myself to stop and think about why I am eating things -- am I hungry? Am I bored? Am I tired? Am I stressed? And I try to eat for the "right" reasons. 

I love sweets and salty carbs. I am working on adding more fruit and vegetables to my snacking menu, and protein too. It's difficult when the rules of healthy eating seem to change everyday. I grew up on "eat what's put in front of you" Southern cooking. I've been down the fat free road, the low carb trek, the high protein approach, Weight Watchers, LA Weight Loss. You name it and I've probably tried it.

I've exercised regularly at times, and sporadically, and not at all. 

I suffer from depression and anxiety. '

And yet the Nike ad runs through my head -- Just do it!

I have good intentions. I make plans. I start and stay with it for a while, but then I get an injury or my allergies and asthma act up as the pollen increases. I get depressed. I feel that I'm never good enough and I'm never going to lose the weight, and if I don't lose the weight then I can't really live.

And the truth is I just want off this merry-go-round. I want to be content with what I look like and accept myself for who I am, but that's hard when the media and people around me tell me I need to change . . . constantly.

So how do you do it? How do you figure out what you really want and do it for yourself? That's the questions I'm asking. And it's not rhetorical.


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