Since S went to nursery in 2013 and I went back to sitting at a desk all day, my weight has gone up and up. I’ve had brief periods of giving up sugar or “eating healthily” where I’ve lost a few pounds – but ultimately, it’s been heading in the upwards direction.
Well-meaning people keep suggesting I join Weight Watchers or Slimming World, but I know that those systems won’t work for me – firstly because having read a lot of books, I don’t necessarily agree with the foods they tell you to eat, but more importantly because I know that counting calories or syns or whatever they call them these days, only works for as long as you can be arsed to count them – and I tend to have very brief periods of being arsed with such things. Right now, I am the heaviest I’ve ever been, and I don’t much like it.
Just lately I’ve been thinking about why I’ve put weight on. I think if I can figure out what’s causing it, and resolve those issues in my mind, then the weight will be dealt with as a by-product of that. I’ve come up with three reasons I’ve put on weight…
I wrote a post before about being scared to lose weight. In it I reflected on the fact that for most of my life I felt that I was too fat. I believed that if I could just have a flat stomach, I would feel happy and confident. And then, when I had a breakdown, there was this defining moment when in attempt to cheer myself up I went to buy new underwear. As I stood in the changing cubicle I looked down and realised that for the first time in my life, I didn’t feel like I needed to suck my belly in. I was struck with this dawning realisation: hang on, my stomach is flat. And I’m the most miserable I’ve ever been. I had always believed that it was my belly that made me feel miserable and caused my lack of confidence; suddenly I realised that had never been true. So I think perhaps since then I’ve had this unconscious need to make sure I have at least a bit of a belly, so that I don’t have to confront that again.
I think after my experiences with S’s father, and a couple of people I had brief dalliances with after that, I made an unconscious decision. I put on weight so that nobody else would find me attractive, and I couldn’t get hurt again. It wasn’t conscious; I didn’t realise I was doing it until fairly recently. I didn’t trust myself, if someone did show an interest in me, to say no – I needed something to stop them from showing an interest in the first place! It sounds silly, but I do think that’s what I was doing.
All through our “relationship,” S’s father made many comments about my weight. When I told him I was pregnant, his first observation was that I’d been “quite fat” when I first met him; I could have been already pregnant and just hiding it so that I could “pin it” on him. Later in my pregnancy, it was made clear that if I didn’t lose the pregnancy weight he would have to leave me. I now believe he homed in on my weight as one of the many things I was self conscious about, and used it to his advantage. Putting on weight has been a bit of a “screw you, I am the person in charge of my weight, not you!”
All of this has gone on for long enough now. I am my own person, and this extra weight I’m carrying is all that’s left of my past; not just the abuse, but the breakdown, the lack of self esteem, the inability to look at myself in the mirror. I’ve moved on from all of it; I am no longer that person, and it’s time my body reflected that.
I have already started doing a few things to lose weight and get back to myself; I’ll be blogging about them separately though.
For me, I know it’s not enough to “go on a diet.” I’ve tried blogging as some sort of accountability, but it didn’t work. I had a long conversation recently about how physical problems can be the result of emotional problems. A lot of people don’t subscribe to that way of thinking, and that’s fine. But for me, I believe my weight gain has been because of problems in my head. And I believe I can solve the issue of my weight by resolving the issues in my head. Watch this space…