Hysterical breakdowns are not an unknown phenomenon in our household. I live with four boys and at least once a month one of us five has a meltdown.
10 points for guessing who it is.
That's right, it's Luke.
Jokes, it's totally the one with the ovaries.
Despite the fact that I totally hate fulfilling a stereotype, I can't help it! The emotions, and tears, and snot, and sobbing just won't stay down, no matter how hard I try and suppress them. It's sooo embarrassing (especially if it ever happens at work....holla at me emotional ladies!) but it happens and I can't stop it.
This month, despite trying desperately to channel the stoneheartedness of my testosterone fueled flatmates, I ended up crying like a wee baby about (yet again) my weight issues.
I have come to learn that I don't like being fat (shocker!). Like, I really really really don't like it. I don't like the stares I get in the street ( no jokes, I saw a guy driving do a HUGE double take once and, unless I am the sexiest thing going, the only conclusion I can come to is that he had in fact never seen a fat person before). I don't like people at work giving me tips on how to lose weight. I don't like having to avoid foods I like. I don't like not being able to fit some clothes.
So I decided to quit.
I told Luke that I was over it and I was gonna eat what I want and get fat and die happy. And he found this hilarious. Apparently it was not the right day for him to laugh at that because I got rather pissed off and then cried lots.
See, as much as I want to be skinny, I sabotage myself all the time. In my concious mind I am working hard at losing weight. In my subconcious mind I am a scared little girl who is trying to protect herself from the world by creating a fat suit.
As much as I want to be skinny, I more afraid of it than anything.
I am afraid that when I get there I still won't be happy with what I have. I am afraid that I will get hurt by men again. I am afraid that I won't be able to maintain it. I am scared that I still won't be good enough.
Which is the fundamental problem.
It is not about the weight. Yes, I do need to loose it in order to be healthy. But focusing on the weight has meant that I have forgotten about the reasons I got fat in the first place.
I have started idolising being skinny. I started to think that when I use to be skinny I was happy and will be again if I could just get skinny again. The truth is that it is bollocks. If I am not happy in myself now then I won't be when I lose weight. And I wasn't happy when I was skinny...which is why I ended up fat.
So I am trying to change my mindset from focusing on losing weight to one that is focused on being healthy and happy. This still means I have to avoid foods that aren't good for me, and I still have to exercise and all that, because that is part of being healthy in body and mind, but the outlook is totally different.
Still, as I write this, I am overcome by a sense of desperation and yet resignation. I am really struggling to understand how to keep going in the face of weight that is getting harder and harder to shift. The thought of this being a lifelong struggle fills me full of helplessness.
I hate that I have done this to myself. I hate that I now have to battle everyday of my life in order to live well. It makes me angry and dejected. I say I don't care anymore but the fact is I really really do. It hurts a lot knowing that this is my fault.
I feel like I have tried every diet in the book and still have so far to go. Luke described it as running a marathon, where you get half way through and wanna die on the spot but you keep going coz there is no other way to finish. There is also a billboard on the way to my work that says "The pain of doing it is not as bad as the pain of regretting not doing it." Funnily enough it is a billboard for a gym!
It is hard trying to put into words what it is like staring your own regret in the mirror every morning to people who may have never had weight issues. It is hard to explain how it isn't a just physical battle, it is a mental and emotional one as well. It is hard to tell people who say "just count calories in and calories out and you should loose weight" that it isn't that simple.
I find blogging helpful. I hope it reaches people who. like me, want to lose weight and yet want to give up at the same time. I hope this reaches those who are so confused as to what they really want that they sabotage themselves and then hate themselves for it. I hope this reaches people who are losing hope.
Because at the end of the day, underneath all the pain and heartache, I do have hope. I have hope that it isn't always going to be like this. My faith in Christ tells me that one day every tear will wiped away and all pain will end. I believe that my pain about weight counts. And so I have hope.
For those of a different faith, or of no faith, please don't give up just yet. Please comment below and let me know so I can support you and in turn feel supported. Your battle with weight is no small thing and I understand the pain that it causes you and how little you feel understood.
We are not alone. even though our fat suits attempt to lie to us and tell us we are.
Just keep breathing, keep living, keep listening to the people who love you, and let's find a way to live a life that we dream of!