I’ve had a weight problem since I was about 10 years old. I had put it
down to bad eating habits, genetics, not exercising enough; pretty all down to everything that was my fault. I wasn’t strong enough, I wasn’t dedicated
enough and I would never be thin enough. This hit hardest a year ago. I had been on Neris & India’s Idiot Proof Diet for 8 months and had great success. I had lost nearly three stone, felt fantastic and was getting compliments from everyone about how I looked. I was afraid to think it, but I had finally conquered the weight problem I had lived with for over 30 years.
Then we went on holiday visiting my family in the US. It was so nice to show my family the new me. So I relaxed on the diet, which was nearly carb free. We had pizza, pasta, sandwiches — you name it. Didn’t bloat up straight away, but when I got back from holiday, I just couldn’t get back into the diet, so quicker than the weight came off it piled on again. I’ve tried a couple of times to get back onto that plan, but haven’t even kept on for a week.
Last September, returning from another indulgent holiday eating and drinking up the delights of Provence, I decided to hire a personal trainer. For nearly three months I worked out in the gym three times a week, in addition to 2 tae kwon do training sessions; and had my weight and body fat checked weekly. This time I was losing weight more slowly but steadily. Just before Christmas I got very sick, perhaps from pushing myself too hard for tkd competitions, and stopped the training — and haven’t got back to it yet!
I’d say that nearly all of us know what it takes to lose weight: take in less calories and burn more calories. We’ve read up on various diets and exercise routines, yet after years and years and various attempts, here we are still looking for some secret that will make it all click for us.
The truth is that inside each one of us, buried deeply, we have some need, some empty spot that needs feeding. There may be a diet that suits your lifestyle more and will help with
eating right. You may find a buddy to exercise with and that will help
keep you going and burning the fat. In the end, unless you deal with the issues that are causing the weight problem, it will come back again and again.
In my 20’s I read a book that helped give me a little insight into what it was inside me that kept me from losing weight: Fat is a Feminist Issue by Susie Orbach. At the time I started to feel that the weight was giving me some power I wouldn’t have as a petite young woman; and also protected me from men that would see me only as a sexual object. Unfortunately that weight was also keeping me from a lot of good things, mainly feeling good about myself!
This thinking went a bit further about ten years later. I was watching an episode of Oprah, yet another about weight loss, and the guests had all lost serious amounts of weight. One woman told about how her problems went back to childhood when she had been sexually abused by a relative. Once she realised that and started to deal with it, she started to lose weight. It hit me then that my weight gain started when I was 10 and at that time I had a terrifying encounter with a pedaphile. Though I escaped from actual physical abuse, the experience frightened me so much that I never told another person until I had grown up. I had pushed that experience so far back in my consciousness that it was a dim memory. It then made sense to me that the extra weight was a kind of protection and the eating was also feeding the child inside that was still afraid of whatever preditors were out there in the World.
So after 35 years of using food as a comfort and shield, I have to learn a new relationship with food and it’s a real struggle. All of my food decisions are emotionally charged and I have a great fear of passing this on to my children, especially my daughter. It’s hard to work on it without giving it too much power and let it keep hold over your life.
I’m working on building some inner strength and serenity and have found some help in the works of Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie. I don’t fancy going into psychotherapy, so am hoping that writing about the experiences I am having will be a good therapy in itself. Networking with others who share the problem should be very helpful as well.
Do you have any of this kind of deep issues about weight? What have you tried to do to deal with it, and how has it worked? Please share your experiences with us.
Lauren Lamenza Naylor
Yes, as you know, I have struggled with this too pretty much since I was ten years old as well. Or was it when I was five and my great grandma spied me under the table playing with jax and said, very loudly, “BOY, SHE’S A FAT ONE!”
(“mommy, what does FAT mean?”)
The best way for me to deal with this issue is through self love. Weight and fitness may go up and down. We have to contend with illness, being that we are made of..well….MEAT. In other words, we’re human. I just had a bad bout with pneumonia, rendering me pretty much physically incapacitated for the past month. This, for someone like me who is a yoga and dance teacher and who LOVES TO MOVE and counts on it for pretty much everything including weight control, mood stability, and FUN, has been really difficult. But it happens to everyone, because YEAH! We’re HUMAN! So for me, if I just allow myself to be human, and get slowly back into my healthy habits as my body allows, listening to my body’s voice, I am gonna be okay.
Does this make sense?
Oh, yeah, and this past summer I piled on 20 extra pounds (around 2 stone?) even with my level of physical activity. I like to call it “getting fluffy”. It is much kinder than “Gaining weight” for me. ANyway, I went back to Weight Watchers and their sensible food plan brought me back to a “fluff level” that I am comfortable with. I think a lot of it’s being comfortable in your own skin, y’know?
Don’t let the fluff get you down. And if you want to de fluff a little bit, first love yourself. Then do it from there.
For me weight wasn’t a problem until I had my two children. Now I can’t get it off to save my life.
I have tried everything possible and now under drs. care I am taking a weightloss pill.
It seemed to work at first and I lost about 20 lbs., now it doesn’t seem to work. I try to exercise but it is hard to do it by myself. My husband and I try to work out three days a week but I think its my eating that is holding me back. I don’t eat the calories I need to eat to boost my metabolism.
If you have any suggestion about that, that would be wonderful. I would love to loose about 40lbs, not only to show people that it can be done but for me too.
Like Lauren says I am fluffy and I need to love myself first but how do you do that without the support of people who love you first. Im not saying Im not loved by my family, I’m saying maybe I don’t love myself enough to do it for me.
Hi Peggy. It is really hard, isn’t it? There’s no easy answers.
Our families do love us and we’re lucky to have them, but we are in the role of giver most of the time and eating then fills us up. Maybe if we find some people outside that are supportive and like us for who we are as individuals. The people I do tae kwon do with are fantastic and they see me as me, not someone’s wife or mother. It’s a fun way to exercise, but hard to get out in the evenings to do it. Do you have any outside interests: sports, hobbies, etc.?
Maybe you could try reading about some of the authors I mentioned in my post – Eckhart Tolle or Byron Katie; or watching videocasts — Oprah has some great ones in her Soul Series. Byron Katie has some really interesting and funny videos of sessions she’s had that I found really inspirational.
Lauren mentions listening to your body’s voice. Too many of us don’t do that with so much other stuff going on around. It takes a lot of practice. I am not in that state of mind at the moment!
There’s no one answer, so we have to search for what it is for ourselves alone.
Good luck and get back to us with how you are finding it.
Operation Transformation(RTE) is Back! We have found our 5 leaders and are now on the search for a family that want to change their lifestyle. It would be great if you could put the word out for a family in your newspaper.
Operation Transformation are looking for a family that wants to transform their lifestyle and help each other to a better, healthier way of life by losing 10% of their total body weight. If you are a family and would like to get involve please call Sharon on 01 8641444.
Help us to help you lead the Nation to a better way of life!
Looking forward to hearing from you.