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.