Sweating Sexy Back: Facing Your Demons

I promised myself when I decided to write about my weight loss journey that I would be ruthlessly honest about everything.  So in keeping my promise, today I am going to share about the mental side of losing weight. The part that people don’t like to talk about.  That nasty little voice in your head telling you you’re not good enough.

And my little voice is a real bitch.

I have an irrational fear.  Right now it is easy to say that no one loves me because I don’t take care of myself.  Because why should someone else love you when you don’t love yourself.  But what happens if I hit my goal weight and completely change my lifestyle and still find myself alone.  Then I have nothing to blame for my lovelessness except myself- the core of who I am instead of what my body looks like.  Then, that voice tells me,  it’s undeniable proof, that I am in fact unlovable- my biggest fear. Being overweight is a convenient excuse.  A fall back plan.

Ever since I can remember I have had a problem feeling loved by others.  It’s hard for me to feel valuable unless I am producing something of worth and unless I am getting adequate attention.  Call it only child syndrome or the side effects of an unconventional childhood.  When I have love, I become debilitated with the fear of losing it. I’ve been trying to work through these issues over the last couple years weeks.  It’s almost as if with every pound lost it unveils the issues a little more.

Holding a copy of the divorce papers in my hand, my lifelong fears were realized.  I was unlovable.  Those papers said so.  It confirmed to me what I, and that nasty little voice, had always expected.

Ever since,  even though I have had another serious relationship come and go, I struggle with the feeling that I am just unlovable.  Even though I have spent hours in therapy talking about my feelings and learning how to build myself up on my own, there are days where I just can’t understand why I don’t have that one person to love me.  I desperately want to feel loved, but equally desperate is my fear of losing it again.  This paradox has kept me from dating anyone in the last 11 months. But the easy excuse is that no one has been interested because I am overweight and don’t fit the California standard.

But food has always loved me.  It has always been there whenever the rest of the world forgot about me. It has always made me feel good when things get hard.  It has always dulled the pain, until I look in the mirror. I know that I use food to help me cope.  I know it’s an addiction.  I know I have to break the cycle, and that’s what I am trying to do. That’s why I decided to change. At the end of the day, the most important thing is that I love myself. That’s what I am working on.

Right now, I am in the thick of it.  I’m trying to be honest with myself about where these feeling come from. When I want to stop for a bag of deep fried disgusting, I have to verbally tell myself that I deserve better.  I have to remind myself, that I deserve to be loved, even if only by myself.  I practice being proud of myself.   It seems a little weird that I have to practice being proud, but I do.  It’s always been easy for me to be someone elses biggest fan, but not my own. So that’s what I am learning.  Every day I am learning more about health, nutrition, exercise and most importantly loving myself.

We all struggle with a nasty little voice, but I am here to tell you that you don’t have to listen to her anymore. You can drown her out with your Ipod on the treadmill and you can shut her up with self appreciation.  I’m working on practicing what I preach.  Everyone who has ever gained a significant amount of weight has to face their demons eventually.

To achieve lasting healthy weight loss, I think you have to be willing to face that nasty little voice telling you “you aren’t good enough”, “you don’t deserve to be healthy”, “you are a failure”, “nobody cares about you” and “what if”. Because you are good enough.  You do deserve to be healthy and more importantly, happy.  You are only a failure if you choose to be.  People care about you and you need to care about yourself most.  And stop asking what if, instead, ask why not!

Welp, that was a long, cathartic post, and if you’ve made it this far, thank you.  Thank you for allowing my computer screen to be my therapist today.  Thank you for supporting me in this journey to healthier me (both physically and mentally).  Thank you for being my support system and my cheerleader and please know, that I am here to give that support right back, should you need it!

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