Wednesday, February 1, 2012

how do YOU do it?

So question for my numerous readers (read extreme sarcasm there...all 3-4 of you) I was wondering what's your tricks/tips for seeing yourself in a positive light? Do you see yourself in a positive light? I mean I "know" I'm a child of God and I have that faith, but feeling it and believing it are completely different from knowing it. I can't take a compliment, never could. I just don't see what they are saying. I try, but my usual response is "no" or "who are you talking about" and usually its completely without thinking...meaning I just say it and don't hardly hear what they say.

My whole life I have worked to be "enough". "smart enough," "good enough", "skinny enough"...and everytime (at least to me and the negative thoughts/voices) I always fail. If i got an A on a test it should have been an A+, if I got into AP classes it should have been 3. If I lost 10 lbs it should have been 50. So I'd give up. And say "even when I try my hardest I don't do what I am supposed to do." So I quit. Pretty much everything in my life I quit and run from. Im changing that...but its super hard. Especially when you feel like a "failure" at every turn.

Our church had a women's conference last weekend and one of the talks I listened to was "self-esteem verses self-worth" It opened my eyes a little to the idea that what the world views as "good/accomplished/successful" is temporary and far from what I actually want to be good/accomplished/successful at. The world says you're only good if you are skinny, pretty, have a degree, married, rich, etc. They look at things that are "important to society" and I admit...I'd LOVE LOVE LOVE to have some of those. But then I think about what I DO have...a husband who loves me unconditionally, a daughter who makes every single day better, a family that loves and supports me, etc. I am pretty richly blessed, but its hard for me to accept that i deserve those things. Does that even make sense?

Since I can remember I have hated myself, most people who know me already know this, or find it out. I had a lot handed to me at an early age and I blamed myself for not being "enough" to stop it, change it or improve it. And year after year I gained weight and then would feel more hatred. I tried bulimia/anorexia for years, but I was never good enough to get thin, just really really sick. add to the hatred. I graduated from high school in the top 10% of my class and went to BYU, but I got super sick the end of my freshman year and had to quit...more hatred. It just kept building. I tried too hard to get people to like me and then was hurt when I was the "safe" friend not the fun lets hang out friend. As I lose weight I am trying hard to find out WHY I got so big and how NOT TO GO BACK. One way I got there was the hate...I just kept stuffing food in to quite the hateful thoughts in my head. I stuffed the pain down. Now I need to feel it and move forward.

So after that long rambling...back to my original do you see yourself?


:: ashley :: said...

I wish I could tell you it gets better when you lose the weight- but even after I lost all my weight I still have days when I feel insecure, embarrassed, unsure, etc. I think its one of those 'permanent scars' of being overweight. What I work on is exactly what you were saying. I try to think about what is eternally important, I think about my blessings, and I try to celebrate each little victory- no matter how small. I am really loving your blog heather! it hots really close to home for me.

Barb said...

I agree with ashley. It's weird how losing the weight doesn't necessarily bring immediate self-esteem. I think you are super smart to work on the self-image issues right along with weight loss issues. It will help you keep the weight off when you get to goal.

In addition to trying to keep my focus on the eternal aspects of my life, I've lately discovered that even though I spent a huge number of years being fat...I can look back over my life and see a great deal of good that I was able to accomplish (even while fat!). I've been able to help others and make connections with people that maybe I wouldn't have been able to if I were any other personality type, or shape, or size. Who knows?

I know that being super heavy wasn't fun for you (or easy), but you have touched many lives in those years...and you have made a difference in those people's lives. (I'm one of them. I feel richly rewarded because I am your friend.)

Since I achieved my goal weight loss I could look back over my fat years and think, "Why didn't I lose all that fat before now?" Instead, I choose to look over it and say, "I did some really great things during those fat years."

I'm not saying I should embrace my fat years with gusto (they were unhealthy years!) BUT I am saying that looking back on them has made me realize that maybe I'm not the BEST at something, but I might be the BEST for that situation or for that person or for that time. I might not be the BEST mother in the whole world, but now that my kids have grown up I truly believe I was the BEST mother FOR THEM.

Good luck with the rest of your weight loss journey. I'm really rooting for you.

My favorite weight loss mantra: Losing weight is hard. Being overweight is hard. Choose your hard.

REBYRYAN said...

"BUT, then I wonder if the things I have/do/say/have had done to me make me who I am...the part of who I am that I like? The part of me that lets me be a mom and be home with my daughter (despite the pain and hardness of it). I wonder if being bullied/made fun of has made me more empathetic and compassionate. I wonder if being dissed and ditched has made me a better friend. And if going without has led me to serve others anyway I can. I wonder..."

This ^^^^^^

You are one of the most incredible women I have ever met. For real! And do NOT dismiss that compliment because I am being VERY serious!

Who knows what you would be like had you not endured all of the hardships you have endured? But we all know what you ARE like because of them. You are truly awesome!

As far as the self esteem issue goes, I would have to echo what has already been said. I think losing the weight does help in a small way with the self esteem but I still have those moments. They are fewer simply because I feel better (more healthy) but they're still there.

Love you!

myhealthybmi said...

Hello there--now you can add a fourth reader to the list! I found your blog, and I had to comment on your post because I relate so much to what you described, as many women who eat to stuff down feelings or past hurts do.

I have lost all my excess weight 3 times in my adult life (I'm going to be 54 in 2 weeks) only to regain it shortly after getting to goal weight. I never healed those past hurts and the fat I believe was my buffer to keep people at a distance so they wouldn't hurt me.

I think when we learn to trust that God has so much more for us than staying stuck in those past hurts, or relying on food to fix things--when we can do that is when we can embrace ourselves and love ourselves the way we were intended to, fat or skinny.

You have a new reader--I plan to check back in often. Love your blog.