I mentioned in a previous post that from time to time I was going to address some of the emotional issues that come along with weight loss. So, here you go!
Most people tend to carry around several titles throughout their lives. Me? I’m a Christian, wife, mom, sister, friend, blogger, employee, daughter…you get the idea. Throughout my childhood and teen years, I carried around a whole host of other names, although none were of my choosing. In my very first post on this blog, Why Polyester? I talked about the horrible names my pediatrician called me during an office visit when I was just 7 years old. That doctor wasn’t the only one who used to call me names because of my weight. Getting teased was a daily occurrence for me at school.
While so many kids made fun of me from time to time, there was one particular girl and her group of friends who tormented me. Every. Single. Day. I had the unfortunate problem of going to school from first grade through high school graduation with this girl, and she never let up on me. She was the harsh, classic bully that intimidated me, stole my lunch money and school supplies, threatened me, and found every possible way to humiliate me about my size in front of other classmates whenever she could. The list of cruel names she had for me back then seemed endless.
As an adult, the names continued to come at me, only from different sources. In clothing stores I was labeled as an “extended size,” at the doctor’s office I was labeled as “morbidly obese,” and on more than one occasion I have been referred to as the “plus-sized gal,” and the “heavy-set lady” among other descriptions people have had for me in both social and professional realms.
As I have now lost 167 pounds (!), I’ve been dealing with getting past the negative names I’ve been called throughout my life, and ironically enough, it’s been due to complimentary remarks that people have made. You see, very well-meaning friends, people who I know care about me and are supportive and encouraging to me in my journey, have said things to me like, “Hey Skinny!” or called me “Skinny-Minny” and similar things. There is a part of me, that when someone says something like that, I feel very, very self-conscious. It’s kind of like the idea of nick-naming someone for a characteristic that is completely opposite of the way things actually are…like calling a guy who’s 6’8” tall “Shorty”. See what I mean? At a size 18, I know that I am far from being anywhere near skinny at this point. Thinner than when I started? Absolutely! But really and truly thin? Nope, not yet. So, I have to resist the emotional urge to feel like I’m being made fun of when people say things to me like “You’re going to blow away if you lose much more weight!” I know in my head that they’re not making fun of me, they love me and are acknowledging my weight loss in a light-hearted and encouraging manner, but part of healing from the past means I have to remind my heart of this fact regularly.
Losing weight truly is about much more than just shedding pounds from your body. Living as an overweight individual results in a host of emotional baggage, and through the grace of God, I’m learning to drop the emotional weight I’ve carried for so long right along with the physical weight!
Healthy. Healed. Whole. This is the theme for my life!
(Just a reminder/disclosure…I am not a medical professional or certified trainer, so anything I write in this blog is not intended to be taken as advice, guidance, or recommendations. It is simply a journal of my own personal experiences. Thanks!)