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Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Emotional Side of Weight Struggles

I was watching The Biggest Loser the other night and this entry just started formulating in my head.  At the end of last season, the show got a bad rap for how far the winner went to win.  And, I shared the viewpoint of many.  But, if you look at the big picture, the show has helped millions change their lives.  Yes, the people who are contestants on the show.  But, also those who are inspired by seeing the success these people find.  I used to sit and watch the show and think, man, I wish I could do that.  There were times I would be trying to lose weight while watching it and others when I would sit there with a bag of M&M's and think that maybe, just maybe, someday I'll figure this out.  I knew I was eating out of boredom.  And for comfort.

It's been almost 20 months since I started an adventure to change my life.  And, I've been successful.  For the first time ever, I am figuring out why I turn to food for comfort.  And other ways I can cope without turning to food.  I believe I watch this show from a very different perspective now.  I am no longer the one who wishes she could lose the weight.  I'm the one who understands where these people are.  And the success and happiness they have the ability to find.  

I'm lucky.  I have access to someone with endless knowledge about food, fitness, nutrition and, well, honestly, someone who figured me out long before I figured myself out.  Support is huge in this process.  Not everyone has that.  And that's often why people don't find success with weight loss.  I know it's why I struggled for most of my life.  

The other reason people often struggle with weight loss?  The emotional piece.  I believe this is a much bigger piece than who or what resources you have access to for assistance.  As I watched the show this week, it was evident that many of the contestants were being challenged about what got them to the place they are now.  Indirectly, I was asked the same question when I started my journey.  I was asked questions that made me think.  That made me really try to get inside my own head and figure out why food was such a comfort for me.  Obesity has a huge mental component to it.  It leads to many physical ailments but the mental piece is often what leads you to that place.  

I know that was the case for me.  Food was, quite simply, always there.  Nothing else was.  Don't get me wrong, I am extremely blessed with the most amazing family.  But they've never really understood why eating made me feel better.  How could I expect them to understand if I didn't have it figured out?  My triggers definitely center around not feeling important.  And whether or not I matter to anyone besides my family.  At times, I wondered if I mattered to them.  Those triggers were becoming more and more frequent in my life.  And, while I didn't enjoy it, I didn't know how to stop it.  

To be successful in finding health, you have to be willing to work on yourself.  You have to be willing to make a commitment to making smarter decisions for yourself (and your family).  It's not easy.  Even when you get to a point where you are happy with your weight, the work is far from over.  It's a lifestyle change.  It has to be.  If you look around, it's easy to eat junk.  It's cheap, it's quick and usually tastes good.  But, what about what you're doing to the inside of your body?  It may not affect you now.  But, it will in the future.  No one can make you do something you don't want to do.  Or something you aren't ready to commit to.  I had reached a breaking point.  I needed to make a change or who knows what would have happened.  It's a decision I continue to make every day.  And, some days are better than others.

Finding happiness is a lifelong process.  It's something I work on every day.  Whatever my weight is on any given day, it does not equal happiness.  Every day I make a choice to keep looking and striving for the life I want to have.  Honestly, I still don't have a real clear picture of what it is I'm looking for.  But, I have figured out that I have to step out among the living to figure it out.  And, finally, I'm ready to do it.  It's been an extremely slow process.  Especially for those who have been there forever.  I have trust issues.  That makes it difficult to open up to people.  My invisible scars hide a lot of pain that I've experienced in my life.  I've been, for lack of a better word, screwed by lots of people I thought were my friends.  I believe I finally have a good balance of people in my life. Full of support when I need it, ass kicking when I need it and, most importantly, full of belief in me and the person that I am becoming and will continue to grow into as the years go on.  My triggers, trust issues and insecurities still surface.  More often than I'd like them to.  I told my sister last week that they are the one thing I hate about myself.  She stopped me and said, you can't hate anything about yourself.  Everything about you is a piece of you. Makes you who you are.  Inside and out.  Those words gave me perspective.  Sometimes you just need to talk to someone who will listen with an open mind, not judge and help you see things in a way you couldn't find on your own.  It changed the way I thought about what I was struggling with at the time.  And, I ended up feeling much more like myself after the conversation and ever since.   

"Desperation to lose weight might bring you to the start..... but knowing your why will keep you going."

Concentrate on finding your goal, then concentrate on reaching it.

My "Why" is Health and Happiness :)  And I know I am on my way to finding both :)