I have always battled with my weight ever since I was a young teenager. Not because I ate so much that I became fat. I am relatively healthy. But I do eat a lot of carbohydrates which I don’t actually need. This unhealthy relationship with food all started when I became depressed as a young teenager after my parents divorced. Being put on anti-depressants – which in turn made me gain weight much to my dislike. Then the comments started… ‘You are fat. You are ugly. No-one will like you. You are not beautiful. You are not lovable. You’re as fat as this gigantic rabbit. (The gigantic rabbit in the store window staring at me).’ Those words came from my biological dad. The list goes on and on and on. Bullied in my home environment about my weight by the people that were supposed to love and care for me. The ones that were supposed to encourage me.
I feel intimidated by my weight. I feel like I am on this constant combat zone trying to keep my weight under control. Trying so hard not to be a disappointment to anyone. Trying so hard to eat healthily that sometimes even I fail that miserably. I don’t want to be on this constant roller-coaster ride where I am constantly watching my weight either falling off me or making me rounder than I want to be. I hate it. I hate it more than anyone will ever realise.
Why does society put so much emphasis on being too overweight? No-one ever bats an eyelid if you are ultra skinny. And so I am on this battlefield where I don’t want to be overweight, but don’t want to become obsessed about my weight to the point where I watch every calorie I put in my mouth. Because I once was dangerously underweight. There is another word for that anorexia. There was a period in my life after the endless taunts of my weight in question that put me on a negative spiral of where I barely ate anything, simply because I didn’t have the energy or the will to eat therefore leading to a battle with an unhealthy relationship with food.
I am aware of my weight. My being overweight. I am aware of it. And yet every-time someone mentions it I feel like I have to defend myself from falling in another trap of where the danger of anorexia lurks behind a surface of emotional hurt. I hear it all the time when I go home. And yet on the home-front I am not so overweight compared to others. And yet I am being told to lose weight because I am too fat. And being reminded that I am not attractive. I am who I am. God created me. And to my God I am His beautiful daughter and He loves and cares for me.
When I am severely stressed I will not eat. But when I am in an uncomfortable situation I will put food in my mouth. This is called comfort eating. This habit appeared in my life after my son died. I started comfort eating for the sake of filling the feeling of emptiness inside of me. Filling the hole. Comfort for comfort. Except it wasn’t comfort. It became a nervous habit the eating for comfort. Did it work? No, of course it did not work. It lead to me becoming flabby around the waist, and my feeling unattractive. It led to a difficult journey of shedding that weight (harder to lose than to put on). I have this weird fear of being obese and being ultra-skinny. So where is the middle-ground if it cannot be slightly overweight. Slightly above average? Where is my middle-ground?
If I am over-weight will it make me a lesser person? A less beautiful person? Perhaps not beautiful on the outside. But doesn’t what is in the inside count more than anything else? Or is that completely lost now to this diet obsessed world that we live in?
Winter has been here for months, so my body is still adapting to spring/summer weather, and shedding the winter fat. And yet I migrate towards comfort food when I am in an uncomfortable situation. And hear the taunts of a forgotten past about needing to lose weight. I am aware I need to lose weight. And I am trying. I used to exercise. I used to run. But with just coming out of winter, running out in the fresh air was out of the question. Too cold for that. I started running again. Normally I do it more regularly. But recently I have had a back injury, then an ankle injury and a neck injury which has stopped me from shedding this winter flab.
I feel like I am losing a battle. I am on a battle-field once more where people taunt me about my weight, and I have to let go of the words that hurt me the most. The words of my biological dad who hurt me making me feel unworthy. Unworthy of being loved. He said that no-one would ever love me, because I was so fat. Maybe it is so.
Yet this I know – I am God’s daughter. And if God so wishes that I get married one day, then He will provide me with the right husband in His good time. In the mean-time I have to learn to not overeat, to not comfort eat when the going gets tough. When I feel like I am out of my comfort zone. I need to learn to exercise self-control so that I don’t become overweight.
I just wish (well wish isn’t in the Bible) – I pray that one day society won’t place such a huge emphasis on being overweight but that society will begin to encourage those people that are on a battlefield with their weight. That society will encourage people to eat healthily without being criticised on a constant basis for being overweight. Because when you hear that you are overweight constantly it can cause friction, and it can cause that person to eat more so in turn giving it the opposite effect of what that person is trying to aim for.
I am who I am. Broken. Emotional. Overweight. A sinner saved by God’s grace.