this would be the second part of my introduction, of sorts, to what has led me to deal with body image issues my entire life. Hopefully, by writing this not only will I gain some perspective but maybe someone else can too. ***THIS IS NOT THE BLAME GAME…. I do not “blame” anyone per se, I am only learning to understand the events that have helped shape the issues at hand
I left off in Part I with the family dynamics and the shaping of my young mind for such warped senses of my image and worthiness. Somewhere along the way it also became about control and proving to everyone, myself included, that I wasn’t the fat kid they thought, or I thought, I was.
“But, your fat. How could you have had an eating disorder?” Yes, the stereotypical person recovering from an eating disorder doesn’t usually become overweight. First, I never formally was diagnosed with an eating disorder and second, as a result not treated for such. The reasons will be explained. But first, the disorder itself. Primarily I assume it would be classified as anorexia. I did try the bulimia route on more than one occasion, but I cannot really throw up in silence. (Another time, another blog) So I became in control. I was in control of what I did not eat! I lost a lot of weight on my frame and the results were mixed. The adults knew I was on he verge of a health problem. The dumb adolescents in my life still thought I was fat. But, the opposite sex started to notice. The first to notice was the first one I became smitten with. Now, do you see this body image equation working itself out in my already fragile mind?
Being seen as fat=no boyfriend
Loose a lot of weight=boyfriend
Yeah, so now my mind associates my self worth to the opposite sex with my weight. And, I couldn’t have picked a better boyfriend to hammer that fucked up reasoning if I tried. At 16 I started dating who would become my first husband and 12 years later leave me because I gained weight. So, you ask, “well, if you thought you were only good enough because you were thin, why DID you gain weight?”. Because there was something stronger at work. My crazy mind for one thing, but beyond that the hope and belief that I could be loved no matter what. There may have been women in my family who unknowingly helped seal my fate an early age with the body shame, but there were men in my family who gave me hope. You see, despite the women in my family not loving and accepting themselves, their husbands always did. My daddy has always loved my mother no matter what size. My grandfather worshiped my grandmother no matter what size ( she eventually gave up the “thin” notion anyway). So all if this was in my lovestruck mind. He did love me? He meant his vows? There were years of mental abuse once I could no longer maintain the unhealthy weight I was when we started to date. His family was no different. I spent many family holidays listening about the latest fitness craze from his aunts and uncles and numerous times was told by his mom it was all about being strong. Overweight people were weak. But my grip on that weight slowly slipped away and so did the notion that I could just be loved. After being together for 12 years, married for 7 years, he left me for a skinnier woman. Imagine what body shame I had now . The equation of my youth once again proved itself in my young adult life.
I finally picked myself off of the divorce floor. I did come to understand the problem was with him. I also came to realize that divorce was the best thing to happen. Now, I’m not going to lie and say it’s not a day to day struggle to not let his actions impact my life. And society reverberates those sentiments he had about weight. It’s everywhere. I have since married a wonderful man, my true mate, who met me at my heaviest. I can say that I know he loves me. But, I can also say that in the tiny crevices of my damaged mind I don’t think he should.
This is where I am. I want to begin this with a positive view for my daughter. I don’t want her to learn that the scale or size in your clothes define you (my mother had to cut sizes out if my clothes as a child because I would freak if they were over a certain size). That is why I am starting this journey of self understanding and self loving, for her. May she never know body shame. May she always measure her self worth on the inside. May she always love herself as much as I love her.
#nobodyshame, #positivemind, #healthy, #learning, #selfworth, #throwoutthescale, #weightloss