The Psychology of it all (Part I)


(photo courtesy of

When I fist read this quote, it spoke volumes to me. I could picture one of those timelines you learn to do in school around 4th or 5th grade and know where to put everything on it as it related to my body image and weight issues. I have vivid recollections of negativity from my daddy, who honestly would not want to hurt me but his words have always spoke the loudest in my psyche. I remember the taste of the canned tuna and green beans that were allowed on the weight watchers plan when I first attended around age 8.

I assume, from looking at pictures, that there as a time that I didn’t know anything was wrong with the way I looked. I guess you would say I was an average looking kid with an average weight. Not as skinny as some but not as big as some either. I also have the two sides of the family to think about their views on weight and body image. It’s really weird, because in some sense I had not self esteem issues. I wore anything I wanted, much of which was to “fashion forward” for my small town, and I did it without any problems. But, on the other hand I don’t much remember a time that I haven’t worried about what was on my plate. Somewhere between the pictures of the average size kid and the carefree adolescent who wore weird clothes, something happened and I became the “fat” kid.

I don’t remember being anything else in school, but the fat kid. I was taller and matured at a much faster rate than my classmates. I guess compared to their yet matured body I was fat. I do remember kids sort of making fun of me, but nothing jumps out at me. So, I cannot decide if the body image concern was from classmates or family. I don’t remember not being able to play sports, participate in games, or anything like that. I remember passing the President’s Physical Fitness challenge, so I couldn’t have been that bad off. I was just different. I’ve never fit any sort of mold, much less one of the small town molds. So, that leads me to 2 very crucial incidents that can never be taken back and I can never get them out of my mind and they seem to be the start of me questioning myself.  *Side note* as I type this I am thinking….even when girls start getting noticed my boys, I wasn’t all that heavy. I was big boned, athletic, but I danced for crying out loud. I did backbends and back handsprings. Yes, I remember being upset that boys didn’t “like” me, but I’m starting to think that it had nothing to do with my size. Probably my attitude and self assuredness. Like I said, I was not size 2, but I’m remembering some pictures in my head, and I wasn’t a size 22 either. So, again I have to search myself to know if the body image has been created because of those around me or because of my social interactions with peers * End random thought process….

Weight watchers and 8 years old and the fear that “you will be like your Aunt, big as the side of a house”. Yep, that’s it folks. The 2 doozies that have haunted me. Why did I go to weight watchers at age 8? Again, I tell you, the pictures were not grotesque. Heck, my cousin right now has a 10 year old that wears a size 38 in pants. That may be cause for concern. But not looking back on ME. I tell you why I think I went to WW at age 8. Because my mother did. Because my grandmother did. Because I had a tiny seed in my head that maybe I needed to be like the petite girls in my class and since 2 of the influential women in my life were going to WW to loose weight it made sense that I would go to. Okay. WHY did my mother let me? I’m sure she did it out of love and support, thinking that it might help my slightly damaged self esteem. Oh boy! It took a slightly damaged self esteem and confirmed that there was something wrong with me that should be fixed and just drove a tornado through my adolescent self esteem. Because now all I can remember is that I went to WW at 8 years old. All I can see is the affirmation that I did need to be fixed, that I did need to loose weight in order to be an acceptable member of society. Okay, next lesson. My Aunt also inherited the “B” and “M” genes from our family. They are just big people. I’ve seen pictures of my aunt growing up and she is just a big girl. Not a “fat” girl. But, my entire life she has been overweight. I didn’t question it has a small child, not until my grandmother, a petite 5’3″, started saying things to me. Again, I’m sure trying to be supportive. But what they didn’t realize and what so many adults don’t realize today is, if you have a child who isn’t questioning these things…weight, self esteem, acceptance, etc…and you decide “lets be proactive” and talk about it, you have now opened up a host of questions for this child to think about. “If my parents are talking to me about (fill in the blank), then it must BE IMPORTANT< MY PARENTS LOVE ME AND WANT ME HAPPY> THGEY WOULDN”T TALK TO ME ABOUT SELF ESTEEM AND MY WEIGHT IF I didn’t have a problem”. I just think that parents need to think about the influence they have over their children. But, I digress. So, as I said my aunt has been overweight as long as I’ve been alive. My daddy went through some health transformation when I was around 5 years old and has been fit ever since. I remember being at my grandmother’s dinner table and I apparently reached on his plate to take a bite of something. He quickly responded, “if you continue to eat like that you will end up like your Aunt Betty, big as the side of a house.” No, my aunt is not that overweight.

Whew! I need a couch and an expensive bill after that therapy session. Dr. Melfi has nothing on me. I will return with part II.

The last supper

Today will mark the end of eating for pleasure. I will begin to view food as fuel and not just for satisfaction. Will I still splurge occasionally, of course, this will be my life. But the days of pop tarts and cinnamon rolls on a weekly basis will be a thing of the past tomorrow.

I want to teach my daughter good habits that start with example and not with just telling her what to eat. Part of my psychological problem with food and my body stems from being told so many times what to eat and what not to eat. I started my first weight loss program at 8 years old and I don’t remember it being for health reasons. I do remember it being to help me socially so I wouldn’t be made fun of.

This new journey isn’t a self starvation. It’s a new way of thinking and viewing my day to day way of eating. It’s also learning to love myself even if I don’t loose a pound. Learning to become healthy by just moving and feeling the body that God has blessed me with.

I won’t be in any accountability group with someone telling me “no excuses”, “you do what you set your mind”, and all of the other things people say that they see as inspiring and motivating. Umm, yeah, not so much. It posses me off and I view it as judgement. This will be my journey on my terms and I’m the one that will be accountable.

Now….what to devour in a glutinous way today??

Loneliness is not for the weary

The loneliness of my current life status has begun to sink in. Maybe it’s the second round of 10 days out 4 days home that hit, but for some reason this time it has really struck deep. The melancholy of it all has begun to take hold and the deep seeded depression that just takes over me and becomes a part of me is starting to root itself. It’s not the crippling kind of sadness some people report, it’s the kind of sadness that you learn to function with. It’s the dizziness of the merry go round that doesn’t make you sick anymore. It’s just the acceptance of it that pisses me off. I didn’t choose this loneliness this time. You see, I’m an only child, so being alone is second nature to me. In fact in some ways I thrive on it. But this loneliness is like a chain around my ankle. I can’t change it. I can’t not be lonely . I’m married . I’m in love. I have a family. So, I accept the loneliness as a normal part of my life now. My friends seem to move about around me, forgetting that I’m here because they do not have the shackle that keeps them in one place. This creates another version of my loneliness . A version that just is. A version that can’t change. Feeling dory for myself? Maybe a little, this after all part of my dramatic series, but overall no. I’ve just self realized why the sad heart lately. Why the pretend smiles. Why the longing for more. Longing for more, but I have it all when I see my daughter. Yes, but can I sustain a sane life on my daughter alone ? Is that at all healthy ? Does seem like that may be where this is headed…

Communicate or not

How do you begin to communicate when your time together had gone from 24/7 to maybe 24 in one week? That 24 is spent playing with the child he’s missed, sex he’s missed, washing clothes, sex he’s missed, but not communicating . Even trying to talk of the day to day activities of our lives is interrupted by a spilled cup or too much ketchup on the plate. No adult conversations here . Grateful? Sure, I’m grateful for the paycheck and the ability to pay these bills that we both got ourselves into. Resentful, you bet your sweet ass I’m resentful! This isn’t the life I wanted . “Oh, quit whining”, you say, “people with cancer didn’t choose that “, you say. I get that , and that’s not what I mean. What I mean is in the beginning, before we even really dated I laid it on the line that I was not built to be a army wife, or any wife that had to go it alone a lot. So, here I am, 5 years after that conversation going it alone because he wouldn’t take my advice about what was happening at his job and got fired . Whew! That may be the first time I’ve said that out loud . Now, I know this door that opened is a much better opportunity and these are just growing pains , but ma do they hurt. I hate having to use the 24 hours every wrk for a discussion if adult things. Why can’t I just be glad to see him instead of vomiting all that has built up inside of me all week long? Communication, or not? I guess for now it seems not …the signs are all over. Just like the art center that got lived because we hadn’t talked abut it being where it is being much more conducive to our way of living during the week. Communication, or not?

Whoa Baby Penguin

Baby Penguin’s with fever are no fun! They are whiny, clingy, and just overall miserable. Which in turn makes you miserable. Not only because as a mom you want oh make it all better but as a somewhat single mom it is exhausting ! My hats off to the real single moms with no family to help. I am blessed to have retired parents VERY nearby (translation:we share land) to help in times like these . And yes, other times being that close can be trying but it’s during sick penguin times that you realize how lucky you are . So….pumpkin latte in hand, my day off, penguin back at monster school …fingers crossed

Worn, weary, and wicked

Yes, it’s a holiday. No, I don’t have to work. But yet I’m still the one up this morning with the penguin. Husband is home until later tonight. Why am I up? Why isn’t he up? Wish I knew. He stumbled out here a few moments ago holding his head with a headache. Really? Never mind the large ice pack on my back. Never mind that because of the thunder the penguin slept with me, translates into slept on me, and I couldn’t get my leg/hip in a comfortable spot. Complaining? Maybe. Thinking? Yes.