I don’t know why it was like this or how I ever had these thoughts fill my head.
I don’t know if I ever realized how much my weight affected my perception of myself until now.
I remember back a few months, speaking with a friend about how Paul was always there for me- even when I got really fat and how he never made me feel badly about my weight or how I looked- and how shitty I felt now because he had the decency to stick with me through all those ‘fat years’ and now I was leaving him.
This friend turned and said to me- ‘you may not see this now, but one day you will look back on all this and realize that your weight is the least significant thing about you. And that staying with Paul solely because he loved you while you were fat would be insane.’
I didn’t understand that when he said it. I honestly thought he didn’t see it from my side, he couldn’t understand my point of view on this topic.
But recently it has started to click. Why did I, and sadly some days continue to, value my self-worth by my weight?
I am pretty sure that somewhere in the back of my mind there is a part of me that saw myself as having less value as a human because I was fat.
Maybe I never came right out and said “I’m fat and therefore I am not deserving of love” (although I think I probably have said some variation of that phrase before) but I know I felt I didn’t deserve a normal life; friends, a good job, a loving family because I was fat.
I didn’t think that any ‘fit/healthy/skinny/pretty’ girl would ever meet me (once I was fat) and want to be my friend. Why would they? I was disgusting (that’s my own personal dialogue- probably most people aren’t that cruel) and they would be embarrassed to be seen with me. OR there was the whole ‘my parents are disappointed in me because I am fat’ OR ‘my boss will never promote me because he/she thinks I am a lazy POS since I am so fat’
Ok, I know, that sounds severe. And ultimately the truth is that it wasn’t being fat that made me feel that way, it was my inability to love myself that did. I think sometimes about this question- did I hate myself because I was fat or was becoming morbidly obese a byproduct of my personal hate?
That’s something I am not sure I will ever know that answer to.
I can tell you this, though, I found my self-love when I weighed 260 pounds and I firmly believe that is the only reason I am here today- at a healthy weight. When I figured out how to love myself for the person I am I was able to make my health, my well being (mentally and spiritually) and my life my priority. I was able to start making decisions that allowed me to live the life I always wanted. I became friends with skinny/healthy/fit/pretty girls. I recognized my parents love and concern for my health came only from a genuine and kind place. I had/have more confidence at work, in my abilities. I realized that I am fucking awesome regardless of what size package I came in.
I wanted to be healthy. I wanted to be active. I wanted to live a long life so I knew I needed to change my habits and take better care of myself.
But I can honestly say that being skinnier/healthier would not have changed my perception of myself if I still had all the hate and self-loathing in my heart. I firmly believe that you can hate yourself so much that you can get yourself skinny (or fit or whatever word you'd like me to use here) but if you never find your value as a human being you will just fall back into old habits/ways.
This is why I think it is really important to focus on ourselves as a whole; our mind, body, heart, and soul. Our value in life is not, nor should it be, determined by our weight.
I am smart.
I am funny.
I am kind.
I am loving to a fault.
I am a really good person, friend, daughter, and partner.
I was all of those things at 286 pounds but in my head I was just a fat person and I would never be more than just a fat person.
And it kills me when I think back on how being ‘just a fat person’ guided my life. I had no self-worth. I was a doormat. I let others treat me like shit and I treated myself like shit too.
And that sucks.
It sucks that I wasted so many years letting those feelings dictate how I lived my life. Sadly, I can't go back in time and fix that. I can only learn from that portion of my life and use it to help guide me towards the person I am working to be.
I am smart, funny, kind and loving. I recognize those qualities which make me a good person. And I love myself because of them. Not all the time, every day but enough to know that I am worth every dream, every aspiration, all the love and joy and happiness, all the friendship and the family.
I am worth it all.
And you are too.
And I hope no matter who you are, no matter your size, shape, or color that you recognize that your value as a human being comes not from your outward appearances but from the kindness in your soul and the love in your heart. Good people are good people. Period. End of story.
Love yourself today and every day and I promise to do the same.
Love and hugs and more love-
It was cold in New Orleans this weekend...