When it’s not something you want to talk about.

April 11, 2011

This week has made me think. Hard. I’m trying to lose weight. I am a grown woman. I am also a control freak. I like to do things that make me happy.

So why don’t I just lose weight?

There is so much behind that phrase. So many emotions for me. I have been paranoid about my body since I can remember – the numbers on the scale, on my jeans, on the charts at the doctors office. I remember asking one doctor to let me be weighed facing away from the scale. Another had to be begged not to tell me my weight. Ever. And each time the chart was laid out while they talked, I would purposefully turn myself so I couldn’t accidentally see it.

I almost hyperventilated at the thought of reading that number. Whatever it was. I was always too fat – even at my thinnest. I sat through appointments burning up with the dread of them saying something about my weight. My hands would get clammy and I would get a horrible stomach and headache from willing myself not to cry if they said what it was.

In high school anything into double digits of clothing meant I needed to punish myself by not eating. In college I ate because I was miserable.

Then I lived alone in a crappy apartment for 6 months. I worked a night shift and came home to a hamster. Sam was in Okinawa for 18 months. We were getting married. I ate rice with garlic and olive oil. That was it. Every night. I lost 20lbs in a month. I had to fit into a smaller size wedding dress – a 6 instead of an 8. That was all I cared about.

I threw up anything I ate besides the rice. I found this to be an easy way to indulge without guilt. I was exhausted, miserable, and slept all the time. And one time I caught sight of myself in the mirror and was so happy because I was thin. Finally. The throwing up kept going for a while. Then on and off – when I overate I would make myself puke. It was horrible and felt very control like – I was punishing myself for losing control and then I felt better.

I gained weight after that because we started drinking. A lot. And I found a picture of myself thin and didn’t get out of bed for a day. I was so upset that I just laid in the covers and sobbed.

Occasionally I’ll punish myself now my trying on all my old jeans. None fit. At all. So while taking them off, I berate myself over and over again. I can’t throw them out because they hang as reminders of how I failed.

I hated my body when it was thin. I hated it when it was porky. I hated it when I was first pregnant. I made my entire pregnancy about my weight – in my head I couldn’t gain more than 30lbs. Because that was wrong. And after? After I would stand in the shower and bawl because of what I looked like. I gained 32 so I failed and deserved to look horrible. As stupid as that sounds.

Why don’t I just lose weight? I don’t know. I don’t even know why I wrote this post. I just poured out so many memories I had forgotten that are all stirred up again. So many more I can’t put into words. How did I get like this? Why does every.single.day of my life revolve around my weight? Why is punishing myself for a natural act of eating something I feel ok about? Why can’t I just be happy with where I am?

Why is it that if I were to wake up 20lbs lighter tomorrow, I would still hate how I look? How is that possible?

I didn’t want to talk about this. But there it is.

16 Comments

  • Dharma

    April 16, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Hi, completely new but just saw this post and really felt it. You might want to check out the author Geneen Roth. She writes about her own struggle with weight and obsession and body image, and I feel like she’s the only author I have ever read who is actually honest about food and what it means to women, what it represents.

  • Noelle S.

    April 13, 2011 at 7:36 am

    Thanks for sharing this! Hudson just turned 9 months and I still have 40 pounds of baby weight to lose. So much for 9 months on 9 months off!! I seriously thought nursing would melt the pounds away. I am trying not to let it get me down, but it is. Thinking of you (( hugs ))

  • Allison

    April 12, 2011 at 5:45 am

    Diana, I know the feeling. I have forced myself to never let it get me the way it is getting to you, but it is always lurking in a dark place. If I had to deal with the stresses you have in the past year, it would probably rear its ugly head. It isn’t so much that I’m shoving it down, but more that I’m ignoring it, which maybe isn’t much better.

    Not sure if I’m the best to give advice, but something that I’ve definitely noticed works for me when I’m feeling on the verge of giving in or just kind of depressed is to start following an exercise program. I know, groan, that isn’t what you want to do, but it very well might make you feel so much better. The way I’ve found to make it really work is to make an appointment to work out regularly. Something that’s hard to avoid. You found a sitter you like — dedicate some of the time that you schedule her to exercise. You could join a gym or even just take up running. Maybe do the C25K. Just an hour two or three times a week. Eventually you’ll find yourself looking forward to it. And keep meal planning and just don’t buy snacks and cookies! If you really want cookies, get up and make half a batch. If you really want french fries, get up, peel and slice a potato, toss it in oil and bake it in the oven.

    Now, I don’t know, but it probably also wouldn’t hurt to talk with someone about this. Like a professional who deals with these kinds of issues. It sounds like you might be at that point. I did that once as part of individual marriage counseling and it helped me shake myself out of it. It didn’t really solve the problem, probably because I didn’t give it a chance to, but it got me out of my funk.

    And thanks for sharing this, even though you don’t want to talk about it. That was probably a really good first step to dealing with something that sounds like it might be a real problem. If nothing else, you helped me remind myself what works for me and why I don’t want to let feelings about body image and weight rule my thoughts.

  • Lauren

    April 11, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    ((hugs)) I am SO sorry you’re going through this. Why do we have to be so hard on ourselves?! It sucks.

  • Dana K

    April 11, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    I finally donated my pre-pregnancy jeans because I was trying them on every few days and berating myself because I’m too “fat” to fit in them. I had a meltdown in Old Navy because I tried on 10 pairs of jeans and left with a skirt.

    I’m not happy with my body when I’m skinny (and I have been grossly too skinny) and I hate my body when I’m fat (by my warped definition of fat).

    I can’t offer any words of wisdom because this is something I struggle with, even though I have days when my logical, normal brain sees what everyone else sees. It doesn’t take much for my warped vision to push through and set me back again. It’s not easy and it probably never will be. I hope you can find some peace, some “happy” medium.

  • Jen

    April 11, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    I’m so sorry for how you’re feeling. I’ve felt similar feelings about my weight, but not to this degree. I can’t imagine how hard this is for you. I pray that you can find peace with your body, and be as healthy as possible. Lots of love to you, friend!!

  • Teresa

    April 11, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    P.S. I forgot to mention that I am a lazy ass, who loves to eat. I was think in my adolescent years because my metabolism rocks, but after kids…. ugh.

  • Teresa

    April 11, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Diana, this post almost made me cry. You are so brave to share these emotions with us. My advice is to try a home exercise video. I did the P90x for a while. It is tough and I couldn’t exactly do all the exercises but I tried my best. It is about 45 min a day and the way it made me feel afterward was amazing. I haven’t done it in a while, because my joints are all screwed up, but I’d be willing to start back up if you do.

  • Elizabeth

    April 11, 2011 at 10:55 am

    I don’t have any words. Just sending you a big hug.

  • Andrea

    April 11, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Thanks for sharing this!

    I feel so over talking about / thinking about / focusing on / being plagued by my weight… and yet I feel like that’s what I’m reduced to at times, you know? Like it’s the only think`

  • Jen

    April 11, 2011 at 8:55 am

    I don’t have any words that will help, I just want you to know that I love you and think you are a beautiful person inside and out. (((hugs)))

  • kim

    April 11, 2011 at 8:53 am

    I’ve never met a woman who hasn’t done this to herself, to some extent. At some point you take control (for real) and just become happy where you are (hot) or chose to change things. You still have those clothes? Is that helping or hindering? I mean, it could be helping b/c look at all the $$ you’ll save by losing weight and fitting back into them. But it could also be hindering b/c maybe your body is never going to be that way again — and not the size, the proportion. I got skinny after each kid, but my size 8’s still didn’t fit — things had shifted, reformed. And now, 12’s that fit after Sarah don’t, but 10’s do. For a while I cut the size tags out of all my clothing for just this reason. Who decides a size? B/c what was a size 8 in 1960 is NOT a size 8 today (really, it’s like a 10 today. I read about it.) Anyway. Check out the link I posted on my blog/s fb wall. I’d just posted it when I got here.

  • ferryl sweeney

    April 11, 2011 at 8:18 am

    I’m sorry Diana 🙁 I know weight is a hard issue to talk about. And I totally understand because of my person weight battles and unrealistic pressure,(that I put on myself) to want to obtain a tiny body, especially after baby.. Stretch marks and all! Something that’s helped me stay strong when I’m weak or when Im feeling like I’m a fat ugly pig and being soo hard on myself- try to visualize yourself through your adoring daughters eyes! She loves and adores you because of WHO you actually are. She sees you from the inside out! That your funny, smart, caring, potective, beautiful, a great mother, etc.. I know it won’t change your mind but try to think of it through Bellas eyes when your really down or for added motivation! Your beautiful! And nobody notices those 20 pounds like you do. We are our own worst critic! Love u!

  • Mrs. MidAtlantic

    April 11, 2011 at 7:52 am

    Diana, you are certainly not alone in this. Food sucks. Weight sucks. Gain, loss, it doesn’t matter. It all sucks. It’s so easy to say, “I should be happy.” And so much harder to BE happy. You are not alone. And if I could, I’d be giving you a hug right now.

  • melissa

    April 11, 2011 at 7:32 am

    I have been through all of this Diana. Only I have been one everyone else saw as thin so it feels like on top of self loathing everyone is lying to me. And you know the conclusion I’ve come to? It’s a disorder, and I will always struggle with it. But I do my best to stay healthy for my kid(s). Its so hard and its no way to live. Just go day to day and try to pray for the strength to accept yourself. *Big ol’ hug*

  • Sarah

    April 11, 2011 at 7:17 am

    I’d like to not talk about the 12 krispy kremes I ate this weekend, and I’m not even saying that to be funny. I totally couldn’t stop eating them, after that, I had two more this morning. I’m telling myself now it’s ok, cause A, they are gone, and B, I won’t eat anything all day. So unrealistic, and it makes me feel like shit. Why I can’t get my act together lately, I dunno. Depression mostly.

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