Everyone has something that they don’t like about their body. And it’s one thing to wish to lose weight verses being told you have to do so. While I have talked about it for over a decade, it was amazing that being told by a physician you have to. But I wasn’t teary eyed like you would think. In fact, it was a moment of relief like I had finally received permission to do it.
Weight has always been a sensitive subject in our family. At one point in time, every single person has suffered from too much weight to a few not having enough. To talk about being too heavy or too skinny was a guaranteed lecture of what a complete failure you were at life.
It was as if your entire life was completely ruined by a few pounds. My relationship with food and family became so distorted, you didn’t really know if you were supposed to be eating or not. You worried about every morsel that was sat in front of you. Would your family love you after this meal? Would it matter because the dish was so delicious?
My mother always loved me. That has never been an issue. But I was raised by my mother and great grandmother. We didn’t have a huge family. It was the three of us along with my mom’s brother, his wife and 2 girls. There was my Papaw and Granny along with my mom’s sister who lived with them because she has down syndrome. My grandfather’s sister had no children, and we never dared to leave her or her husband (my great uncle) out of events. And, finally, last but not least, my great grandmother’s baby sister, Aunt Nadine because she was a widow and also had no children. The grand total? 13.
With our family being so small, you would think that we would be very close. But the reality was, we ripped each other apart. We celebrated every birthday, holiday and even gatherings just because we could. And I dreaded each and every event. I still, to this day, dread holidays. The one thing that you could guarantee was that a hurtful comment was coming and no one knew who would be the next target. But one thing you could predict was the comments were more than likely about your weight.
For years, I thought this was normal. I always heard that every family had their own ups and downs. And I thought that every family had the same problems. But as I grew older, many people sensed my insecurities and my distorted perspective drew attention that I wasn’t prepared to face.
Fellow students in high school and college would try to build me up, but I was fully aware of my failures and all too comfortable with negativity and criticism. In high school, I worried about my weight and keeping small.
In college, I met a boy whom I fell in love. He told me anything and everything I wanted to hear. He gave me permission to eat anything I wanted, be who ever I wanted and promised to marry me.
The reality was that once I became fat, he had no problems finding another girl while we were dating. And I broke it off in which he married the other girl 6 months later. And I have struggled with weight gain ever since. For a while, I lost weight in college (40 lbs,but I gained it back after marrying Mike and becoming a mother. My family has lost 5 members to death, and 1 to divorce. While I and my mom have married since, and Mike and I have 2 boys, my family is still only at 11.
And it feels even smaller since my cousins and I are no longer on speaking terms. What happened? Nothing really. The reality is because of our past, looking at each other is painful. Why don’t we fix it? There really isn’t anything to fix. We have our own lives, and we’re not apart of them. And I believe in some way that it’s okay. We’ve silently given each other permission to be happy and live our lives freely. And I kinda like it. Our silence is a gateway to our happily ever afters.
So I have to lose between 80 and 100 lbs. When my doctor told me that I had to lose weight, the fear factor didn’t scare me. What it did was give me permission to lose weight. Why? Not for my vanity, but for my mental and physical well being. Being a Christian and married to Michael has definitely changed my distorted self image. And with my doctor, I now have the permission my mind needs to take care of myself. And with my Bible in hand, I will read my scripture, pray and cook myself thin. And that makes all the difference to me.