Saturday, October 12, 2013

Which came first, the low self-esteem or the weight?

When I was in high school I had no confidence in myself. I weighed about 165 pounds and felt so fat that no one would want to date me. So I began a thirty-year-plus cycle of dieting that resulted in gaining much more over the years. I learned years later after running into a couple of guys from school who were in town to attend a high school reunion that one of them had wanted to date me and the other had a secret crush on me in high school. He'd even left a love message in my yearbook and I'd never known it was him. Turns out I was the one letting my weight hold me back ... they were fine with it. How I wish I had been.

I've had low self-esteem and feelings of general unworthiness most of my life. I always thought that was because of my weight, and if only I were thin I'd be so happy. I now wonder if I didn't have that backwards. Maybe having low self-esteem and feeling unworthy is what kept me fat all these years? I now know it had a lot to do with what I was eating and I know that food manufacturers and restaurants design their products to make you want to consume more and more of them to raise their profit. But I also think I was stuffing down feelings of unworthiness for many years with comfort foods, just trying to feel better.

I've come a long way since those days, especially in the last decade. I have much stronger spiritual beliefs and greater self-esteem these days. Yes, eating the right foods to control my blood sugar and insulin is making it easy to lose weight because I don't have the cravings to eat badly anymore. But I also feel that I value myself more these days. In recent years, my poor eating habits weren't because I was stuffing down feelings of poor self-worth. It truly was an uncontrollable drive to eat things that at times I didn't even really want! I felt powerless over my hunger, especially when I'd feel ravenous an hour after a 'healthy' meal.  That wasn't low self-esteem making me eat, I was freaking hungry due to the rise and fall of my blood sugar level!

It's taken me a long time to reach this stage in my life, but I like me now. I don't feel the need to find a sense of value and worth from outside me anymore. Maybe if I had found this diet years ago, I wouldn't have been successful. Who knows. I do think you have to be ready to change for any method to work. I was definitely ready this time.  Getting older, being diagnosed as pre-diabetic, and wanting to outlive the family 'curse' are just a few reasons why. No one in my family tends to make it much past 60 on dad's side, and 70 on mom's. So I did my homework, laid out a clear and concise plan, and made the determination that I won't quit, and I know it to be true - no matter what. I feel good about myself. I feel worthy and deserving of a healthy new life, and I'm ready for it. So bring it on! :)

2 comments:

  1. Anna, I am so proud of you! And you must be so proud of yourself! When we reach that awesome spot where we can step back and finally see it all, it is SO empowering! Kudos to you, for breaking the curse and taking the steps to make it happen!

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  2. Thanks Gwen. While I wonder how many things I let myself miss out on in my younger days, I also think everything happened for a reason. I wouldn't be with my loving husband here in sunny Australia if things had gone any other way.

    And yes ... EMPOWERING is exactly how it feels. I'm in charge now, of my eating AND my life.

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