Sunday, July 3, 2011

Weigh In, and a Healthy Path

This week was my mid-cycle week. I generally tend to lose weight in a pattern of more pounds in week 1 of my cycle, very few if any in week 2, several in week 3, and nothing the last week. I know this because I have logged my weight on a chart for almost 4 years now! Knowing your patterns helps you make better choices and not become discouraged with the scale. So even though I ate on plan all week, the scale did not budge until yesterday. I lost 1 pound this week... down to 183 now. Good enough for me! Making progress towards a new low, although I won't make it by my birthday in about a week and a half. I *will* make a new low in August, I think, if I keep doing what I am doing! I have not seen 173 in *at least*15 years, maybe longer! So exciting!

My post yesterday got me thinking about my focus and self love. I have come a long way in how I feel about my physical self. I am much more accepting and appreciative of my body, even though I do sometimes have feelings of regret for the way I treated my body (bingeing) for over a decade, and the resultant hangy parts and probably-related severe degenerative arthritis. I am doing my best with what I have.

Loving my body is something I was never taught as a child. My mother had an incredible amount of self hatred all her life, which led her to self-abuse in the form of alcoholism, suicide attempts, and a cycle of obsessive overindulgent eating and severe restrictive dieting that kept her obese for decades. That is the model I saw, and began to partially adopt myself at two distinct points in my life. One, as a teen, when I began drinking to excess in private and withdrew into a depressive state after the death of a dear friend; two, when I started to binge eat and diet and sank into another depressive state after my divorce from my husband of 8 years. Both times, I felt the self-loathing. In fact, I felt like I was channeling my mother. As an adult, I was heartbroken and wondered what was wrong with me that my own mother could disown her only child over a difference in opinion regarding religion. She wanted nothing to do with me. She preferred the company of her friends who she called her "family" while hurtfully rejecting me and my four small children. When your own mother seems to hate you, it does make you start to hate yourself, even if just a little. And that is what I had to battle in my own mind in order to begin loving myself.

I had to accept that my mother had her own issues and demons, and they had nothing to do with me. Nothing a 2-year-old child could do would cause their mother to abandon them and go out drinking for hours every night. Nothing a 4-year-old child could do would cause their mother to attempt suicide. And nothing I did as a teen or an adult warranted the abusive treatment she gave me by her angry words and withdrawal from my life. It was not my fault. I do not need to hate myself.

It is a hard lesson to learn, that it is okay to love yourself even if your own mother does not. That you are a good, decent person even if your mother tells you that you are not. That psychological sense one has about one's whole self does leak over into how one feels about their body. If you love your *self* it is easier to love and accept your body, flaws and all.

I have chosen self-love. I am working hard at caring for myself in both physical and psychological ways. I accept and embrace the body I have, flaws and all. That does not mean I am blind. It does not mean I pretend there is nothing I don't like about my body. There is. But I just do what I can to improve things, and accept what I can't change. That, to me, seems a healthy path to walk.

10 comments:

dede said...

Thank you for the encouraging, thought provoking words! I am just beginning my journey out of obesity...getting banded Thursday...YEA!!! I can't wait to read through your blog for insight and inspiration!
thanks!
dede

Mel Def said...

Thanks for your honesty and fearless openness. I can relate on so many levels. It sounds as if you have your head and heart where they matter and that is WONDERFUL.

Jill said...

Thank you for this post. I too was not taught to love me. I am trying to teach my 11 year old daughter how to love herself so she does not struggle the same way I do. Any suggestions on how to do that? Since I was not taught how- I feel kind of lost when trying to teach her. I love your honesty! Your words really speak to me and inspire me to be my best me! Thank you!!!

Kelliann said...

what courageous, encouraging and inspiring words. Thank you for this post...

Lyn said...

Jill~

just lots of praise and honest encouragement for who she is! I am always telling my daughter she is awesome, a great dancer, a wonderful person, and that I love her just the way she is. I think that's really all we can do!

timothy said...

i'm so glad you chose to end the cycle and be a good mom. you are a great and kind person and deserve all that life has to offer. you're doin great and it's gonna be a great summer for us all!xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Miss April said...

Wonderful post. THanks for sharing, inspiring, and working on yourself with the dedication you do. You totally rock!

Jaclyn said...

I'm sorry you went through so much with your mother. But just think about the incredible healing you've experienced, and how much your children benefit from having a mother as strong and as positive as you! They are truly blessed to have you.

LHA said...

A great post. It is hard for all of us to love ourselves sometimes. As a mother myself I don't understand how any mother could turn her back on her own child and it has to be incredibly hard to accept that it was not your fault. Bravo to you for working to do that!

Sis said...

*Big hugs!!!!* I know how you feel; my mother also has severe abandonment/abuse issues from her childhood that she never dealt with, and it resulted in self destructive behavior, including "disowning" all four of her children and her grandchild (my son) in a cruel way almost a decade ago. Congratulations to you for understanding that none of your mother's behavior is your fault and moving forward! It is such a necessity for us to focus on loving and being proud of who we are, and getting rid of the negative soundtrack that often plays over and over in the heads of children of mothers with self-destructive issues. Thank you for your honesty and for sharing.