I work very hard and am attending college to obtain my degree in the Human Service field. Writing makes me feel alive and gives me the opportunity to touch those whom I would not be able to otherwise. Last but not least, I have been blessed with two amazing daughters who love me completely and support my dreams. Feel free to contact me with questions, concerns or feedback.
Recently I wrote about child abuse, something very prevalent in today's society. I felt this gentle nudge to write about this particular situation this past year. It is a sensitive topic and one I will not take lightly.
This article may anger some, and I am willing to take one for the team. Yep, you heard me. If you feel the need to strike me after you read this, I will be in hiding. You may have to pull a Mel Gibson and offer someone $5,000,000 to find and hunt me down, but I will be outside of the country.
There is a form of abuse that one rarely talks about. In fact, one would not even begin to believe this is a type of abuse. Yep, this is so much a part of our society that we have just come to a place of acceptance. We are told to accept others just the way they are. We even celebrate those practice this type of behavior. Why, you may ask? Because it is almost as if there is nothing you can do about it. Well, actually, let me rephrase. There is something we can do about it. It is time for us to realize so many of us are abusing ourselves, and there is something we can do about it.
How many times have you seen the title "Half their size" on the front of People Magazine? Probably at least once a month, right? These women are those who once were obese and got their stuff together. They were fed up with living with their extra weight and took steps to do some home improvement. Let me be the devils advocate. Why are we celebrating these women? I mean, it's not like they always weighed 100 lbs or more than before they began this journey, right? During the entire time they were gaining the weight, what steps did they take to refrain from even getting to that point? For me, I know when I eat more than I should, and sit on the couch in lieu of walking, I will gain weight. It doesn't take Dr. Phil or a rocket scientist to give you the answers. You already have them within yourself. How many more books does one have to write in order for us to just "get it"?
I am an emotional eater. I always have been. I have used overeating as a coping mechanism my entire life. Fortunately, I have higher metabolism, but believe me, at the age of 38 it is now slowing down. I actually took picture of myself in my undergarments from the front and back and threw them up on my computer. I did not like what I saw. Fat, everywhere. My back, thighs, butt, arms and stomach were loose. For me, big is not beautiful. I felt unattractive. I knew I had to do something. I decided to join the gym. Yet, although I was doing tons of cardio, I never changed the way I ate. I continued to pile on all of the extra calories not needed for a woman of my height. My weight did not come off as easily, and I still struggle today.
This is the answer. In order for us to lose weight, we have to eat less and exercise more. That is all it takes. Now for the hard part. If you have been an emotional eater or have suffered from an eating disorder, you need extra help. Yep, there are plenty of groups which will embrace you and be of comfort along the way. It is time we stop the self abuse. The abuse of ones self with food. Why is it becoming more and more acceptable to be overweight? We know there are so many consequences. Your life is literally cut short in so many areas. The shame, stares, low self esteem, being passed over or outcast. Most thin people ask, "Why is she so big? She knows she needs to lose weight. Why is she eating at McDonalds or putting all of those unhealthy items in her grocery cart? Why doesn't she go get help?" Thin people will never get it, and we can't expect them to. It's very similar to expecting a man to understand pregnancy. He will never experience it although he will someday be a father.
There is absolutely nothing wrong to enjoy your favorite food. But, when your food become an addiction similar to what an alcoholic experiences, it is time to get help. If you are using food to "get through", you are an addict. Your body does not need the amount of food you consume. If every time you are stressed and feel like walking to the refrigerator, especially after you have just finished dinner, you have a problem. If you knew that I could give you a pill to take away all of your excess weight, and it cost $500, would you buy it? Of course you would. To say you wouldn't would be a lie. How do I know? Well, let me prove it.
The diet industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. People spend thousands on diet pills, weight loss, books, surgery and everything else under the sun. We keep looking for a quick fix. Guess what? I am giving it to you straight. Without figuring out why you are overweight and use food as a source of comfort, you will not get better. You have to join a support group, see a counselor and do the hard work. You have to dig deep, and I am not talking into a banana split. Unless you do the work, you will either yo-yo and lose some weight, but you will never lose the internal baggage which will bring you right back to where you were.
When you find a professional, group or someone to help you heal, it is time to take a hard look at what is in your refrigerator. Look around your kitchen. The food is there by your choice. It didn't follow you home. You picked it up, put it on the belt and purchased it with your own money. It is time to call in your support system and leave the house. Make them clean out your cupboards and fridge. Tell them you will be back in a hour. When you come back chances are you might have very little food in the house. You may have a few things, but nothing very healthy. After your housecleaning, it is time to hit the grocery store. It is really important you take someone healthy with you. They will help you to make better choices when it comes to food.
At this point you are going to feel like hurting someone. Go ahead and cry, scream, punch a big strong guy, whatever. The sooner you do this the better. It is time to really dive in and do the hard work. No-one said it would be easy. Nothing worth obtaining comes free. This is going to be much painless than going through gastric bypass, right? Much less expensive as well.
Your next step is to take your first step. Yep, right out your front door. You are going for a walk. Depending on your level of fitness, you may have to walk out the front door to the back yard. If it's too much, take baby steps. Don't worry about how far you get, just get off the couch and walk. There is also a program on television called Sit and Be Fit. No matter what you do, it is important to get your body moving. Have a good friend stop by the library and pick up an exercise video, something easy. The program might state to consult a doctor, which is a good idea. Every wise physician will tell you do do some type of cardio activity. It is important to get a yearly physical anyway. Your doctor can give you helpful hints or refer you to an expert in the field.
Another good resource of course is the internet. They have all types of fitness information and activities for people of all shapes and sizes. Don't get discouraged that at this time you do not look like a supermodel. Your job is to get healthy. Most women will never look like models given the fact most of them are airbrushed. They will never have to do the hard work or healing you will. The tools you learn through your journey will not only help you to attain greater health, but assist you with overcoming many of life's challenges. If you can do this, you can do anything!!
The most important part of your healing process it to take pictures of yourself on a regular basis. At least once a month, shed your clothing and take new photos. There is nothing greater than seeing results. This will help you to stay on track and give you something to look forward to. The reason most people quit is because they get discouraged too easily. I know I do. When I work out, hard, for a month, I want to be toned and tight. Guess what? It doesn't happen overnight, within a month, maybe not even 3 months. But, it will happen.
How about we stop abusing ourselves and realize we are only given one body. Sure, through surgery you can attain a new shape, but regardless of the outcome, it is a very painful process. Also, it is not guaranteed and there have been so many nameless persons who have not had successful surgery. It is definitely not a quick fix. Most physicians require you to sign a waiver stating you will not hold him or her responsible if all is not well after the procedure. It is "enter at your own risk" time and too many women and men are going under the knife. Healing takes a lot of time and may never bring you the promised results you paid thousands for in the first place.
I believe it is time for us to reverse the damage done to our bodies. It is time to get healthy and feel good from the inside out. Why not? I mean, don't you want to live your life to the fullest? Why not get the figure you have always wanted. It is possible. I respectfully request that you refrain from being unrealistic. Find out what a healthy weight is for you and aim for that. If you are a size 16 and weigh 175 and that is a healthy weight for you, then that is great. But, if you are a healthy size 12 and are pushing a size 16, time to do some self improvement. Not every woman is going to be a size 2. Only a man wants a bone, right? It is so much easier to reverse if you start early. Sometimes all you have to do is talk to a friend and let it all out. Have a good cry. Try to figure out what is bugging you. Are you holding something in? If so, why? Are you struggling in a relationship? Take your spouse out and tell them what's on your mind. Do not hold on to negative feelings. It will do so much harm to your mental health and state of mind. Blog, write in your diary, email, do whatever it takes to let it go.
I hope this helps one person on the road to recovery. It may just be one avenue. I am not all knowing, but part of writing this was to help me with my own struggles as well. I really want to be all I can be, not only for me, but for my children as well. Why short change their lives? Why not give them a healthy mom, one who can run, skip and jump with them. Break the cycle and show they a new way of life. They will thank you for it!
UNTIL NEXT TIME!