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The mental side of weight loss - at least for me.

Friday, November 11, 2011

This one started out as a response to a blog about a woman who has lost 100 pounds and is still quite obese, but started getting to long for a response:

I've been saying for some time now that there is a huge mental part to weight loss. Even after you loose weight you have to "learn" how to deal with yourself in a new way! Having lost 110 pounds - and still at least 20 from goal - Goal being the upper limit of a "healthy" bmi - I'm still having a difficult time accepting myself. And this is with maintaining weight loss for 2 1/2 years now. Sparkpeople strongly encourages us to "reward" ourselves for reaching goals. I have a difficult time doing that. Why should I do something nice for myself for doing something I should be doing already? Who do I think I am? Sometimes we find there is so much more going on - going wrong - don't know if wrong is the right word, with ourselves that when we start resolving one of our issues in my case being morbidly obese - now I'm "just" overweight, the other issues stick their ugly heads out saying "deal with me now, if you dare!"

Why was I overweight? I blamed genetics - Dad's family was overweight - story was when grandpap passed away they couldn't carry him down the stairs of his Hell's Kitchen tenement house they hoisted him out the window.
I blamed - not having the money to buy much more than macaroni and cheese and ground beef to feed my family while my husband was laid off or under employed (for over 90% of our marriage) and before I started teaching, then substitute taught and finally started full time - not much money for many years so we ate cheap. I'd try to go for walks - but it "was hard to all the time with three young children" ~ another excuse.

Truth is, I haven't liked myself for a very long time. When you don't like yourself a) you aren't nice to yourself, b) you don't take care of yourself, c) you don't understand why anyone else would like you (that's the one bothering me the most right now), d) you are hard on yourself.

I don't know why I don't like me. Most of the time I'm aware others do - some even love me - go figure - why?????
They say I'm nice, I'm caring and compassionate, I'm understanding. I say -" well that's just the way everyone is supposed to be - I'm just doing what I'm supposed to be doing. No big deal." I have one very dear friend who says I'm the only one in her life that doesn't make her angry. And at first I took that as a compliment (Which I'm pretty sure is how she meant it) but my negative thought processes are turning this around to think "maybe we aren't as close as I thought, cause everyone gets mad at the people they care about" right? On one hand I know this is just my - mind messing with me - I don't know how to stop it. I want to stop it!

I don't allow myself to do anything wrong, but when I do, I don't forgive myself. I forgive others or at least try my best to; I know not forgiving others hurts only me - not them so much. But I can't get it through my head to forgive myself. I don't know why.

But I'm working on it. And working on it hurts - as that dear friend gave me the analogy - it's like cleaning house -sometimes you make it messier before it is all cleaned up.

Hoping this makes sense and I didn't ramble anyone to be bored to tears - I shed enough typing this out. My daughter - who is wise beyond her years is encouraging me to put my thoughts into live journal - I'd rather do it here with my friends, she says that helps to get things off my chest. So here it is - Not wanting sympathy - just trying to sort things out.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thank you for your honest sharing. I wonder if the original sin was not loving the who God created. Those voices within our head are so cruel--we would never say them to anyone else. I started to name the voice and sometimes it seems like it mirrored someone in my family and how she talked about herself. Helping to name the voice has helped to tame it quite a bit. Perhaps this is way off base, but I wonder if one of the tasks of our age group is to make friends with who we have been and who we are becoming.

    Where in the world did we learn not to like ourselves? We are incredible! We are in the image and likeness of God! Who are we to tell God that he/she is wrong?

    355 days ago
    Wish you all the best
    1523 days ago
  • CATLADY1955
    I think we all get to the same place at some point when we are overweight. My family is all short and round. We lived poor while I grew up. Lots of cheap carbs and little else. All rewards were food related. As an adult I gave myself treats the same way every weekend there was ice cream and chocolate. Bad days at work, hit the vending machine and on and on.

    Now I watch my dad, sitting in his chair waiting to die. Diabetic he eats whatever he wants and decides at times he doesn't need his meds. By not moving enough, now he can't. My brother is almost as bad. After getting to the point of having a mini stroke and requiring heart surgery, I decided the I was not giving up on myself and I was no longer going to be my own worse enemy.

    I had already lost 40 pounds but was not taking care of myself. I wound up in the hospital three weekends in a row. Followed by 3 months off work for tests and counseling and surgery. Little by little, I am getting smaller and stronger. I still have 40 pounds to lose but it is part of my goal to use a healthy lifestyle to keep on living. I lost ground because of my stroke and my heart stopping during my surgery but I am moving slowly forward, on day at a time.

    I want to enjoy my retirement in 3 years.
    1530 days ago
    I get it I am the same way I have lost a lot of weight and yet I still have a lot to go and I know if I do not loose it I will die plain and simple I am much harder on myself than others will ever be

    love the way you put it

    it is worded perfectly

    have a great day your blog just made mine better to know that I am not alone
    1531 days ago
    I am grappling ( or needing to grapple) with many of the same issues of not liking myself and why and a lot of what you wrote resonates with me!!
    1558 days ago
    A very insigthful blog. You're continuing to learn about yourself and overcome what you've done in the past (when you got to the weight you started at). Now that you've lost 100+ lbs, it's bringing up new things for you to work on. I liked BAM0827's reply to your blog and totally agree with it, you're worthy of loving yourself just because you're here. But it doesn't matter what others think of you, it matters what YOU think of you. If you can change your mindset enough to lose that much weight then you can change it about loving yourself. Just like you took one step after another to lose weight, you can take one step after another to change your mind from hating to loving yourself. Come of with some mantra's to tell yourself every day, like "I love myself just the way I am", "I'm worthy of being loved" and I'm sure you can come up with others. I've done this and it has helped. Hang in there!
    1811 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6249964
    Hi! I like your blog post and this also! People dont think that mental side is the most important part of dieting! Keep up with posting and I like your longer posts! What can you say in a few lines??? Nothing! So keep up :)

    Also, I admire you for your success! I have red that you eat 3-5 meals a day. Maybe you can do one post about that and what you are eating and snacking!

    Best regards from Europe! :)
    3100 days ago
    I have the opposite problem. I do like me, and I like my flabby body - as does hubby. And when I lose weight, I lose the boobs, which doesn't please hubby, so I'm in a Catch22... I know I should lose weight for health reasons, but I love Toblerone, and the desire to lose isn't that strong :( emoticon
    3103 days ago
  • JENNY712
    emoticon HUGS! I love myself now but I know what your saying is true. Been their and it is not a good place. I would hide in my fat. Fat was my hide out! I did not even know what I was doing. I did not like myself either. That is why my health is so broken. YET! when I finally gave up and surrendered it to the Lord He did a surgery on my heart so to speak. He showed me if He who know all can love me ; then by His grace I could love me too. Now I love me. I really do love me. It does not matter that others think. Jesus loves me. I am now allowing my self the freedom to love me and lose the weight, the bad habits, and if I need to hide I will hide in His love and care. HUGS! Jenny emoticon again for sharing! emoticon
    3353 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/5/2012 10:16:13 PM
  • no profile photo CD11506482
    Hi Calidreamer, how are you? I hope you had a good day at work and in ways that you have been feeling. I know you will get through these. You know what these feelings are, and it's so good you shared. Maybe you could print what you wrote, and work on one thing at a time. Feel something good about yourself, listen to a compliment, do something fun to take your mind off of these for awhile. When your looking over your list, check it off and put a smiley face next to it. Keep talking to a good friend or and family member. That helps me when I talk it out. You have achieved tremendous. Congragultions Wishing you the best always! emoticon
    3407 days ago
    Now, see, I had to shake my head a few times at this blog, mostly because you are one of the most inspirational contacts I've made here, and I often read your comments, posts, etc., and think, "wow, I wish I could be more like her." I suffer from the same type of self-loathing (not wanting to do anything wrong, and then not being able to forgive myself when I DO mess up). It's hard to give up that mind-set, because I feel hyper-aware of my faults and think "it's only a matter of time before others see what I really am" whenever I get a compliment. But I have been reading and communicating with you for a few years now, and I can honestly tell you that you are someone that many people look up to. :)
    3466 days ago
    I feel your pain. My life has been in a great turmoil for some time, but soon it will turn around and I can start focusing on me again. I'm a stress eater and this is the reason why I keep gaining small amounts of weight.

    Lean on your friends in times of trouble and we'll help pull you through.
    3468 days ago
    I decided to stop by your page and see how you are doing and found this blog. It makes me feel sad, too. I don't know you all that well, but even though we met in person once and spent only a small amount of time together, you made a big impression on me. For example, the work that you do, caring and teaching children so many others want to no part, and how hard you have worked to lose weight. So many of us are in awe of your success. You are a good, kind, caring person, and deserving of love and kindness in return, from yourself and others. I really do understand what you say about having a hard time forgiving yourself and liking yourself, though, because I'm inclined to be the same way. Even at my age I feel I'm still a work in progress. The cleaning house analogy makes a lot of sense. Maybe we do have to stir it all up so we can find it and throw it away, once and for all. Well, this comment has gotten long! It appears writing our feelings down is good for a lot of us! Take care.
    3469 days ago
    I shed some tears reading this. I so wish I was there to say this in person to you rather than writing something here for you to read.

    You are a wonderful person and for your friend to say that you have not made her angry ever. WOW. That is something. It goes to show you how much you do care. You probably go out of your way to make sure she is happy and taken care of. I know that she is not the only one you do that for.

    You drove over an hour to meet me and some other friends a few weeks ago. That blew me away! It was so nice to see you. As much as I want Mike to go to JASR with me, I'd love to go by myself so that I can room with you. I know we'd have such a great time together. (We still will if we are not in the same room).

    I will keep you in my prayers. You are loved by myself and many, many other people. I am so proud of your weight loss and your healthy lifestyle. You are such an inspiration to me!
    3469 days ago
  • BAM0827
    One of my biggest ah-has a couple of years ago was when I was thinking of my nieces and nephews and their wonderfulness. It hit me that I thought they were awesome and they were loved before they were even born. It didn't matter what they did (or didn't do) they were worthy of love and were lovable for no other reason than they were born. I then made the jump to - if they are lovable then heck, I am too for no other reason than I was born. They all have their uniquness, their good and some bad (of course not much ;)) but what doesn't go away is how they are worthy of love and lovable. I keep reminding myself of this.

    You, too, are the same as them, your kids, and me!

    You'll get there, I hope your journaling helps.
    3469 days ago
    I get where you are coming from! Live on that same block myself. I have slipped a bit with Sparking but am now trying to find my way back, one day at a time. I have kept most of my weight off for over a year but my lifestyle (and my attitude) give me the excuse that it is "hard" to maintain my healthy choices. Reality is that I cave to the quick pleasures of chocolate and fat only to beat myself up later for it! I find that even though I have lost a good chunk of weight I still view myself as overweight, amazingly my internal picture is still stuck on my original weight despite what the scale shows. My current mantra is "it worked before, it will work again (regarding weight loss with spark), stay the course and be good to yourself". I know that I have turned to your blogs for comfort and affirmation in this journey to a healthier lifestyle...I'm glad to know that despite my absence you are still here and still plugging away! Thank you!
    3469 days ago
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