I should actually be going to bed because I’m getting up at 6:15 to go to the gym before work, butbI’ve been meaning to post and this has been bouncing around my head for a while. And, oddly, I feel that I am better able to express myself at night while relaxing in bed.
A few weeks ago I watched an episode of Extreme Makeover: Weigt Loss Edition detailing the journey of Jacqui. Now if you have never watched EM:WLE, I recommend it for a few reasons. Nothing is more inspiring than watching the ups and downs of the weigt loss journy of someone well in the morbidly obese range work their asses off to lose upwards of 200 pounds with sheer determination and dedicated lifestyle changes. Makes me wonder if I could have done that without the aide of surgery had I really put my mind and self to it.
Now I’m not generally someone who watches shows like this because I have a hard time getting emotionally involved and I simply don’t like to cry. Most of the episodes I’ve watched have been touching, and I root for the individual every time they go to step on the scale and show the world that they can make thwt change, but none of them have hit so close as seeing Jacqui’s transformation. Why, you might ask?
Seeing Jacqui and how she felt about herself at the beginning of her change reminded me of myself and the struggle I still face. She basically loathed her body, thougt of herself as disgusting and apologized about the fact that people even saw her. If you’ve ever carried a lot of weight around during your life you may know how that feels as well. I let those same sort of feelings shape how I was and who I am, and I still struggle to overcome those sensitivities.
Lets go back and explain what I mean. A lot of people view me as someone who keeps her distance, who doesn’t like to be touched, and who isn’t someone who enjoys close contact with people such as hugs or displays of affection. While that’s true to a degree, it’s not as simple as I just don’t like it, because to be really honest it’s not that at all. I grew up thinking of myself as gross and untouchable - I felt thst people wouldn’t want to be near or touch someone like me. This was of course perpetuated in school where I was bullied for my weight. I distinctly remember having assigned lunch seats in third or fourth grade, and the boy who was sat next to me (alphabetically) always made a huge deal, accusing me of spitting in his food, sitting too close, and in general just being too gross to be near. I hated riding the bus because kids would make faces or comments and blatently refuse to let me sit next to them in their seat even though it was open - I spent many a bus ride home standing uncomfortably in the aisle. Boys would fake ask me out and mock me by saying they wanted me to marry them, and I became distrustful of any compliment or positive comment sent my way because it felt like no one really meant it, and how could they when I wasn’t someone people wanted to be around. I think at one time I said no to someone who may have seriously been asking me on a date because it felt like just another cruel joke.
I don’t say any of this for pity, or to have anyone feel bad for me. I know now that they were kids, and bullying is a terrible thing that happens to so many people. I’m simply analyzing (as I am wont to do) how I became who I am today. When I was a child I hid behind food and a quiet persona. I honestly didn’t hug people because I felt they would be grossed out or uncomfortable to receive a hug from me. Now I still shy away from the same sort of physical connection with people. It’s not that I hate hugging people (though admittedly I do enjoy my personal space) or getting close to them, I just basically don’t know how to get over the distaste for my own body image and be open. I don’t intend on hugging and touching every person I come by, because that would just be undeniably awkward, but I’d like to get to a point where I’m not subconsciously thinking about how this person doesn’t want to be that close to me. Something that I’m slowly working on as I begin to like my own body more and more, and there’s still a long way to go.
On a less serious note, I am 3 months post surgery and doing better each day! Weiged myself today on the scale at work and clocked in at 247.8 lbs! It is the most amazing thing to be under 250 lbs, I haven’t been at that weigt since at least high school! It also makes me look forward to reaching 240, then 230, 220, and ultimately a healthy weight below 200! I know I can do it, I have the tools, I have the knowledge, I have the adaptability - I can change my life for the good, for good.
Things I want to do this year: kayak, learn to ride a bike, actually run a mile, get some weights for home training. It’ll be nice to actually be able to comfortably squeeze my ass into a kayak :P
I’m looking forward to this summer, hoping it brings good things :)