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Answer to the question: "Can you really love yourself if you're obese?"

Monday, November 28, 2011

My last blog "Can you really love yourself if you're obese?" generated a few very thought-provoking replies by some very insightful members and sparkfriends!

This is the blog:

When I wrote this blog I felt the need to ask myself (and the world!) if it was really possible for me to love myself the way I am now. I asked an honnest question ... and I got some honnest answers! Each and every reply I got gave me something good to think about. Some hit me harder than others, and that's okay too!

I cannot begin to express how grateful I am for such amazing support and help. And after a day of reflecting on it, I would like to revisit my position on this very delicate matter!

This first thing that jumped at me in all the replies I got was that there is a big difference between not loving MYSELF and not loving the body that I am in. It is true that I must love myself enough for wanting to take better care of myself the way I am doing it now. If I didn't love myself I wouldn't go running 3 times a week just because it's fun and it makes my feel so awesome, and I wouldn't be working on my attitude and my mental and physical health the way I am. If I didn't love myself I wouldn't be here trying to be the best person I can be. And I wouldn't be able to love my husband and my children the way I love them.

So I may not love my body at the moment, but it is true that I love the person that I am enough to want her to be healthy and live for a long, long time!

The second thing that stuck with me was that yes, I did choose to succeed! I had the choice to continue to sabotage my health or work hard to improve it, and I chose to improve it, one day at the time. That's a sign of love, isn't it?!

One other person said in their reply: "if you are going to keep negative thoughts and actions then you will only get negative thoughts and actions as an out come.."
I combined this with the reply of another member who wrote: "Look for the positive aspects of yourself you do like and emphasize them."

Hum!! Yep, the hat fits me! I was always one to have negative thoughts about myself. So I most probably generated negative actions towards myself too. Makes perfect sense to me. But I know that I do have some positive aspects. So yes, I should emphasize them, and use them to my advantage. Focus on the positive more, use my strengths to be a better person. Sounds feasible enough, and surely more fun then focusing on the negative.

Someone else said this: "it's OK to NOT be happy with yourself... Now that you've confesssed this to the world, what are you going to do about it?"

Good question!! And the answer, just like the answer to my blog's question, is this:


In order to love myself more and more each and everyday I will do the following:
* First and most important: I will treat myself with more respect and stop saying that I hate myself. No more negative thoughts, no more negative actions.
* I will stop complaining and feeling sorry for myself
* I will continue to work on my attitude. Be more positive and leave the negative behind.
* I will stop blaming myself for the past 20 years. I have learned something from the past 20 years, and instead of focusing on the damage I did, I will use my experience to make myself a stronger, more knowledgeable person.
* I will continue running, I like it so much, it is therapeutic in so many ways!
* I will put food in my body that is meant to make it feel well, not food that is meant to push my emotions deep inside me.
* I will be honnest with myself at all times.
* I will repeat to myself as often as I can that I am worth it.
* I will let others love me as well.
* I will watch the weight come off.

I want to be well, I want to be healthy. I love to exercise, I am good at it. I want to live for many more years. Obviously I must love myself.

Thank you for all the responses, thank you for shedding some light on this delicate yet important topic. Thank you for making me see that I am worth it and capable of loving myself the way I deserve it!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PELESJEWEL 11/29/2011 8:57PM

    emoticon You've grown so much from putting it out there AND being receptive to change! This is a great follow up blog, with key insights that you've worked through, and now all that's left is to take action!!

When I read blogs like this, I can't help but look at my journey. Sparking has really helped me stay "in the positive". Even when things go bad, I now have that extra something that kicks in quick and I see the positive in situations way quicker. I believe more. Self confidence replalced self doubt and I've learned not to dwell. My mental health has grown exponentially. I call it Spark Magic!


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PIXIEMOM13 11/28/2011 1:27PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
You really do have a way with words!

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MARKSTIPANOVSKY 11/28/2011 12:18PM

    Thanks for taking the time to write some stuff that helps me on my own journey. Hoping you also stay focused on becoming fitter, stronger and healthier. All the best - Mark

And yes, loving ourselves and wanting to change our body shape is not only possible - it is desirable...

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ROSALIEESTHER 11/28/2011 11:55AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ROSALIEESTHER 11/28/2011 11:54AM

    You sound absolutely emoticon Keep on loving yourself. emoticon Keep on sharing - you are inspiring me. emoticon

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Can you really love yourself if you're obese??

Friday, November 25, 2011

Can you?? I used to want to believe that it was possible, now I'm not so sure anymore.

I used to work with a lady who was obese, and I'll always remember once she told me that she had decided to stop obsessing with her weight and had decided to love herself the way she was.

At first I thought it was a good thing to do, because it is important that we all love ourselves first before being able to love others. We must accept our flaws, we must accept ourselves the way we are. This sounded good for the longest time, until recently when I started understanding that as much as I wanted it, I can't love myself the way I am now, because this is not who I am.

I wasn't always fat. I didn't always feel this way. I used to love myself, when I weighed 150 lbs and was fit. Back then I didn't mind having my picture taken, I didn't walk away from mirrors, I didn't constantly fight my emotions and deny my problems. Life was simpler then.

So how can I love myself now that I weigh so much more? I am not the same person. Yes, I am ashamed to say that I let myself go for 20 years and that I gained 111 lbs during this time. So I ask this: how can I possibly love my body now?

I think that pretending to love myself "the way I am" for the past few years was the perfect excuse not to have to change things! But that doesn't work for me anymore...

The truth is this:
No, I am not happy with the way I look and the way I feel. This is not me, this is not who I am. Deep down inside I am not a fat girl. The thin, healthy girl inside me is screaming to get out. She has been screaming for many years but I just didn't listen. The fat girl on the outside tried to make her shut up...

Another truth is this: I am sick of being the fat one. Sick of people saying it and of me pretending to accept it. Deep down it hurts me when people comment on my weight. It is NOT true that I accept it because "this is the way I am". The thin girl inside me hurts when she hears comments.

A few weeks ago my sister-in-law gave me a dress that she made for herself 2 years ago. She lost weight herself and the dress doesn't fit her anymore, so she was happy to give it to me. While I know her and know all too well that she only meant to be nice, it still hurt me because I am still the fat one. The dress fits me perfectly too... There is not on ounce of malice in my sister-in-law and I know she meant well, but it was yet another reminder that I am fat... too fat.

And I am sick of it.

No, I do not love my body the way it looks. I am not talking about this or that specific body part, I am talking about the excess fat I have.

But the good news is: I can do something about it. And I am doing it. No more excuses like "this is who I am". No, this is NOT who I am.

Starting now, I will let the thin girl come back to surface and I will love her, I will cherish her, I will treat her well, the way she deserves to be treated. I will treat her with respect, I will allow her self-confidence. I will listen to her when she talks, I will trust how she feels.

And the fat girl? Well, she will slowly vanish, but I will never forget her. She was a BIG part of me for many years, she taught me many valuable lessons. Maybe with time I can stop hating her.

Here's to the thin girl inside me!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CTUPTON 1/7/2012 2:52PM

    Wow! You put many things in perspective! I think finally I love--even like-- myself at my present weight. i want to care for myself and be healthy. I am not putting off my life because I weigh more than I'd like. I will do the things I want and have friends who like me as I am. It took many years to believe all that. Now I have a real chance of getting the weight off and keeping it off. I just gained 3 lbs. In the past, I'd forget all goals and eat and eat till there were 30 lbs. to lose. I would not be able to face that so I'd eat and there would be 60 lbs. to lose. No more. i can get the lousy 3 lbs. off and hopefully get a few more off. Chris emoticon

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ABBEMINE 12/25/2011 8:48PM

    I loved your blog. It is very inspiring. I may just be 35lbs. over "my" weight that looked good on me, but that doesn't change how I feel. I look at myself in the mirrow and see an eight month pregnant woman with pear hips and an appetite that won't quit. See once I use to weigh 185 and wore a size 16 jean. Now my underarms are big, where I've advanced from an XL to a 2X size. All of this is because I no longer work and I have a husband wants me to sit with him in a chair ALL day long.
I'm use to being active, loving outdoors and refused to come in out of the rain. NOT any more. So I do understand how you feel and how you miss that thin person that lives inside of you. Don't give up hope. She will come out again when you ask her real nice and tell her you will treat her nice as well. Good luck and May God Bless!!

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LUCKYDOGFARM 11/30/2011 11:13PM

    Yes! you can love yourself at your current weight. you should love yourself regardless of what the numbers on the scale are or the reflection in the mirror. sure, strive to improve on yourself. your body is a gift from God and it greives Him when you dont love yourself, regardless of your size. the more you love yourself, the more you will love that reflection in the mirror and the better that reflection will appear!

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STEPHANALILLEY 11/29/2011 5:41PM

    Yes, I completely love myself. Loving yourself and liking the physical appearance of your body should not be viewed as the same thing, they are not. I have been obese since puberty. I've made some bad choices in the past and now I've gained the incite and motivation to take back control of my life. I CAN make myself over and get where I want to be. Being "skinny" isn't my goal; I may never be. Would I like to weigh less? Yes, I would. But just because I'm fat doesn't mean I'm not attractive or sexy. My weight has nothing to do with how I view myself and does not quantify my worth as a person. I am able to go to the grocery store by myself; surprisingly most overweight friends of mine won't. I do not hide myself away and avoid being out in the world. I go out to sing karaoke most every weekend and I play on a pool league. The only person who's opinion of me matters is MYSELF! But I do want to be healthier and be around to witness all the exciting moments to come in my children and grandchild's lives. LOVE THYSELF, then all else will fall in place....

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MSANITAL 11/27/2011 10:44AM

    I have to say the same as everyone eles, but... and here is thee but..
I find if you are going to keep negative thoughts and actions then you will only get negivite thoughts and actions as an out come.. my 20s, when I was over weight I hated my self, I thought that loosing weight would solve the problems of the world..
well I lost the weight and I found out it did not solve anything .. I was still unhappy and still did not like my self. or had any self worth.. so of course I turned to food.

then embarked on another weigh loss and lost the weight and still did not like my self..

so I thought what the heck may as well be fat right..
wrong.. I was unhealthy.. and sick. hating my self was just the tip of the iceberg..

what I am trying to say is losing weight is not going to be a magic step to "Liking your self" I think we need to be happy with our selves right now at this point that you are in your life.

with all of today's standards and such set a side let's face it being over weight is not healthy.. so we do something about it.
we shed those pounds and we get fit.
yet we also need to work on the mental as well which has a huge part in it..

today I am happier with my self. do I love my self, yes. am I healthy? yes I am healthier and I am getting healthy every day..

in any case so many people think your special.. and you are now it is time you think that too. right now no matter what the number on the scale is.

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CBACH71 11/27/2011 9:26AM

    This was a thought provoking blog. I wonder the same thing and think that while I may love myself or accept myself, maybe I won't be satisfied with myself if I'm overweight. Not because I'm not worthy, but because I won't be living my best life. We're bombarded with conflicting messages from everywhere. What we all need to do is tune out what is not useful and use what is useful to us, but whether we love our bodies or not, we should accept they have gotten us to this point and love them for that alone and try to improve ourselves to make our lives healthier. Look for the positive aspects of yourself you do like and emphasize them.

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TIMOTHYNOHE 11/27/2011 9:01AM

    I think it would be a good thing to be honest with yourself. Hating yourself is not a good thing. I loved myself when I was obese, but I was also dishonest with myself about it: Yeah, I'm a little overweight and those government guidelines are totally unrealistic. I still look good."

I also knew, just *KNEW* that I would probably have a heart attack and die within the year so what was the point of even trying to lose the weight?

Don't give up on yourself. The damage can be reversed. And you will do it!

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PIXIEMOM13 11/27/2011 8:52AM

    This is an interesting blog. You can love yourself and still not be happy with what you weigh, I think. In fact, I think you love yourself more by finally wanting to take care of yourself the way you what that health and happiness for yourself.

I mean, you can't approach weight-loss as a punishment for being fat. (Not saying you're doing that, just "you"-people in general CAN have that as an approach). You're approaching it from a position of self=love.

As in "yes, I let myself go/didn't care all these years and gained X amount of weight... but now I love myself enough to take the time to prepare healthy foods... I love myself enough to take the time to exercise my body to make it stronger and healthier. I deserve this for myself.

I hope I made some sense.

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JMERLAU 11/27/2011 8:34AM

    Interesting blog!

I have to say that i think it's OK to NOT be happy with yourself, Lord knows I wasn't!! Now that you've confesssed this to the world, what are you going to do about it? Do you have a plan for the thin girl to break free? are you ready to do the work?

i THINK you are, but I had to ask anyway. :-)

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CRISSA1669 11/25/2011 3:56PM

    Wow, did I write this blog??? I would have really thought I wrote this, except for the fact that I have never been thin so I couldn't have written it.

When I saw your blog title I grimaced and almost passed it by, not sure what that initial reaction was about...maybe the reality of knowing I was once there....once being the key word. You are so right, you can change things and it's great to read that you are!! So many of us here with such similar stories just trying to make things happen to be comfortable and happy in our own skin!! I'm excited for you and things you are doing to make the changes!! Don't stop!!

Thank you for your blog.

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SETAGOAL1 11/25/2011 1:09PM

    You have not given up on yourself. You now know you are the only one that can make it happen for you.

You have the power to succeed or fail.

You have chosen to succeed.

Few baby steps complete a long journey

Writing is progress!!!

Janet emoticon

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86 lbs to go... reflecting on my journey...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sounds like a lot, but considering that I had 111 lbs to lose when I started this journey, I'd say this is not so bad! It sure is nice not to have to lose over 100 lbs...

My journey has been like a rollercoaster, emotionally anyways. I went from wanting to lose weight really badly, to getting frustrated, to wondering why I bother, to wanting it real bad again! I made up different reasons for wanting to lose weight, superficial ones like wanting to look better and better ones like wanting to feel and be healthy. I've obsessed over my weight... OH! the obsession!! I've denied my problem, I've cried about it... I've been through all of it!

Now that I am fighting depression though, losing weight takes on a whole new meaning. This journey is not so much about losing weight as it is about proving to myself that I can do this, and I can do it well. I can take care of myself. I can run, I can do races. I can do this. For the first time in 20 years I am forced to do just that, take care of myself. Unfortunately, at this point in my life, my kids, my husband, my work have to come second on my list of priorities. Now, at 40 years old, it's time to take care of myself, lose weight, be more active, learn to love myself, find emotional stability and live each day as if it were my last. Only by doing this can I then take care of my family the way they deserve to be taken care of.

So I may still have 86 lbs to go to reach a healthy weight, but it doesn't matter, because that's just a number. What matters today is that I take good care of my body and my mind on a daily basis. Exercise, eat well, listen to my body, keep a journal, accept my flaws, these are things that make me feel good, and these are the things I am working on. The rest will come as a prize...

On a day like today where I am feeling a bit low, I don't feel like doing anything. My feet hurt and I am tired. But I am not doubting my journey. I don't want to binge, I am not frustrated about the 86 lbs left to lose. I, and only I did the damage for the past 20 years. There's no need to blame myself anymore. If I want my life back, only I can do the work. So I will rest today, and tomorrow will be a better day.

When I say that this journey is a lot more than just a weight loss journey, this is what I mean. It's as much a spiritual journey as it is a journey to physical health. And I will make it happen. I don't care how long it takes, I will find balance in my life.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANETRIS 11/26/2011 9:44AM

    I get that spiritual,physical journey thing! I get very emotional about my journey. I too went through all the emotions, and still do. I think it is most important to not "wait" to do things anymore. I want to enjoy everyday that I have whether my weight is where I want it to be or not. All we have is today! Let's make the best and most of it! Enjoy your journey...Jane emoticon

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BTWCOACH 11/25/2011 4:35PM

    You can do it! You have a ton of support here in Sparkland! :-)

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CHANGING-TURTLE 11/24/2011 3:11PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ADJQUILTER 11/24/2011 2:51PM

    "It's as much a spiritual journey as it is a journey to physical health. And I will make it happen. I don't care how long it takes, I will find balance in my life."

SO TRUE!!!! It sounds like you are well on your way to health and balance.

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Wonderful walk in the woods!

Monday, November 21, 2011

That was my outdoor exercise for today, a nice walk in the woods near where I live! What a peaceful way to exercise and be mindful! The colorful leaves this time of the year smell so good, the cracking noise as we walk on the fallen leaves, the sound of nature, it's a beautiful place to be on a nice sunny afternoon! Then as the sun went down I started walking back home and got to view the most beautiful sky, again, so peaceful!
In my quest for physical and mental health, I look for moments like this one, moments of peace, moments where the simplest of things bring me the most happiness and well-being!
Life doesn't have to be complicated! Happiness is all around us, all we have to do is look and feel the wonderful things around us. Simple minfulness, simple happiness!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUNTRILAUGH 11/22/2011 9:15AM

    Amen!!!! Sometimes I think fall is the best time of the year, because it forces us to stop and look at the beauty all around us!

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KALIGIRL 11/22/2011 8:59AM

    Sounds so energizing - physically, emotionally and spiritually.
emoticon for sharing.

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HARPERLADY 11/22/2011 4:32AM

    sounds wonderful! love those days when you can experience that kind of peace emoticon

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Today's run in the rain...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

There's something really awesome about exercising outside when it rains. I used to think it wasn't feasible until I joined a group a few years ago that exercises outside only, rain or shine, even when it snows! That's when I realized I wasn't made of chocolate and wouldn't melt or go to waste if I exercised in the rain! Ever since then, I've actually liked going outside when it rains, and certainly don't use that as an excuse not to go out anymore!

All this to say, this morning was my appointment with myself to go running, and it was raining and pretty windy. I really had my mind set on this workout, so I dressed up well, put a cap on and a good jacket, and out I went. The first half of my run was harder because I had the wind and rain in my face, but I just ignored it and kept going, slow and steady. Coming back it actually stopped raining and the wind slowed a bit, which made the whole thing even more enjoyable!

The result was 5.2 km in 45 minutes. Not bad!

On my last blog I was writing about the reasons why I thought I could now call myself a runner, and that's one of the reasons. Rain doesn't scare me! And I may not run very fast, but at least I run! I run for me, I run because I love it! It clears my mind, it makes me push myself! I'm hooked!

Next running appointment: Tuesday. I can't wait!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 11/21/2011 8:36AM

    Not bad? I'd say emoticon

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