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Sunday, October 14, 2012

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." -- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

This is probably not the blog you were expecting when you clicked on the link. No, I am not feeling guilty for eating some food or for not exercising or anything like that. This is a very personal venting blog about my struggles and recent self-empowerment. If you don't make it to the end, suffice it to say: I am letting go of my guilt and other negative emotions that keep me from doing what I want to do.


My whole life I've felt guilty for something.

As a child, I felt responsible when my parents fought. When they divorced. Lots of things were blamed on my brother and me that probably shouldn't have been. Lots of things were said and done to us that probably shouldn't have been. When I began putting on weight in Kindergarten and then ballooned to over 250 lbs in grade school, I was dragged from doctor to doctor, year after year to try to figure out what was wrong with me. I felt like a disease that needed to be eradicated. Each time I was weighed in at the doctor, my mother would sigh in distress, once even saying "Now you weigh more than /me/." Shopping for clothing was equally painful, and it hurt to see the disappointment in my mother's eyes when she realized that I now needed to wear plus-sized adult clothing in the third grade. Her comments emblazoned themselves in the back of my mind: "You're ruining your body forever. Those stretch marks will never go away. No one will love you."

Whenever someone had anything to say about my weight -- whether it be my best-friend-and-worst-bully who teased me while throwing stones and spitting on me as I walked home from school, my first gynecologist who, at age 13, told me I was "not making his job any easier" by gaining more and more weight, or my grandmother who, attempting to be supportive, brought up weight management tips in casual conversation -- I would instantly shut down emotionally from the intense wave of guilt that would overtake me. "Why are you crying?," my grandmother asked.. why, indeed? I answered "I don't know" back then, but today I think I do: I've always felt like there was something inherently wrong with me and that I would never be good enough for my family, my peers, a potential boyfriend -- or anyone else.

Even today, I get comments from my parents about how I am still in school. How I wasted a full ride scholarship. How they are embarrassed to tell other people that I am still working on my undergrad degree. How I wasted my "genius" mind by switching my major, and how everything is my fault -- from health problems to an abusive relationship (which is thankfully long over).

I could go on recounting the origins of these feelings, but when it comes down to it, the origin is irrelevant. And the guilt is useless.

What is important is realizing that I have the power to let go of my guilt -- this stone I've been rolling up that mythical hill my entire life. It's time to begin unburdening myself.

***********It does not matter what my parents think of me*********** (I felt the need to go back and highlight this sentence because it feel so good to say it).

I need neither their support nor their approval to feel good about myself. I do not need to be beautiful in the eyes of family, strangers, society, or anyone else to know that I am a beautiful person. I do not need to continuously seek approval from outside sources: I have the power to mend what is broken inside of me. Being overweight or obese is not something I will feel guilty about anymore. It is NOT a character flaw; it does NOT devalue me as a human. I am NOT doomed to failure in life. It is not necessary to feel this way, in fact it is just a big waste of energy and emotion, in which I will no longer engage.

I am good enough for me, and that is all that matters. I love myself. I have the power to change anything about my life that I want to -- and not because I feel guilty or ashamed; not because someone says I should or someone would love me more if I did, but because I want to do it. I want to do it for me.

I'm chipping away the stone.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    nice blog entry -- I apologize for the times you felt unworthy -- you are worthy! You are are one of God's hopefully are continuing to realize that.

    Good luck with your health lifestyle!

    1980 days ago
  • MILLIE5522
    Great blog! Thank you for sharing. emoticon
    1980 days ago
    Sometimes, you just need to unburden before you can truly move. Kudos for having the courage to share that with us, as I'm guessing that even after you typed it all out, you hesitated a bit before hitting "post". Not easy to put yourself out there, even when it might be necessary and/or helpful.

    Here's to your *continuing* success!

    1980 days ago
    YES!!! This is one of the major area I have been working on too. I am reading a book called ''You Can Heal Your Life'' by Louise Hay. She talks a lot about guilt and how it effects you're health. I have great respect for you and the path you are on.

    I am one of 6 girls. Some are sisters from my Dad's life and some from my moms. I am the only child between them. ALL of my sisters are thin. My mother is also thin. Not one of them looks like me. It was a very strange roll to fill in our family. Even at my smallest I can't compete with their bodies. I will NEVER be like them. I was and still am treated differently. It's a fact.

    So much of what you went through...I went through and I know the scars these things leave behind. I am so very happy for you!
    1980 days ago
    It's sad because I wasn't surprised on the topic of your guilt. You touched a lot of people who have been through something similar of how to let go of the negative and useless guilt!

    GOOD FOR YOU! Jamie you are an AMAZING person keep being you and you will be fine! If you family can't realize it truly is their loss!
    1980 days ago
  • MIRAGE727
    NEVER give a second thought to those that will judge or bring you down! NEVER wait on anyone! And NEVER let anyone try to bring you down! Stay strong & stay focused on your dreams and goals!
    1980 days ago
    You are a beautiful and worth while person. Don't ever listen to someone who says different. You make a difference in the world just by writing this blog. Keep it up.

    1980 days ago
  • KANOE10
    This is a great blog. You are insightful and strong! I also spent many years feeling guilty for not being perfect and for not being thin.
    I hope you have some wonderful positive people in your life to support you in your goals!.

    You do have the power to do anything in your life.. You are worth it!

    1980 days ago
    emoticon what a fantastic message
    1980 days ago
    I give you a standing ovation. This is powerful and beautiful and inspiring.
    1980 days ago
    Thank you for sharing. It is amazing how much our childhood experiences are so similar. Even now, with my excess weight gone..... I still feel guilty and unworthy in general. It is definitely a heavy burden I have not managed to lose yet.
    emoticon emoticon
    1981 days ago
    I don't know why other people think that they can shame people into losing weight, it does not work. Glad too see that you are not listening.
    1981 days ago
    This is a great blog and one I needed. I struggle with guilt - something I learned so well as a child. It is something I did not understand wasn't healthy for so long when I wondered why others didn't respond to it or even have it. I'm making progress at pushing this same stone I've been rolling up that mythical hill my entire life but it is SLOW progress.

    You ARE GREAT! And you deserve to feel great about you.

    1981 days ago
    Wonderful blog, wonderful message. SO many people can relate to this, and your blog will undoubtedly help them.

    My dad's side of the family thought they could "shame" people into losing weight. Every family gathering found my uncle calling me "pot belly" or saying things like, "She sure likes her food, doesn't she?" And I look back at photos from my childhood and I WAS NOT FAT. I was not even overweight, probably! I was just not skinny-minny. But all my life, I felt overweight as I compared myself to others who were actually very thin.

    NOW I'm overweight. There's no doubt about it. And I have been for many years. But it does not define who I am anymore, and I feel more and more like the person I'm meant to be as I do something good about my weight.

    It's a difficult thing to say your parents' opinions don't matter. There is nothing wrong with that -- you are a grown woman, and it's called boundaries. They should not have the power to hurt you, whether it's intentional or not -- and they should realize by now that they're only damaging their relationship with you by being negative all the time.

    I'm proud of you. Thank you for being so open and honest.
    1981 days ago
    WOW What a POWERFUL MESSAGE. I know exactly what you are talking about as I am snother one who was always feeling that there was something inherently wrong or inadequate about ME that made me a LOSER who would NEVER be good enough. Funny thing is that now, our school motto is "I can be GREAT if I never settle for GOOD ENOUGH" All my life I wanted to be "GOOD ENOUGH" but now, I am reminded that I CAN BE GREAT IF I DON'T SETTLE FOR GOOD ENOUGH. NOW, GOOD ENOUGH IS NOT ENOUGH FOR ME. I will be GREAT and not settle for what I used to strive so hard to be, Sometimes I feel quite the fool for wasting all that time on a dream that was unworthy of me and even more unworthy of whatever and whoever taught me to feel I didn't measure up.
    1981 days ago
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