Thursday, August 01, 2013
There are a lot of fears associated with weight loss and many of them definitely resonate with me. A fear of "being seen", a fear of actually having to live my life, a fear of not being able to use my weight as an excuse anymore. These are all things I know are on the surface of my mind in regards to losing weight and a big part of why I've had so trouble letting go of it. But what if there's a counter intuitive something else added into the mix of those fears?
Weight issues and the human mind and emotions and all that good stuff are so multifaceted and complex. I don't think there is one of us that struggles with our weight that can lay all the blame on any one thing as the sole root and cause of why we have problems with food and weight.
I'm reading the Weight Loss surgery memoir, "Stranger Here" by Jen Larsen. She refers several times to wanting to be "average" throughout the book. Today, as I sat in the hot Texas heat outside on my porch, a little lightbulb went off.
Average. Meaning "not special".
She's talking about how her weight is now average, so she's an average person. So is that what holds some of us back? Knowing that by being overweight, obese, morbidly obese we aren't just average, but somehow special?
I'm a teacher, so I know all too well how some children who feel they can't stand out in other ways will act up to get attention. It's not a good kind of attention. It's negative attention, but it's still attention. They're still getting that rise out of their parents or their teacher or some other adult. That adult is focused completely 100% on them in that moment. It's a vicious cycle - act up, get attention, act up more, get more attention. And that attention getting leads to wanting more.
So, despite every part of my being screaming that I hate being overweight, I hate the negative attention I draw to myself, I hate the anxiety of worrying that someone will laugh at me, point at me, call me a name....I just can't help but wonder is part of my fear of leaving the weight behind is a fear of only being average? Is there something inside telling me my extra fat is what makes me "special"? Is there some deep-seeded part of me that feels she will no longer be special or different if I am smaller?