Self image and self worth is something that i've struggled with a lot in my life. Even as the weight melts away, it's still a constant battle with myself. It can be debilitating.
This past weekend i was at he gym with my running partner. She and i work well together. We encourage one another to strive for better. We are open and real with one another. What we say to one another may sometimes be difficult, but we know it's rooted in love and respect for one another. She's a sister to me. Well, we were at the gym and after our workout we were walking back into the locker rooms and the locker room is FULL on mirrors - floor to ceiling mirrors! And there's no escaping your reflection. And i made a simple little comment..."these mirrors are weird." She asked me why i thought they were weird. I told her that whatever it is it makes it appear as though i'm smaller than what i really am. She looked at my reflection in the mirror and said, "no...That's exactly what you look like." I just stared at my reflection and as the tears started to swell up in my eyes i quietly said, "really?"
You see when i look in the mirror i still see the 320+ pound woman starring back at me. Not all the time but a good amount of the time. So to see this smaller woman in the reflection was an eye-opener for me.
I've talked about self sabotage before and how i get to a point in my weightloss and then get scared to actually lose the weight so i gain it back. This is mainly because i'm scared of the unknown. I only know how to be the fat girl. I don't know what it will be like to be healthy and smaller. A big part of me is terrified at the thought that i may be exactly the same. It's so easy to blame things on my weight. I didn't get asked out because of my weight. I didn't make the cut because of my weight. I was this or that because of my weight. My weight became my excuse. And i was terrified if that excuse was missing, and everything else still remains the same then the issue is just me. Then i'm not ENOUGH of whatever it is...for me that's something that i've worked against my entire life.
I grew up in a household where i wasn't loved or cared for. Beatings were a regular part of my life because my parents hated their lives...not so much us kids but just their own misery. I married a man that didn't love me because i felt i didn't deserve more...you get what you pay for, right? He cheated from day one and i kept a blind eye to it. He was verbally and emotionally abusive. He used scare tactics but never actually laid a finger on me. My entire life has been lived with this belief that i was the problem...that i was just not enough. I can remember many nights laying next to my husband and him talking out loud and saying things like, "I wonder what it would be like to lay next to a skinny, beautiful woman." I never said a word about it. This was just something i was used to my entire life.
After the divorce i dated a man for almost 9 months. it was to soon too fast. I should have taken time to heal. But because i didn't I walked right into the same type of verbally abusive chaos. So i ended it because i needed my sanity before it escaped me all together.
I decided not to date (not that i really had offers). It was around that time that my employer decided to transfer me from Chicago to Dallas. I gladly took the offer...i needed a fresh start. In moving here i had just me to depend on as i knew no one at the time. This was what i needed to heal and learn to love myself. I needed to find value in myself before i could ever allow anyone else into my life.
So two years ago i started on this journey (It took me almost 2 years of living here on my own to finally start making changes in my health). It was in these last two years that I learned my value. Others may not always see me as they should but that's ok because i love me. I'm not perfect in any way, but i do know how valuable i am.
Seeing my reflection in that mirror this weekend was just another swipe of the cobwebs. The cobwebs are removed so i can see a little more clearly now.
There are things that i do for friends because i know what it feels like to not have it done in my own life. I have a set group of friends that i tend to text every night. Even if it's just my sending them something with no return. It's my way of letting them know that someone cares about them. That someone is thinking about them. I struggle with that all the time. Does someone out there ever think of me? Does someone care about me? It's hard and i often have to battle with my past - a time when i knew i wasn't cared about. A time when i questioned if i were to be missed if i were gone...dead. Would anyone ever miss me or think about me. I don't want my friends to EVER feel that kind of hurt...so i reach out and i give them that little something that lets them know they are cared about and loved and that someone (me) is thinking about them. That's what i want.
Self image and self worth are a battle. Even if you lose the weight we need to work on losing the negative self inflictions and perceptions.