The weight is a symptom, not the cause...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The last time I wrote a blog...I was recognizing that something was different for me. For the first time in my life, I feel like I am on a healthier life style pathway...not just a diet. My health/weight history has been filled with eating phases and dieting phases. The eating phase usually involved high levels of unconscious eating and high high sugar and carb levels. In retrospect I can see that the eating phase usually involved trying to deal with some deep-inner conflict that I didn't have the insight to try to resolve. The dieting phases were few and far between and usually involved a stint with Weight Watchers or some fad diet. I have been on a rampid eating phase for over the last five years of my life, and I am now beginning to understand what caused it, and better yet, how to overcome it.

Today, for the first time in over five years, I can say I feel good....I really feel good. It has been a long, slow journey, but I now understand what was the cause of my constant state of depression, anxiety, overeating, and weight gain, and have taken those many baby steps that are necessary to change it.

My excessive weight is not the root cause of my problem, but rather a symptom of the way I deal with conflict, anxiety and negative emotions. There were other symptoms as well...high blood pressure, depression, panic attacks, extreme fatigue, and lack of drive. I was diagnosed with sleep apnea...something I knew I had, but refused to have treated since that was admitting my excessive weight was most likely the cause. Then I began experiencing right after another. My physician prescribed meds to help all of the symptoms, and strongly suggested I deal with the causes. At one time she told me I was broken and she couldn't fix me...I had to fix myself. She suggested weight loss surgery which is not the path I want to take. I knew I got myself into this physical and emotional state, and for me, it was important to figure out a way to get out of it. I still deny myself external assistance or therapy, which might of speeded up my realization process.

There was no one big life changing event that caused my anxiety, but rather a lot of smaller events. My ability to deal with the smallest conflict got compounded with each of life's usual stressors. The contributors included a less than ideal work environment, empty nest issues, aging parent issues, and sibling issues. Thank God for me, my husband was my quiet pillar of strength.

Taking it one day at a time, I have been able to gain tiny bits of control over my life. I realized the day was approaching when I was ready to start dealing with the weight issues. During the December holidays, I decided to make that New Year's resolution that has never been met. I turned 49 on January 1, and decided that I was going to go for a 50 pound weight loss by my 50th birthday. I didn't have a clue about how I was going to achieve this. I thought about Weight Watchers again, but I just didn't want to do that again. I looked at the web sites of all of the Jenny type programs. I even looked at the protein diet thing again. Then one day at work, I was talking to a friend whose college age daughter was struggling with weight issues. I suggested she log onto SP. I had found SP through my web search and had explored it a bit, but hadn't really gotten into using all of the tools. Suggesting SP to her prompted me to dig into all of the valuable resources in SP. I joined a couple of teams, and decided I would try to reach 50 points per day. In order to do this, I have to chat with my teams, and had to read articles. I have been reading three a day for the last two and a half months. I focused mainly on the motivational and wellness articles. Little by little the skin of the emotional onion has been peeled back.

Yesterday I read a team entry from someone who has lost 100 pounds and discovered that after the weight was gone, the emotional issues still remained. I had one of those ahh haa moments when I realized that my weight was not the cause of all problems, but rather a symptom of inner self-esteem and ability to cope with life's stressors.

I feel good this-morning...I actually feel like I am smiling inside. I have been telling myself daily that is isn't what the scale says, but rather how I feel. Now that I have that in my head, I know I am on the right path...the one that leads to better emotional and physical health.

Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I sounds to me like from somewhere deep inside you "got it". Good for you. This will make your weight loss journey a much easier road to travel and keep you on track. I'm scheduled for a sleep study soon and like you, have put it off for a long time. I know it will help my overall well-being so I do hope that you will consider it. Good luck on your journey. I'll be cbecking in with you.

    4729 days ago
    So have you started treatment for your sleep apnea? I know it is a big step, and not one that I readily went into, but I am so glad I did. I feel so much better. I don't nap during the day anymore, or fall asleep at stop lights.
    Sleep apnea, as you already know I'm sure, causes irregular heart beat, causes your metabolism to slow down, and causes you to quit breathing while you sleep. I could lose weight with it untreated, but I couldn't sustain weight loss because my metabolism was soooo slow. It is a dangerous disorder, and one that I will live with for the rest of my life. Mine is not weight induced, the weight just makes it worse.
    I am so glad that you are getting perspective into what makes you eat emotionally. That is so important. We are literally fixing ourselves from the inside out. That is a huge job, but one that I know you are up for.
    Keep that smiley face going on inside, and give yourself a hug today--you deserve it!


    4732 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.