It's taken me 16 years of struggling with my weight issues to realize why I continue to sabotage myself with regards to weight loss. I've spent countless hours and sleepless nights tossing and turning trying to figure out why I lose weight and then gain it all back. And then, finally, I had an epiphany. My weight struggles were more than eating out of boredom, excitement or because the food just tasted good. I found some unresolved pain that I didn't realize still lingered.
My weight began to creep up and up when I was finished my 4 year contract in the Navy. I blamed my weight gain on lack of physical activity and stress from rejoining civilian life and moving to the West coast from the East coast. I blamed it on my new job as a laboratory manager for a phlebotomy department as well. I was looking at blaming the things on the surface that I could see. But, alas, a month ago, sitting on my deck, pondering upon my struggles, it hit me!
When I was in the Navy I was a beautiful girl. I had good looks and was 140 pounds and very fit. But, along with that beauty came ugly experiences. Living in Italy at the time, I experienced sexual harassment such as being video taped by a group of sailors while I undressed in my dorm room. I learned later that the group of them got drunk and sat around watching it, hooting and hollering. I was absolutely mortified. I was sent harassing letters that were anonymously placed in my mail box and was touched sexually by a higher up Navy enlisted member. I went to my commanding officer and talked to him about the issues at hand and was politely told that my enlistment and duty in Italy was almost over and to try to ride it out. Defeated, embarrassed, and exhausted from the bureaucracy, I finished out my time in Italy and came home to the U.S. Years came and went battling my weight.
About 3 years ago I attempted yet another weight loss challenge. I tried Weight Watchers again and lost all of my weight. I was so excited. I felt confident and empowered. My husband was so supportive. And then, it happened again. As my weight decreased, the positive comments came. Some good, some not so good. I was placed in the most uncomfortable situation. A male co-worker of mine would say things that at first seemed like harmless flirtation. But, as time progressed, the comments got worse. I'd find him staring at me from across the room. I finally expressed to him how I felt and since then our working relationship has been strained. Additionally, maintaining a healthy weight also was strained. Subconsciously, I thought that if I didn't look good then the comments might stop, just like when I got out of the Navy. I went from 170 pounds to 214 pounds. And here I am today, losing again.
It hasn't been an easy journey. It's taken me years to figure out why I continued to sabotage myself. But, through soul searching and time I've realized that nobody deserves to be treated like I was. If you're uncomfortable in a situation, speak up and stand your ground. But, most importantly, don't sabotage your health, your life, your beauty inside and out because of someone else's transgressions. In doing so, you allow yourself to continue to be the victim over and over again. I don't want any man having that kind of control over me ever again.
So, here I am. A grown woman with a new perspective, new strength, and I have found love for myself, once again.