Weight Issues: Diggin' Down Deep to the Root Cause

Friday, February 01, 2013

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.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    You don't deserve to be treated that way - no woman does. I understand where you are coming from - I have had some of the same experiences. It's not easy. Become healthy - for you - because it is right - and find a way to cope when similar situations arise.
    1882 days ago
    (HUGS) There is research that shows that you are not alone. Many women especially find that when they dig deep, they discover either sexual abuse or harassment that HURT them so much. In turn, they also find that these women BLAME themselves deep down inside and it sometimes takes counseling to recover from the damage. I also know that the research is correct from personal experience - sometime I might share my story.
    1903 days ago
  • CYND59
    You have been through some rough times but do not let it get you down. You sound like you are on the right track to make some lifestyle changes for the better.
    Keeping involved on Sparkpeople will help. There is much support here.
    emoticon emoticon
    1903 days ago
    I really enjoyed reading this blog. I'm so sorry that you had to experience the sexual harassment.
    I feel like I can relate in a way. I'm noticing more that I get more attention and it's uncomfortable. Part of why I gained the weight was to shield myself from attention, and I found that I too sabotaged myself in 2011, and I'm only just now where I was then.
    1904 days ago
    Thank you all for the wonderful comments and for reading. I look forward to my continued blogging in hopes that it will not only continue to heal me but others as well.
    1904 days ago
  • CHAPINA671
    Thank you for sharing and I'm sorry you went through that. It is a shame that women are not better protected. I too suffer from the same thing. I was always labeled the "pretty one" and my sibling "the smart one". I was molested by a family member but I never said anything thinking it was my fault. I start losing some weight and as soon as I start getting noticed, I sabotage and eat and "protect" myself all over again. I've been on so many weight loss journeys, I can't even count. But this time, I think I'm ready to face my demons. I have two wonderful children that are motivating me to get healthy for them, I want to see them accomplish all their dreams. Today, I am 201 lbs. and although I'm excited to see what the other side has to offer (100s) at the same time, I'm hesitant and terrified. But as everyone here says - if I can do it - so can you. Let's all do it together! I really find that sharing and listening to others is the true winning combination (along with healthy living and exercising). Good luck! emoticon
    1904 days ago

    It is sad that happened to you. I wish in life that wasn't how things went but unfortunately it does. You have done a great thing looking deep within yourself to find out what the true block is. As time goes by it may get easier for you to maintain the weight loss because you are empowered by the knowledge you have dug deep to find.

    I have been struggling with the same question myself. Because I have gotten down to a 198 several times. But the minute I break 200, I somehow break. I eat and eat out of control and quit exercising. I know i want to be thinner and I am struggling to find the answer as to why i won't allow myself to. I have blogged about it too, wondering if it has been so long since i have been thin that I am afraid. But like you I spent 4 years in the military and was thin and fit and it came with a lot of hmmm attention by fellow soldiers and higher ranking officers. Maybe I want to be viewed for who I am not what I look like but then when I am overweight I lose desire to be out in the world at all.

    I am so happy for you that you have found your block and hope that will help me find mine.

    Thank you for sharing.
    1904 days ago
  • ASTRA58
    Christine, I'm sorry that you experienced all of that. No woman should have to go through that or put up with it and it's a crying shame that it happens to us at all.

    I would say that your working relationship with the leering co-worker was strained to begin with because of how his actions made you feel even before you spoke to him about it. I still don't understand to this day why people feel that kind of behaviour is in any way acceptable.

    I have to say that I have some of those issues as well and that I will have to work on them as I lose the weight so that I don't end up sabotaging myself again. I'm glad that you were able to decipher the real reason deep down why you were and make a decision to not let it affect your efforts. I hope to follow your lead.

    emoticon emoticon
    1904 days ago
    That is a really great insight. I sometimes think that I have that problem, too, as I have a large chest and if my gut is fat, it doesn´t show up as much. I guess those leers and nasty comments are not right, but how do you avoid having/hearing them? It's hard to keep pep talking oneself all the time. But thanks for sharing, I have been thinking about this, too.
    1904 days ago
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