A Weighty Struggle

Being overweight is something I’ve dealt with for most of my life.  As a kid, I was quite thin and active, but somewhere in my tween or early teen years, I started bulking up.

I was molested as a child up until the age of ten by my father.  And while I’ve worked through many aspects of that childhood violation, there are some schools of thought that believe I keep the extra weight to try to make myself less attractive to the opposite sex.  I know that I do get weirded out whenever I notice a man checking out my form in appreciation (other than Craig, of course).  Even if they say nothing to me, I still feel violated and uncomfortable; much like I must have with my father.

Another issue I faced growing up was people in my family who felt I was too thin.  When I was about seven or eight, I overheard an aunt mention to someone else how disgustingly thin I was.  Truth be told, she was probably just jealous at my athletic build, since she was very overweight herself, but I still remember how bad I felt that she didn’t like me just the way I was.

Then, later in life, I’d been successful in dropping several pounds and was finally in a healthy weight range for my height again.  I visited my grandmother at one point during this healthy weight and she made some comment about how thin I was and how I’d “blow away in the wind”.  I was 155 pounds at 5’9″ . . . completely within the healthy range for my age and height.  But, because my grandma came from farming people in the Midwest, she probably thought I didn’t look hearty enough.

I’ve never been anorexic, and I’m certain there’s no risk of me ever becoming unhealthily thin; I like the taste of food too much, and abhor throwing up.  But I think that my inherent need to have people like and accept me has added to the other body issues I have.  These things have made it easy for me to pack on the weight, and hard for me to work it off.

I have been a member of Weight Watchers for several years now, and did really well the first six months into the program, but then I hit the mental roadblocks that come up for most of us with eating disorders.  For the last few years I’ve had to look at why I eat how I do (or did in my past).  This soul-searching helped me discover that – in addition to trying to hide behind the extra flesh – I used to be an emotional eater.  Happy, sad, bored, stressed, you name it.  If I was feeling a good emotion, there were foods to help celebrate.  And for the bad emotions, I had trigger foods to “help” me ignore them.  It’s been a bit of a struggle to find other ways to celebrate, or to sit and deal with the emotion, rather than eat it away, but I know it’s better for my physical health.

The other thing I’m working on now is being more mindful of when and what I eat.  I need to take a moment and ask myself if I’m truly hungry, or if I just want to eat to have something to do.  That seems hard to do with a busy schedule, but I take comfort in knowing that other people have done it and are doing it.  It probably wasn’t a cake walk for them either, but they persevered through whatever obstacles they had themselves.

What I understand now is that – like anything else – my success with being at a healthy weight is dependent on how badly I want it.  Yes, there will probably be some struggles and road blocks along the way to success, but as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said:

“There is no gain without struggle.”

There’s also been a cool image floating around the internet lately that talks about the path to success:

I’m somewhere in the squiggly part right now, but I know that I’ve been healthier before, and I know I can get there again.  With each piece I’m learning about myself, I’m gaining the knowledge and equipment necessary to achieve that healthy goal.  When I finally get there again, I’m not going to let anyone else’s comments about my lack of girth sidetrack me.

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dolly Chamberlin
    Mar 09, 2012 @ 08:03:17

    YAY YOU!!! LOVES 🙂

    Reply

  2. Kaye George
    Mar 09, 2012 @ 08:34:28

    I’m so sorry you’re dealing with these issues, Alyx. I just have genetics to blame–and lack of exercise. I know that if I walked a lot every day I wouldn’t have to worry at all about what I eat. Well, just try to eat healthy rather than unhealthy food. Too much driving everywhere!

    Reply

    • Alyx Morgan
      Mar 09, 2012 @ 08:40:55

      Thanks, Kaye, but I’m okay. We all have struggles to deal with in life & these just happen to be mine. Besides, as The Beatles say, “It’s getting better all the time.” 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by today.

      Reply

  3. Dana
    Mar 09, 2012 @ 09:11:00

    Wow. What a lot to deal with. You’re a strong, brave, beautiful woman and I admire the hell out of you for confronting these issues in such a healthy, productive way. I’ve always dealt with weight issues myself and I totally understand comfort-eating. AND stress eating… I know exercising is my best option for managing both the stress and the weight (along with awareness of calorie intake).

    Reply

    • Alyx Morgan
      Mar 09, 2012 @ 09:19:12

      Thanks, Dana. That means a lot coming from you, whom I greatly admire in return! You’ve done so great recently as well, so you’re doing something right! 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by, hon!

      Reply

  4. Kathy Downs
    Mar 11, 2012 @ 20:15:14

    Well, what to say. The trouble with food is that it tastes so good. You think you’ll control your portions, but one more bite seems so harmless. You think you’ll just do some push ups at home, but there’s always something in the way. I think people who struggle with weight always have weight on their minds. And that constant struggle just contributes more to the feeling of not being able to do things right.

    You’re doing things right Alyx. I never thought you had weight issues. I just think you’re a very pretty girl. And, a writer!

    Reply

    • Alyx Morgan
      Mar 14, 2012 @ 09:11:33

      Yes, I am one who finds food very tasty; certain ones even more so. There’s a theory out that we only really taste the first two bites of our food, but honestly, there are some foods whose flavors are so luxurious throughout every single bite. And you’re right, of course, about how constantly thinking about it keeps the vicious cycle going.

      Thanks for stopping by, Kathy, & for those very nice compliments. 🙂

      Reply

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