I'm going to go really vulnerable here and tell you what I've been experiencing in my weightloss journey. Over the years I have made huge breakthroughs in my self-esteem, confidence, emotional healing, etc. I have written and made available programs to help others to do the same. I have coached people in these issues one on one. I hit a brick wall a few weeks ago.
Before we were married I made a joke about getting married and getting fat. My husband had a really strong emotional response to this. So, I have always known that weight is important to him. When I gained weight after getting married and with pregnancy I felt ashamed. I wanted to distance myself from him because I knew how much he hated fat. The problem is that the distance I created IS fat. Yet, my husband has always been happy with me, and didn't seem to notice my size and weight, it didn't seem to matter.
If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that this is not my first go-round with these issues, and you know that I've got a lot of tools under my belt and a lot of success in it. I have not lost one bit of ground, but I have found a new level of insecurity AND now a new level of love.
With all the work I've done on my emotional and spiritual well-being I have also incorporated healthy diet and exercise. I am not currently doing anything for exercise and I am maintaining a healthy diet, but not focusing on it a great deal, but this is the first time since I was 10 that I have not been worrying constantly about my food and exercise. I have come to profound realizations about the true nature of who I am in the last few years, so what I found about myself a few weeks ago was a total shock.
I realized through a really minor incident that I was completely relying on my husband's love and acceptance of my body for my own feelings of love towards my body. I was relying on a high degree of denial and pretension within myself for my sense of body-confidence. In the bedroom I always felt thin, and beautiful and lovable, because with my husband's adoration as my total source of love, confidence, approval, acceptance, and feelings of desirability I could see myself as thin, attractive, desirable, valuable, and worthy. All of this completely based, though I didn't know it, on me seeing myself as thin, and getting all of my evidence from my belief in my husband's love and acceptance of my body. The minor incident revealed to me that my husband longed for me to be thin, was not satisfied with me, etc. I was devastated, but I know enough to realize that the devastation was not because of him, it was because of what I believed about myself and my value and beauty.
Over the last few weeks I have endured a barrage of emotional beatings from myself. I have realized that I had given up and told myself that as long as it was ok with Rob, it was ok. I would have been concerned, even before, if I'd heard a woman say that what determined the standards of her body was her husbands opinion, but that was the bed I was sleeping in. I have realized that I hate myself for my tendency to keep weight, for the fear that keeps it there. I've realized that I see heaviness as utter ugliness, repulsive. I am disgusted by myself, but since I have spent years never eating anything but protein, veggies, and fruits and very little grains(even whole grain); skipping desserts, and exercising regularly and not losing weight I have given up.
Still, a part of me cries out for me to let me rest, to stop pushing me so hard, "isn't it ever going to be enough?", "haven't I worked enough for you", "I am scarred, and patched together but you want me to function as perfect". I am so afraid of the fruitless suffering and the pointless pain. It's easier to live with failure of not trying than to live with failure of giving it all. A couple years ago I did crossfit for 3 months, I ate a low calorie high protein diet and never lost a single drop of fat, but really bulked up...I have no desire to look like a man. I talk to my body, and what it told me then was "If you don't stop pushing me so hard I will never let go of a single pound."
I was saying an affirmation "I look good, I feel good, I eat right and I weigh exactly what God wants me to weigh." and I felt the Holy Ghost say, "That's true." So right now, I am focusing on learning to love and accept myself in ALL of me in my fat, saggy, stretchmark-ridden, out of shape, patched-up, stretched out body and seeing it's beauty as it is, not as I pretend it to be or as I would wish it to be. (As I write this I think "I really thought I had that.." but I didn't.) It's interesting what I'm learning. For instance: I felt really beautiful the other day and caught myself looking at my leg and seeing it several inches smaller..I couldn't feel beautiful seeing it as it is. The answer is not to give up on shedding the pounds because years ago I lost a lot of weight and I noticed that when I looked in the mirror it was like looking at myself again for the first time. There is something like a burial happening in the weight, and yet I need to see and love myself as I am..or I will just lose the weight and still never be happy, and God said I weight exactly what He wants me to weigh.
One thing I know: It's worth getting rid of the nonsense ideas about who I "should" be. It's worth remembering the truth about me, the truth of me: who God says I am.