We obsess over our food plans, counting calories and points and fat grams and fiber. We virtuously steam vegetables and chomp carrots when we really want chocolate. We get on the scale and cringe when the numbers stay the same or, god forbid, go up a little bit. We work out or make endless excuses/explanations for not having done hours of intensive aerobic activity.
But you know what? It’s not enough to get the food right, to follow the food plan – whatever it is – to the letter. It’s not enough to get in the exercise and talk the talk.
What we need to do is work on our inside, that hurt, angry, afraid person inside the fat suit of excess layers and skin. This is much harder to do but if we don’t take the time, we will ultimately fail, because this is the self that we carry with us every single day, every moment of our lives.
Do you like yourself? Be honest. Most of the time I do but I’m not always sure, and when I was at my heaviest, I loathed who I was because I equated the body with the inner person. Yes, I carry around the body but I am more than my body. I am a kind, generous, thoughtful, fun person who loves to play. I’m a good friend to those I allow close enough. I remember birthdays and want mine to be remembered. I love music and theater, travel and web design and books.
I am a whole person, not just my body and the shape it takes up. While I work on following my food plan and yes, trying to move more, I also need to take care of that whole person inside. Be kind to her, pay attention to her. I need to listen to the hurt and lonely girl who wants comfort and reaches for food because it’s what I know will help in the short term. Because there are other options.
Sometimes I have to just be hurt or sad or lost or ragingly angry, to really feel the emotions and not try to comfort myself by smothering them with foods that put me in a carb coma and help me forget for a little while. It’s only by actually feeling those feelings and learning new ways to deal with them that I can be truly happy and content with myself and who I am now, at this point in my life.
If I don’t like myself, why would anyone else like me? If people do like me, what do they see that I’m not seeing? Today I can see a lot but sometimes it’s harder. It’s worth the effort and I’m a nice person to be around when I actually care about myself. I’m worth it.