Even the toughest of people can be broken down emotionally and psychologically. I have seen it happen and have experienced it myself. It is a funny thing - what we as people tie to our emotional selves - the yin that drives our yang. We are all tied somehow and by something - it escapes none of us. Some people are tied to perfection - if they make a mistake then they are the mistake. Some are connected by their need to control everything - my way or the highway. Yet others are tied to their perceptions of how others perceive them. In a way - I have been all three of these - even now I believe I move in and out of them. I lived for a very long time thinking of the world in very black & white terms wherein there was no grey. Grey is a wonderful color however.
While, in the past, I have held the belief that if I make a mistake then I am the mistake... and have had a need to control things around me.... and let what I believe others think of me affect me - my deepest and most bonded emotional and psychological ties are rooted deep within my own self perception and how I see myself physically. The view of how I see myself physically has a dramatic effect on my emotions which trickle to every part of my life. Nothing goes unaffected. My moods are negative, my anxiety heightens, I become withdrawn, my patience shortens for everything and everyone around me. I am a real joy to say the least.
They say hindsight is 20/20 and looking back on how I viewed myself when I was grossly overweight I believe I saw myself thinner (way thinner) than I actually was. My mother would often times point this out but it fell on deaf ears. I wonder if this, for me, was a coping mechanism as I now understand my mother to have been correct. (I must note at this point that while many of you might think my mother reads this blog and is proud of me - she does indeed NOT read it, so I can say she was right without having to hear how she told me so.) I say a coping mechanism because I think if I was, at the time, to have truly been able to view my actual physical size for what it was - I don't know how I could have handled that. I don't know what the consequences would have been, but at the time I do not believe they would have been inspirational.
I have spent a great amount of time reflecting this summer on how I am tied to my self-image. The weight I put on over the winter had a dramatic effect on my moods which impacted every part of my life. Even though it wasn't a great deal of weight it was enough to make my face bloated, my clothes not fit, and my heart to ache as I felt all 340 pounds come crashing back onto my shoulders. Yes, carrying around that extra weight made me feel 340 pounds again. It took me back to that time when I felt out of control and not in control of anything. It made me feel like I had made a mistake and didn't know how to fix it so I was becoming the mistake, and as people told me I was nuts that I had not gained any weight I couldn't help but utter under my breath, "Liar! And you're loving it!"
As women our bodies are all different and not only do we require different nutritional components based on our body types but we also have unique physical, emotional, and psychological needs. Our physiology dictates it. I swear. It's fact. If there are two things I have learned reflecting back on this past winter it's this:
1. Know your body inside and out - what are your unique needs- and if you don't know make it a point to figure it out.
2. Make yourself a priority. Feed those unique needs. Not doing so has consequences.