“What you eat is less important than why you eat it.”
Health At Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight by Linda Bacon
So I finally finished the book, Health at Every Size by Linda Bacon. You can find the review for it here. Instead of posting a review of it here, I decided to write multiple posts this week discussing some of the points the author made and how it relates to my life. Before I write those posts, here is a brief summary of my struggles.
I have been overweight ever since puberty hit. One day I was a normal child, the next day my boobs were bigger than that of a pregnant woman. My habits have been on and off healthy and unhealthy. At my unhealthiest, I would eat ice cream cake for breakfast (my dad’s choice of course), sat around and studied or chatted on IM because I wanted to avoid my family, ate chocolate because nothing else made me feel good. What else? I threw temper tantrums like a pretty emotionally unbalanced teenager. As a young adult, I appeared emotionally stable, but inside I felt like a constant pressure cooker. I used food and the occasional needle (literally, not drugs) to ease the pain. Fast food was especially a refuge.
What diet haven’t I tried? Everything from slim fast to atkins to weight watchers to raw food . . . Lemonade fast? Oh I did them all. Sometimes I lost as much as 45 lbs. And then I would gain it back and then some.
My biggest problems in life came from emotional issues. Abused (emotionally, physically, sexually). People who didn’t understand as a kid or even as an adult. Friends who thought I was lazy or stupid abandoned me when I needed them the most. I hated myself, felt I was ugly and unattractive. On top of all of that, the negative attitudes of my weight and the comments of “oh you would be so beautiful if you lost weight” just perpetuated the cycle. And the dam broke four years ago, and I became suicidal and withdrew from everything and everyone. Rationally I knew something was wrong, but no matter what, emotionally I could not bring myself out of the hole. I started therapy, diagnosed with depression, and the tide started to turn.
I got married to the most wonderful guy who I call “my knight in shining leathers” because he took me away from negative people and shrouded me in positivity. I made friends who loved me and tried to understand me as I was. Therapy started delving into the deeper issues. The issues of my sexual abuse. My parents and family. My self-confidence. My weight. I started taking Welbutrin, which worked like a miracle drug for me. All of a sudden I could handle my life.
My views of myself changed. My weight became less of an issue. Sure people still tried to tell me what to do otherwise. But I started to realize that I was beautiful, and I didn’t really care about my weight. Food started to mean, fuel, not emotional comfort. I don’t crave sugars as much as I crave fiber now. I want to eat the banana so I can feel full longer. I eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast because then I feel fuller longer. I go to the gym because I want to, not because I have to.
And guess what? I lost 30 lbs, and KEPT IT OFF. When weight stopped mattering, and my health, both emotional and physical, started taking precedence–I started feeling a lot better. If I don’t lose any more weight, it won’t matter because my health just improves day by day.
So when I read this book, I knew I had to share some of the points the author made with you guys. So tomorrow I will write about negative attitudes. I don’t know how many posts there will be, but rest assured, it won’t go on for longer than a week 😉