During my weekly reading (last week) of Postsecret (if you don’t read it, you should), I came across a secret that struck me in an incredibly profound way.
Um, wow. I stared at it for an incredibly long time. The “secret” completely resonated with me and I found that surprising. On my fave show, The Biggest Loser, the contestants are often forced (by Jillian, of course) to overcome their conscious and subconscious emotional struggles with food/weight/obesity. I have always had a hard time identifying how I got to where I am today with my body. Lots of previous contestants have been through difficult experiences — accidents, loss of close family members, abusive situations, etc. — that seemed to trigger their weight gain or that have held them back from losing weight in the past.
I honestly can’t say that I have been through anything truly difficult (fortunately). Sure, I’ve had my heart broken and law school was a tortuous experience, but I don’t think that either of these trials were solely responsible for or triggers for my weight gain. I was always “bigger” than my peers, though looking back, I really just developed earlier than my friends and had a more muscular body type, but I didn’t really start my consistent weight gain until after my junior year of high school. (It’s all relative now, isn’t it? If I could go back in time, I would have worn a bikini every day from May 2000 through August 2001.) Some years have been worse in terms of weight gain than others, but I can’t figure out what emotionally points me towards food and what holds me back from my potential in terms of losing weight.
So when I saw the secret and felt so connected to it, I surprised myself. I wouldn’t normally think that I am afraid of post-weight loss rejection, at least not consciously. However, earlier in the day that I saw the secret, I had been talking to Miss PR, — well, I’d been throwing a pity party about how all my friends are in lurve and I am not, and she was listening — and she pointed out that in a recent discussion we’d had on pretty much the same topic I had said I wasn’t ready to meet anyone because I felt self-conscious about my appearance. Well played, Miss PR, well played.
There are so many layers to body image and weight loss and self-confidence that it’s hard sometimes to tie everything together and see how it all affects you. But she’s right — I have said that I don’t feel good enough about myself to date (or be set up, which is what PR wants to do to me I’m sure…) and at the same time, I feel so ready to have a partner and so jealous of my friends who have found their mates. So it seems that until I feel better about myself, I won’t be ready to meet someone but I continually fail in my attempts to lose weight and feel better about myself, which leads me to think maybe there is some connection between all of this and the secret — that I am afraid that I will lose the weight and still be alone and that will be just as hard.
But I know that it’s hard for everyone — fit or not, and I think that if I am going to be alone, it would probably be more fun if I can shop anywhere I want to (you know how I feel about plus size clothes). I’m trying to spend some time on the emotional side of my body issues in an effort to work out the physical/nutritional side. Bear with me — I’m sure this exploration will lead to many more blog posts about the connections between my emotional and physical well-being.