A couple of weeks ago, I stepped on the scale to see a huge weight gain for the week. I was discouraged and disappointed in myself. The self-hatred cycle began.
It’s so easy for thoughts to spin out of control. In these moments, I can’t see to stop thinking about how much I hate myself, how much I’ve always hated myself, how incredibly worthless I am, and how I will never be able to change.
Yes, I feel this way simply because I am overweight.
It was one of those days where these thoughts overwhelmed me. There was no ebb and flow in the tide of these thoughts, but it was an incessant crashing of negativity on my soul that left me feeling desperate.
Anyone who has been there knows how it feels. You’re helpless. Moments like this reaffirm that you are not good enough—you never have been and you never will be.
I was pushing my cart through Wal-Mart on a grocery trip, resisting the urge to buy Cadbury eggs and stuff them into my mouth when I was alone where no one could judge me. I didn’t want to look at anyone, nor did I want anyone to notice me. I imagined that everyone around saw me as a lazy, fat slob and these thoughts continued to painfully wrench at my heart.
I glanced up from my self-despair just in time to see a fellow overweight woman. She wore a shirt which read,
Yes! That is exactly what I lacked. Positive beliefs in myself.
Having a lifelong struggle with being overweight becomes a part of your identity—a part of yourself that you wish you could leave in your past but it follows you around like a relentless stalker.
Even on the good days, when you’re running full speed ahead, salty-sweat dripping from your reddened face—you can hear the heavy footsteps behind you reminding you that the moment you stop running is the moment that your fatness will overtake you again. It’s always there, lurking and ready to strike and latch onto your ample thighs.
I believe that I will always struggle with my weight. I think some of us are just predisposed to the struggle—it doesn’t mean we can’t effectively get our weight under control, it just means that we’ll probably always have that stalker and we’ll always hear those footsteps following, but we have to keep running.
But this belief doesn’t have to be the sole belief that I have about myself—and it shouldn’t be.
Believe in yourself.
I began to realize, “hey—I’m a pretty decent human being, even if I am fat.” I believe that there is so much more to myself than my exterior. I am kind, compassionate, a loving wife, a good mother, a thoughtful friend, and I believe that I have so much more to offer the world than just what can be seen by looking at me.
I believe that I am more than my struggle with obesity.
I believe that my family and friends realize this even in the times when I do not.
There are times when we are simply supported by the positive beliefs that our loved ones have about us—like an ever faithful crutch to lean on in times of desperation.
But if we want to continue becoming better, we eventually have to look up from our struggles, gather our strength and courage, and begin to believe in ourselves the way that we are meant to—with love and gratitude for this precious gift of life.
I am more. You are more. Believe it.