I’ll get the ugly part out of the way first…another gain. Definitely time to refocus on the diet.
The next weigh-in will be different…and lower….I promise. (Headed to the beach next week and won’t have my scale, but will have a post.)
Now…to this week’s topic…
I’ve had a few people in the last few weeks question why I do this blog. Why I bitch week after week about my weight struggle. Why I post my weight for the world to see. One person actually told me she was surprised I post a picture of the scale, and that I was glorifying being overweight, and that I needed to exhibit a bit more discretion.
Well first off…in case you were not aware, you are not forced to read this blog. It’s not shoved in your face as punishment. I don’t expect everyone to agree with what I’m doing, but I certainly never expected to be chastised for opening up about something I’ve battled for most of my adult life. If you think what I’m doing is stupid or immature or disgusting, then stop reading. That simple.
Secondly, I am not attempting to glorify being overweight. There is nothing glorious about my muffin top or my overeating. There is nothing charming about weighing over 200 pounds or wearing plus sizes. There is certainly nothing splendid about my cellulite or my poor self-image.
So why do I do this?
I write this blog not only to help myself, but to help others that might be struggling with the same thing. Someone that might be fighting a weight battle or fighting a battle to be healthy. Someone that might be struggling to find happiness in themselves when they look in the mirror.
I know what it’s like to feel like no one understands. I know what it feels like to feel you’re fighting a battle on your own. And I’m not just talking about food or weight…although it’s all sort of tied together for me.
As I have touched on in past posts, I have long struggled with depression. It is quite well managed now, but I have certainly been through a serious roller coaster.
It all started in college. Off to school, not a care in the world, and certainly much more trusting of the world than I should have been. I was happy…I was satisfied that I had graduated 6th in my class and was a freshman at UNC. I was on top of the world…and that would soon come crashing down.
This next revelation is something that I believe I’ve only divulged to my sister. The spring semester of my freshman year, I found myself as part of a frightening statistic. I was the victim of date rape…I went out on a date. I walked away from my drink, and ultimately paid the price for my lack of judgment.
No, I didn’t go to the police. Yes, I felt at fault for the entire chain of events. The aftermath and the emotional struggle that ensued sent me on a downward spiral in every aspect of my life that took years to overcome. I fell into a deep depression and became extremely unmotivated. I withdrew socially from those around me. Since that horrifying incident in my life, I have discovered that the US Department of Justice says that one out of every four college women is the victim of date rape. This statistic makes me sick to my stomach. It was an atrocious, disgusting crime that I kept inside. This is the first time I have truly opened up about it in 10 years, because like many other women who fall victim to this crime, I blamed myself for its occurrence.
Hurting and embarrassed, I ate to suppress my feelings. Food became my security blanket. Food didn’t judge me or hurt me or leave me. It became my safe place…and I went to it often. I subsequently gained 60 pounds, which only fueled my self-hate and self-loathing. Once on medication, the depression got better. I sustained for a few years, and then felt like since I was feeling better, that I could stop taking anti-depressants. You can guess what happened.
I continued on an up and down cycle for years. I would stay in bed for days. Depression ignited my overeating and overeating led to my depression. I would cry for no reason, and then I would be on the biggest high for no reason. I felt worthless. I blamed myself for many things… being fat, being raped, not having my dream job. I had even managed to blame myself for my great-grandfather’s death; Convincing myself that if I had called him like I was supposed to when my mom told me to, that he wouldn’t have died. But since I got busy, karma fought back and he passed away. I did things without any regard for consequences. I had a hard time breaking through self-defeating dialogue I’d been replaying in my head since I was young…repeating over and over again if I messed something up that I was a “stupid ungrateful bitch.” That everything gone wrong was my fault.
I have been at the absolute bottom more than once. It is a place that I hope to never go back to again. It kills me to say that I know my darkest times have damaged more than myself. I destroyed every ounce of trust with my family. I temporarily devastated the relationship with my mom. I take full responsibility for the destruction. I take full responsibility for the hurt and the pain I caused. I have enormous amounts of regret when I reflect upon the turmoil that surrounded me a few years ago. Depression has robbed me of a lot of things, but I wouldn’t be where I am now if I hadn’t gone through the depths of hell. I’m thankful for my faith in God and constantly reminding myself that I would never be handed more than I could handle, even though at times I was not so sure. I thank God every day for those amazing women that shared their stories and their struggles with me through 30 days of rehab, and helped me understand that others understood my pain.
I get emotional now as I type this, not because I’m embarrassed or upset about the things of my past. I am emotional because I have come so, so far from where I was, and I am so blessed. I know now that there are no such things as failures, just different levels of success.
I want to be sure to mention one thing. The purpose of tonight’s post is not to gain sympathy. I’m not writing any of this so you feel sorry for me. I’m not writing it to bring you down either. I’m writing this for the same reason I write about my weight loss struggle…so you know someone out there understands.
I have written all of this with a heavy heart. I lost a friend from high school last week. He unfortunately did not see that light at the end of the tunnel, and he succumbed to his struggle with depression. He may have felt he was at that place I had been so many times…the place where you feel like no one comprehends your pain…no one comprehends your hurt and your despair. I wish I had reached out to him, I wish I had shared my story. I wish I had portrayed to him how certain I was at one point that there was no way out – but there ultimately was. I made it out. Emotionally battered and bruised, I made it out. And I made it out because I discovered I was not alone.
So why do I write this blog….because I can only hope that through sharing my stories and my struggles, not only tonight but in previous posts, that you know you are not alone either.
In memory of Scott McCreedy
“You can’t have rainbows without rain.” – Unknown