I have often started this piece, in various formats – a novel, a biography, a journal – but it never worked because I didn’t have the words to voice what I was feeling. I think I do now. I thought this post would come much later in my journey, I guess later is now.
If I could write a letter to myself it would go something like this…
Please, let’s address the elephant in the room. (Insert my name here). Thirty odd years of bearing this burden, the occasional shift between the physical burden and psychological burden but always a burden. It was always there – looming, lurking in the shadows of my mind. It has become my well-worn mask in latter years and is certainly easier to hide behind. Given the choice I prefer to be known as “that large woman” or “the fat chick”, than to be known for my incompetencies and mistakes. The weight becomes the focal point. No one likes to admit to their flaws but for me, they are larger than life. I stare them down, eye to eye every day. I don’t know which to tackle first and just when I think I’m overcoming, I am shown a new list of areas in my life where I have proven to be less than. It’s a bitter pill to swallow and so I bury it in bread, pasta, ice-cream and cake.
I’m an emotional eater. When I’m sad, I eat. When I’m happy, I eat. When I’m frustrated, I eat. I have a dangerous relationship with food. It is my best friend and my worst enemy. Carrying this weight is uncomfortable and embarrassing but not as much as being vulnerable enough to bare my flaws.
I have had moments of mustering up the courage to step away from the weight but the reactions of those around me, although all from a place of love and encouragement, have overwhelmed me and merely highlighted another flaw. And so I recoil and don the mask. The thing that really gets me is that once I drop a couple of kg, it’s the only topic of conversation people have with me. I hate it. Why not tie me to a stake and place me in the town square for all to gawk at.
I read many blogs and articles about weight loss journeys. I celebrate their triumphs, I envy their victories. (Speaking of, in my post, Brewing a Cup of Tea, I spoke about having experienced huge victories in my life. I am trusting that this will be one to add to the list.) I do not have a negative perception of myself, and I do admit to having flaws, it’s just the thought of having them known which terrifies me. However, I long to be one of those victors, sharing my success story. My time is not now.
My physical and emotional relationship with food will form the vehicle for my quest to define my role(s) and identity. I firmly believe that it’s not about how fast or how slow one goes, as long as you’re always moving forward. How ironic that something with the potential to be life threatening is the very thing that serves as my refuge.
I have faith that one day I will be able to lay this mask down and walk away for good like I have done with many others in the past. My goals, my desires and my dreams will remain unattainable until that day comes. I am choosing to walk this journey in boldness and with courage.
With much love