Saturday, June 23, 2012

Letting go

Even though I still have quite a journey ahead of me as I continue on Optifast, a lot of feelings and emotions have been coming up for me lately.  I'm doing my absolute best to not push them away, but to honor them as where I am in the present moment.  First of all, I am the smallest I have ever been in my life probably since the age of 13.  Actually, probably younger than that.  Who knows when you purposely stop looking in the mirror and try to ignore the increasing number on the tags of your clothes.  That's not to say I'm quite in the category of "small" but for me, yes, I am there.  And yet, I'm not stopping.  My body continues to get smaller as I continue on Optifast and exercising.  So, naturally, now feelings of why the weight came on in the first place are really flooding my consciousness and I am having to deal with feelings of myself and my self-worth.

I definitely am not a child any longer and have really lived a life with lots of experiences, so my image of myself today is nowhere as low as it used to be.  I wouldn't even say I think "low" of myself, but I also have challenges that I have to be honest about and work through if I ever hope of keeping the weight off in the future.  As I have shared on this blog before, I was abused and raped when I was a kid.  Those are not easy things to survive, but you live through them and just try to forget somehow.  I tried my best, but I always felt tainted somehow and even, I have to admit, like I deserved it.  I know, I know ... you're shaking your head at how ridiculous a statement that is.  No one deserves any of that, but I was convinced I did.

I would always look in the mirror and just hate myself.  I always thought of myself as ugly, from my earliest memories.  I was always tall and I never felt like I fit in, having had a Filipino mother and Caucasian father.  I mean, what group could I really identify with?  My look, while some people classified it as "exotic," to me was just plain ugly.  My last boyfriend always told me how beautiful he thought I was and I just never believed him, couldn't believe him, didn't want to believe him.  He had to work overtime to convince me that I was wonderful, worthy and lovely... things I would never believe.  I wanted to, but I just couldn't.  As I was judging myself, I ate to cover up the feelings and always put on a jovial smile for the world to see, not only when I was in the relationship with him but, really, for my entire life.  So when I was teased for being fat, I wasn't surprised and fed into that, resigned to the fact that I would feel that way forever.  I felt people were embarrassed to be seen with me and, hey, I didn't blame them one iota.  The sadness that I felt about myself inside was also showing on the outside.  If you look at some of my "before" pictures on my Pics of Progress page, you can see that sadness on my face, even when I was smiling and trying to cover it up.

So, now that the food has been put down and I'm losing a truckload of weight, here I am, back with those dreaded feelings.  But they're different now.  I have people calling me beautiful all the time, which is a different dynamic for me. I'm not saying that because of vanity, but really it is because I am not fighting with them, trying to convince them that they're wrong about me, that they must have me mixed up with some other person.  As I look in the mirror now, I don't look away or even avoid looking in the mirror in the first place.  I don't regard my reflection with hidden shame.  I am facing the image that stares back at me, realizing that I am exuding something altogether different these days.  I am not punishing myself for being abused and raped.  Those are horrible things to live through, but I did live through them.  I am here, alive, thank you God for getting me through.  Time to let go of the past.  I don't need to repeat patterns that were self-destructive for me and my well-being.

There is so much wonderful healing that has happened.  Maybe that beauty is shining through because I finally get the fact that love includes loving ourselves just as much as loving other people.  I can think of hardly any other more loving act towards myself than that of taking care of my health ... physically as well as emotionally and spiritually.  There is power that comes from self-care.  I am not abusing my body in self-destructive ways any longer.  In the process, I am finding joy and happiness.  Those are things I do not need to fear, as if they are going to be taken away from me at any moment.  If I am smiling, maybe, just maybe it is because that is what I am feeling inside.  I do not need to revert to old defense mechanisms, which were standard things I did when I was treated less than I should be.

Those that claim losing weight through Optifast is taking the easy way out frankly just don't have a clue.  When you don't have the food to give you a sense of ease and comfort, it's as if you are left out in the cold, feeling naked and incredibly vulnerable.  I would submit that, actually, a weight loss program involving food is actually the easier route.  This is damn hard!  Yet, I know in my situation, I had gotten to a place that nothing other than some sort of drastic program was going to help me get healthier.  As I continue in my work of letting go, I also get to embrace the beauty of life and all the possibilities that are laid out before me.  Gone are the days where I convince myself I am unworthy of anything good.  I deserve so much better than that, we all do. 

9 comments:

Truth Teller said...

Yes, it is so much more than five shakes. I believe strongly in therapy to help work through personal issues and to break the patterns we have developed over time. Great job recognizing the issues, and working through them. We need to be very honest with ourselves at this time, when we can no longer drug ourselves with food. I look back at my photos now and think I was so cute. At the time I hated myself and could not think I was anything but fat and ugly. Abuse comes in many forms, but it is all damaging and must be worked through. We can overcome our past and triumph. You are certainly paving the way! Love and hugs and kudos to you!! You are a beautiful writer. xo

Kathy Bloomfield said...

Thank you sweetie ;-) I think honesty is the only way we can go so that the past doesn't repeat itself. I don't want to go through this process again with losing so much weight, only to gain it back. As wonderful as this has been, it's also hard dealing with those blasted feelings.

Stephanie O said...

Hi Kathy congratulations on your success so far. I am starting on Optifast in the morning. I googled liquid diet forums and found your blog thru liquiddietdiscussions.com I hope you do not mind me following your blog while I am on my own Optifast journey.

Kathy said...

Hi Stephanie ;-)

I'm glad you found my blog. I hope that it gives you some strength and encouragement as you go through this incredible experience. It does work, as you can see from my own experience. There is also a great Optifast Facebook page that a bunch of us post at. There are some incredibly supportive people there that I have come to know very well. If you have any questions along the way, please feel free to contact me. Welcome!

losingitgettingfit said...

Kathy, I feel so lucky to get to read about your journey as I tackle mine. Thank you for your honesty and strength!

Melissa said...

Angel, I am SO glad you are off for the summer -- now you have time to pen these beautiful entries. You are a survivor...and that is so inspirational for myself and others. And how correct you are when you say this is so much more than losing weight. It is truly a life-changing journey. In so many ways.

Kathy said...

Thank you everyone for your support. You are amazing!!

Anonymous said...

Every time I read one of your blog entries, I think "THIS is the most important one!".... But maybe, just maybe this one really does have the edge....Because you really defined the problem beneath the problem: the beliefs about ourselves that we've internalized and then externalized, using food. It's like you've read my dairy, Kathy. I also had sexual trauma and spent my life thinking I was loathsome, ugly, and deserving of the abuse. But I'm finding out now that that was a big lie: I was shamed. And I took the shame that belonged to someone else, and internalized it...I made it my own. But no more. With nothing between me and my feelings but a measly shake, I am learning to own what's mine and what's not mine. It's a roller coaster of emotion...but I believe that with God to light my way, the ride will be well worth it in the end!

Kathy said...

That's so awesome! Yes, this is definitely a roller coaster, the most wonderful one I have ever been on. Thank you for sharing your sexual trauma and the subsequent feelings you have been through. We are certainly not the awful beasts we've made ourselves out to be ... whether there is abuse in our backgrounds or for those of us with low images of ourselves for other reasons. We're precious and lovely to God.

Post a Comment