- Wedding: June 2014 - Dunes House - Hilton Head Island, SC
I’ll continue following this thread for inspiration. Unfortunately, loving myself is a work in progress, so I’m not sure how much support I can provide.
I gained most of this weight following a back injury in 2005 – I’m 5’3″, and before the injury, I was 120 lbs. – now I’m 180. I’m a street size 16 and carry most of it in my chest and hips. I originally herniated one disc in 2005; I’ve now got another full-blown herniation (from when I moved to SC in 2011) and another disc that’s headed that way.
I’ve gotten a LOT of hate hurled my way due to my weight – my ex cheated on me, and blamed me being fat for it. When I told my brother that I’d broken up with him, my SIL told me I’d better beg for my ex to take me back and starve myself if necessary because I wasn’t going to be able to find anyone else. Online dating was a minefield for me. I’ve had random people shout hateful things at me from cars and tell me in the grocery store they didn’t want to pay for the diabetes they were POSITIVE I had (because all fatties have diabetes, dontcha know? [sarcasm]) I’ve had people tell me to put down the Big Macs and pick up a set of weights (never mind that I haven’t eaten at McDonalds since I got food poisoning there 22 years ago, and I’m not supposed to lift over 20 lbs. per doctor’s orders).
So yeah, I’ve got issues, and have been working through them for years. I’ve been transitioning to a semi-vegetarian diet (I’ve been having issues giving up fish and dairy) not because it will help me lose weight, but because I’ll feel better. I watch my diet because diabetes, heart problems and high blood pressure run in my family, but I’m not obsessive over it – if I want a slice of key lime pie, I’ll eat a small slice and not beat myself up for it afterwards. Exercise is limited for me due to my back issues, but I try to walk with my husband when possible, and also do yoga.
I follow the fat acceptance/size positive movement, and I do agree with a lot of what they say in practice – it’s just a matter of applying it to myself. I’m still somewhat stuck in the “accepting one’s body as it is is fine for everyone else, but not for me – I still need to lose weight” mindset.
I don’t think anyone can judge anyone else’s health from the outside without being their doctor. This is the main problem I have with the “you’re condoning obesity if you encourage people who aren’t thin to accept and love themselves” argument – only my doctor has the right to tell me what he thinks my health status is (and for the record, my blood sugar, blood pressure, heart rate, and cholesterol levels are all normal or below normal).
I’ve been going to therapy, have bought and read multitudes of body image self-help books, follow body positive blogs and Pinterest boards (and created one of my own). Happily, my husband (who I found through online dating) thinks I’m perfect just the way I am, and this has been very helpful. He’s been helpful in forwarding me articles, recommending books, etc. to help me in this quest (he’s a philosophy professor who took a lot of gender studies classes in college). He tells me (and shows me) constantly that I’m beautiful. Now it’s up to me to believe it for myself.